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A simple idea that gives grand results.

How venture design isn’t about design at all. It’s about accelerating your business and anyone can do it.

Venture Design is a term commonly heard and often misunderstood. How are companies actually using this to their advantage and reaping the benefits?

Words by
Director of Strategy
Published Dec 11, 2018

Intro to Venture Design

Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Jobs was a true believer in the genius of humanity and the power of creativity. The idea of providing people with intent as opposed to specific directions is the logic behind doing away with micromanagement. Allow your team members to leverage their own brilliance in tackling the tasks you set before them.

This thought process is at the core of venture design. Stepping away from a direction-laden ideology sets venture design apart from older management consulting philosophies that focused on re-creating success by copying others. Times have changed, and businesses must adapt to survive in our modern day climate. Simply mimicking what others have done before is no longer a recipe for success. Management consultants hand out itemized plans of action that only account for known threats. Venture design provides organizations with the tools needed to adapt to a world continually evolving around us.

What is Venture Design?

Venture design is a mentality of user-centric design iteration. It consists of four core elements: opportunity, approach, action, and the team behind it all. First, opportunities must be identified and assessed properly for viability by insightful and intuitive minds, finding areas for improvement that others don’t see. Second, with the opportunity targeted, the approach (or the design) is then configured to best capitalize on the opportunity. Third, action must be taken for the ideas to serve a purpose. Fourth, incorporate the entire team at each of the four stages. Overall, the process is ongoing and fluid, such that each step is constantly being reassessed for improvement.

Startups can be massive game changers to both our economy as well as to the business culture itself. However, startups are also fraught with dangers. Venture design distills the ideas behind the greatness of a company while providing teams with the insights and tools to find success on their own. Much like the old adage of teaching a man to fish, venture design shows you the how’s and the why’s behind decision-making so you and your team can confront challenges as they arrive.

The Importance of Venture Design

Venture design represents a movement away from traditional management “best practices” towards a philosophy of design, empowering teams to reassess their positions consistently while rapidly iterating upon new ideas. Venture design evolved as a necessity due to the rapidly changing landscape of today’s business world. Many of today’s biggest companies rely on venture design as their competitive advantage. They continue to leverage this new management method to great success.

For example, through the use of venture design, Pinterest serves as an incredible success story. By using the power of design sprints, Pinterest grew from a garage operation to a corporation with over 250 million monthly active users and a valuation exceeding $12 billion USD. This success is achieved when a company realizes that one of the only constants in life is its constant rapid shifting, and to be competitive, you have to shift just as fast. Venture design brings agile principles to user-centric design and business modelling to stay ahead of the competitive curve.

New technology creates both opportunities and obstacles. To keep up with our ever-shifting world, you must shift along with it. Venture design encourages a culture of design throughout your entire organization. It utilizes your strongest asset, your team, and fosters expansion through creativity. Venture design has changed the way companies grow ideas. Look to your team and see what venture design can help your organization achieve.

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