As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Companies don’t make new products, people do



Game on.

Leveling the playing field.

At The Grommet we have spent a lot of time focusing on independent Makers and entrepreneurs. It makes sense: young companies can generally innovate without the constraints of large organizations. Our mission is to make sure the best products win, and the best products are often formed by the hands of those who are free to design based on inspiration, not sales forecasts.

The idea for The Grommet itself, however, was born in a big company. During my time at Playskool I often saw our best ideas fail to leave the nest because buyers at the big retailers hadn’t picked them up. Having seen that in other companies too, my Grommet co-founder and I wanted to build a viable route for those fresh products that were not on big box buyers’ radars to make it to market. It also helped that as an industrial designer I had a front seat view on the core truth that any progressive product always begins with a small group of people or even an individual.

Companies don’t make new products, people do.

Over the last seven years we have built that viable route to market and have launched over 2,000 products. A small handful, especially early on, came from “big” companies – companies like Dyson, iRobot, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, and others. Most have come from entrepreneurs. As time has gone on, though, we’ve seen more and more designs worthy of Grommet attention emerging from those “big” players.  We had wanted to level the playing field…it appears that everyone might be ready to play.

Enter The Grommet Intrapreneur Project. Inside some very storied companies (like my former client Playskool) are creative, independently-minded people who are driving innovation – the Intrapreneurs.

Innovation can be found at any size, so we are paying credit where credit is due by shining a light on those companies that are taking risks and launching Grommet-worthy products. Here’s the first one: Withings. We plan to reveal one a month. These products have purpose and are developed by people with stories…and those same people are interested in meeting the people who make up our Community and making sure their products are understood.


Cedric Hutchings, Withings CEO

This latest launch addition takes us a step further in advancing The Grommet mission by paving a way for us to work with companies at scale and helps shifts the paradigm of launch for those “big” players. And as it has for the last seven years, it will be our community that elevates each launch to a discussion with each intrapreneur, entrepreneur, and Maker and asks the hard questions – levelling the playing field.

So keep asking, keep pushing, and keep refereeing our launches. The game is just getting started.

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