VCs Fund Startups with No Ideas – A Perverse take on the Design Thinking Process

File under:
Design Leadership

Written by Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Aug 28, 2012

Comments Anyone?

I’m not sure if I should jump for joy, laugh or cry? Perhaps I should just sit dumbfounded.

Forbes recently reported a new trend in Silicon Valley; Venture Capitalists are now funding Start-Ups with no idea what they are going to do. Sounds like the dot-com bust all over again.

The exception is now the rule, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that “pivot” is the buzzword on the lips of every Silicon Valley founder and venture capitalist these days. Having some kind of notion what line of business your fledgling company might want to pursue used to be a prerequisite to raising capital. Now, it’s a mark of hubris. You don’t tell the market what it needs; you gently offer it a series of options, which are less viable concepts than ritual sacrifices aimed at cultivating the favor of the start-up gods. It’s called “iterating.”

This iterative process and delivering to what customers want is one of the core tenets of Design Thinking. Therefore I am a little please to hear that VCs are endorsing this process. However, it is dangerous to only focus on this part of the process, as this is a validating activity that results in incremental innovation. Unless this is what you (or the VCs?) want. Probably that’s why everyone is complaining that startups are stagnating, and software innovation has not been meaningful in awhile.

There is so much more Design Thinking can do for Startups. Understanding your customers so that you can deliver design driven innovation through meaningful solutions is one of them.

Via: Forbes

Love this post? Subscribe to The Design Sojourn Newsletter, for free, and get the latest content delivered right to your inbox with our 110% NO-SPAM Policy!

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Related Posts You Might Find Interesting:


No comments yet.

A note about commenting: We value your comments as they provide different perspectives that we can learn from and/or improve our products as we see this blog as a platform for interaction and exchange with our friends. However, whilst we welcome constructive criticism, we do not tolerate offensive and disrespectful comments. Postings deemed inappropriate will be removed.

Finally, to avoid auto deletion from spam filtering, we kindly ask that you use your personal name or initials instead of your business name. Thank you and I hope you enjoy being part of the design conversation!