Entrepreneurial ability is hard to define, which may help explain why it’s so easy to overlook. But entrepreneurship isn’t just about founding a company. In fact, that’s a pretty limiting definition because it excludes legions of innovative and revolutionary thinkers whose primary entrepreneurial tools are not building and running businesses. Designers never get their due as entrepreneurs, those who change things within existing organizations or structures.That’s a shame because design, along with other innovative abilities such as logistics, technology or marketing, can change how companies and entire markets and economies function.
Looking at the big picture, few things are as disruptive as new design. Steve Jobs was, as a co-founder of Apple, absolutely an entrepreneur. No question about it. But first among many of his entrepreneurial abilities was design. Design means more than just making something. It’s making something thoughtfully, so that people want to use it and actually can. Making a space is relatively easy. But designing a space capable of changing the way we feel or how we work requires entrepreneurial skills like creativity, experimentation, and persistence. Good design can’t happen without the vision and daring that come with entrepreneurship. Design incorporates three main components – being user centric, collaborative and experimental.
To achieve all the three, one has to encourage maximum participation during ideation, eliminate fear of failure and think out of the box. It is a journey to train oneself from being a designer to a design thinker but this process does not confine itself only in the realm of design. Even an entrepreneur or an engineer can train himself with design thinking techniques. After reaching a goal don’t forget to look back to determine how far you have traveled and judge the value of the journey. We can keep revisiting the Immerse, Invent and Implement phase, as this practice does not necessarily follow the direct process.
Design process can have a major impact on culture of any startup in any sector. It can help entrepreneurs step out of the box and learn from failures early on in return saving time, money and effort. In a startup we all try to step out of our job descriptions and do a lot more to make an idea work. Following the design process helps everyone to have a similar foundation to understand his or her users. Who they are doing it for, why they are doing it and how they should do it to make maximum impact to the target audience. The core of design thinking methodology is empathy and observation. As we become more aware and dive into this process it also starts to reflect on our behavior, which in turn solves team dynamics and managerial issues. For example, the key tool in this process is brainstorming and has one of the rules which is defer judgment, initiating all team members to be on the same platform while ideate.
Design thinking is user-eccentric; it’s about understanding needs and motivations. It’s collaborative and requires conversations, critic and team work. It is experimental as it creates a space to try something new. It gives you the permission to unlearn, fail and to make mistakes and come up with new ideas. We all have the opportunity with the generation we are in, equipped with a variety of tools in our pockets and access to the world on the click of a button to explore new possibilities, new ideas, new rituals and solutions. Using the process of design thinking we can make a much larger impact in the world rather than mere incremental inputs. Design thinking incubates hope.