How does an MIT nerd with a background in research end up making products?
I grew up just like everyone else. Played sports with friends, stayed late after school playing chess with friends, summers at science camps and had an almost compulsive need to take everything in sight apart. Pretty normal in my opinion. I only realized that was not the case after I took apart my friend's front door handle and his mom got home.
Throughout school I excelled at math and science. The son of two ChemE PhDs, I those subjects always made sense. The summer I turned 15 everything changed after a internship in a neuro-imaging lab at NIH. I got my first taste of cutting-edge technology and I couldn't go back. School took on a whole new meaning; it became more about how I can apply those concepts to my extracurricular research endeavors.
At MIT I couldn't get enough of my MechE lab classes. Robotics projects were always fun but I always spent a little more time making sure my robot would be more durable and not as ugly as compared to some of the other engineers.
One summer I interned at Bobo Analytics (now Whoop) and was employee number 6. We developed a wrist-worn heart rate monitor that is now worn by Lebron James and Michael Phelps. That summer I helped conduct the initial prototyping and testing as well as assist assemble the parameters for the industrial designers. I found that I thrived in such a small team and I'll always crave that start-up environment.
The next summer I interned at Apple, a bit larger of a company. I developed a concept for a diagnostic machine for iPhones and iPads. I also spent a summer in Shanghai setting up an assembly line. I learned the value of diligent vendor liaison and the importance of communication between multi-disciplinary teams and team members.
After graduation, I wanted to get back to developing new, innovative products. I started at RKS Design . I soaked up everything I could as fast as I could. In just a few years, I worked on countless products in dozens of industries, was listed on several patents and have managed multiple projects through to manufacturing. What made me a great fit was the ability to stay open-minded and creative in the development phases while having the foresight to make sure every concept I proposed could be cost-effectively manufactured.
Over the years I have refined my approach to development to my own process. It expands on RKS's Pscyho-Aesthetics and focuses on iterating prototypes with the user's experience always in mind. After enough times through the process you see how design thinking really is an application of the scientific method. The main difference is that in design you must be able to feel comfortable with ambiguity and feed the process with new observations. The best combination of product features is out there; let your users illuminate what they are. Click on the tab at top to see some examples of it in action!