Thursday, 15 June 2017

When Kliner Perkins hires designers it's official: 7 Tips From Leading Design Entrepreneurs

When Silicon Valley's most prestigious VC in Q4 2012 sets up the Kliner Perkins Design Fellowship, and a National Design Award is given due to a designer's design entrepreneurial work you know the US is finally catching on. But what are the secrets to design breakthroughs? Here's a starting point: 
                                       

      1) Learn to code and understand web analytics: because in the beginning you can't afford a full web development effort and you will have to sell your goods online - there is no more door to door anymore and if you can't push the BUY button because there is no system to make that happen, your project is not going to make it.
      2) Never underestimate how important design is: if your product looks bad, if your site does not work on tablet and smart phones it's all over. Customers know 1st impressions mean everything and now almost as much as the product itself.
      3) Don’t allow design to damage your focus: if your not Steve himself, then you may have to work with someone that is and in that, be flexible as your design might not be your own
      4) Keep a side project: Google allows 20% of time to employees own projects. Use this as your guiding principle as you can't "design" all day many times your building what has already been designed
      5) Read everything. Listen To everything. Experience as much new as possible: design inspiration is the key to disruptive design and zigging when others are zagging - the point to "winning" new clients in a sea of also-rans
      6) A prototype is worth 1000 words: this is an absolute must. Prototype fast and Prototype often. The faster you and clients can see what is going on the faster you get to the endpoint
      7) Think like a student as that is what a designer is: if you can't think outside the box you just created you can't innovate. The tighter the rules the harder it is to be "different" and different can sometimes be disruptive or even fully "innovative" by Schumpeters definition.

And there are many more, but with these your products will be that much further ahead of the competition.


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Monday, 5 June 2017

Apple 'got' design for $2.5M in 1982 and by a Frog. Here's how Steve did it.

Ever wonder how Apple 'got' design? Like Gates bought DOS, Steve bought design for $2.5M/yr in 1982. Here's how Steve did it and not as Fast Company says: 


Even Fast Company scrubs the data & history but not as Christopher Mims @ Quartz magazine reports it and described here. Like any market advantage, a competitive advantage starts well before personal popular culture (read advertising and 'news') has us believe or is even aware of the advantage itself. Microsoft exists because Gates bought DOS for $50K and turned it into Windows for IBM. AC and DC were fought after by Thomas Edison who developed the opposing format to thwart competitors and performed hundreds of experiments on filaments with a whole team of researchers not inventing the lightbulb, Ive's didn't usher design into the entire culture of Apple: I've's entire group was the prodigy of a Frog - the son of Hartmut Esslinger.

It isn't often that we stop to may homage to the firms whose shoulders that we here at iGNITIATE stand on top of, but after years of knowing Hartmut and the folks at Frog, and the recent articles on design at Apple being always there from the beginning, we thought to jump in on the "correction" of the marketing machine that is Apple, Issacshons book, and Ashton's movie on the late, great Steve. However in the beginning, there was Hartmut and his firm Frog and fact that Apple bought design, brought it right into the boardroom and did it all for $1m/yr in 1982 or $2.5M 2013 dollars and the article How I Taught Steve Jobs To Put Design First tells all.

Hartmut goes on to describe how From Phones To Tablets: 26 Apple Designs That Never Came To Be and How to Innovate, Step by Step which Hartmut know exactly what he is talking about.




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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Infographics - Your Savior in New Product Launches

It has happened to every designer,  entrepreneur & product developer & it even happens to international firms launching new services - the launch black hole. How is it that designers of new products, businesses and even services miss what's out there? The solution: not utilizing design & market infographics. How do world class companies do it? They do it here:



And, as shown in this infographic of every kitchen utensil made, by type the playing field is defined. More, there are any number of similar examples for every other product and even service out there. A quick look, the 10,000 meter view is what separates innovators from the also rans. How does your firm stack up in the way it looks for new opportunities?


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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Design Leaders – How to Make Them


Is there a delineation between designers and managers and can there be a back and forth training? Yes and no. 


In Delineating Design Leaders we see the clear identification and breakdown of the way that design and design managers are utilized. Can there be a difference in the way that these groups operate and the way they are able to encourage each other as a mechanism for further creative output? Yes. The key is content and creation. As evidence clearly uncovers, it is design leaders, who relentlessly focus on product and operate as a profoundly design-centric function involving a ‘hands-on’ approach. These individuals provide the vision that is catalyzed by actively leading designers and broader team members to produce differentiation and rapid change in response to demanding environmental factors [ibid].


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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Symbols Things Actions Thoughts – Designs New Embodiment

What is the point of design and design thinking clients often ask. Permanence. From here the only question is how that is turned into profit for those firms involved in such an investment. Here’s how.



With typical academic fervor in Design Research and the New Learning it becomes clear the mechanisms of how firms can embody the clarity of turning Symbols Things Actions Thoughts into ROI for design thinking centric projects and clients.



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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Want Full Eco(control) Design? Design Physical & Digital Products

Investors don't like physical products? Why? Physicality costs & yet, Digital is as fleeting as haute couture. Are there options? Yes. Think like Gillette for the 21st century - physical + digital design. Here's how:



Wired Labs has a good starting point: Bundling Digital and Physical but that is just the beginning as the investigation is where the juice comes out: 
     1) Ask why do it at all and what is this new thing that people are going to carry around?
     2) See who's done it, so many have: Jawbone, UP, Brawn Electric Shavers w/skin sensors, naturally MP3 players, but there are others: Swifter, Roomba, Canary, etc. - we've examined these before.
     3) How's it going to expand over time as if it isn't a platform and it can't learn or adaot what's the point? 
     4) Planned obselence for alternative purposes: you've still got your old laptop around somewhere using it for other purposes? There are whole companies dedicated to recycleing - yet another part of the eco system that your firm should be owning

And these are just a few of the ways. 
Naturally through disruptive design, there are a host more. 


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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Conceptual Blending: Cultural Referencing for Innovation


When design is left to it’s own, it’s as if leaving a musician in a sealed room. But not with mechanisms for blending external stimulus? Correct.


Design when left to its own devices has the choice to focus on the purely mechanical capabilities of function to determine it’s output or the relative nature of temporal and physical form to content with. But when the factor of archetype and cultural blending is implemented a whole other form of innovation is experienced.

In A Case Study On Design With Conceptual Blending several tools are defined and their application to allow design to take it’s place and build upon cultural references thus producing a conceptual blending output that further aligns itself with the values of users and well as those guided by the archetypes the cultural underpinnings evoke. End result: value. 



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Friday, 28 April 2017

Want Design and Creativity? See how operating firms utilize it.

How are firms utilizing research as related to design creativity? By not ignoring the importance of innovation groups/team and their impact on a firms capability to launch


Which research in design creativity and innovation? details the underpinnings and specifics for the necessity to use an integrated approach to how design and creativity in an organization can be directly translated to ROI and quicker launch times for getting new products to market and in that a way to increase the likelihood of success in the market.



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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Small Firms Push Design Innovation Faster Than Any Other


The understood rubric is that younger more established firms are consistently able to innovate where large firms are not due to the specialized nature of large firms focusing on clients and a clients specific needs as an outsourced services model which is replicated and sold to other like minded firms rather than as an experimental lab model specifically designed to increase the likelihood of creating breakthroughs.
 

In How Technology-Based New Firms Leverage Newness and Smallness to Commercialize Disruptive Technologies (Design) we see the clear indication of how this is achieved via “an early mover pursuing the mainstream market with a radical technology is more likely to succeed because resource-rich incumbents will face difficulties in trying to follow. However, an early mover into a broad segment with an incremental product is more likely to be overtaken by late-entering incumbents as the incumbent has an existing brand and reputation, as well as vital complementary assets”



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