Red Blue Collective

Red Blue Collective Accelerate physical product business growth 🚀 Solve design and strategy. Manufacture from 1 to 1 million+

Innovate Live Giveaway

Register and show up for Innovate live Thursday 5/07 6:00PM. I am going through the Red Blue Collective Framework and answering your questions live.

I will be giving away our End Hype t-shirts and, for anyone interested, upgrading someone's Innovate program purchase to include direct review and feedback from me.


Bring your questions. I will see you tonight!

Stimulus Check Flex

The Government cannot save your business. I 100% appreciate the PPP money. We will use it.

But ...

We need to innovate and adapt. We need to create flexible organizations with additional revenue streams. All businesses need to find new means and become less fragile.

We can save ourselves. After this crisis, we should be prepared for the next
issue ... boom or bust.

Billionaires Cannot Show You The Way

Elon, Gates, Branson ... Humans have a tenancy to create demi-gods from these successful people. They are inspiring but their advice is irrelevant to you.

Find a mentor who has a few years and/or a zero on you. Sit across the table (or Zoom) with them. Hash out a real strategy. Get actionable advice from people not memes.

Founder Talk: Dawn Myers (The Most)

I am unbelievably excited to bring Dawn onto the podcast.

Dawn fills us in on the progress and growth since graduating the RBC Mindhive incubator (now called Innovate) last year. She won pitch events, built a team, developed a product, received investment, and planned a go-to-market strategy.

Seeing the tactics and strategies put into action is so gratifying. Listen in because this episode is filled with absolute gold.

I will be doing more Founder Talks like this in the immediate future. We can learn so much from the experience of others. Message Red Blue Collective if you would like share your story podcast.

Three Industries Always Making Money

What are recession resistant industries?

Here is what I think is crazy ... no matter what your product or customer niche ... a skilled communicator can position brand messaging to frame products to hit one of these categories.

Everyone cares about wealth, health, and happiness. If you actually care about the customer, understanding how you deliver value in relation to these 3 categories is easy.

What is the benefit? Sell the benefit.

Design for Manufacturing Mondays - CNC Forming Sheet Metal

How does forming sheet metal work on a CNC press brake? Is it magic?

Knowing how the machine works gives designers and engineers an edge. You can avoid special tools and eliminate creating "no bid" difficult to manufacture parts.

End Hype 006 Find Your Niche

We hear little sayings like, “the riches are in the niches”.
Why are niches good?
How do you find profitable niches for products?

And perhaps most importantly ...
What the hell is a niche?
When thought leaders say find your niche they usually mean a niche market.
They mean find the place where your product fits.
Niche means products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.

Here is a more human approach to understanding the power of niche markets.

In the past, even the recent past, groups of people were lumped geographically and could be sectioned with demographics such as age or gender. Groups of people were more homogeneous. Groups of people were reasonably the same.

People had limited access to outside information and products. A town might have had a couple of stores. People’s interest and desires were very localized. Word of mouth was manual but generally how trends moved. Changes happened but more slowly.

Mass media evolving from print to Radio to TV sped up the spread of information. Companies could push products en masse to the population.

The Internet, especially in its current state, broke everything and gave us massive opportunity.

Mass communication allows culture, interests, and associations to flow across geographic regions. Your musical interests may have more in common with a 15 year old in Ventura California than your neighbor. More importantly, due to the Internet, we now can connect with people of similar interests with ease.

These interests form communities accessible through social media. People are connected in previously impossible ways. People identify themselves through these networks.

We call the type of communities … tribes

SO why niches, why tribes?

Tribes have specific knowledge, vocabulary, rituals, and leaders
Tribes are resilient to invaders
A tribe member is an expert in that niche compared to an outsider
Remember the unfair advantage box?
Working in your tribe gives disproportionate advantage (defensible)
How to Find your Tribe
Authenticity is key. Actually caring and identifying with these people is essential. Faking it is a waste of time. Even if you are successful, you will not have the enjoyment and passion for the work.

Select a general community or industry
For me, I selected manufacturing or might select fitness or music. At this level our selection is too broad to be effective. We need to narrow the selection criteria.

Niche down to something specific using occupation or role. From the passionate few; you get the casual many. You can not appeal to everyone. In manufacturing, I would select machinists. I understand and have access to machinists.

If we are providing a valuable product or service, the desire or the goal forms the last element of the tribe. For example, I would select machinists that make and collect Every Day Carry (EDC) objects. This is a specific, connected community with ties to other communities like knifemakers.

Engagement (Participate)
How do you validate the selected tribe? No trick is necessary. Be intentional but participate like a human being. Be where your tribe is not just digitally. Go to the shows, conventions, talks, meetups, or whatever form of congregation. Participate by adding value. Promote, volunteer, teach, present, help set up, or help clean up. Without fail, participation is a better way of meeting people than attending. Action creates opportunities.

Altor APEX Ti Unboxing

I love seeing the products that people create.
Altor reflects the RBC philosophy of "make something worth sharing."

I appreciate the concept and utility but as a product designer I respect the aesthetics, quality, and experience.

Killer product Altor

Are you the driver or the passenger?Do you adapt to new opportunities ...or do you stay the same? 🥺There is an idyllic q...

Are you the driver or the passenger?
Do you adapt to new opportunities ...
or do you stay the same? 🥺

There is an idyllic quality to the simple life and business that stays to tradition unchanged by time. Those examples are noteworthy because of rarity. More commonly, immutability causes decline. The world changes you.

One of the main aspects of my job is generating ideas. New products, business strategies, manufacturing processes, etc. all need constant review, refinement, and retraining. .
Here are a few techniques to generate ideas. 🧨

💡 Start with the result. What would a perfect solution do? How would that feel? What would the result look like? Often, the goal of improvements and new ideas is not really something people think about. They just do stuff. We need a goal from which to work backwards.

💡 Model people who have done it. Especially in showing the possibilities for personal and business improvements ... anchoring ideas around what has already been achieved can slingshot your growth. For products, this might look more like competitive analysis but the technique frames ideas in reality and informs us to generate a novel approach.

💡 Walk through the problem. Focus on how you use the idea to solve the problem. Imagine every small step. Map out the story. You will reveal gaps to refine the idea and present new ideas.

💡 Customer interviews... Go be a human and talk to other humans. People are full of opinions and problems. Listen to a few people. The ideas will flow.

Happy "Little Friday". Make every day count.
End Hype

New Equipment Day

Getting new equipment in the facility is a great feeling. Thinking about the work that allows us to be a situation where investment makes sense. Thinking about all that potential work new capabilities can bring.

Recently, the investments have been more about expanding capacity than capability. Creating process consistency is a massive multiplier in capacity.

End Hype 005 Competition Makes the Market

The top conceptual mistake new entrepreneurs make about competition:

If someone exists in the market ...
If that idea is out there selling ...
They have to give up.
They have to come up with a different idea.

People believe this with such intensity that doing product validation and research causes anxiety. Stop letting bad programming guarantee you failure.

Here is the secret. Competition makes the market.

Being first to market in a new space is hard. Sure, there are possible massive upsides but educating the customer becomes your focus instead of product, growth, culture, etc.

Competition means customers. If I research a problem area and find businesses, courses, products trying to solve that problem, I know opportunity exists. I can quickly figure out what customer segment has the problem from website messaging, email newsletters, and social posts. I can model what is effective.

Even better when I find out that lots of competition exists but the product and marketing is poor.

Design something better aesthetically, functionally, design it using the negative feedback of competitors products!

Market it more effectively with a better story, shift in audience, modern ad techniques

Create a new business model. Check out our Instagram post on Thought Experiments.

Once you start figuring out the business case, Team up with someone with world-class skills to raise up your team. The conversation might go like this, “I did research on X the opportunity is massive because the top competition lacks Y. With your skills in Y and mine in Z we create something amazing.”

Here are some techniques from the RBC Framework to gauge competition:

Beginner level
- Google search
- Patent and scholarly article
- Amazon search

- Google trends - Find out if the keyword is consistent. Do people actually search? What are the adjacent keywords.
- Facebook ad library - You found competitors on some fast Google search. Take a look at their ads
- AliExpress - We steal a trick from dropshipping. The website shows you what is selling and how much

- Customer interviews
- Quiz funnels

Find things that are working. Trends are critical. In your community, you are part of a niche audience. You may feel like the market is saturated but the broader market or adjacent markets are just getting started. Remember... it's not just about the idea. It is about the business as a system.

I felt this way about several social media platforms, creating courses, and a slew of other ideas until I understood the secret … you do not decide. The customer decides.

Competition MAKES the game.
Competition MAKES the market.

I want clients to be category kings. The respected leader of a category. The saying goes “first to market gets arrows in the back.” Category kings rule by reputation and relationships. Category kings become the agreed benchmark.

Think of every business you admire. They did not invent X from ether. They crafted and refined the concept into something special, noteworthy, and scalable. Competition shows us what is working. Competing gives us clues on how to win.

“But Callye, the competition will crush me like a bug”

Stop thinking like a loser. Focus on how to win with your unique skills and deep customer knowledge.

Not all courses are equal.Learn something from experts not charlatans.

Not all courses are equal.
Learn something from experts not charlatans.

Solar Prize Innovation Challenge Winners

These Innovation Challenges are real. We have seen results absurdly disproprotionate to other methods of funding and traction.

Imagine having the credibility of Harvard, Department of Energy, or Proctor and Gamble behind your idea. These organization and many more are actively seeking new partners with breakthrough ideas.

Check ouy our Resource Guide for a listing of more challenges and brief tips in how teams win.


You Need the Team

If you cant build a team, you cant build a business.


The Six Slide Pitch Deck

Pitching is an essential skill for all businesses.

If you are a startup, pitch decks are the "Lingua Franca" or common language of business presentations.

If you are launching a Kickstarter, it is shocking (not really) how our Speed Deck slides align to campaign videos, landing pages, and the Kickstarter page best practices.

If you are a small business ready for transformation, these slides are also key questions of an effective strategic business plan. Working on a simple presentation can focus your thoughts and align your team.

People get overwhelmed with creating a pitch deck or they just steal some format from a famous startup. Stop the overwhelm. Do not plagiarize.

Winning pitches have the right content. What I teach in RBC Innovate is HOW to get the answers through step-by-step action.

Your Side Hustle is Your Main Hustle

Everyone needs a side hustle. Something to engage creativity. Something to build an additional revenue stream, new skill, expanded network... whatever.

When we all go back to the "9-5", those new experiences can translate into value everyday. This is not just for people that own businesses. This is for employees.

I taught myself web design. I built a website then the company website then other company's websites. Today, I do that less but having the conversational competence is helpful almost every day.

... the same with 3D modeling, programming, graphic design, digital marketing, and other skills I use. The employee mindset demands the reward then the training then the skills. The entrepreneurial mindset knows reward follows action. The NBA doesn't commonly hire athletes and then teach them how to play ball. People that aspire to success spend endless hours training to be ready for opportunity.

If you are stuck at home, use this time to wonder. Let your mind wander. Take a course. Build a skill. Start something. Be ready.


End Hype 004 Innovation Challenges

What is an Innovation Challenge?
Large organizations create programs offering entrepreneurs large cash prizes for ideas solving a specific problem area.

We contributed a lot of time working with solar programs but STEM, clean water robotics, industrial IoT, unmanned systems (drones), eco-friendly luxury products, and everything else have programs.
I see them in almost every industry and demographic focus.

We see them with top prizes from 10k to 1mil. Seriously.

Why would a company sponsor this?
Why would someone pay inventors, entrepreneurs, and smaller businesses for ideas? It is a good deal for them.
Don't big companies have all the resources they need? No.

Large organizations have execution resources (like money, infrastructure, and personnel) but lack the agility to easily uncover smaller opportunities or to deploy alternative technology and thinking. They lack the exploration capabilities especially in emerging, niche areas.

R&D at a billion dollar corporation is an expensive, process-oriented, highly-managed business function not the innovative free for all entrepreneurs enjoy.

Why do people sign up?
People sign up for these, of course, for the funding but a lot of other benefits exist. You gain practice pitching. You receive feedback, mentorship, and resources inside the program.

MOST importantly ... you often leave these programs with a customer.

Building something no ones wants is why people fail.
Funding is the reason they cant execute.
If you really had something people wanted, if you really had potential customers, you would have revenue, pre-orders, funding, investment, something.

How do people win Innovation Challenges?
People win with a killer pitch showing knowledge of customer, a team with the ability to execute, and traction (even letters of support) from industry.
Its not about getting a template from a website.
Its not about completing a business model canvas.
Those are tools to organize information into a common communications format ... communications tools that people have seen so often that comparison is easier.
Knowing how to do the work, knowing how to get the answers is the tricky part.

Download our Innovation Challenge Resource Guide with winning tips and a program directory.

This is the End Hype Podcast. Callye Keen talks entrepreneurship, manufacturing, marketing, and everything to dominate the physical product business. End the hype. Make the future.


Want to be featured on the podcast? We are looking for entrepreneurs and professionals to share their experiences. DM us.


9 Acacia Lane
Sterling, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 18:00
Friday 09:00 - 14:00


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Our team has several of these human powered "Tractyle Trailers" we want to demonstrate for the NYC Cargo Cycle Pilot Program. These cycle run solely on human power and flywheels. We are located in New Jersey. 🍷🍷🍷😎😎
Thank you to Loudoun County Economic Development and Swanka S. Cooper Burnette for sitting down with Callye Keen to talk about Kform and the future of manufacturing in the region.
DMG MORI why do you taunt me ... Did you know manufacturing jobs of today are using machines like this? Advanced manufacturing means more career opportunities for engineers and technologists to make the future. If you have a startup idea in robotics, sensors, AR/VR, etc, come talk to Red Blue Collective. The manufacturing industry is overflowing with valuable applications. #happyfriday
Building with love and craftsmanship is good strategy.
Make something.
Thank you for the invite to a fun event at a fantastic location. #loudounpossible