Black and White Program

Talking Shop with George Davison

May 9th, 2008 by John Eastman

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It’s a creativity lab.
DAVISON: Correct, correct. It’s a creative lab, with inspirational eye candy everywhere. So what happens is that everything that goes on outside this place disappears when you walk in the door. I know. I work here all day. No matter what is going on in the rest of the world, I come in here and get re-inspired. Nothing negative gets in. And that’s what the idea is. Protect and inspire the creative so that you have a substantial flow of newness.

Tell me why InventionLand matters to customers and the marketplace?
DAVISON: InventionLand matters because it lets us serve our customers when we are at our creative best. It matters to the marketplace because we have proven that environment matters and creative people do not belong in cubes, especially when you want your team full of high energy every day.

We’re fully integrated — from the first moment of brainstorming, to building concept models and having raw materials to do that, and the equipment to do that, to testing those concept models — that includes welding ultrasonically, producing our own circuit boards, programming those boards

The high energy matters for customers because they don’t have that? They come here to utilize your services and they can’t produce an InventionLand on their own? Are there companies who have this environment as well?
DAVISON: I don’t think there are any companies that have an environment like this. I have had wonderful worldwide press because I was the first person to invent an inspirational environment like this for creative people. Recently I had one of our largest corporate customers go out and build a “mini-InventionLand” as they call it in their company. Our facility inspired and impressed them so much that they built a piece of it for their internal creative staff, and it was like a big pat on the back to see them emulate what I built for our creative people.

InventionLand inspires our customers. That’s great, but it’s really not the reason why it’s here. I believe we’re able to create better products through people that are more inspired in their work environment. It’s really that simple.

Xerox, Apple, and MIT have well known research centers. So staying in that frame of mind, is InventionLand viewed as the R&D center that most companies who are in this industry don’t have?
DAVISON: Well, I’ve never been to Xerox’s nor the others you mentioned, but I can only imagine how much more creative they could be if they had a facility that was built to inspire and celebrate their creators.

You design and build in-house?
DAVISON: Yes. We do.

Can you give me some examples of that?
DAVISON: We’re fully integrated — from the first moment of brainstorming, to building concept models and having raw materials to do that, and the equipment to do that, to testing those concept models — that includes welding ultrasonically, producing our own circuit boards, programming those boards, et cetera. We can design it, invent it, test it, engineer it, and build it — including creating the graphics for the packaging, and building in the packaging. You want to do it in steel; we can do it in steel. Want to do it in plastic? We’ll do it in plastic and in rubber molds too. We can work at a small or large scale. We’re fully integrated, from the developmental side to the physical manufacturing side, so that when we’re finished we have an actual finished product sample. And we can also add to that a 60-second video. We have the largest green screen in three states. We have directors, sets, post-production, and a recording studio here. We have everything from soup to nuts to go from idea to a finished new product sample in your hands, and ready for corporate or retail presentation.
George Davison interviewHas InventionLand been functioning the way you conceptualized it?
DAVISON: It’s a work in progress. I would say at any one point in time, it fills 80 percent of our needs. Certain things really work well and don’t change, but we have had construction going on here to make modifications from time to time. For example, we just added in new pieces to our media lab, so it’s functioning as we need it today. InventionLand will continue to evolve as we continue to push the envelope on the creative needs of the future.

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