Accelerating Green Product Innovation at OG

Day two of Opportunity Green is officially underway and as promised we wanted to share with you some of the highlights from yesterday’s launch day and the talk given by our own founder Mark Dwight.

Mark spoke on a really great panel called ” Accelerating Green Product Innovation.”

In addition to the moderators Anya Kamenetz (Staff Writer for Fast Company) the panel included Jason Foster, founder of Replenish, a new household liquid cleaning product company “The New Method.” The company worked with Bill McDonough’s company MBDC on Cradle-To-Cradle certification of bottle and formulas.

Mark’s talk largely surrounded Rickshaw’s “three F’s” of design for the new Age of Sustainability: Form, Function, Footprint, and and the importance of teaching new designers the fundamental principles of sustainable design.

Designing products for a green future can have quite a development process. In fact, our Zero Messenger Bag platform in the result of 15 years of constant product design and refinement. At the conference someone asked, “Do you wait until the design is perfect?” Mark said, “Iteration is the key to innovation, and perfection is the enemy of progress. Sustainability is a journey. Don’t wait for perfection. There is no “perfect” product.”

Rickshaw's Zero Messenger: The power of zero

At Rickshaw we use “the power of zero” as our muse for sustainability. We can’t really achieve zero, no one can –it’s an absolute, but it gives us a goal and a rallying point. You can address sustainability in all aspects of your business, not just your product or service, but your operations.


As Mark said in his talk, “The key to communicating your values is storytelling. I strongly recommend video to communicate with your customers and stakeholders. Get yourself a $199 Flip video camera and make your own videos. It’s free!” With that said we’ll try to get some video of Mark’s talk up next week!

How do you think about design? As a customer what points of design or storytelling factor into your decision to make a product part of your life? Or as a designer how do you think about sustainability and the “Three F’s” while creating new products to go to market? We are a vibrant community and would love to hear your thoughts. In fact you can stop by our factory in SF anytime and tell us your ideas in person.

More information on Opportunity Green.

Stay tuned for Monday: We’ll highlight the product development for a very special collaboration with another local SF Made brand.

Have a great weekend!

The Ventura Star published a summary of Mark’s talk at Opportunity green which can be read here.

2 Responses to “Accelerating Green Product Innovation at OG”
  1. Terry Morrison says:

    Really enjoyed this article and look forward to receiving more in the future. Our prospects and customers like the message we deliver when presenting a Rickshaw product.

  2. The Ventura Star has written a follow up article to Mark’s talk at Opportunity Green and it can be found here:

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