Articles

Capitalizing on Creativity

Charles SharmanMay 20, 2015

“Please send me your most creative kit.”

I had heard that before. I was asking high quality educators to review Crossbeams. First, Jenn Choi, and now, Mark Changizi, requested the same thing. And their question stymied me, because the best I could offer under $100 was an assortment that built only 6 models with 413 pieces.

Sure, we were trying to capitalize on Crossbeams' creativity with Piece Boosts and our Gargantuan Assortment, but those offerings had a barrier-to-entry in complexity or price. How could I boast of Crossbeams' creativity and have no simple kit to prove it?

I was following the crowd. When I invented Crossbeams, I modeled Crossbeams kit offerings on current building toy offerings where one kit builds one thing, or at best, three things. I was placing a creating toy peg in an assembly toy hole, and it wasn't fitting.

So our designers sat down and played. Instead of constricting designs to skill levels or piece counts, we constricted designs to a given piece assortment. Lacking the time to start from scratch, we took our current designs and modified them to fit within the assortment's limits. After a month's work, we came up with the Introductory Assortment, a 354-piece assortment that builds 24 models and mechanical breadboards for under $70. These aren't just 2D starfish; these are decent-looking, 3D designs. We plan to add more designs to the Introductory Assortment in the months ahead.

Instroductory Assortment Image

Excited with the results, we plan to capitalize on Crossbeams' creativity and modify our product portfolio. First, we plan to add a Motion Assortment this summer that will build on the Introductory Assortment adding gears, rotates, couples, and wheels to make more than 20 motion-based designs like hand mixers, steering cars, cranks, and geared-rotor helicopters. Then, we're going to phase out our assortments that build just a few models. And, we'll go from there.

Do you have a suggestion for capitalizing on Crossbeams' creativity? Share it with us.