Great article in Business Week by Diego Rodriguez of Metacool on thinking big by recognizing the place where business and design meet.  I love the three main points and they’re easily applicable to an organization that wants to innovate.  Check it out:

First, it’s important to ensure desirability for users by going out into the world to develop true empathy with the end user.  Makes sense.  If you think about what we’re trying to do, it really only works when it has genuine appeal to the people we’re trying to reach.  What’s the temptation?  The temptation is to aim for what WE really like or what WE think our primary customer will enjoy.  Finding out what the people we’re trying to reach are looking for will be hard work, but will be the only thing that will really pay off.

What’s next?  Second, you’ll need to balance desirability for stakeholders.  In other words, if you want to increase your venture’s odds of success you’ll need to engage not only your primary customers but also your employees, partners and other stakeholders.  Here’s the age old tension between the motivations of your existing customers (current attendees and members?) and the future customers that you hope to reach.  The delicate balance is important to achieve.  Can you please everyone all the time?  No.  But you’ve got to enlist this group in the mission of reaching the end user that you don’t yet have.

Last?  You need to iterate for viability.  This is an interesting point.  Rodriguez points out that developing a great experience requires "rapid prototyping."  When I think about the organizations that succeed they are clearly the ones that are unafraid to try something new and are always looking for a next innovation.  Rodriguez makes a great point that "rather than making a big bet and swinging for the fences" we ought to be doing what design thinkers do…"create something quick and cheap, show it to real people, and roll the learning back into the the venture."

Right on target.  Read the whole article here.


Thinking Big