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Being DESIGNful… February 24, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in creativity, strategy.

Working on it anyway.

Earlier this week I finished Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin which, while I would have appreciated more practical application of his ideas, was great none the less, and a good primer for visual thinking applied to business situations.

No sooner had I put that down, I picked up Marty Neumeier’s new book, The Designful Company. If his name rings a bell, I’ve likely told you before about his previous book Zag, and you may even know of the one before that, The Brand Gap, kindly available over on Slideshare in totality. It’ll take you 10 minutes, go read it, then come back.

Marty uses the book as a platform to expound the virtues of design thinking, something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Something I really believe but perhaps haven’t articulated all that well in the past is that in order to bring new ideas to the table there’s little value in mining the places everyone else is looking; subsequently I’m more likely to read Fred Wilson than Copyranter when thinking about advertising, though both are great. That’s not right or wrong, it’s just my take, those of you reading A Big Life In Advertising keep at it, I imagine we want different things anyway.

I’m only part way through but Marty is hitting on a number of memes that have been floating around recently, certainly touching on the territory recently mined by Seth Godin in Tribes. It isn’t resonating the way Zag did yet, but it’s interesting none the less – I’ll let you know whether I really think it is worth the coin when I’m done. It’s certainly touching on some things I’ve thought previously, particularly being willing to be wrong, but I cna hardly say I like the parts of the book that agree with me now can I?

While I’m here, I stumbled across Design Thinking, a blog written by IDEO‘s CEO Tim Brown, FYI for those interested.

What was that?

Who is IDEO?!??!


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1. Tim - February 25, 2009

One of these days I’ll get to reading all those books. Maybe if I could suggest an idea for your next post it would be “How I balance work with research” seriously, I’d like your perspective. I can’t find time to keep up with everything! What’s your secret?

Seriously though – nice post. Somewhere out there (FastCompany perhaps?) There’s a chart looking at the fortunes (share prices) or design companies as compared with non-design companies. Very interesting. It’s good to see that there’s pragmatic evidence that design makes a difference.

2. David Gillespie - February 27, 2009

This from the man who subscribes to Wired, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review and something else that is slipping my mind…The Economist? I wouldn’t have the time to read anything else either!

One interesting stat in it has Apple’s stock price up over 1200% for the last decade (obviously not including anything that has gone on in the last few months…). While you can argue that is more due to Apple’s focus on “delightful” experiences, Neumeier argues that delight is a core part of being a “designful” company…

…look for that word to NOT enter common vernacular…

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