Collective designs on creative pride
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.”
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.