Sugru is the ultimate fixer. Its a mouldable glue that comes in sachets. It is flexible, sticky, resistant to heat and cold, waterproof and soft to the touch. It comes in a range of colours and can be used to fix or hack virtually anything.
Sugru is the brainchild of Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh. When she was studying for her MA in Product Design at London’s Royal College of Art in 2003 she decided to find a way to fix broken stuff or hack stuff that didn’t quite work in the way she (and we) wanted it to.
After a journey of ups and downs the idea came to fruition and the market as Sugru (from the Irish word for ‘play’) in December 2009. It was an immediate hit and the company continues to grow. Jane has now sold over ten million single use packs potentially mending or hacking ten million objects throughout the world. Amazing.
I’ve followed Jane and Sugru almost from day one and was fortunate to be able to acquire a small shareholding in the company when she went to market in 2015. Sugru really appeals for three reasons.
Sugru is a great product, no doubt about it. We’ve used it to hack everything from fish tanks to flowerpots at home and desks to projectors in the office. However, it goes deeper than just being a ‘good product’. Jane has tapped into a growing and deep seated need in a large section of society to be more socially responsible and live more sustainably. We want to mend, reuse, hack and extend the lifetime of products rather than keep buying more and more ‘stuff’.
In classic entrepreneurial fashion, Jane built a business to solve her own problem, a problem that arose directly from her own values of sustainability and an abhorrence of the ‘throw-away society’. In doing so Jane has ensured that her personal and business values are fully aligned. She can live and work from a place of integrity and because her values are the foundation of the company, she brings a natural energy to the business. She does not have to sell the product, she just enthuses. That is why I used Jane and Sugru in my own book as an example of how values bring passion, energy and integrity to entrepreneurs that want to make a difference in the world, to make it a better place.
Jane has built a significant online global community of Sugru users based on a whacky website and social media where users can and do submit stories, photos and videos of their hacks. We get regular emails based around some of the best hacks of the month and great ideas for using Sugru to change our lifestyle and change the world. Users take great pride (and enjoyment) in posting their best hacks on Facebook and Twitter for all to see. If you use Sugru you are part of a linked community in a way that you are not if you stick to sticky tape and glue.
Sugru, a world class company
Jane is one of a new breed of entrepreneurs whose objective is as much to change the world as it is to make a financial profit and whose product is designed around a real and unmet need amongst consumers. It is no surprise that Bernadette Jiwa, a marketing guru and author of acclaimed marketing book ‘Difference’, talks about Sugru alongside such well known ‘New Economic Order’ businesses (as defined by Ross Honeywill and Christopher Norton) such as Warby Parker, Airbnb, Seamly, Patagonia, Uber and Innocent.
So congratulations to Jane on what she has achieved and I thoroughly recommend Sugru.
(PS some great packs available for Christmas)
PPS All photos from Sugru – Thank you