Is Design Thinking BS?



The design thinking methodology has been around for decades. More recently, the concept has been adopted wildly by startup founders and innovation leaders like Google as one of the most effective ways to save time and money when attempting to solve a problem or develop a high value product.

Groundswell will kick off a design thinking series for high tech startups and design enthusiasts this Thursday, July 27 at 5:30PM. This free, public event will feature three mentors who support startups out of the Groundswell Startups office in Space Coast, FL. Featured design and innovation speakers have worked with Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Nike, Intel, as well as corporate innovation leaders in government communications and aerospace industries.

The event will begin with a panel discussion featuring Ryan Shelley of Shelley Media Arts, Keith Nugent of Bliley Technologies and Adam Hoffmann of HelloNimble. Each speaker will explore how to get the largest return on investment for time spent on best design practices. A Q&A session and happy hour will open and close the 45-minute special session.


Podcast Highlights


  • When design is an afterthought, things get costly. Design thinking can be used to define what architecture needs to be built to secure a shared vision for success as quickly as possible. Whether a startup is building out a marketing campaign, building a product or business, design is an important part of illustrating a shared vision that people can use to understand and engage. This information is valuable when it can be used to inform market research.  
  • Use design to understand what metrics matter and why.Shelley says it is critical that startups identify what actually matters, then share that information in a way that people can actually digest it. All too often, large and small business owners obsess over metrics that have little to no value (a.k.a. Vanity Metric Addiction). Through data visualization and design, startups can derive a lot more meaning from the metrics you have, see which ones are and are not important and which ones should really drive your decisions.
  • Use design to think bigger in business and sales. While each industry excels at a different part of the design process, Nugent says that startups and even corporations work best when they focus specifically on their core purpose and audience. Nugent says this is the most effective way to add value and make a lasting impact.
  • A shared vision yields positive effects for internal teams and outside stakeholders. Hoffmann used the example of blues music as a metaphor for design thinking: using the same basic chords and bars, blues players across all generations, regions and walks of life can come together with no preparation to make music. “Everybody can bring their knowledge to the table each time and create something new and exciting from something so simple as the same three chords and twelve bars,” Hoffmann said. “It’s all about mastering the art of delivering the right context, content and culture.”


Looking for more on design thinking?  Check out Ryan Shelley’s The New inbound Marketer’s Handbook.



Our podcasts serve to benefit the many high tech founders building disruptive solutions at Groundswell headquarters in Space Coast,FL and throughout the Central Florida region. The series is made possible thanks to sustaining partners and sponsors at Novel Engineering.

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