- Start-up Design. A new way to enter the market according to the Israeli experience
- Monkey business design Israel
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Owner: Oded Friedland
Brand/ start up name: Monkey business design Israel Ltd
Product: We focus on developing original, innovative, affordable gift items. Our company handles development, production and distribution.
Type of organization: Family firm.
Partners: Oded Friedland (age 45), founder of Oded, industrial designer and Omri Friedland (age 47). Oded is responsible for the creative side of things, and manages product development. Omri studied economics in the Tel-Aviv University, worked in the music Industry in the UK for a decade and joined Oded as a full partner in 2002, taking over the business and financial sides of things, turning the struggling design studio into a thriving business. Omri handles the international clients, finance and logistics.
When and how did the project originate? Oded was founded in 1994, after graduating in Industrial design at the Bezalel Art and Design Academy, in Jerusalem where he is now teaching a course on Design Entrepreneurship. The frustration of trying and failing to sell my designs and ideas to other companies, led me to a decision to try and do it myself.
How much did you invest to start the company? Step by step, I used funds that I brought in from design services to invest in developing and marketing my own products.
Who invested the money? Mum & Dad
How far have you gone with the project? We have been in the business for almost 20 years, and have established the brand in the international design trade and society.
When did you understand that the project had overcome the ideational phase and had become a product? Each step is a development, but we have had several small leaps over the years related to products that generated growth, the first leap was Dolica in 1999, the second was the Doorganizer in 2005. Has there been a moment when you wanted to give up It’s a long and winding road, with many ups and downs, and over the years we had our motivation breakdowns, due to product failures or financial difficulties, but we always had the belief, the patience, the perseverance and the family back up, to make it work.
What is your advice for young design entrepreneurs? I would recommend small beginnings, with the first products the learning curve is very steep, there are so many mistakes to be made and so much to learn even with the simplest of products, so before you step into deeper waters, tread some shallow ones. I would also recommend a business partner to every creative individual, the creative energy collides with doing the business side of things, it is very difficult to do both, and most creative are bad at business, let someone else do the ‘dirty’ work for you. What is your advice for young design entrepreneurs You must be very passionate for what you are doing, so choose territories that really interest you and that you enjoy working on hour by hour day by day, this is what will provide the energy and motivation to pass the difficult times.