Japanese Design = Happy Customers

I have a love of Japanese candy, stationery, office products, house hold items, baubles, etc. Why — because they make me happy. Of course this is already a heavily discussed topic, centering around the Japanese obsession with cute or “kawaii”. But even more than cute characters like Hello Kitty, Pikachu, and Gloomy Bear, I love the Japanese approach to making products that are useful, efficient, enjoyable, and pleasing to the eye.

For example, Flip Flap, my solar powered plant sits on my desk every day flapping his leaves and in general, making me smile. His ambient energy keeps going and going — so much better than the American equivalent, the bobble head doll…ick.

Or how about this gold brick USB hub Spotted in a Japanese store on 8th Street? It looks like and weighs the same as a real gold brick. So much more interesting than the norm grey box, yet serving the same function.

At the same store, a raindrop shower speaker that projects tunes from your iPod and can hang in your shower?

And last but not least, head phones that break from the black/white — generic sound system vs. iPod status trap. Colored head phones, to match your personality (or outfit). They look like M&M’s and come in as many colors. How can you not smile?

MSLK will be traveling to Japan over the holidays on an inspiration journey. I’m already smiling just thinking about all the great things we will discover.  : )