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Design thinking, a creative impulse for entrepreneurs


In the entrepreneurial world, when it comes to launching a business, it is recommended to follow a methodology which guides you along the way and Design Thinking is opening space to position itself as one of the most popular, and for a reason. There are many large companies which choose to follow this methodology when launching new products or services and surely it is not the first time you hear about it, but do you really know what it is and how it can help you? We will tell you about it.

Design Thinking embraces creativity and design as its foundations and puts the customer at the center of the whole process. Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, defines this methodology in his book “Change by Design” as “a discipline that uses the sensibility and methods of designers to align people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and with what a viable business strategy can turn into value the customer and an opportunity for the market”.

One of the key points that distinguishes Design Thinking is its user-centered approach, making the user the epicenter of any business idea. This is crucial for the success of any business idea since it’s the user who will ultimately decide whether to use the product or service you offer. In this way, users, business model and technology to be implemented are placed on an equal footing.

Design thinking follows a non-linear process based on five phases, in which the iteration and evolution of ideas is impulsed, allowing the entrepreneur to adjust their product or services to the realities of the market. These stages are:

  • Empathy. If the user is at the center of the entire process, we cannot begin without knowing them. It's essential to put yourself in their shoes to discover what they really need and what you can provide them with. Without truly knowing them, your product or service won't be genuinely adapted to them, nor will it have an impact on them. This is a phase of active observation aimed at identifying these people's needs.
  • Definition. Based on the information gathered in the previous phase, it's time to start formulating hypotheses with what you have observed about your users and their environment. In other words, specify as much as possible the problem you are going to focus on, so you can know what to base your ideas on when brainstorming.
  • Idea Generation. Based on the observed problem, create a list of ideas of what you can offer to the user, the more ideas, the better.
  • Prototyping. It's time to materialize the idea; create a prototype. You don't have to perfect it to the maximum, but it's better to use minimal resources while ensuring functionality, in other words, create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
  • Testing. Launch your first prototype into the market so that your future target audience can try it out. This way, you'll be evaluating your product or service, obtaining initial feedback, and identifying areas for improvement.

The holistic approach of this methodology, which focuses on three pillars: customer, execution, and profitability, brings numerous benefits to companies. It's no wonder that many large companies apply it. Among these benefits are:

  • Innovation and Continuous Improvement: It fosters a constant flow of ideas and experiments, nurturing innovation and enabling the discovery of new business opportunities. This methodology encourages challenging the conventional and seeking disruptive solutions that make a difference.
  • Risk Minimization: By focusing on a deep understanding of the user and validating products or services with prototypes beforehand, Design Thinking helps minimize the risk associated with entrepreneurship. This ability to detect errors and correct them before launching into the market saves costs.
  • Encouragement of Teamwork: This is an inherently collaborative methodology that promotes teamwork. Involving a multidisciplinary team in the process enriches idea generation and boosts creativity.

In conclusion, Design Thinking is a great ally for any entrepreneur who wants to surpass the limits of conventionality and achieve success.

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