Roland Lamb talks to Balderton's Ben Goldsmith about how ROLI have fostered a unique company culture, and how this progressive approach to creating a strong identity and team has a positive effect on the business.
You can watch a performance of their latest musical invention here:
0:01 Roland kicks off by explaining exactly how and why ROLI have created an entirely new musical instrument.
2:31 The importance of self confidence and passion: Roland explains exactly how he took the ROLI seaboard from an ambitious idea to a saleable product.
5:17 Sketching: All inventor-entrepreneurs are designers somewhere at heart. If Roland had not repeatedly sketched and reimagined his original ideas, the Seaboard may never have come to life...
6:00 As a new inventor, the majority of people won't understand your idea. You need to be passionate and determined, while selecting which feedback is useful...
6:52 Cross-disciplinary: One of the toughest challenges that Roland has faced, is to help a team comprised of experts in different fields blend with each other, and to form a single unit.
9:53: The inner-conflict between the Inventor/Entrepreneur: Great entrepreneurs and business leaders need to normalise systems to optimise effectiveness... great investors have to be willing to fight the systems to which people usually subscribe. Roland explains how lean methodology, and how setting clear goals defined by time-horizons, can help remedy this internal battle.
12:15 Team ROLI: The team is extremely unique, with developers and engineers sitting next to musicians and product specialists. Roland delves into how his scholarly background in cultural and linguistic systems helped him recognise that daily rituals and processes help to create a beneficial and enjoyable culture.
14:40 The rituals: Every member of the ROLI team attends a stand-up meeting every morning, eats a vegetarian lunch each day at 1300, and can attend a friends and family dinner once a month.
18:10 With the creation of the Seaboard RISE, ROLI has now adopted production-line techniques. Roland talks about the transition from hand-made to mass-production.
20:15 "Quality is everything": Roland is very firm believer that every single thing a business does is part of its quality strategy: from greeting guests to deciding salaries.
23:30 Joy: Roland's big tip to future inventor/entrepreneurs is all about the importance of finding joy in what they are doing, and what they are trying to create.