Launch + Harris Pontoons = IDEA Award Finalist

We are proud to announce that our design was selected as an IDEA Excellence Award Finalist for the Transportation category.  

The glass helm is offered on Crowne and Grand Mariner models.  Partnering with the Harris team, this project was taken from concept to production in under 9 months.  It features a 12 inch medallion touchscreen, as well as a 9 inch auxiliary touch screen. Combined, they offer an unprecedented level of control over all aspects of the boat and performance. 

Further, the streamlining of the technology created an opportunity for storage behind the screens, accessed by a flip up panel on top (light grey.   It also features machined aluminum billet accents. 

Harris Crowne -

Launch + Harris Digital Helm Experience


Launching for 2016 on Harris Crowne and Grand Mariner models.  

Designed to work with their existing helm base, This fully digital helm features an interactive touchscreen interface, machined billet aluminum trim components, charging, connectivity, and integrated dry storage (top beige panel flips up). 

We worked closely with the development teams at Harris to support them from concept to engineering.  Working almost entirely virtually, we met at weekly intervals to review progress, engage suppliers and leverage the expertise within Harris. 

The helm is one of the most important factors in purchase decisions. This simple and intuitive interface, combined with coveted storage and connectivity integration provides Harris with an edge in a very competitive market. 

This was an exciting and quick paced project. The team at Harris did an amazing job with the fit and finish on this system.  It truly represents the next generation of boating.

Innovating Fishing

8 years ago, I was in charge of design innovation for a leading marine manufacturer. During that time, we developed and brought to market a new fishing rod holder that has since become one of the market leaders. It's a great product, but it doesn't successfully address the key frustration that everyone has with rod holders; They are in the way when it's time to set the hook.

We have seen countless designs enter the marketplace with pivoting barrels, spring loaded releases and many other complexities. But, few actually do what we want them to; which is to hold the fishing rod securely, but magically let go when we take over.

Finally, we developed a simple mechanism that solves the problem, and it does it without damaging the rod or adding unnecessary complexity.

The Stealth Rod Holder looks familiar, but the key difference is the Elastomeric Dual Cam. It's a simple flexible strap that connects 2 pivoting cams. When you push the rod handle down into the strap, the cams flex down and snap into place, gripping the rod handle.

The only way out is to pull up. The exact motion that sets the hook on the fish.

The Dual Cam is UV stable. Its made from the same materials as O-rings and gaskets that you find in automotive engines. It wont dry rot or deteriorate. Plus, it can endure temperatures from -50F to +140F. All other parts are constructed of engineering grade Nylon. so its truly a product thats built to last.

It's brought a smile to the face of everyone who has helped us test it and we hope it helps you catch more fish too.

What is a Skeuomorph?

I came across this article today and it reminded me that sometimes innovation hides in the places we least suspect.

A Skeuomorph is a design characteristic that exists only because it was necessary in the original product.

The classic example is the QWERTY keyboard. Original typewriters were mechanical. Pressing a key caused an actual mechanical arm to swing up and make its mark on the paper. The layout of the keyboard was designed to keep the most commonly used letters spaced apart. This prevented the arms from tangling on each other.

Today, we still use the QWERTY layout even though we no longer use mechanical keyboards. This is simply because the hurdle of change is greater than the benefit of moving to another layout.

Other Skeuomorphs are all around us. Here are a few more examples;

  • The turn signal in your car has an intermittent clicking sound. Originally, this was just a mechanical relay switching on and off. Today, its simply feedback that lets us know its working. If it didn't click, we would think it was broken.
  • The camera on your phone makes a shutter sound as you snap a pic, although there is no real shutter.
  • Folders on your computer. Consider this; In the real world, over 95% of files are forgotten and never reviewed again once put in a cabinet.

However, since we live in a world that is digital, if we shift our focus from what we expect to what we need, we unlock the potential to delight consumers.


Automakers like to offer their customers an enjoyable, personalized buying experience when you step foot into the dealership, but few can offer a personalized experience like the “Engine Build Experience” from Chevrolet. This is a special program for Corvette ZO6 buyers where you can assemble your own fire-breathing 650 HP supercharged V8 engine.

The package lets buyers spend a full day at the Performance Build Center (Bowling Green, KY) at the behest of an engine-assembly technician, who will instruct and oversee as the customer puts together the powerplant of his or her Z06. Each customer-built motor gets a personalized engine plaque indicating the owner/builder’s name and the date of assembly, along with professional photos documenting the whole experience. This doesn’t come cheap however, as you will have to plunk down an extra $5000 on top of your $80,000+ ZO6 for the opportunity to build your own performance engine. It might sound like a lot, but it should put a smile on your face every time you press the gas pedal and your engine roars to life.


The Las Vegas Strip comes alive at night and to see the city from the air upon arrival is enough to jump start the enthusiasm in any trip.


The Cosmopolitan is the only Las Vegas hotel that has terraces for their rooms. Who wouldn’t want room service outside overlooking The Strip while still awakening from the previous night’s follies. It just so happens that the hotel also has a fantastic central location on The Strip, next to the Bellagio. Just make sure you have a room above the 10th floor, or the only views you will have while eating your pancakes and bacon will be of the air conditioning units.


The MGM Grand is affectionately known as the “Green Monster” for a reason. The largest casino on The Strip will challenge most visitor's sanity, and feet, by winding you around an expansive floor.  If you are not careful, you will end up walking in circles and passing the same bar and Wheel of Fortune slot machine over and over.


Las Vegas is the only city in the country where a person can pay money to drive heavy equipment. You can push around dirt in a bulldozer or dig huge holes in a massive excavator. It is a life-sized sandbox. Yes, it actually exists.


There is a tiny, delicious pizza joint tucked away in a hidden corridor within the Cosmopolitan resort. Once you have found it, you will probably keep going back. It could be on three possible floors, so good luck.


It is quite an experience to watch someone who is betting the equivalent of a car on a single hand of blackjack or roll of the dice. It makes most people’s “big wins” or “disasters” from earlier in the day seem rather trivial.


The most unique building in Las Vegas (Luxor) has the most unique way to get to your room - “inclinators”. Since Luxor is a pyramid,  a conventional elevator isn’t going to cut it. It is a bizarre sensation to travel up to your room at a 39 degree angle. Once there, you have a great view of the largest atrium in the world.


Start at the Riviera and walk the property, then immediately walk down to the Wynn and walk that property. You will see the drastic difference in luxury, clientele, size, energy, and relevance Both considered a jewel of the strip - one from fifty years ago, and one from today.


Everyone has seen the Bellagio fountains, but few have seen them from hundreds of feet above the ground in the Eiffel Tower replica  across the street. The unique view is spectacular, and you can still hear the Sinatra or Michael Jackson from the platform.


You can watch a big game from a bar or restaurant and still feel the energy and camaraderie, but nothing can amp up the stakes like a group of people that have a boat load of money riding on the result. Super Bowl Sunday is the single busiest day of the year and March Madness is the busiest time of year for that reason.


Anyone can ride a zip-line through a forest from platform to platform, but where else can you be shot out of the world’s tallest slot machine and ride at speed over the Fremont Street Experience? The fact that the slot machine is actually called “Slotzilla”, makes it all the more fantastic.


Most Vegas goers have finally gone to sleep by 6:00 AM, but there are a few still trying to carry the party well into the new day. In a city that is outstanding for people watching,, this experience can not be beat. I have personally seen a woman, still in her club dress, jump into the Bellagio lake while carrying her shoes and swim across the entire body of water only to realize there are no ladders to get out. As a bonus, the water in the lake is recycled “brown water”................

Performance through BioMimicry

At Goody, we were challenged to bring something new to the market without adding additional cost.

One of the primary frustrations that women have with their hairdryers is the amount of time it takes. By partnering with Pax Scientific (, we were able to develop fan technology that delivers the performance of a salon grade dryer. And, it requires no extra parts than a typical hairdryer.

The result is drying times that are 45% faster on average.

How do you turn a negative reality into an experience that elevates your brand?

Windows come in a lot of shapes and sizes. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a retailer to hold in inventory all the sizes their customers could demand. The solution has long been to custom cut blinds, in the store, as the customer waits. This is a painful experience for both the retailer and the consumer.
For the retailer, custom cutting blinds means having specifically trained associates that understand how the cutting machines work.  Because of the variety of blind types, there are often several types of cutting tools and complex measuring devices.  There is a lot of room for error and the quality of the result is often highly dependent on the skills and experience of the in-store associate.
During our research, we went to several stores and posed as customers needing custom sizing and we were shocked by the variety of ways we were dissuaded from purchasing.  In some cases, trained associates were simply not available and we were told to come back later or go to a competitor. In other cases, the skill of the associate made us question the quality and precision of the process. There were also great associates that delivered an amazing customer experience, but, your chance of getting that associate is slim if the store is busy.  Additionally, while the associate is cutting blinds, he or she is unavailable to other customers looking for help.
As a consumer, the stakes feel high as well.  As blinds are being cut, customers can feel anxious about the accuracy of their own measurements.  And, if since most rooms have several windows, it can be time consuming.
Overall, Elevating this experience had to make sense for both the retailers and their customers. The solution is the Levolor Smart Machine.
It's so simple that no specialized training is needed. Virtually any associate can use it. And, since it’s fully automated, they are free to assist other customers during the cutting process.
Blinds are inserted into the machine fully packaged.  The associate enters the desired measurements into a touchscreen, and the machine goes into motion.  It’s fast and gives consistent quality and precision. It even vacuums out any dust. And, for the consumer, the process instills confidence, is faster and fun to watch.  The touchscreen scrolls additional product information such as installation tips, recommendations needs, and information on sales and promotions.
The Levolor Smart Machine takes the complexity out and delivers a simple and fun experience that elevates the Brand and delivers consistent quality. All the while ensuring that someone will always be available the keep your project moving