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Products for Normies, Products for Sickos

Some products are made to have a perfect balance of features. They are "good enough" for "most people." A milquetoast Wirecutter pick. Those are products for "normies." But some products are made for the extremes, the edges. Those are products for sickos. (As a

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Opinionated Is Good

In a user interview years ago, a customer said he found his Tortuga backpack to be too "opinionated." I got a little obsessed with that idea. A product should be opinionated. A designer—and by extension, his products—should have a point of view. Opinions are good. You

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Meet Them Where They Are

> What's your California Roll? Nir Eyal's People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently [] highlights how the California Roll turned American sushi consumption from zero to a multi-billion dollar industry. He calls this "the

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Getting Specific: Tortuga's V3 Strategy

At Tortuga [], the V3 project was all about getting more specific. Going more niche. The Outbreaker backpack [] isn't just a new product, it's the next iteration of Tortuga as a company. For the launch, we redesigned

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Optimal Newness

Raymond Loewy has been called "the father of industrial design" and credited with "invent[ing] Americana." I'm embarrassed to admit that I only learned about him recently from a misleadingly-titled Atlantic article [] . The article

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A Non-Designer’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Working with Designers

> Now make it look good. If you say this to a designer, you’ve failed. You’ve failed to maximize her strengths and probably failed to engage her in the project. Design is not making things look good. Design is a repeatable process for solving problems. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At Tortuga,