In building my first startup, Foodspotting, I’ve realized that I’ve been given an incredible gift: For the first time in my life as a User Experience designer, I’ve found that if I can picture something, my team can make it real. Coming from the consulting world, where my designs took a long time to see the light of day, this newfound power has been refreshing.

But with great power comes great responsibility, because I’ve also found the reverse to be true: If I can’t picture something, chances are it won’t happen. And thus I’ve realized that diligently cultivating and communicating a concrete vision to my team is the most important thing I can do as a startup founder and CEO.

Behind Foodspotting’s biggest successes was a concrete idea with contagious appeal: We were able to build a team, attract partners and raise over 3M in funding, all based on a vision. These “visions” took the form of sketches, mantras, metaphors, mockups, photos and illustrations, but because all were articulated in a concrete, memorable way, they were easy to share, test, refine and execute.

Whether you’re crafting products for a startup or established corporation, the tools I’ll share in this session will equip you to come up with a vision, communicate it effectively and validate it with potential users. In founding a UX-driven startup, I’ve found that the old adage is true: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The trick is taking the time to dream and making your dreams concrete!

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