The Muse Factory

How did we begin?

Innovation Endeavors, a venture capital firm backed by Eric Schmidt, chairman and former CEO of Google, invested in Tony Deifell and Dana Underwood to embark on an entrepreneurial journey.


Dana & Tony started by exploring how to help people be more thoughtful in a digital age and ended up focusing on re-designing gift giving. They used a "design-thinking" process — basically Anthropology meets entrepreneurship — to identify insights about people's needs. The insights from 100+ field-based interviews and immersion experiences nationwide led the company to design a new genre of photo-expression consumer products.


We are currently working on the private beta release in early 2014.



Recent Tweets @deifell
Posts I Like

Robert Winslow, our tech lead, works with Victoria Skelly, our lead designer on the private beta release of AwesomeBox — coming soon.

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This American Life,
Thought That Counts Part 2

DEC 20, 2013

It’s the thought that counts. So true. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not always so clear what that thought was. And sometimes, when it is clear, we wish it wasn’t. This week, during this, the season of giving, we turn our spotlight on the givers and exactly whatever it was they could’ve possibly been thinking.

 

Starlee Kine tells the story of hundreds of boxes left behind by the late Andy Warhol. The boxes, an art project he titled “Time Capsules,” includes hundreds of thousands of objects from all parts of his life. It’s taken museum staff at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh decades to sort it all out, and try to make sense of what’s included. (11 minutes by Starlee Kine)

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This American Life,
Part 1 - Replacement Claus

DEC 20, 2013

It’s the thought that counts. So true. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not always so clear what that thought was. And sometimes, when it is clear, we wish it wasn’t. This week, during this, the season of giving, we turn our spotlight on the givers and exactly whatever it was they could’ve possibly been thinking.

Host Ira Glass speaks to teenagers at the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland about something that’s difficult for so many teenagers: finding Christmas presents for their parents. He talks to Kevin and Karyn Delauder and their dad JD, and two other teens, Gage and William. (6 minutes) (by Ira Glass)

Jonathan Goldstein tells the story of Santa Claus, who, after losing his wife, Martha Claus, sets out to find love once again. Jonathan’s the host of podcast/radio show Wiretap, which is heard on the CBC and on many public radio stations in this country. (17 minutes) 

Then 19-year-old Larry Daniels at Arundel Mills Mall explains to Ira what he’s bought for his parents in the past, and why he’s never asked them what they want for Christmas. (5 minutes by Jonathan Goldstein)

Design Review Salon

We love to build community among our users, allies, advisors, investors and friends of the company.

The quickest way to meet as many different people as possible from all over the world is to hang out in an airport. We conducted over 100+ interviews about gift giving, which became the foundation for the product we’re designing.

We just finished running our first hackathon last weekend: 7 hackers. 48 hours. 1 focus: build.

“When it comes to gifts, you always say ‘It’s the thought that counts’.” 

– Stephen Colbert

Social Media Explained

mashup of Douglasray’s Instagram photo

The Valentine’s Day Gift Dilemma

The Valentine’s Day Gift Dilemma

The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him—it cannot fail
Walt Whitman, ”A Song of the Rolling Earth,” line 87

Paul tells the Muse Factory about buying a 25th Anniversary ring for his wife. He wants it to be significant enough for her to feel proud about it, and to surprise her — to show “that her husband cared enough about her to do something that he would consider frivolous.”

We used a customer-behavior research technique called “ZMET" to uncover people’s thoughts and feelings about gift giving.

Is it true that giving a gift is good for your health?

WSJ’s Christina Tsuei looks into their health benefits.