DevReady PodcastTransforming Ideas into Million Dollar Products – Episode 93 – DevReady Podcast

In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, our hosts Andrew Romeo and Anthony Sapountzis are joined by Philippe Guichard, an Industrial Designer and a serial entrepreneur. Philippe is the Founder, Creative Director & Manager at D2 Designs and Development, an industrial design studio based in Melbourne, where the team helps businesses simplify and de-risk hardware ventures. In this episode, we learn about Philippe’s journey, his three steps methodology and designing for the triple line (people, planet, profit).

When asked what drove him to design, Philippe takes us back to his childhood and shares how one of the impetuses was a comic character called Gyro Gearloose, a crazy inventor who’d transform an idea into a physical thing. The second trigger that pulled him to design was an aptitude test that he took at the age of 16. The test’s profiling meant that he was creative and entrepreneurial, and his profile was different given that he did not fit the mould of what society thought of as acceptable career choices. He persevered, and when he met an industrial designer who combined science and design, he knew he was headed down the right path. And that’s what led Philippe to open his design studio in France at the age of 22-23.

Naïve and passionate—that’s how Philippe describes himself in his 20s. He believes that being an industrial designer with a mechanical engineer’s background gave him an edge as he was able to deliver from a mass manufacturing perspective. And after eight odd years in France, he married an Australian and moved to Australia. He then founded D2 designs and development with a belief that a good design is invisible. A good design is natural, and it flows as opposed to bad designs that have frictions and frustrations. 

Philippe was not a stranger to challenges. And he made mistakes. The two that stand out to him are:

  • Lack of marketing
  • Disregarding the business model

He learned from them nevertheless and was able to come up with a three steps design methodology that could help not just him but also endless other entrepreneurs to minimise the risk and maximize the ROI of their venture. The three steps methodology includes: 

  1. Design for function
  2. Design for market-fit
  3. Design with a business model

Phillipe assures that the process helps avoid the common traps of starting a new hardware product venture. Also, being fascinated by the impact that designing a product has, he wanted to ensure that the product added value to as many stakeholders in the project as possible and so he pioneered the idea of designing for the Triple Bottom Line and the circular economy, with the focus on:

  1. People
  2. Planet
  3. Profit

Topics Covered

The triggers for becoming a designer

A good design needs to be invisible

Challenges faced

Three Steps Design Methodology

Designing for the Triple Bottom Line

Considering the impact on the planet

Key Quotes (Time Stamps)
  • “Possibly, I think the first trigger for me is when I was a kid. I used to read those comics from Donald Duck and everything and they have one character called Gyro Gearloose, I guess, who is a kind of inventor, crazy character that transforms an idea into a physical thing. And I thought, Wow! That’s really cool!” (1:16 – 1:42)
  • “I thought that was really a cool idea that you can take an idea, you work some kind of mechanism or something. And then, in the end, you have a product that does a service to you.” (1:53 – 2:00)
  • “That’s how it started; you know, little bits and pieces. And a bit of grit and passion and all those stuff that you do; with a lot of naivety also when you are in your twenties.” (7:21 – 7:33) 
  • “Well, the story was I just lucky. And also, I knew that I had skills that were a bit unique, meaning that I was an industrial designer with a mechanical engineer’s background. So, the way it translated is that pretty much every sketch or every CAD thing I did, I could deliver from the mass manufacturing perspective.”  (10:53 – 11:15) 
  • “Delivering the product is one thing—it’s great, but it’s not enough. And I started to understand that from the CEO’s perspective, from the founder’s perspective, it’s about growing the business. So, you need more than a product. You need good marketing and good business modelling.” (12:30 – 12:45)
  • “There are kind of three legs to the stool, and if you miss one of the legs, the stool is quite unstable, and you take a lot of risks.” (13:12 – 13:17)
  • “What is interesting is that very often, and that happens very often with, I’d say inventors and first-time entrepreneurs, they are really-really product focused. They have this idea; they are kind of locked in some way in this idea, and then they keep pushing and thinking that if they get the product right, that’s going to work. And that’s one of the reasons why the hardware ventures—they are 10-fold in failures than any other ventures.” (20:07 – 20:40)
  • “So, you need to know, with the market fit—what the market wants and what price point and which technology you need facing that so that you have the best possible outcome.” (34:19 – 34:30) 
  • “So, you need to what your unique value proposition is, how different you are from the competitors and which language you are going to communicate in, in order to deliver that value.” (35:46 – 35:55)
  • “The question for me is: how can I add some value to as many users as possible, like, all the stakeholders that I can see in that project?” (37:13 – 37:22)
  • “The learning is: engage every stakeholder and understand who they are because there would be some stakeholders that can actually block a product moving forward as well.” (40:05 – 40:13) – Andrew Romeo
Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)
  • Journey from France to Australia (10:15 – 14:04)
  • A good design is an invisible design (14:37 – 16:44)
  • How to design physical products? (17:59 – 22:45)
  • Talk to the market (25:27 – 28:14) 
  • Three Steps Methodology (31:29 – 36:20)
  • Designing for the Triple Bottom Line (36:33 – 39:02)
  • Considering the impact on the planet (40:41 – 46:02) 

Connect with Andrew

Connect with Anthony

Connect with Philippe

D2 Design & Development | Website

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Philippe TEDx Talk: Redesigning our World. Small Change = Big Impact
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