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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003
    Give all your ideas away
    Howies catalogue arrived by post today. It's all online as well, but it's so much better to handle, thumb, sniff (Linda tells me my habit of sniffing new books is odd... oh, is it?) They are Cardigan Bay's third largest clothing company. Not only do they do great t-shirt designs, they lend out books to customers from their library, generally promote eco-awareness and celebrate being 'family'. Interest-a-plenty in the 'think' section of their site.

    Howies are a real treat, sharing a refreshing sort of business ethics with others such as Obble from whom this bike bag idea came. Howies write:
      Those crazies at Obble came to us with an idea. We loved it and asked them what they wanted for it. And they said nothing. We said we didn't understand. So they sent us this note in a fax. This is what it said:

      Give all your ideas away. Not exactly a great business plan. But what happens if your plan isn't to make money. What happens if your business plan is to make friends. After all, money doesn't make you happy. Friends do. Obble was set up by four friends who had a love of ideas. One of their ideas was to start Obble. A different kind of brand. A brand that gives rather than takes. A brand that isn't designed to make money. We met David and Clare and liked what they were trying to do at howies. So we gave them an idea. The Bike Bag. It didn't cost us anything to come up with the idea and we gave it away. Howies made the bag and Obble made some new friends. Our website is built by another friend called John. We use it as a space to put our ideas and have fun. And as we make new friends, we ask them if they want to put some ideas on our site. And if anyone sees an idea they like, that they want to buy, we say ok. But don't pay us. Pay our friends. And they say, but that doesn't make good business sense. And we smile and say we know.