March 17, 2022

#65: John Nottingham (Nottingham Spirk)

John Nottingham — Co-Founder & Co-President of Nottingham Spirk — on building the longest-standing design collaborative in the world (celebrating its 50th anniversary & based here in Cleveland), the creative process, vertical innovation, and creat

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Our guest today is John Nottingham — Co-Founder & Co-President of Nottingham Spirk.

If you’ve ever used a Swiffer Sweep+Vac, a Crest Spinbrush, a Dirt Devil, a Jacuzzi, a Little Tikes Playhouse, Duck Tape, SmartMouth Mouthwash, an Axe Bullet, a Sherwin-Williams Twist & Pour paint’ve used one of their inventions. Nottingham Spirk is a Cleveland-based product innovation firm responsible for these worldwide product platforms and many more — and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Since founding the company in 1972 on Case Western Reserve University's campus, John and his co-founder, John Spirk, have led their team of innovators to create hundreds of breakthrough products, resulting in over 1,350 issued (and commercialized) patents and counting — more than Thomas Edison!

Although Nottingham Spirk started in a garage on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, they now operate out of the 66,000-square-foot Nottingham Spirk Innovation Center, a mile and a half from their original location. With teams dedicated to insights, product design, engineering, prototyping, digital design and commercialization, the projects – and ideas – stay within those walls until market launch.

This was a true pleasure of a conversation — amazing to hear John’s stories and reflections on building some of the most ubiquitous products while stewarding a firm with such a commitment to the creative process and innovation — please enjoy my conversation with John Nottingham

Connect with John Nottingham on LinkedIn
Learn more about Nottingham Sprik
Follow Nottingham Spirk on Twitter