ZAYIK is a website I’ve put together that allows people to design MIDI controllers online. It’s up and running as of this moment. Details in Press Release form are here, or you could just skip straight to the site.
Some pre-emptive Q&A is below. ZAYIK has its own Q&A section; this one is focused on the relationship between these two sites.
What’s the point of this when you have 60 Works?
One-sentence Executive response:
To spin off a business model based around higher volume, and to generate additional Sales Leads.
Response from an actual human being:
ZAYIK represents one flavor of “custom:” unfettered placement of components on a fixed surface. It happens to be that this particular flavor is a low-hanging fruit — something that can be automated to the point that a web application can handle much of the design work. So one answer to the question is “…because I can see a unique business around it.”
Another answer to the question is “…to open the eyes of clients.” If people realize this one flavor of “custom” exists, maybe they’ll begin to fathom additional possibilities. For these people, 60 Works will be ready to help.
Then why isn’t ZAYIK a sub-brand? Why go through the hassle of making something new?
I want to ensure 60 Works continues to be a small workshop for custom controllers. ZAYIK currently fits in that mold, but it has its own trajectory. If it takes off, questions of inventory, scaling and logistics need to be tackled. Those are concerns I want to divorce from the warm fuzzy workshop vibe that is 60 Works.
This idea sounds familiar…
That’s because it is. The most famous example is the MAWZER controller, an ingenious idea that never fully blossomed (at least, as far as I know). MAWZER was all about modularity. Livid Instruments has also picked up this banner with some beautiful add-on units and prototypes. In fact, ZAYIK is a partially modular system, under the hood.
I shared this idea with Kenneth Graham of Hale Micro when I was working on the implementation. Turns out he and a friend had also thought of it… a decade ago.
So, do I go to ZAYIK or 60 Works?
Depends. If you’re interested in buying a ZAYIK controller (or some derivation/modification), try ZAYIK. If you’ve got a pie-in-the-sky idea, or have general questions about custom controllers, try 60 Works. You’ll notice ZAYIK is short on bloggy-ness. I’ll keep all of that rambling here.
One additional benefit is that 60 Works can now use ZAYIK to share ideas with potential clients. I can slap together a quick controller idea and send an email saying “it’ll be a bit like this,” without having to paint a picture in their heads. This benefit alone may be worth the entire project.
ZAYIK is my baby, but it’s a collaborative effort. None of this would be possible without the efforts of three very important partners: