A story about opening 2 innovation labs in 99 days
"Yes Sir, I understand that it's important, but we cannot let your robot board the plane without those papers."
"COME ON", I screamed back at the polite, but slightly shocked UPS guy. I jumped in my car and started driving south, throwing papers around, swearing. If they couldn't ship it, I would get it myself. We had fought hard to get our hands on that robot. The first in Norway, the center piece in our soon to open Innovation Labs, and now it was stuck in France because some guy didn't want to transport it without knowing what kind of batteries it had inside. I hadn't even left the city borders of Oslo before the French found a solution. Good thing probably - I'm not sure I would have cleared customs myself, heading back to Norway with a human sized robot sitting next to me in the car.
99 days ago we decided to open Unikia's Innovation Labs. A place to get inspired, buy the most incredible inventions from around the world, and make your own ideas come true. 2 humanoid robots, 300 products, 1 million 3D-files and the best 3D-printers to print them, 1 webshop, a hologram lamp, and a bunch of interactive screens later, our amazing team of designers welcomed customers to our first labs.
From the prairies of the west to downtown Shanghai, we got to meet a lot of creative people when searching for the most innovative products in the world. Hand made scent candles made for Cowboys, the umbrella that doesn't get wet, a magic button that does everything, the favorite pencil of great writers, a 20 kg concrete bike stand, lamps that float in thin air, collapsible helmets, and a barbecue that only needs sun to cook you a perfect meal. The list got longer and longer. The ideas crazier and crazier. The last days before our labs opened, our office was so full of boxes that we had to climb over them to get in - I'm not exaggerating!
10 am, on the 25th of August 2016. A light buzzing from 3D-printers and robots rolling around. The guys turning it all on hadn't slept for days. One of the screens are blank, but the rest are set. None of the customers coming in knows it was done in 99 days.
Some times you have to move fast. Especially when you have an idea too good not to become reality.