The Great Entrepreneur And Designer Sam Farber Has Left Us.
I remember the day Betsey, Sam Farber’s wife told me the story of how OXO was born. Her hands had begun to hurt because of arthritis and she was having a hard time in the kitchen. She couldn’t grip the utensils well or without pain. She and Sam loved to cook so this was a big deal. Sam saw this as an opportunity, not a problem, and turned to Smart Design in New York to design kitchen gear that Betsy could hold and use. And hey, why not design kitchen gear that EVERYONE could use easily. The fat handles of Good Grips products was born–as was a great company, OXO.
I met Sam after he had founded and sold Copco (and yes, his uncle had founded FarberWare). Sam was actually retired. OXO was his second company. He would go on to startup a third with his son.
Sam was at the center of a tight circle of great design people. Pattie Moore did amazing research on the elderly and went on to create one of the great consultancies. Sam and Pattie established Universal Design as a credible design strategy.
But most of all, Sam sat and talked. I could always get him for long lunches to talk about stuff. I’m old enough now to know that age does not automatically bring wisdom. Only a few truly unique souls attain it. Sam was one of them.
I am stunned at his sudden leaving and I will miss him forever.
Dogmas of Design--My Talk at The IDSA Conference in Chicago in August
I’m going to my first IDSA annual conference since I left Business Week. Check it out–some fantastic speakers, from Bill Buxton to Dean Kamen. I’ll present on the Dogmas of Design and my new book, Creative Intelligence.
My Q&A With Core77--From Connecting Dots to Indie Capitalism
Core77 has played a huge role in my career covering innovation. When I was launching the Innovation & Design online site at Business Week, Core77 was my first partner. It proved critical. Partnering with outside sources of content was, at that time in the early oughts, revolutionary at a print magazine. I took a lot of heat but Core77 allowed me to make it happen.
Here’s my Q&A off my new book, Creative intelligence.
My book, Creative Intelligence, emphasizes creativity over design, because my experience covering business led me to believe that the term “creativity” is more inclusive–managers and just about everyone identify with it more than “design.” The book’s Five Creative Competencies–Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making and Pivoting (Scaling)–can boost our personal and organizational creative capacities.