Design Thinking for Startups: From Idea to Human-Centric Product
Time & Location
About the Event
If I were to throw my hat in the presidential election ring, my one resolute mission would not be a war on climate change, traffic congestion, or sustainable energy etc. Don’t worry, we already have top people working on that. My campaign would be to extinguish, nay, obliterate our mass ignorance of Human-Centric Design Thinking.
It’s a shame and a real catastrophe that in the USA, arguably one of the most developed nations, about 85% of start-ups FAIL within the first three years of business. Folks, that’s a HUGE number, and there’s no reason for it to be so high!
Under-capitalization would be the #1 cause, but right on its heels is the widespread blatant unawareness of the Industrial Design field, (the official name of our profession). Friends, this is the 101st year since the birth of this discipline. The Bauhaus started it in 1919, and it came to ‘Merica in the 1920s. (By the way, our studio, born in 1934, was one of the pioneers of that movement, right here in Detroit, MI.) Still, many of us aren’t leveraging the basic tenets of this discipline.1 : Don’t invent problems that people don’t have!
Don’t invent something and then try to find a home for it in the market. Rather immerse yourself in the day-to-day situations of users. Do observational ethnography. Understand why humans behave the way they do. What motivates and inspires them? What are their passion points? Also, what are their pain points, moments of anguish, and exasperations? You also have to chart out humans’ “natural” modes and activities to identify those “uncontested opportunities” at the intersection of emergent ecosystems in the market. Understanding where your product resides in those ecosystem forces is the foundation in which you have to invest your time.2: Good business is good design
Once you have a concept in mind, make sure you develop a robust business plan. You, the Designer, are NOT the User. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean everybody will. You have to invest in understanding the real statistically significant number of potential users who would benefit from your design. Product innovation is unarguably needed, but that alone won’t make you successful. You need to develop a plan for the wholistic steps, like the manufacturing process, contract sourcing, distribution, inventory, e-commerce/ brick-mortar, marketing and more. These disciplines will work in tandem to make your product successful.3: MVE – “Minimum Viable Experience” model.
Don’t be stymied by jumping directly into final production-fidelity design. The tool of Product Design Thinking is most valuable when it’s practiced in short iterative loops. There’s a time to think about sink-marks, draft angles, and rib thickness. It’s certainly not at the start of the concept.
Let’s get together and get a feel for the major elements you need to be cognizant of if you are a start-up or working with an incubator/accelerator. We believe that Industrial Design Thinking is the “missing link” in making or breaking your business success. Don’t worry though. Despite my passion for this topic, there is no way I can run for president. Any election campaigns for Industrial Design are off the board…for now!Also – hey, if you have any burning questions on this topic beforehand, help us keep the webinar more relevant for your emergent pain points and send those questions to us at Lynnaea@SundbergFerar.com. Jeevak and Dan will attempt to address them in the webinar content! Register Now!
Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance
Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro – Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types.
Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands.
This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development.