Interview with Michael Schneider vol.01

Product Design with the Times

It is said that we human beings will, for coming 100 years, experience the same amount of change as we had got through over the last 2,000 years. It’s not only about technological advancement but also about our mentality. People seem to be less interested in owning things (as shown in the rise of subscription and sharing business models), which may shrink economic activities. How should we manufacturers adapt? I threw this question at one of our product designers, Michael Schneider.

Michael Schneider:

I am affirmative on subscription and sharing business models because they will enable us to live our lives with less costs and pollution. We are living in times of saturated markets, global warming, and limited resources where we have to make sacrifices. Thanks to IT revolution and digitization, many business ideas are realized more easily and trying to answer to the above mentioned problems. One of which is subscription and sharing business models, I think.


It may not be necessarily a perfect solution. People can learn responsibility through owning things, but subscription and sharing business models are not a directly-opposed idea to possession. People will come to conduct a close pre-examination and pay only for things they really need, use very often, and want to look after. In the next article, he will be sharing his ideas on products that can meet such customers’ increasing expectations.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.


One thought on “Interview with Michael Schneider vol.01

Leave a Reply