Product Designers: Think like an Entrepreneur

So I have been thinking about what it means to be an entrepreneur. It’s generally thought of as someone who starts their own business. Rarely thought of as someone who works within a company. And as a designer, we generally get handed work to do without being apart of the overall who, why, where and what of the strategy process. But Designers are in a unique position to really look at a business or a tactic from a broader perspective. Designers are also in an even more unique position to story flow, execute and prototype their ideas in a more sellable way to internal teams because we can make an idea come to life. It’s a powerful set of tools. Don’t underestimate the power you yield in thy hands.

Now, of course, it doesn’t mean you are always going to have great ideas. We can’t all be Elon Musk. But Designers have a greater chance getting their business concepts approved or celebrated because we can visually make them understandable. In my own career, I have noticed that my biggest wins or accomplishments working within a company have always been when I took the initiative or that entrepreneurial spirit and developed something on my own. Then presented it to the team leads that matter. I am not promoting full out internal process mutiny by the way. Okay in a way, I kind of am. But in my defence, I think systems and processes need to always be challenged so that they can improve. I’m stick’n to that.

!!!!!!\\\\\\::::::::....... (visual representation of me digressing)

So how many times have I tried to get an idea past a higher-up and quickly been told that it’s someone else's job to think of those ideas? More times than I can count. And I can count pretty high. That is until one glorious day happened when I decided to stop asking and start doing. It was really just a mindset flip on my part. Do I want to shovel pixels all my life or do I want to be a pixel architect? Architects get far more party conversation time, so it seemed like the better choice.

The concept of asking permission to be creative is over. Make being a “Design Entrepreneur” part of your overall state of being. Your future self will thank you for it!

Humanist Approach to Design Management 2017

We have all had at least one manager in our past that we have had some fairly off putting moments with. Sure, we all have bad days. But as creative leaders, we need to approach our best and worst days with equal measure. Be more like Humanists. This doesn't mean being more spiritual (unless that's your thing), this doesn't mean running around naked at burning man (unless that's your thing) and no it doesn't mean leading a hand holding sessions and braiding flowers into each others hair (unless of course, that's your thing). It simply means being more aware of your actions and the actions of others.

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