With the Olympics in full swing, we thought we’d join in on the craze by bringing French designer Luc Fusaro, a student at The Royal College of Art, to your attention. No, designing is not a new Olympic sport, but thanks to Fusaro it could have a substantial impact on the track events in future Olympic events. Fusaro is designing a super-light, completely custom, 3-D laser-cut shoe that has the potential to shave 3.5 percent off a runner’s time called “Designed to Win.”
The technique Fusaro is using to create his shoes doesn’t involve new technology. Basically a laser cuts and fuses a nylon polyamide powder that results in a shoe, or any other shape sent to the computer via digital file (explanation video). It’s a technique that has been around for quite some time, just never applied to the shoe industry.
Fusaro’s shoe is not only promising because of its super lightweight design (only 96 grams) but because it’s totally customizable. Fusaro watches the way an athlete runs, jumps, and walks and is able to give them a shoe completely specialized for their foot the next day.
Here are four lessons we saw from the above story:
1. Age is irrelevant.
Students are capable of the same results as industry veterans. It all comes down to skill level and work ethic. Hiring, or not hiring, someone because of their age (whether young or old) could be a huge mistake. Instead consider creativity, ability, and drive.
2. Opportunities are available for people capable of combining technologies in unique ways to solve challenges.
Fusaro didn’t invent new technology, or even a new material, for Designed to Win. His shoe doesn’t even address a “problem” others had identified. Instead he combined already available methods in a new way to design a product that is set to debut in the 2016 summer Olympics.
3. Not all good ideas come from big companies.
Neither Nike, Adidas, or upstarts Vibram and Under Armour had anything to do with Fusaro’s shoe. Although big companies often have the resources and R&D budget, this is proof that a small company, even a single individual can still change the face of an entire industry. After all, the secret is now out and others are sure to follow suit.
4. Customer service is key.
Fusaro meets with each individual client to make sure they are getting exactly what they need in a customized shoe. Though not completely feasible in all companies, most SMB CEOs have the capability to meet with each client to give them a “customized” product.
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