I was hoping for a history book, an anecdote book in Brick by Brick by David C. Robertson
I should have read the sub-title more carefully: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry.
The reader will have to leap over biz-buzz words like “disruptive innovation” and “blue-ocean markets.”
Still, Robertson included enough info to imagine what it must be like behind the scenes of this whopping profit engine.
What must it be like to sit in a boardroom, deciding what toy to make and how much to charge? How much fun to be the designer? Or how about a kid invited to one of the company’s focus groups? Do you like to play with this? No? Well, how about that one over here?
Not every year at LEGO has been rosy. The company began in the era of wooden toys. Its newfangled plastic bricks reigned over toyland until the world turned to digital fun. Suddenly, kids weren’t playing with slingshots, Lincoln Logs or little red wagons anymore.
Or so LEGO thought.
And it rushed into the new world, introducing action figures like Galidor, LEGOland theme parks and more. Soon, the company found itself suffering financial carpet-burn. And thus, the Power-Point tone of the book. LEGO licks its wounds and tries again. Here’s what you can learn from it.
One fascinating chapter of LEGO history is its partnership with AFOLs — Adult Fans of LEGO (You know who you are). How did the company find them? How did LEGO share its secrets with these overgrown boys, but retain their high toy standards?
Can’t say I’m real familiar with LEGO toys. I take only a passing glance at the kits I buy for my grandsons. Might be a different story if LEGO had put its spin on the Easy-Bake oven.
Still, I admire the world of bricks. Every design decision at LEGO aims to give its loyal customers something “obviously LEGO” yet “never seen before.”
After one of its bruising failures, the company admitted that it “shot for the stars and reached the planets.”
More often, though, they hit those stars.
MORE FOOD POSTS!
You can see here that I’ve got some hefty reading ahead. We measure things on the Oreo scale. I can finish a two-Oreo book in a week. Any more Oreos, it takes me longer and you get a food post to tide you over.