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Idealog Year in Review: Allbirds’ Tim Brown

Favourite innovation that isn’t yours?

So many but would have to push for Taika Waititi’s storytelling. The man is a genius and The Hunt for the Wilderpeople was a notable example of that.

Favourite innovation that is yours?

Well, definitely the ___________ that we plan to release early in ’17. Watch this space. Lots of exciting things coming up for Allbirds.

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

Snapchat’s spectacles are a notable example of a tech company doing something really interesting in product….

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

The third season of House Of Cards suggested a slight downward trend for one of my favourite shows.

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

I recently spent some time in Wellington last week and three brands really caught my eye: Supreme – the coffee brand that executes so well with a great product and international ambitions, Garage Project – breaks all the rules of branding that few good companies get away with, so cool, and the Wellington Chocolate Factory – small but executing so well in a competitive category. All-in-all so many world-class brands being built which is great to see. 

Check out this podcast with Tim Brown and Idealog publisher and editorial director Ben Fahy:


Anyone that has built a business from nothing. I know from experience both how hard and how rewarding it is.


Those that don’t give something a go. It is much harder to jump into the fray….

Best stoush?

All Whites Vs Australia just before the 2010 World Cup. We gave them a good run at a close-to-full MCG.

Your own biggest success?

Getting married, playing in a World Cup, and getting Allbirds off the ground spring to mind.

What’s the biggest mistake innovators / businesses will make in 2017?

Overlooking or underweighting a deep commitment to making things in the most sustainable way they possibly can.

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

The best products are also the most sustainable.

What will be dead in five years?

The current US political climate.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

The Vuvuzela and Ryanair / Jetstar….

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

Clayton Christenson’s Competing Against Luck is worth a good read for anyone designing/making/building things (for people). 

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

A kettle. Need a cup of tea in the morning and open fires are difficult to establish when you are sleepy. Bonus if it could also make chocolate chip biscuits….what!?

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

Googled this and the answers seems to be “yes” but we have time on our side random friend of (insert name of editor)…

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future. 

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

Review overview