Business model design

Product Ecology

What’s in a Rubber Duck? Stuff Under Scrutiny

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: The Ecology Center recently launched a provocative website, Healthy Stuff, which lists the environmental toxins contained in over 900 products, anything from cars to children’s toys to women’s handbags. Rather than rely on product ingredient lists or company social responsibility reports, the data comes directly from a machine called an XRF Analyzer, which uses X-ray fluorescence to detect the presence of toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury, bromine, Read More

SIGG Scandal Proves Consumers Own Brand

Wrote this for MediaPost after learning about the SIGG scandal. Steve Wasik, the CEO of SIGG, has not been tweeting much lately. Caught in a scandal over the company’s delay in disclosing the presence of BPA in its bottles made before September 2008, Wasik has been speaking to bloggers and angry consumers on a one-to-one basis. As one of those once-proud SIGG-toting fans, I had the chance to speak with Read More

Paying for the Experience of Making: The Bamboo Bike Studio

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: It’s not enough to just buy green. The greenest consumers want to do more than just vote with their wallet. They may just want to roll up their sleeves and help you teach them how to make the very thing that you’re selling. Take the example of the Bamboo Bike Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Studio, opened in June of this year, offers a two day, Read More – A Recommerce Company Making Cash from Trash

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Preparing for a move back to the east coast,’s cofounder Israel Ganot took his collection of used electronics to Staples for recycling. He was surprised to discover that the recycling program asked him to pay approximately $15 for the privilege, even though he knew from his days at eBay that the gadgets could be re-commissioned and even resold for value. was born to not just Read More

Elliot Montgomery’s MicroCycle Project

Thanks again, Core77. For your quick write up: MicroCycle Project – Union Square from wake on Vimeo.   Microcycle Project – Union Square from wake on Vimeo. “How tightly can a product’s lifecycle be compressed… and what are the ramifications of doing this?” These are the questions Elliott Montgomery asks with his MicroCycle project–a mini manufacturing station-turned-public outreach kiosk that recently appeared on the south end of Union Square in New York City. Here, he and Read More

Are you a designer of the internet of things?

Nice presentation from Webb of Schulze and Webb on the topic – with a few product to service concepts not yet in my collection – like Howies Hand Me Downs. The New Negroponte Switch from schulzeandwebb

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Lessons from Ezio Manzini: Social Innovator is Your Next Job

Posted over at Core77 – a Wrap Up of Ezio Manzini’s talk to the NYC Eco Design Community; Bottega Altromercato, an example of social innovation from Sustainable Everday “The main activity of designers will be as social innovators,” said Ezio Manzini during an intimate conversation with o2NYC on May 6. Ezio’s talk outlined an exit strategy for conscious designers, a shift from making things to designing tools for a better Read More

Ezio Manzini in NYC on Cherry Lane

Tonight in NYC – May 6, 2009 – join me for a conversation with Ezio Manzini, one of o2 International’s early founders and one of the leading sustainability and design thinkers you’ve never heard about this side of the pond. Small, local, open and connected An Evening with Ezio Manzini Observing society as a whole and in all its contradictoriness, we can see that, alongside numerous unfortunately extremely worrying tendencies, signals Read More

LCA with Jacob Madsen

LCA Learning Group: LCA is not for Wimps! Learn about LCA from Jacob Madsen Date: Thursday April 2nd Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM Venue: Smart Design 601 W 26th Street, Suite 182 Jacob Madsen Energy and Climate Change ERM LIfe cycle analysis often generates surprising findings, telling us which product is greener. The Hummer or the Prius? Cotton diapers or disposable? Paper or Plastic? Join us for one of the Read More

If Products Could Speak – Would They Say “SendMeHome”?

Always looking for Spime ideas that do not rely on a mega infrastructure of sensors and data networks – like this simple concept SendMeHome via TechCrunch. It’s a site that let’s you register an object with a unique code, and they sell little stickers you can place on the object. Oooh, a business model that does not rely on advertising, but on sticker micropayment. The service sees two primary applications for these Read More