Retail & Promotional Products
Select Brands: xRocker; Fellowes; ttools
Retailers: Best Buy; Staples; Target
Wired Best Pick: ttools Stylus Pens
INVENTION BY DESIGN
Starting a company with one product, even if its a tech tool, can be dangerous even when that product is patented. In 2001, when Tom & Tracy Hazzard’s first company, ttools was faced with the world’s biggest Industrial Design firm, IDEO, and tech darling, Palm Computing infringing on that patent, everyone said their business was over. Instead, they got their team together and used their innovative thinking to put together a strategic and tactical battle plan on a shoestring budget.
Fighting Palm Computing and IDEO was the only option, but it’s the how that shows Tom & Tracy’s interesting and unconventional solution-solving tactics. Their methods and the successful results are taught in an Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property class at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and at the Harvard Business Review at 26 other universities around the world. Their upcoming book on their tactics and how the experience changed their business practices today will be available on Amazon in March 2016.