Col­lec­tive de­signs on cre­ative pride

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG - By SOPHIE HE in Hong Kong

so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Dou­glas Young, Goods of De­sire (G.O.D.) co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, be­lieves it is very im­por­tant to keep em­ploy­ees mo­ti­vated in or­der to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

“I of­ten ask my­self, how to keep my­self mo­ti­vated? For me the most re­ward­ing and ful­fill­ing thing I got from my busi­ness is to see my dream hap­pen, so I try to al­low my staff and my col­leagues to en­able some of their con­cepts to be de­vel­oped into our fi­nal prod­ucts,” Young told China Daily.

G.O.D. cur­rently em­ploys about 80 de­sign staff in Hong Kong. Dur­ing meet­ings on prod­uct de­vel­op­ment with his staff, Young al­ways tries to seek as many opin­ions as pos­si­ble. He asks em­ploy­ees to con­trib­ute their points of view and then the com­pany will try to in­cor­po­rate their ideas into the fi­nal prod­uct, so the fi­nal prod­uct would con­tain the DNA of many of the em­ploy­ees of G.O.D.

“I feel that when the end prod­uct has part of their con­tri­bu­tion, they will feel a sense of pride and they will feel ful­filled, which would get them mo­ti­vated.”

Young ad­mit­ted that it is get­ting in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for young peo­ple to start a busi­ness in Hong Kong, as startup costs in the city has been in­creas­ing rapidly. To rent a lo­ca­tion like the G.O.D. store on Sharp Street East in Cause­way Bay is very ex­pen­sive.

“I wish we could do some­thing about that, if we don’t, peo­ple would be more afraid of the fail­ure of their star­tups and seek the easy way out. It is not a good thing for in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.”

Hong Kong should be a place where en­trepreneurs want to take risks in start­ing their own busi­ness, they should suf­fer less if they fail, which will be a good thing for Hong Kong even­tu­ally, he said.

Young sug­gested that young­sters look­ing to start their own busi­ness should try to do some­thing that did not ex­ist be­fore. He said his busi­ness is very per­sonal to him and he be­lieves in bring­ing to the world some­thing new, as op­posed to watch­ing a busi­ness model that works and see­ing some­body else suc­ceed at some­thing and want­ing to imitate or copy that. He started his busi­ness be­cause such a busi­ness did not ex­ist.

“I was look­ing for some­thing that is very per­sonal to me,” Young said.

“I would ad­vise peo­ple who want to start a busi­ness to re­ally ques­tion their busi­ness model, is it giv­ing this world some­thing new? You can do some­thing that is unique, which will be your sell­ing point.”

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Dou­glas Young, the helms­man of pop­u­lar life­style brand G.O.D. and a trained ar­chi­tect, has built up the brand by chan­nel­ing quintessen­tially Hong Kong char­ac­ter­is­tics and giv­ing them a quirky twist.

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