What Makes Product Design Work Meaningful
In Chapter 2 of 17 in his 2012 interview, London entrepreneur and Moo.com CEO Richard Moross answers "What Makes Your Work Meaningful?" Moross does not believe meaning is created in his work; rather he finds his Moo.com products create a canvas that customers can use to tell their own stories. Moross finds great joy creating new product designs that enable more effective customer storytelling. Moross is founder and CEO of Moo.com and a leader in the London startup scene.
Erik: What makes your work meaningful? Richard: I don't think we create meaning in our work. I think we create a tool that helps other people create meaning. So, it's a -- you know, we always talk about our product really being canvas for our customers to tell their stories. And, you know, that's, I guess, meaningful to me that we can do that and that it's useful. Our customers are very creative. The challenge is for them to tell that story through our products and our job is just to prepare the product so that it's capable of helping them tell that story effectively. And what's amazing, I think, if I look at our customer base and -- we see the product, you know, it's in the office, we manufacture in-house -- is how well they do it. It's really amazing. And I think if you're creative in how you -- in what your business is and how you run your business, you tend to wanna really say that in your card and I think we're just lucky in that we have lots of very creative customers and, you know, the way in which they express that through us, gives me great joy because it's hopefully effective. Erik: I would imagine every day you go to work and you see the new products that are come in and you’re like “that’s amazing, I never thought it could be used that way,” or whatnot. Has it gotten kind of repetitive or is it constantly surprising you? Richard: There's always something new and surprising. I mean, the nice thing is that we create new things for our products. We see the customers using them in a novel way and, when they do interesting things with them -- when they use it for non-traditional stuff, I think that's always quite exciting. So, there's always -- whether it's us creating something new, that's inspiring to me seeing how it grows through the business and who works on it and what the outcome is and then seeing how customers actually use that, I think, is really, really cool. So, I'm excited by that. What -- one of the new projects that we launched was, you know, a higher quality card, a Luxe Card, where we, you know, sort of set about to engineer a new type of paper that could be printed, very thick paper and very high quality paper. And one of my favorite parts of that was all the designs that we did specifically for that product and just watching how our internal design teams brainstorm what they would be and what the designs would look like. That was one of the funnest things that as -- that I've witnessed at the last three years or so.