Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nottingham Spirk Strategic Innovation

I buried the link to this company in one of my previous blog post, but thought it was worth featuring on its own.  The company is called Nottingham Spirk Strategic Innovation, and they are developing game-changing products for many different markets.  The company was founded by John Nottingham and John Spirk after the two met in Industrial Design Department of the Cleveland Institute of Art.  Upon graduation both received lucrative offers from Fortune 500 companies, but chose to go a different direction and start their own company instead.

They currently do work for multiple clients in the medical, consumer, packaging, retail, business-to-business, and services industries.  Clients include Dirt Devil, AXE, and Swiffer.  Innovations include the Spinbrush, twist-and-pour paint container, and the M&M's Personalized Printer which allows consumers to print custom images on M&M's.

One of the more interesting features of Nottingham Spirk is there location. Housed within the First Church of Christ Scientist that was originally built in 1931, Nottingham Spirk renovated the space to create the Nottingham Spirk Innovation Center (pictures below).  The company is located in Cleveland, OH.

I thought it would be interesting to create this post in light of the previous post, which dealt with large corporation's inability to foster entrepreneurial environments.  Nottingham Spirk, on the other hand, thrives on innovation.


  1. Speaking of innovative ideas, there is also a company called IDEO (, who was feature on Nightline back in 2001. The episode shows the design of the shopping-basket-insert shopping cart. Since I know you are an Apple fan, they also designed "the mouse."

    Of course, there are also a big list of design houses that offer the same service. I just often find this a great big shame that big companies need someone else to tell them what to do. According to the IDEO video, the company is (was) filled with people who were sick of their jobs and joined IDEO.

    So the real question is why are companies hiring design house while the capabilities are in their hands already?

  2. Thanks! I finally got around to checking out IDEO's website. Very much the same as Nottingham Spirk in terms of the services they offer. I wish I had an answer to your question though. I am not sure why companies seek out the services of design houses when in most cases they posses the human capital capable of innovating. My only guess would be that the large corporations think that by going outside of the company for innovated solutions they can find people who are not influenced by any of their corporate policies and procedures, and therefore might be more likely to think outside the box. Just a thought.