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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Solve real problems. Grow a business. That's The American Dream.

Challenge Your People To Challenge You

Ziba Design, Portland, Oregon
2:35 | Play Now | Hire People Who Challenge You

Portland, Oregon: Our work world is forever changed by people like those you meet in this episode of the show. This business is a team of thinkers. Here you find people who are driven by the power of an idea or insight to squeeze more value into a particular space and time. They demand of themselves that everything has a greater simplicity and more satisfying human dimensions.

"Be well. Everybody be well." Then, do well. Then, do even better.  This is not just any industrial design firm; these creative perfectionists came from around the world to work side-by-side with this man pictured above, Sohrab Vossoughi, to be part of a team that can make a difference in this world and in their life.

"Strive for simplicity, innovation, human-centered interaction, visual interest, and efficiency." This is the calling card not just of a design firm; it is a calling card for all businesses for the future.

More than nice words, these people are so productive they are the first firm to ever win four Gold Awards in the annual Industrial Design Excellence Awards Competition run by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

For them, both design and business are a continuum -- it never ends and can always be done better.

We were with these people for two days to shoot, talk, observe. We believe that this firm's unrelenting pursuit of a higher perfection is their secret weapon, shared by all, across a diversity of cultures and backgrounds whereby the net-net is their continued work with leading firms – Proctor & Gamble, McDonald's, FedEx, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nike, and Ford – which entrust their brands to Ziba to see if they can make just a little bit better.

Go to all the Key Ideas & Video...

More about innovation and design

Strive for Perfection

1:58 | Play Now | Henry Chin told us that Ziba Design  is good at what they do because they all strive for perfection. They push themselves and the company.

There are many immigrants to the USA who live this dream.     More on The American Dream.

Go After Awards

4:48 | Play Now | Sohrab Voussoughi's Ziba Design became the first firm in the world to win four Gold Awards in one year in the Industrial Design Excellence Awards Competition run by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Improve Form and Function

1:22 | Play Now |
Ziba wins customers because it wants the next new thing to work and to be beautiful. First, we hear from Nancy Pinney, and then Rich Fox (pictured), and then founder, Sohrab Vossoughi.

Post Your Values, Vision and Philosophy

2:13 | Play Now | Put in writing your values, vision, philosophy and methodologies because they aren't real until you write them down. And after you write them down, put them up on the wall so employees and customers can see them.

Hire People Who Challenge You

2:35 | Play Now | Sohrab Vossoughi came to this country from Persia (currently Iran) at the age of 14 and then 14 years later he opened his own design business. Today, his Ziba Designs is internationally recognized as a leader in design innovation.  Sohrab works with a young employee who came from England to join the Portland, Oregon-based firm. 

Deliver On Time and On Budget

1:32 | Play Now | At Ziba, every project has two managers. One manages the work that has to be done and the other manages the customer relationship.

Strive for Perfection

1:13 | Play Now | One of the first products Sohrab Vossoughi invented was this Cleret Squeegee.  The owner did $16 million in one year with the squeegee and it went on to become part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian and the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Depend upon Mentors

1:14 | Play Now |
Sohrab has mentors and he works hard to mentor the young talent at his firm.

Turn Great Employees into Owners

3:35 | Play Now | At Ziba Design employees can earn shares in the company.  They become vested for performance and spirit.    More...

Be Grateful; Be Happy; Be Inspired

2:55 | Play Now | We hear people all the time echoing Sohrab's comment, "I didn't start the business because of money. I started because I loved what I was doing." And after all these years, he still jumps out of bed excited to go to work that morning.

Stop Doing and Start Leading

1:34 | Play Now | Sohrab doesn't draw anymore.  He had to give that up so he could lead the company.  More about innovation and design...