121: Disrupt an Industry with your Hardware Invention | Product Startup Podcast | MAKO Design + Invent

121: Disrupt an Industry with your Hardware Invention

April 6, 2022

With Alexander Manu, Author & Lecturer

Alexander Manu is the author of many design thinking books, and is a lecturer at OCAD University, where I’ve also had the chance to lecture a few times. He was also the head of a big design studio called Axis for 25 years starting in 1980. Today Alexander is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers should attempt to disrupt and capture an industry, all done by identifying, transitioning, and defining the category for yourself so that your product can be unbeatable.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • The iPhone changed everything, but most people misunderstood what the iPhone really was.
  • When you want to be competitive in hardware, you want to define the market yourself.
  • Be courageous, trust your gut, think about the long term.
  • You want to be the first, the best, or the only.
  • Understand what it is
  • You are not designing hardware, you are designing behavior enablers
  • Is it inside out, or outside in.
  • The first step in disruption is Transition
  • You cannot judge disruptors by existing lenses, as it’s new.
  • Every product is a cultural transformation
  • What is the nature of transformation
  • Define the category for yourself
  • As a hardware startup you need to overcome the natural industry biases
  • Think far down the road, what will your disruption change in the future?
  • Makes it very hard to compete (WD-40, Kleenex)
  • When you disrupt, you need to unlearn.
  • Always aspire to be the best, especially these days.
  • Don’t compromise on quality. Price is no longer an issue, both in the product, but also in the cost of designing it right.


Alexander Manu 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!