087: Purpose is a Big Part of Consumer Product Success | Product Startup Podcast | MAKO Design + Invent

087: Purpose is a Big Part of Consumer Product Success

August 4, 2021

With Paul Rowan, Co-Founder of Umbra

087: Purpose is a Big Part of Consumer Product Success

Paul Rowan is the Co-Founder of Umbra, a household product company that designs, manufactures, and sells hundreds of consumer products all over the world. You likely have at least one of their products in your home right now. Paul ran design at Umbra for 37 years, starting the entire company with just one product. Today Paul is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can use both strategic purpose and higher purpose to create a great first product and your first product business. From there, how do you leverage those principles to scale into a global product brand as he did with Umbra.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Purpose, and how to find it in your business
  • Professionalism – Start early and make it quality.
  • Started with one idea, so put everyone in the market.
  • Get connected to your first customers.
  • The first product doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be professional and of reasonable quality.
  • Come up with something of a necessity for yourself. It is far easier to come up with an idea that solves a pain point that you have.
  • Those customers will want more products from you, especially if you do the first one well.
  • Once you get rolling, do more and more products so that you don’t worry about the few products that fail when you have many that succeed.
  • As you are scaling, you can work with your vendors, employees, customers to perfect exactly what that purpose and vision for the company is.
  • Every person along the line is a stakeholder and involved in your product.
  • Look at new technology. That can be a huge advantage to your product

Episode Links:


Paul Rowan / Umbra Links:

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Mako Design Links:

Kevin Mako Links:

Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!