Rocket Department is our December Startup of the Month; five tips for successful product design; and the bad news about being an exempt employee.
I’ve been thinking a lot about a 3-year-old book in recent days- — even more so in the aftermath of the recent study mission to Chicago. The book is Brad Feld’s Startup Communities — a how-to manual for building vibrant, connected communities of innovative companies and entrepreneurs.
Rocket Department. started as a joke. It was 2013 and the 5-member team decided to design an offbeat product for a local hackathon.
Sometimes, a real no-brainer, problem-solver of a product can crash and burn spectacularly upon entering the market. This isn’t limited to the Pepsi Clears of the world, where sheer ridiculousness doomed the idea from the start: According to Nielsen data, 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods will fail within two years. Marketing snafus, bad luck and timing aside, pitfalls in the process of product design are often to blame. Catching oneself before blundering into them takes a conscious effort, as several local designers and makers illustrate.
I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee, I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?