In the latest issue of frog design’s Design Mind newsletter, I have an interview with Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar, the maker of energy bars. Gary was gracious enough to give some of his time for a very engaging chat that covered the origins of the company, how they have stayed innovative and maintained their culture despite massive growth, and how they’ve managed to stay private and also competitive against competitors who are owned by some of the world’s largest food conglomerates. Probably my favorite quote from it:
We do some traditional focus group, qualitative and quantitative studies, we listen to what the trends are out there. But you’ve got to be careful about that. What’s mostly paid off for us is listening to others, but then doing our own thing.
If you’re not familiar with the Design Mind newsletter, by the way, it’s well worth checking out (and I’m not saying this as a pitch). It’s on its fourth issue now and has had a tremendous run of articles covering many aspects of design, culture, and product/software development.