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Showing posts from November, 2010

Are you a writer? We're hiring a product copywriter

We're very excited to announce that we've just posted a new position we're hiring for, a product copywriter.  We’re hiring people that want to embark on a hazardous startup journey. We’re looking for people that share our passion for pushing the world’s progress forward, for inspiring the dreamers of the world to explore what’s possible. 
So what does that mean on a daily basis?  A few months ago we launched our online store selling materials and technologies in small quantities for prototyping and R&D.  Right now we have hundreds of products listed on this site for sale like gel magnets and soft touch paint.
Over the next year we plan to increase the number of products for sale from hundreds to thousands.  We hope to create a comprehensive collection of materials so anyone with an idea can browse our virtual aisles to get exactly what they need to build a prototype.  If you're an excellent writer and your passionate about product development this is the perfect oppo…

Reducing the distance between creator and consumer at the Chicago DIY Trunk Show

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Last Saturday was the 8th annual DIY Trunk Show, an oversized craft fair showcasing a wide variety of work from Chicago artisans, from home-made yarn to local magazines. The event filled up two rooms of the Pulaski Park auditorium, and felt like a flea market's prideful sibling.

New uses for old materials
Much of the most interesting work displayed involved finding novel uses for well-known materials. One artists would cut rocks into thin slabs that could be used as drink coasters, or reassembled into their original formation. There were bottlecaps turned into magnetic art, jewelry made from junk, notebooks made from scrap leather.

It evoked a certain kind of wonder to see materials used outside their traditional uses, reflected a certain kind of openness, a willingness to understand the actual properties of a material, rather than fall back upon its common understanding. This tendency stands at the center of much invention: one must often separate a material from its normal uses…

Scott Wilson + MNML = Cool watch with over 100k in pre-orders

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The internet is changing product design by reducing the risk that a product might fail. Scott Wilson is a designer based in Chicago that has worked for Nike, Motorola, IDEO and now runs his own design firm called MNML. Scott and his team designed a watch band for the new iPod Nano so it could be used as a watch. Before actually manufacturing it they posted their design on Kickstarter to try to get enough backers to fund the product. They needed $15,000 in pre-orders to make the product and with 27 days left they already have $155,097 in pre-orders. Check out their pitch video to learn more about the product.


This success starts to put some pressure on established consumer products companies that outsource their product design. It starts to put control in the designers hands.  If they can go direct to consumers with sites like Kickstarter, do they even need the clients anymore? Fee for service relationships might not make as much sense.  A designers true vision can be presented to…

Bend your mind with circuit benders and other experimental electronics

Last year at ORD Camp the guys from Roth Mobot did a very cool circuit bending demo with some old toys.  They are going to be at this performance/showcase so check it out if you're in Chicago.  It will be a carnival for hacking electronica!

The Midwestern Experimental Electronics Conference and Showcase (MEECAS)

Saturday, November 13 : Lizard's Liquid Lounge, 3058 W Irving Park Rd. (map)
The 3rd annual Midwestern Experimental Electronics Conference and Showcase (MEECAS) is a free, day-long symposium highlighting the past year's accomplishments in the areas of Musical Instrument Design, Performance, Circuit Bending, Data Hacking, and Video Art. CONFERENCE : Noon - 3:00 PM
The MEECAS begins with a three-hour circuit bent open mic, and an open “horizontal lecture series” structured around a free hardware hacking workshop wherein all participants are both teacher and student. The conversation will focus on networking, hacking techniques, project demonstrations, and setting goals…

A tale of 2 homepages - New Materials Resource

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Inventables is working on democratizing access to new materials. We're an advocate for the little guy and we hope to level the playing field for small product development teams to be able to go up against giant Fortune 500 companies. With this mission in mind we've expanded our services to include the sale of new materials in our online store.

Since launching the online store the response has been tremendous. Our goal is to continue to remove barriers between "makers" and "prototypers" and their visions. The first way we are tackling this is by offering materials for sale in small quantities that are typically hard to find or unavailable. The second thing we're doing is redesigning our homepage for this new business model. Specifically we have re-designed two versions. The first uses vertical categories. The default view is the most recently purchased products and down the left side you can review all the different categories we offer. Within e…