Top 10 List: Why It’s Better to Design It Yourself

If you found yourself nodding when you read Martha Stewart’s take on DIY, you’ll probably agree with these reasons on why it’s better to design it yourself instead of picking it off the retail shelf and buying it. Don’t resist though, if you have more leave me a comment.

So, what are the top ten reasons it’s better to design things yourself?

1. Solves your own problems. Need something cool looking yet functional but only about yay high? Whatever you requirements are, you can fulfill them.

2. Reflects your personality, style and charm. It’s too hard to leave it to others to design to your style. Do they know you that well?!

3. Exercises your brain cells. Challenges your creativity and problem-solving skills. Enriches your knowledge on design theory and trends, sustainable materials, the ins and outs of vector editor software, and whatever else you encounter along the way.

4. It’ll make you and your family proud. One early beta user said that after he built his table, his wife liked him more!

5. It’s just cool. Period.

6. Brings “ownership” and “my stuff” to a deeper level.

7. It’ll impress the hell out of your friends, their friends, your coworkers and potential girlfriends/boyfriends.

8. The one-of-a-kind quality of it makes it even more valuable if you ever want to sell it! (You could always do limited editions too). No doubt more valued than mass manufactured products.

9. If you don’t want to sell it, your one-of-a-kind creation could be a legacy/heirloom to pass down the family for future generations.

10. You could be the next Le Corbusier if your designs take off!

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6 Responses to “Top 10 List: Why It’s Better to Design It Yourself”

  1. sue Says:

    you forgot “it’s addictive”
    everyone i met when beta testing ponoko is like me, we can’t wait for it to go live so we cant make more stuff

  2. Steven Says:

    How could I miss that one :-) Thanks Sue!

  3. Alessandro Says:

    It’s not clear how you protect my design.
    I could send you something and then you could produce and sell to third parties giving me no percentage in your revenues. It would be easy: you could sell it in another web site (not in Ponoko but another one) or sell it towards traditional way (off-line).
    What do you say about it?

  4. Steven Says:

    Hi Alessandro,

    Thanks for the great question! The reality is that any design that switches from “bits to atoms” has this problem. We can see that from all the fake goods sold all over the world. However, there is more than one reason why we wouldn’t. Firstly, we believe that Ponoko’s role is to help grow distributed manufacturing and to provide a legal means for people to use other people’s design IP. At the moment the barriers between designers, makers and consumers forces many consumers to take the easy route much in the same way we see movies and music downloaded illegally online. We believe that for you as a Designer using Ponoko will allow Consumers to identify with you more and so will be less likely to buy fake goods that copy your unique designs.

    Secondly we are focused on fostering our community. Any kind of dishonest act on our part would represent the kind of commercial suicide that would destroy us as a business and quite frankly doesn’t reflect who we are and want to be as people. You can rest assured Alessandro that that is the farthest thing from our mind. And while once we leave beta and you upload your designs there will be a legal document that states that you own your IP and our assurance that we’ll never use it without your permission first. But you also have our word on that. And we happen to believe that it’s even stronger.

  5. sue Says:

    Yo Alessandro
    I can’t find my beta testing agreement right now
    but in big bold black letters along the top was.
    “You own what you design” That’s one of the most refreshing things about Ponoko, everything is set up to protect you the designer, and your designs.

    Unless you specifically sell a design nobody ordering from you will ever see your designs only the end product.

  6. Steven Says:

    Thanks Sue! :-)