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Hatch Duo Cultivates Your Product Ideas At Any Stage And Develops Them From Start To Finish

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Below is our recent interview with Jon Thai and Mike Yim, Co-Founders of Hatch Duo:

Q: Can you give us a brief intro?

A: Hatch Duo is a small Industrial Design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, owned by myself, Jon, and my partner, Mike, and we focus on an integrated approach between Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, with an emphasis on branding and experience interactions. We primarily work in tech, and work with clients to facilitate their technology and user experience through well-designed external hardware.

Q: Backstory

A: In 2016, we left our corporate tech jobs to start a concrete watch company called Aggregate. We launched via Kickstarter, and it was fully funded with around $65,000, which was enough to get our first round of manufacturing going; however, not enough to pay for rent or other necessities. So, we started freelancing, doing small contract jobs, and even Doordashed on the side until we started to gain more referrals. Soon enough, the clientele became much more than just the two of us could handle, so we decided to start Hatch Duo. It was kind of by accident, but worked out pretty well.

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Q: Clients + Key Challenges

A: We mostly cater to fellow startups(technology and consumer electronics), and help our clients with strategies on how to essentially give themselves a leg up on their product by strategizing their startup position when they enter the market. We then base our design around that strategy–we really try to be both tactical and strategic at the same time. A lot of the key challenges revolve around time: because these are startups, their timelines are shortened in terms of when they need things to happen, so we aim to be nimble in our design process. We are arguably one of the fastest firms to do both Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering at the same time.

Q: How we bring ideas to life + Our process

A: First, we really try to help you set up your “nest,” meaning the strategy, or assessing your end goals. This includes design research, branding exercises with you and your team, and just really focusing on collaboration so we can get a better understanding of your brand and what is needed for a successful product launch.

Next, we get into exploration, where we empathize with the end-consumer, sketch mockups, and throw a lot of ideas out there to see what resonates in terms of our objective in the previous phase.

Once we have an idea we all want to run with, we begin the incubation phase where we really develop a prototype of your product by using traditional software such as 3D CAD. Our Mechanical Engineers also oversee the process to make sure that even though we are not limited by every single manufacturing technique, is this the way we are going to go? Even though it may leave a challenge for our ME team, it’s still relatively doable.

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Q: What can we expect in the future?

A: We don’t want to be just a traditional design firm where our company just likes to service by using design. Eventually, we want to become a media / content company as well where we can help other companies in the media or content creation sense. This would be the “pre go to market” stage as we like to call it, and once they go to market, how can we continue to help them from there? For example, we are in the early stages of starting a podcast to give our audience an extra platform to get to know us, as well as a chance for our clients to talk about their product, and how design has helped elevate their business.

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