Neil Barron is a former aeronautical engineer, and an industrial design graduate from the Royal College of Art, London UK. He has over 25 years of professional experience and is the founder of Gusto, a design and innovation consultancy. Through Gusto he has worked with clients such as Boots, E.ON, Intel, Lego, The Body Shop and Unilever on the design and development of award winning products for international markets. Neil is also an avid cyclist. After having a number of bikes stolen on the streets of London and continuously having to carry round heavy bike locks, he developed and commercialized Litelok®, a lightweight, flexible and super secure bike lock, along with co-founder Will Riley. Neil is also a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Innovation at Queen Mary University London as well as part time Senior Tutor at The Royal College of Art Innovation Design Engineering department with Imperial College. http://litelok.com
What do you do best?
Turning aspirational ideas into working products that are of use to people. It is a creative process, and I enjoy every moment of it. Being able to design and create a product that solves a problem, and that people want, is incredibly fulfilling.
What makes you the best?
Passion and attention to detail. I am always searching for magic and delight in products. I love what I do and I can't see myself doing anything else. There are of course many difficult moments, but passion helps you to persevere and not give up. It's a broad field, and it involves a lot of brainstorming of ideas, talking to end users, drawing and designing, computer modelling, prototyping and marketing. It's a bit like a puzzle, with many different pieces, and I thoroughly enjoy trying to put it all together.
How will you stay the best?
Experience and feedback. These are two essential components to personal and professional development. On experience, you just got to get out there and make you and your products known. If you have any fears about doing this, find what works for you to quell them. Everyone is different. On feedback, this is how you improve. See all feedback as a chance to learn from any mistakes, and an opportunity to grow.
What are your aspirations: business & personal?
On a personal level, I want to be able to look after my family and help my children grow into bright, happy individuals.
With regards to Litelok®, I want to completely revolutionize bicycle security. This is only the beginning; we've got a couple of things in the pipeline which we hope cyclists will love, so stay tuned!
What fascinates you?
Creativity and innovation. It still amazes me how people can come up with the most elegant and useful solutions to everyday problems. I see this regularly when I teach at Universities - the students are genuinely inspirational and you learn more than you teach.
‘Chance favours the prepared mind ‘ accredited to Louis Pasteur
My family, my dog, my team and friends that help me push Litelok® forward.
Gower peninsula (S Wales) London New York
My Bicycles – I have 3 but I’m currently lusting after a Schindelhauer bike (gorgeous!) Surfboards – I have too many. Sonos – a recent present from my wife - fantastic
Cycling. Surfing. Music (preferably live). Vintage VolksWagens.