#001: From Hand to Machine

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

Satori has three key considerations we use to guide any major decision:

  1. Job creation

  2. Sustainability

  3. Product quality

In that order.

In a country with a 27% unemployment rate, we understand the immense need for quality jobs in which every employee is treated fairly and with dignity. We also understand our role as a business in this economy comes with the responsibility to create jobs.

We don't want our focus on sustainability to be a marketing angle. We believe that it should be assumed that a product is made with the longevity of our planet in mind. It shouldn't be a bonus feature. We want our impact on the world to be in the shape of world-changing ideas, not decimated ecologies.

These two things shouldn't make us compromise on the quality of the final product. Because we don't want to add more ugly, frustrating, thoughtlessly designed clutter to an already messy and distracting world. Our products must be of the highest quality, so that they can serve you well and help you focus on what's really important to you. This focus on quality means that you'll want to use our gear even if you don't care about our other priorities.

Whenever we're facing a dilemma we refer to these three things to guide our decision.

To summarise, any decision we make should aid in:

  1. Creating more dignified jobs with an emphasis on empowerment in addition to employment.

  2. Improving the quality of the work experience

  3. Transfer of universally applicable skills

  4. Maximise wages

  5. Reduce waste

  6. Increase local manufacturing (our products are already made entirely in our workshop in Pretoria Central)

  7. Improve the quality of the product

We got to test this out recently when we were deciding on how to move forward on a key step in our production line: the binding.

The binding step involves two actions: manually punching holes in the spine one at a time, and then hand-stitching through those holes with a needle and thread.

In the early stages of the company this feature was charming and the process almost meditative. Once demand increased, and we were at times making 100 notebooks per day, the charm was quickly replaced with callouses and sweat. The romanticism quickly vanished.