We believe design thinking can be one of the most powerful tools for startups. That's why we created the Startup Design Challenge: a full-day "hackathon for design", aimed at solving big, juicy problems our startups face.
More than 50 designers joined us in the Greenstart studio to tackle the biggest design challenges posed by 6 of our startups. Our Chief Creative Officer, David Merkoski, led the event with designers from frog, d.school, R/GA, Samsung, CCA, Microsoft and other leading design organizations. Here are the highlights.
There is an exciting and increasingly popular trend where the field of Design is increasingly popping up in various areas of the startup and entrepreneurship worlds. The reputable Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins, launched a Design Fellows program, in the fall of 2012, to attract talented designers to work for KP and match them with portfolio companies they have investments in. IDEO started their own "Startup In Residence" program in the Fall of 2012, an incubator like program where IDEO can help startups at their "earliest stages of evolution" by infusing them with their Human-Centered Design framework. Before both of these efforts, designers themselves embraced entrepreneurship as evidenced by the Designer Fund, an angel fund of designers who invest in designer founders through mentorship, funding and access to large professional networks to support these budding young designer led businesses . On the talent side, designers are increasingly looking for ways to work on real problems and create solutions users find so valuable that they will use it even if it isn't well-designed or well-engineered. They look outside of their mundane corporate and agency jobs, for more meaningful problems and opportunities to expand their design craft and mind, enhancing the end value of the end experiences. Often designers feel they have many great ideas from their practice of the design process of discovering problems rooted in understand the problems people have. This panel brings together a group of designers and entrepreneurs to discuss the real value of design in the startup world, how designers can think about entering the entrepreneurship world and what it takes to "jump ship" and start your own company. This panel is not to be missed if you have the itch to start your own company!
With Raphael Grignani, Todd Silverstein, Josh Seiden & Suzanne El-Moursi