Why Start Ignition Works

Jun 30, 2015 — Theo Cushion

We set up Ignition Works to explore what it would be like to build products from the perspective of a company. There are a whole heap of things that go into building great products, and often these elements are either hard to see or difficult to influence when sat in the engineer's seat. Ignition Works was created in order to find fun and sustainable ways to create purposeful products built with empathy.

So what on earth does that mean?

Building products takes time and a lot of energy. That's why we think purpose is so important. Purpose will get you out of bed in the morning even if you know it's going to be a tough day. The sense that you are doing something important is an extremely motivating feeling. Conversely, we've found the absence of purpose to be corrosive to the task at hand. Purpose is the glue that holds teams together.

Sustainability is a more complex aspect as it can viewed from different angles, each of which are important for a company to consider. From an employee's point of view sustainability can take the shape of what the working environment looks like. For example, is there:

  • A safe environment to fail?
  • Job security?
  • Fair remuneration?
  • A work / life balance (goodbye crunch time)?

Zooming out slightly, there is also the sustainability of a product:

  • Is it profitable?
  • Does it meet a real need?

Taking an even larger view, sustainability can be related to how a company operates in the wider world. What sort of negative externalities are you creating? Who bears this cost?

These aspects are dear to us and by including it in our mission we hope it will keep us honest.

With empathy you can uncover your customers' needs to figure out what is important to them. You can learn what your colleagues' needs are, which is required to keep a team healthy and happy. You can keep your family's needs in your mind too — whether you know it or not, they are also on this voyage. We believe all of this is vital to build a creative culture.

What I've written so far may sound weighty and ideological. That's why the practical element of having fun must not be forgotten. Knowing that even if we fall at the next hurdle we can pick ourselves up, laugh about it, and walk away having had a lot of fun is a reassuring feeling to share.

We hope that armed with purpose, sustainability, empathy, and maybe even a smidgen of fun, that we can share our journey with as many people as possible either via working together, or even just sharing a similar outlook.

If any of this chimes with you, please get in contact with us.