Thank you, 2011

(Top post for 2011, Polaroid iPhone Dock Concept)

The one concept I was preparing for as the last 2011 post couldn’t be in time. Sorry.

This is the second year since I started freelancing. Here are what I’m doing now and it could be an excuse for the fewer posts for this blog than last year.


  • NCDC: working closely with this Japanese company for iPhone/iPad/Android apps
  • 1 Android related software everyone can use (and love?) and more in 2012 also on iPhone
  • A few other GUIs for some interesting futuristic platforms
  • A fashion website to go live soon


  • A few thrilling smartphone concepts + tablet devices
  • Graphic designs for smartphone cases for 2 companies
  • Smart city architecture concepts


I can tell 2012 will be one of the most exciting years in my life. Strongly believe many people around the globe will have chances to see what I make (not just concepts). Just can’t wait to introduce all the above products/services as soon as I can!

Thank you all for reading this blog. I’ve restarted blogging in Japanese on Blogger. I use Facebook for casual talks and Twitter for inspirations.

I wish you all the best in 2012!

How Social Network Sites Help My Freelance Business

I was asked to make a post on how social networking sites especially LinkedIn and Behance Network helped my freelance business, so here it is.

My blog is where I introduce my random thoughts and designs. I started it just for fun because back then I was working as in-house designer at a bank, where almost none of my works could be revealed outside no matter how good design I made, which caused a big frustration for a designer like me. I wanted to show something to the world and get feedback from people and then I found a great blog theme on WordPress for free. Back then I only had this WordPress account and Flickr. It was just for fun showing stuff I made, but gradually more and more people visited my blog and after about a year or so since I started blogging, I got job offers and project invitations. I was working for a bank and couldn’t receive any offers as long as I was there, so I declined all the offers. I finally quit the job when I was convinced to earn enough to support my family by freelancing (July 2011). And here I am.

Behance Network
I needed somewhere to organize my random designs on my blog. Luckily Behance featured one of my concept designs and I got a lot of traffic to the post. Smashing Magazine, Yanko Design and many other design websites featured it, too, so now the images of their sites appear very often on Google Image Search, which is one of the main source of visitors to my blog now. On the other hand, as I completed projects with my clients, I added my works on Behance as my professional portfolios.

When I receive calls via Behance, they are often interested in involving me as a designer in their projects. They have some particular tastes for their products/websites that match my designs on Behance.

Prosite is an online portfolio site where visitors can focus on viewing one’s works and profiles. Prosite and Flickr are the only social networking sites that cost every month, but I believe they are worth it.

I started LinkedIn because I needed my professional network to see my profile and resume. My career is pretty weird and different from other designers and I thought it could be one advantage. Before LinkedIn I had joined some other Japanese only career sites, but none of them worked like the way LinkedIn does.

When I get connection invitations through LinkedIn, those people have usually already seen my works somewhere else, visit my blog and then find me on LinkedIn for a professional network connection. Many of them are companies and startups. Compared to Behance Network, clients read carefully my career path before calling me, which is a good sign because they don’t seek quick solutions but long term business relationships.

I use this site as somewhere I can express myself more freely than on my blog. So I upload my everyday scenes as well as the images for my blog. For professional purpose, I take advantage of the Flickr’s sets and collections to organize my designs differently than Behance. For example on Behance images are categorized only by projects, but on Flickr you can put the same images on various sets. So you can freely create sets for visitors to be able to find photos easily.

I don’t get a call for a job through Flickr, but this site could be used for a quick view of my works, which sometimes I do.

On Twitter I’m like talking to myself with trivial ideas and instant inspirations in my daily life that I don’t make a post of for my blog. By connecting it with my blog I’m gradually getting more and more followers, so recently I use Twitter for notifying blog updates.

Surprisingly via Twitter I have got projects a few times. But the most useful moment with Twitter was when I was visiting Cupertino, CA. I really liked the city and just tweeted “I really don’t wanna go back to Japan”, someone who read the tweet replied and I got an interview with her on the next day! I couldn’t make it in the interview, but I still get in touch with her.

Why not YouTube? I like the neater UI and the quality of the movies. Here I upload the movies/animation that include my futuristic concepts so that people can quickly view my works. I’m dreaming of a chance to design future devices for Hollywood movies, so sometime I get caught by their eyes hopefully.

Through Vimeo I never had a chance of a job, but as an introduction of your profile, it can be a great way.

Whatever you post on wherever social networking site, you represent nobody else. If you are a freelancer, you have to be a brand that stands out among thousands of other competitors. The rest of what I want to say is completely expressed in this Steve Jobs’ video, so if you have never watched it, just do it!

Top 10 Posts of 2010

This year was a big one for me. I quit the previous company and started freelancing in July, which was one of the toughest decisions in my life, but I’m very sure I made a right choice. Or rather, I should have chosen this path earlier. The jobs I love, wonderful people and companies I’m working for, great business relationships, etc. etc. I can’t be happier. And I’m so honored to have a chance to work for SOFTBANK this year.

On top of that, there’s one big and exciting project I was involved in, which will be released in January at the earliest. I’m really excited but I can’t reveal it now yet.

Doing the freelance work is part of the reason why I’m making fewer posts on this blog this year; practical and promising ideas go to my client companies. I’d appreciate your understanding on that.

Any way, here are the top 10 posts made this year.

1. Funny USB Memory Stick #6 Final

2. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: January 2010

3. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: November 2010

4. World Cleanest Graffiti— iPhone App Concept

5. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: April 2010

6. Hungry Batteries: Rechargeable Battery Concept

7. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: May-June 2010

8. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: February 2010

9. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: March 2010

10. Calendar Desktop Wallpaper: August 2010

The calendar wallpapers have been unexpectedly popular, so most of the top 10 posts are about calendars. Dew and Frostie did good jobs, but are out of the running a bit.

As for wallpapers, I have been using famous quotes since last year, but I’ll change the style (not because I don’t like wallpapers with quotes but using a quote is kind of practice for me to get closer to my ideal wallpapers).

I thank all of your support and interest. I’ll be having fun again next year so come visit petitinvention regularly. I’ll also keep tweeting my thoughtsand Flickr!ing my photos.

In 2011, I’m planning to visit the U.S. (January?) and Europe (March or April). I’ll make time to meet lots of people from 2011, so if you’re there, let me know.

Thank you very much! I wish all of you a very happy new year.

Best of 2009

Top 20 Posts for 2009

1. Infographic Coins

2. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: May 2009

3. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: July 2009

4. iPhone Dock Sketches

5. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: August 2009

6. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: March & April 2009
desktop calendar wallpaper march&april 2009 playsam streamliner classic

7. red dot design concept award 2009

8. Speech Balloons for the Hearing-Impaired

9. Trou – Hologram Projecting Flexible Mobile Phone Concept

10. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: October 2009

11. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Jan&Feb

12. Snowcorn: Another Sixth Sense Device Concept

13. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: September 2009

14. iAcqua

15. World Clock

16. iPetals

17. Sign Language Interpreter

18. Funny USB Memory Sticks #5

19. 3D Desktop Concept

20. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: June&July

All Time

Future of Internet Search: Mobile version

Just type “future” in Google Image Search and you can see my images listed in the results. Other top search terms are “calendar design”, “ipod touch camera”, “desktop wallpaper”, etc. Thank you, Google!

Most Viewed Image on Flickr

iPod Touch Camera?

This year I joined Vimeo, Twitter, LinkedIn and FFFFOUND!

On Vimeo, I upload the animation of the devices I make for this blog. I’ll update my YouTube later.

Twitter is where I post little ideas and other updates not posted in this blog.

On LinkedIn, Behance Network and Coroflot, I’m trying to expand my professional connections.

On FFFFOUND and My Likes on Vimeo, you can see what I found interesting on the internet. (Favorites on YouTube is for my kids.) I update FFFFOUND every day, so check it out.

Also I use Flickr to post photos of my daily life and images used in this blog as well as photos of the books I read and sketches in my Moleskine. I’m thinking of uploading lots of botched images that couldn’t be brought to light in this blog like this.

Resolutions for 2010

Looking back at the resolutions for 2009, I think everything has come true. I can now make animation to show my concepts in motion. I can’t tell you about this now, but I made something tangible this year, which you’ll be able to see sometime in 2010. And this year the total access of this blog reached 1 million, I just got 1,000 followers on Twitter today. And most of all I received a red dot design award!

For next year I want to deepen my concept levels and to make things simpler even if it takes much more time. So the posts might become fewer and happen less frequently (sorry!). But what I want to do most in 2010 is to prepare for the next move. As I mentioned in a post and Twitter before, I want to do concept designs for sci-fi films. So I will not only create futuristic gadgets, but I also try to broaden my network towards that area of industry. I’d very much appreciate if there are people doing the related jobs who could talk to me.

That’s it for this year. I truly appreciate your support and positive comments. Thank you very very much!!

Best of 2008

best of petitinvention 2008

With so many things that happened at the end of this year, I couldn’t make many posts this month. My updating pace will be unpredictable in 2009 as well, but I hope I can have more fun than this year.
By designing stuff for this blog, I learned a lot about design, so next year, I’ll try something new again. I’m thinking of make animation of the devices I make to post them on YouTube. Not sure if I really can, but I want to try that. Oh, one more thing. I really want to do something more tangible, not just creating stuff on the web.

Anyway, I truly appreciate your support. Here are the 20 posts you liked the best in 2008.

1. Future of Internet Search: Mobile version

2. Just a Sketch: Mobile Phone

3. iPod Touch Camera?

4. iPhone / iPod Touch Desktop Calendar Wallpapers for March 2008

5. Future of Mobile Internet Search: Application

6. horizontal keyboard app for iPhone

7. My Dream Mac (Macbook Touch? Mac Nano?)

8. External Touch Screen

9. Desktop organizing wallpaper

10. iMac Calendar Wallpaper

11. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: April Macbook Air

12. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: March 2008

13. Future of Mobile Search for Diet

14. Look at What You Don’t See Through Glass

15. Looking Glass for iPhone

16. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: February 2008

17. Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: May 2008

18. You Can Work It Out

19. Future of Mobile Search- Power of Visual

20. Future of Mobile Search- Search Beyond Time

Personally, I like this hygrometer and this mac-like mobile phone. And of course, I want to have this looking glass device some day.

I will be able to make a few big announcements next year, so please come back to check them out.


If I say I’ll change my wordpress theme to Hemingway from next year, does that bother you? I’m so in love with that simple look, but it doesn’t show any images by default. You’ll need to click the title (or “read on”) to see images in a post, which could be a pain in the neck especially if you’re using an RSS reader.

wordpress hemingway theme

By the way, I’m working on another mobile phone concept, which will be my last item for this year. And the very last post will be “top 20 of 2008”. I’ll re-render the most favorite gadgets for the post.

Some News

Some might have already noticed, but I started writing for Johnny Holland. There I’ll write about the concepts of some of the items I introduce in this blog. I’ll also show some sketch in my Moleskine. So check out JOHNNYHOLLAND MAGAZINE. (Thanks, Jeroen!)

Also, Ashley at Fixdit contacted me. Now I can have my ideas rendered in 3D in their site. By clicking and dragging the item, you can rotate it to see what it really looks from any angle! I got also interviewed.

fixdit_mac funamizu

I have lots of stuff to do these days, so I still can’t finish another calendar wallpaper for December that I actually wanted to send to a Smashing Magazine’s Wallpaper Calendar post (but I couldn’t make it). I have several new mobile phone concepts in my Moleskine I really want to show.
Also, though I’m trying to reply to all the image requests I get, it sometimes takes time to reply. Sorry!

Oh, one more. Design Tavern is a blog based website; dedicated to supplying readers with interviews, news and reviews. Henry had an interview for me and made a post about me and my ideas. Thanks, Henry!

My Methodology

One year anniversary of petitinvention!

I started this blog on November 9th, 2007, so it’s just one year old. I really thank you all for your comments, pingbacks, interviews, features in magazines, etc. etc. I never thought it’d have this many readers and fans.
It was such a wonderful first year, but I just had by far the most exciting experience last week, which I’ll be able to let you know next year.

As I mention in the about page, I’m having my rough scribbles in my Moleskine rendered with 3D apps to show here. I think I’ve introduced roughly 30-50% of all the ideas in the book. Of 10 ideas I think of, about 3 are usable for this blog, 3 are too trivial and 4 too crazy to show. I hope there will be a chance to show the rest some time.

I’ve never had a chance to say this, but every time I make a new post, I feel ashamed when thinking about the great product designers out there. I respect them very much because they have far better concepts than I do and try really hard to commodify their ideas solving lots of real-world problems with developers and others from various fields. On the other hand, what I do is just dreaming of something and showing them in a blog. So I often think that they’ll just laugh my idea off as a joke or something.

Feeling ashamed, I always think of a question that I often hear ever since I graduated from university:
“How do you stop the water running from the holes on a bowl?”

That is a question as a metaphor of problem solving in many situations. When I was in a service industry, my boss back then reminded me of the question many times, but my answer was always the same. I almost never told the boss about my answer because I didn’t think it was a realistic one, but now I know it doesn’t have to be realistic.

What is your answer? There must be no right answer, but here’s mine.
“Put a magnet that attracts water above it.”
It can not only prevent the water from running away, but also move the water away from the holes (upwards). That might not be a perfect solution for a problem, but that’s the way I think about stuff. Happy-go-lucky, right? But that magnet is what I really want. Creating a magnet is so much fun for me and I believe it’s that kind of magnet that moves the world forward. I can live on that magnet.

Sorry about my poor English, but I hope it makes sense to you.
Well anyway, I appreciate your interest. I hope I’m getting better in many ways.

my methodology

200,000 Total Views

It might sound very small when compared with a major blog, but the total views of this blog just reached 200,000 a few days ago (according to the WordPress blog stats). Thank you all so much!!!

By the way, GeekBrief.TV picked up one of my ideas and introduced it in their podcast. It’s so weird to see my own name on TV. I was like, hmmm.. the images look familiar, wait, is Cali Lewis mentioning me and my idea!?

GeekBrief.TV picked me up!

Anyway, I always appreciate your visit and will keep posting my crazy ideas in this blog. 🙂