Former IDEO Mechanical Engineer turned Startup Freelance Consultant – Jen Davis-Wilson– Ep30
Jen Davis-Wilson worked for 12 years at IDEO. Since then, she has gone off on her own to be a startup freelance consultant. She typically works with clients in the San Francisco (Silicon Valley area).
While Jen and I are both Mechanical Engineers, our careers and the way we go about creating client projects is quite different and it was interesting to hear a different perspective on the process.
Some of the highlights/links we discuss:
- Industrial design versus Engineering
- Her work with Magic Instruments on a cool new guitar product to help beginners learn guitar
- How to test products? Make a rendering and put a product on ebay, kickstarter, etc. Also, 3D print a product and put on the same websites Examples:
- Justin Shook (who was on episode 3, owner of com and his etsy store Collector Craft
- One of my creations, the Led Zeppelin Object. I’ve found that fans of classic rock bands love re-created retro things you can’t find anymore.
- It was interesting to see how Jen’s process is compared to what I am used to. She tends to work with bigger startups than my company and as a result seems to have a bigger team on her end, often backed with IDEO employees.
- It was also interesting to discuss the Solidworks work flow versus Industrial design CAD tools. While I prefer Solidworks because it is easy to update a file, I can understand why some designers work in other programs that are not parametric. And from my experience, some shapes are easier in other programs like Blender (and Jen mentioned Rhino).
- We had a good discussion about product testing. Some companies will make renderings to see if people will buy a product before it is made. However, traditionally big companies will use focus groups and interviews.
To Contact Jen