My name is Toshi Sakaguchi and I am co-founder of PLUST a design firm based in Providence, Rhode Island. Co-founder Lukas Scheurer is my best friend and my business partner. We both have had the privilege of studying Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
While at school, Lukas and I collaborated on several projects and, being Industrial Designers, we strove to learn the skills to make real what we imagine. Through these projects we began developing our own design methodologies, which have since yielded patent-pending innovations.
We hit our 10,000-hour mark of designing together right as we were graduating. We really felt that we could do awesome things together, but we were faced with graduation and an impending decision — get a job or make our own? We took the startup path and since that decisive point, we have experienced and overcame obstacles that we would have never even imagined facing. And despite the struggle, we stand by our decision to start a company because the world is slowly and surely becoming a place where anyone is both allowed and encouraged to innovate.
RISD’s facilities were a maker’s dream; we had access to virtually any tool you can imagine. As soon as we left RISD, Lukas and I experienced maker withdrawal — we realized we needed the proper tools in order to develop our ideas. Without proper tools we were essentially fish out of water — we couldn’t make anything!
Our solution as a bootstrapping startup was to make an upfront investment to acquire the tools we needed. With the advent of affordable CNC, 3D printing, and CAD technologies, it has become possible to have incredible building capabilities on top of a desk.
What we learned at RISD was that the only way to validate your idea is to build and test your concepts as often as possible. By doing all of the prototyping ourselves, we can afford to pursue radical ideas, take risks, and fail productively.
It has been an incredible experience having access to these technologies whenever the need for creation strikes. I believe we have the potential of moving into an age known for its incredible creativity.
We are very excited to be launching our first Kickstarter project, The Linkmount System. The Linkmount is a low-profile mount that can attach to practically any phone or case. It has a detachable strap, a ring stand, a universal tripod thread. They come with magnetic mounts that are great for cars, around the house, and you can even use them to organize all the little tools that always get lost in your shop. We will be releasing CAD files for our magnetic mounting system.
We believe in the ingenuity of the Maker Movement. The roots of the Maker Movement lie in open source materials and we see the greatest success of a maker as having their ideas replicated, shared, and built upon. For this reason we are sharing the CAD files of our product and hoping that passionate makers like us will innovate for their specific needs. And develop ideas we have yet to imagine. We really would love to see how people start using the Linkmount system.