"Designers are merging their ways of thinking with startup culture. The result, writes Bruce Nussbaum, is greater innovation and astounding VC success rates.
I recently walked into a packed hall of 200 Parsons students for an event called “Start Something--Why Creatives Need to Become Entrepreneurs,” organized by the NYCreative Interns group. Four women entrepreneurs, including Laurel Touby, the founder of Mediabistro, were up front, talking about their experiences of launching their respective businesses. The incredible energy in the room highlighted an emerging trend--the headlong crash of creativity into capitalism to forge a startup model for the future. In this new model, designers drive the force of American entrepreneurialism.
This business model is a cause for true optimism. It’s not the big business capitalism that no longer generates jobs or income or tax revenues. Nor is it the old, slow attempts by design and design thinking to reform big corporations to make their culture more innovative, with limited success. Rather, it’s the capitalism of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic--the original, early form of entrepreneurial capitalism. It’s the promise of design fusing with startup culture to increase innovation by raising the success rate of venture capital from 10% to as high as 80%. This growing desire among designers to bring their user focus, strategic vision, iterative methodologies, and propositional thinking to the still-geeky, tech/engineering-centric world of startups promises to be transformative and explosive.
The pattern can be broken down into a series of dots. There’s the dot of students at Parsons, RISD, RCA, the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, and Aalto University, in Helsinki, beginning to embrace the world of startups. (Stanford has been there for a while, thanks to David Kelley.)
The emerging trend represents a headlong crash of creativity into capitalism...."