The Gap Between Profitable and Meaningful Products

It’s a brave new world of possibilities, nowadays we can create almost any kind of product that we can imagine.

Cool right? Great time to be a industrial designer, except for one simple fact:

Industry is too afraid to make mistakes, therefore, conservative.

There are of course exceptions, but most of them lack real innovation. They don’t spend time trying to understand the actual benefit of every product that they fill the market with, as long as it sells well and create an impression that they are innovative and incredible, is OK.

In my years working in industry all I could learn is that almost everything is small talk. Small talk about how design will revolutionize the behavior of people, will enchance the experience, will deliver something that is truly new. Bullshit. We managed to deliver meaning of course, but sometimes feel we got lucky when we actually did that.

Back when I was in design school I actually believed when as a audience in those incredible speeches of big companies telling how they were incredible, how they constantly listen to users to provide the best product, with a lot of meaning and all that jazz. Now, as I grown up industrial designer, I know that almost all they said was bullshit as well. We are terribly failling in actually making a change as fast as the world needs. Industry is simply filling the world with more and more products without actually giving a s*** if it matters or not.

The problem? The problem is that each product is far from being harmless, the chain reaction is huge, from production to discard. So, every new product should be responsible, to the person who is going to use it, to nature, to people, to animals, to the planet. Instead, seems that is responsible only to the company profitability, to economy, this huge, massive thing that only makes sense to us, greedy human beings.

I know that change the old minded industry is something incredibly hard, that’s probably one big reason that new startups are appearing everyday with the promise of creating meaningful products that are actually designed to make a change, in many aspects. And this surely influence the big ones, for the conscious sake? Of course not! Because they know that people are claiming for meaning, more and more conscious and questioning in this age of information. Ultimately industry create product for us, and the only way the change takes place, is with our demand. Demand for more meaning in our consumption.