Rich Park is the Co-Founder of BEBOP Design. Rich is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Rich provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of BEBOP Design. Rich Park joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Rich join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Rich, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to answer our questions about leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Rich, please tell us about BEBOP Design. What is the elevator pitch?
We're a small product design studio based in Seoul South Korea, consisting of 4 designers and 1 mechanical engineer. We mostly work with hardware startups and help clients take their products from idea to market. We mostly work on consumer electronics, consumer products and appliances, but our projects often bleed into brand identity design and graphic design as well. With a tight team and experienced partners, we have a flexible approach that allows us to easily scale up or down depending on the project's requirements.
2. What is the one thing that makes BEBOP Design great?
We started our own design studio purely because we wanted to design beautiful and useful products, and this is still remains the same. For every project, whether it's for a small startup or a big client, we approach the design in the same exact way with our focus on making the best product possible within the realistic feasibility. I'm not sure if we have some special unique feature, but I think our honest passion for design is what makes us us.
3. Please tell us what is the key to being a great entrepreneur?
There are so many great advice for being an entrepreneur, but I think they're all useless unless you know how to realize them in your own way within your current situation. I think being aware of what you have available now and finding ways to utilize them to your advantage is really good, and safe too. I'm actually not that much of a risk taker when it comes to money, so I've always tried to solve all problems using very least and grow step by step. So may be focusing on building a strong and reliable foundation for your business would be another important factor.
4. What is the best advice can you give to a young entrepreneur just starting out with a new venture?
As I said in my previous answer, it's being smart about utilizing what you have now. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses using it to your advantage. I'm not much of a talker and more of a typical introspective designer, and so I wasn't good and didn't have interest in selling myself by talking to a bunch of people. Rather, we focused on getting exposed by doing as many projects as possible and releasing them because that's what we're most confident and good at. And so far it's worked and we're continuing to make this bigger.
5. What is the one thing that you, as a person, want to be known for?
More than anything, I want the products that I designed to really make an impact to people in some way. I don't really have hopes for making myself known, but if I know that the things that I've worked on makes a positive change to people and society, I think that would be the most gratifying thing. To answer your question, I want to be known for making great products.
6. When building a business, what is the one most important thing to keep in mind at all times?
I think it's good to frequently check yourself and your business. How was the past, how is it now, and how do you want it to be in the future, things like that. It's easy to get lost in the pile of work that is always ASAP. And later down the road you'll realize that it slowly became something that you didn't hope for in the beginning. Being super aware of what you're doing can bring a lot of clarity and focus to your business. Always double check where you North star is and make every single action based on your vision.
7. When hiring employees, what is the one most important thing you look for?
To be honest, I just look for passionate designers regardless of skill level. If someone is lacking skill or talent but passionate, they'll improve soon. If someone is totally capable and passionate, all the better. The polar opposite would be someone who's moderately talented but arrogant, which is very poisonous. Positivity and passion is infectious and I want to maintain our team to always be that way.
8. What is your Why? Why do you get up in the morning?
I mentioned starting Bebop simply just because I wanted to make my own designs come to life, and this still remains the same today. I just love creating and sharing my perspective in the form of products. That's why my partner and I work on projects all night and on weekends, just because we want to make good things.
9. What is the one thing that makes a great company?
I think just sticking to your vision and philosophy no matter what challenges come up as your company grows. There will be many temptations that can bring immediate results but requires sacrificing some important factor of your company, but I think a truly great company will have the wisdom and tenacity to reject such temptations.
10. What is the one thing that makes a great leader?
I think the greatest leader is really the best supporter. Sure there are some rare visionary CEOs that have a blindingly bright vision for success, but I think the reality is that 99% of the leaders are not that. Leaders should provide the best environment for everyone to excel in what they do and really encourage everyone to find their own vision as well.
Rich Park, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course BEBOP Design, nothing but the best.