A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A ‘TOY EXPERT’
Steve recently gave an interview – he was asked to describe a day in his working life. Here is the transcript of the interview:
Please describe a typical day as a toy expert
Firstly, I feel somewhat awkward with the label ‘toy expert’ – so many people in the toy business have greater knowledge than me on many topics. However, I guess I have some specific knowledge on certain aspects of the toy industry as well a good overall ‘generalist’ view.
Which specific topics would you claim ‘expert’ knowledge of?
Well I’m still cringeing slightly at the label, but I guess I probably have as good a knowledge as nearly anyone in terms of consumer research testing toys and toy manufacturing in India. I have also managed development of many toys and games (lots of hits and a few too many non hits!), but I think there are many people in the industry with similiar experience of developing and launching toys and games, so not sure that one qualifies!
Ok, well thanks for the explanation. So what does a typical working day look like for you?
From about 7am I’m checking overnight emails coming in via India, HK and China.
After some kind of exercise I’ll be at my desk around 08:30-09:00 typically.
I then plan the day around a few key tasks and a reasonably active call schedule.
I’ll usually try to keep the morning free to complete factory liaison tasks, work on Consultancy projects/presentations and to plan consumer research sessions.
In the afternoon, I’ll tend to have phone calls with clients/customers, often back to back for most of the afternoon. Or I’ll find myself moderating focus groups with children, something which never fails to be challenging/revealing in terms of how kids react to new toys.
Early evening I’ll focus on family time before picking the call schedule back up, sometimes into the night! The worst start for a call time in recent weeks has been 1am, although going back further in time I have done 2am before!
At some point in the evening I’ll make sure I’ve parked as many action points as possible in factory inboxes for the next day, and eventually relax with an hour of brainless TV before eventually sleeping from around 12:30am.
Not very exciting really when you write it down, but that’s a fairly typical day in the life of this toy ‘expert’!