Interview with CleanRobotics – the makers of TrashBot

Four men and one woman standing around TrashBot

Once upon a time a two friends stood in front of an overly complex trash can at a WholeFoods. A short time later CleanRobotics and their first product, TrashBot, were born. I sat down with Tanner Cook and Grant Halleran from CleanRobotics to discuss the world of trash processing and the design of TrashBot. Throughout the interview we discuss how it is especially challenging for a robotics company to balance the demands of engineering and product iteration with sales and market penetration. We also discuss how dealing with trash is a complex, yet fascinating, societal and environmental problem.

Three startup ideas (Startup Challenge – Part 3)

A chalkboard drawing of a thought bubble, with a real physical lightbulb placed on top of the drawing in the bubble

In Part 1, of the Startup Challenge we discussed how to generate (good) startup ideas. In Part 2, we focussed on compiling our personal criteria for success. Today in Part 3 of the startup challenge, I’ll share with you the three startup ideas I’ve decided to move forward with and conduct some discovery research around. […]

Criteria for success (Startup Challenge – Part 2)

Over the past several days, I’ve generated 60+ startup ideas by following my idea generating process I blogged about last week. When I look over my list of ideas I have a lot of “gut feelings” about them. Some of the ideas seem too simple, some seem too complex, some seem dumb, and some seem beyond […]

In an MVP, do looks matter?

Set of makeup brushes, with the words "In my looks matter?" written over-top.

The keyword in MVP is “minimum”. But how minimum should the UI be? In an MVP, do looks matter? The TL;DR answer is : It depends. Probably not too much. But you should definitely come back to worrying about aesthetics as soon as possible.

Equity, Designers, and Startups

paper and pen with words overlayed "equity, designers, and startups"

In a recent post, I discussed some of the reasons a freelance designer might hesitate to take on a startup client. A primary reason designers may balk at working with a startup is compensation; specifically, not receiving it. One potential solution is to ask the startup for equity, but that brings its own list of concerns. For […]