Dear Startups, Don’t Skip Design Thinking by Lauren Turk #forbes
Business strategist at Pull Experience Inc., an innovation and design agency.
In 2013, Forbes reported that a startling 80% of young companies fail within 18 months. Why? There’s no shortage of information online to advise on growing market penetration rates, brand loyalty and so forth. Nor is there a lack of able agencies and specialists to consult with.
One thing the Internet can’t give, and money can’t buy, is learned personal experience. A consultant I admire always says: “You’re not paying for my successful experiences, but my failures.”
Humans learn by doing, and by the transitive property, companies do, too. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a non-profit brainchild of the city’s government, industry and academic leaders, recognized this and set out to fuel Los Angeles cleantech startups with knowledge that is either very expensive or learned the hard way.
LACI cultivates traditional business acumen through providing CEO mentoring, access to investor and customer networks, and collaborative working space, but recently, LACI saw the increasing value in adding user-centered design and creative thinking to the mix.
Would tech start-ups succeed if they adopted this holistic approach from square one?
(Check back in a few months and we’ll let you know).
Partnering with local specialists, Pull Experience Inc., Motivo Engineering and Echo-Factory, LACI started an ongoing Design Thinking Workshop Series to equip its portfolio companies with this methodology.
Erik Steeb, VP of Programs at LACI, explains: “Design is a critical element of any business but it’s especially important for startups who have the unique challenge of discovering the right business model for their innovation. Too often, companies spend all their time on the innovation itself and miss one or two key elements that would really connect with a particular market. By identifying and really understanding their customers early on, companies can save a lot of time and money in discovering that successful business model.”
Read the full post on Forbes