Raising the Bar – Our Top 5’s from 2017
Shifting studios, making the most of the Tauranga CBD, working with clients new and old — we’ve had a stellar year in 2017! Find out what made the year so great and what we’ve done to make sure 2018 is just as excellent.
Five things we’re thankful for:
- Our new studio
A couple of years in Te Puna was a great departure from our long time home at the entrance to downtown the Mount. We were ready to get back into the heart of the region and what better to take the city by storm than to shift straight to Tauranga CBD. As soon as we moved we had new work coming in the door from Tauranga City Council, lots of coffee orders from our new local, Thy Neighbour, and sunny meetings and lunches at the new tidal steps at Tauranga waterfront. Being closer to town has breathed new life into the studio and we’re so lucky to have snagged a choice spot in the heart of it all. Check out our first studio party (there’ll be more of these to come in the new year, for sure!)
- The rise of women
Making headlines around the world, 2017 is the year of the woman; the latest Newsweek cover, the record-breaking, female-directed, female starring Wonder Woman, the first woman to run for president and our own female PM are no small feats. We’ve also seen a shift away from male-dominance locally — the YIA Innovation Forum featured female-majority speakers, Caroline attended the first ever Bold Steps conference, hearing from inspiring women in governance, and our office has recently tipped the scales with the addition of Product Designer Michelle. (When I started at Locus, our office manager and myself were the only women in the team of 6.)
- Great projects and awesome clients
The team has worked on 25 different projects this year, across the fields of product development, research, design and innovation. Two of these are exciting new ventures — we’ll be able to tell you more about them next year. We also supported the development and exciting market launch of the 2018 Ubco 2×2 road legal bike & a new line of accessories for the company. We send a huge thank you to all our clients, friends, and family who made this all happen and we’re chomping at the bit tell you more about what’s to come.
- Our new website
Near the beginning of the year, we launched our new website! More than just a visual redesign, we changed the whole structure of our navigation, revised the language style, and featured a greater insight into what we do and the way we work. We now offer free resources to help you along your own product development journey, and our new blog is filling up with awesome articles. The new design has found its way into our resource booklets and other collateral as well, with a visual consistency we can be proud of. We hope you’ve enjoyed the new site as much as we do!
- Events around the country
Getting out of the office, we attended some awesome events this year. SouthMACH took us down south to mingle with manufacturers and lecture with our friends at Caliber Design; another great Fieldays was spent in the Lab mentoring the nation’s agri-innovators; and the inaugural innovation festival in Tauranga was a hit, Groundswell enlightened and inspired us. We can’t wait to see what next year brings and how we can get even more out of the nation’s events and happenings around the country. (If you know of somewhere we should be, please let us know!)
Five things we’re looking forward to next year:
- Launch of a product on Kickstarter
While we can’t say much yet, we have been gearing up for a really exciting development that’s almost ready to take Kickstarter by storm. It’s an innovative and fun idea that will delight kids and parents alike — watch this space!
- Our new product designer, Michelle
Our young Simon Crane has had a calling to explore more of this wonderful world we live in, so we welcome Michelle, our newest product designer. She’s already found her place in the studio and fits right in with the team. We can’t wait to see how she develops!
- Reinstating What if Wednesday
While we’ve been loving our new studio, our beloved cooking competition (aka What if Wednesday) has taken a bit of a hit since we’ve downsized the kitchen. It is a great chance to get the team together, away from our computers and enjoying a bite together, so we’re keen to bring it back. If you have any tips on cooking for 6 without a stovetop or oven, please send them our way!
- More involvement in the central city
We’ve seen great things come through the door in our short time back in the CBD and we’re excited to see how these play out next year. Tauranga is a rapidly growing city and we’re keen to make whatever impact we can and help it change for the better.
- Partnership for a better planet
At the end of November, we hosted a Circular Economy event with global sustainability warriors Thinkstep. While it was well attended and always a joy to share our ideas for a greener Earth, the big news is our partnership announcement. Between our product development expertise and their Life Cycle Assessment skills, we’ll be able to promote the Circular Economy and help companies better the environment by bettering themselves.
Five things to read/watch/do over the holiday break:
- Alternative Plastics – Beyond Branding
Plastic = not so fantastic. Should we be thinking about alternative plastics or alternative business-as-usual? This article breaks down the myths of ‘sustainable plastic.’
- No 8 Recharged
A volume 2 recap of great kiwi inventions — keep an eye out for the Ubco 2×2. While you’re at it, check out volume 1 if you haven’t already: No 8 Rewired.
- Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware
China is incubating the world’s next Silicon Valley — Shenzhen. This is a great documentary on the rise of the maker movement as well as their stance on IP.
- Blue Planet 2
If you’ve missed the screening on Sunday nights, you can’t go past this series. Amazing photography and environmental knowledge to boot, catch up online.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport — there’s no denying it, distraction sucks. This book doesn’t just tell you that again but uses case studies to show how high achievers have overcome it to deliver deep work.
- Bonus: Google’s Santa Tracker
Keep the kiddos (and yourself) entertained, until Christmas at least…