Design Is [Dreaming] : Curiosity and innovation
I'm. Kai hailey one of the creators of this series, and, for many of you who have. Joined us over, the last couple years we started this you, are familiar with the premise of this series, we. Started it to create a space for the design community, to. Come together and. Explore the role of design, in crafting, the future, particularly. One that we all want to be a part of and. Dreaming. The. Topic, today can be a powerful, tool for doing that I'm, really, excited to have Kevin with us Kevin, Bethune. He. Has an incredibly, diverse background. Including. Mechanical engineering. Business. And design. And. He's going to take us today through his journey and. Share. With us the tools and processes that he has created. And uses, with enterprises. To, help them cultivate. New. Capabilities. To. Be, able to disrupt, and. Shape. And form, emerging. Realities. And. Hopefully. We will also, gain some inspiration, and ideas for, how we can. Evolve. Our own careers, to. Be. Future. Ready so. With, that please, join me in welcoming Kevin, thank, you thank, you. Thank. You very much CAI it's. An honor and a privilege to be here with you thank you for sacrificing your evening to be with us I really, appreciate that so again my name is Kevin Bethune I'm the founder and chief, creative for dreams design in life a design, and innovation think-tank, down in Redondo Beach California. I, should. Also say that I'm also the board chair for the design Management Institute, professional. Society that I would highly encourage everyone, to take. A look at if, you want to find out more information you can go to DMI org. But. Again thank you for this opportunity it's. Just to share just some perspectives, with you to hopefully inspire your. Journeys ahead we're. Calling this talk design, is dreaming. And. Honestly. I want, to, encourage. Everyone, to, sort of be, introspective about, your own journeys as we sort of talk this through I'm gonna share a bit, of all my different inflection, points and it's kind of been a crazy and wild path, but. It'll be some fun to share that with you but, think about your own sort, of dream. And your own sort, of journey, as we as we talk through and, I think we start that off by asking a question and I want you to kind of do an exercise, with me. The. First is I. Want. To ask you do you still dream do, you give yourself license. To dream do. You imagine what, you could be what, you could achieve who. You could impact who, you could affect in terms of not, only yourself but maybe your family maybe a broader Society, are, you asking those questions of, yourself. Regularly. So. If you could actually, bear.
With Me we passed, out some pens and paper I want. Each of you to just spend a minute to. Capture, your. Dream the. Dream that's on your heart right now. Take. A moment just, do a little reflection and jot. Down what you believe your dream is at this point in time. There's. No right or wrong answer. It's. Your dream. Looks. Like we're pretty good. Wrapping. It up got, some essays being written right now. So. Not too really cliche, but I gotta take you back to my very beginnings, and, it. Started, I think like a lot of us having an early creative, volition, for, me I drew, for hobby all, the time, but. I didn't necessarily know, what to do with that energy that creative itch that creative energy that was happening I, spent, the majority of my childhood in the Detroit, down river region. And. I. Would. Say that we were sort of located, in the heart of sort of big auto the big automotive, industry. And the. Paths of engineering, and business, were probably the more celebrated, paths design. Was a distant, notion, and I didn't I couldn't, there's no way to really fully comprehend, what that could mean for me and because, of my affinity for drawing as, well as the intersections, with science and mathematics. Engineering. Made, the more pragmatic, sort, of option and choice that was appropriate for me and, so. I decided to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering attended. The University, of Notre Dame and, as. Companies, were coming to campus, to entertain. You. Know the start of our careers. The typical engineering pitch was well you, could come on to the factory floor for a while maybe, work eight to 10 years before we let you do any solid. Engineering, work and it. Wasn't necessarily the most inspiring, pitch that one could hear, but. There was one industry. In particular the. Nuclear industry that. Had a different message they. Were very much facing, what I would call a knowledge crisis, and that they hadn't hired young. Talent, for the 10 to 15 years prior before I came out of school so, here you had this wide open door where this industry is looking for people to come in and immediately, learn the, know-how of what goes into making these these, nuclear power plants and making. Them safe for the general public. An, amazing opportunity to walk through that door and engage and feel, the mentorship right away to get. On on top of some gnarly problems, so, I spent the next five years, staring, down the barrel of these open, reactor.
Vessels So. What you're looking at is an actual, open. Reactor, vessel with the head, the. Lid of the reactor, set. To the side and the coolant in the system is actually flooding. The actual. Refuelling. Pool the cavity, that, allows us to basically move. Fuel assemblies, in and out of the the, open core and that water is necessary because. It serves as an effective shielding. Agent to protect us from the harmful radiation, below otherwise. We would meet our demise and we didn't have that water there and the. Fuel actually, looks that way when we're refueling it glows that weird blue and, the. Work was very. Dangerous. I would say the environment that we worked in was very militaristic, everything. Was on a critical path and imagine, the situation where a plant is up and running for 18 months at a time before. It comes down for maintenance and every, day that it's down for maintenance that's, an opportunity cost of a million dollars a day so. If you're done early you're, in trouble, if you're done late you're in trouble because you're upsetting the. Critical path scheduling, of all these vendors that are trying to get all this work done so. The implications, are rather. Severe, and. This. Picture to the left is a much younger, me. On, the left-hand side of the wall I'm tasked, with supervising. Other, engineers, and technicians as, we're working. To refurbish this reactor, and, incorporate. Hardware, upgrades, that will extend the life of the plant another 20 to 30 years, and. Actually we built this giant yellow crane half. Of it sits in the water on, top of the actual mechanical. Internals, package of the reactor and the, the top half of the crane sits above the water so. That the cranes and rigging allow us to move the right robotics, and camera systems and long-handled tooling, into, position to be able to service the parts below and that, metal is screaming. With radiation as well because it's been sitting decades. Next to active, uranium. So. It's it's again, mission critical work, very. Dangerous we had to be very mindful of the work that we did and what this experience taught me was what it meant to actually create, great product, and build. Trust and learn how to work with high-performing. Teams at a very high, level. Well. Through this experience, I would say a natural. Curiosity for, business arose because I was wondering like why is the company, navigating. And making these choices as an engineer and how do I garner, more license for my career than just being expected to execute. These engineering, Sprint's over and over again, and. So that curiosity. For the business acumen that I lacked coming out of college, drew. Me to look to look into pursuing. An MBA so, fast, forward navigated, through the business school experience, and and. That that was a two-year sort of reset for my career where I was able to take a step back and look, at things with a fresh perspective, mind. You that that creative, itch for my youth was, retching even more because now I had two years of runway to think about my choices moving. Forward, and. I allowed that creative itch to inform. The type of companies, I would seek come. Graduation I could have easily went back to my comfort zone and joined an engineering company, with, this new business language but. Instead I wanted to join a company that embodied, the strategy side the technological, side but, also the creative elements. Not. Having any idea of what I would even do with or, what, I would even how I would, even react to. Being around those capabilities but, that's where the heartstrings were tugging me and companies. Like Nike were at the top of the list at the time of well you could find all those facets, in that organization. And thankfully. Come graduation they gave me an opportunity to join their fold I. Started. In the corporate planning group which was a common destination for post. MBA grads. Moved. Up to Beaverton, Oregon worked, at world headquarters and, joined. The. Fold where we were looking to really. Help. Nike optimize, its financial, and operational performance so. This was a great experience to really solidify, the. Language of business in the, real life public, publicly.
Traded Company, setting that as Nike and all the demands did you get from wall street from, investor relations from. Nike senior leaders that are trying to understand, the, performance of the business well. The product person within me was kind. Of going crazy I mean that experience was good but I wanted to figure out where was the cool stuff happening, across, the Nike organization. Some. Of you might think spreadsheets, are cool that's fine but I wasn't I wanted to go find the product, opportunities. And. Thankfully. This, sort, of collegial, environment that, was Nike, whq. Was. Very much a coffee chat. Culture, you. Would sort of have coffee with someone, they would recommend that you go see another person, and the chain kind of continues, and, over time those coffee chats turned into opportunities, to actually offer my, services, to, demonstrate, that I was really, committed to learning and what those product organizations, were about so. The stretch assignments, were essentially, side hustles, on top, of the day job to garner. Trust to show evidence and to, broker relationships and, after. About 18 months I was able to move over to the global Footwear product engine, it wasn't easy because they saw numbers guy they didn't care that I was an engineer before you. Were a numbers guy you have an MBA what what, are you doing over here was was, the typical feedback, but. One out of every, ten people that I encountered, did. Sort of find. Interest, in what I could potentially offer and they let me do some things which is pretty cool, so. When I entered. A global Footwear I entered, in an operational, sort of context, and the Charter was to help the, creative product community, figure. Out more, advanced ways to manage their product, process leveraging. Advanced, tool sets to. Take out a lot of ways take out a lot of just friction in the process, to, allow them to focus more time on making better product, and, at. The time, Nike. Was very interested, in taking. Some of the philosophies, from. Lean. Manufacturing and. Moving, those philosophies, into the upstream, product creation process, so, from the span of time between a designer, putting pen to paper all. The way to the time where we actually you. Know confirm, a sample. Shoe for mass production. That. Window of time we were introducing. New digital tool sets into what was previously, a very analog, conventional. Process, the, conventional, process was very much a designer sketching, on a napkin setting. That sending that sketch to an offshore partner. Overseas. And getting back a sample, and waiting weeks for that sample to come back that. Sample was probably 30 percent correct, to the initial design intent the, designer would tape, up the sample with masking tape literally, redraw. The lines of what they wanted in the first place send, it back to the offshore partner wait. For another sample, so. It. Was just hard to believe that it would take 18. To 24 months just. To get a shoe ready to. Be merchandised on a store shelf an. Incredibly. Arduous. Process, for, any shoe to make it out of the engine to, have. A customer enjoy it someday, and. What. We were then asking the designers, to think about was you can still start with a napkin sketch but, get, into the 3d tool sets lay, your design intent on a three-dimensional last, have, that inform the tech pack, and ask the factory, to, execute a sample that's 90% correct, to the volition, of that 3d asset, and, so we could spend less time guessing, take, out weeks, and weeks of friction and high costs, and spend. More time finessing. The sole the final details of the product experience, and so. You. Know to this day they're proliferating.
A Lot of deep advanced, digital creation tool sets to just get the process more, close. To the insights when it matters. Well. Mind you during this experience, I met, all kinds of newfound creative friends that I had never met or seen before and, I became very curious about what they were doing and my, newfound creative friends saw the drawings. I was doing for Hobby outside of work and a, few creative directors basically said you got a little raw skill will. Let you you. Know try your hand at Footwear design so. The Jordan Brand was the first category that gave me a shot they had too many briefs not, enough resources not enough designers, and the. Creative, director at the time his name is Duane Edwards, he's. Like I'll give you a shot, you. Can do a shoe or two under my mentorship, you. You. Basically need to meet me in the morning at 6 a.m. in my studio we'll. Commiserate together I'll show you what you need to do we'll, go do our day jobs I got a team to manage you got to go do your thing and then you're. Gonna do my assignment, until. You're finished at night and come, back the next morning so we worked that way for a better part of a year and. We. Executed, two shoes together he. Allowed me to have, my designs make it to the store, shelves and in the hands of consumers so. The brief that he gave me was, a very weird one in that at. The time Nike, was celebrating, the anniversaries, of two iconic, shoes, at the same time and, they wanted to create these hybrid, stories, of what you get when you you. Match together the iconic Air Force one with, the Air Jordan 8 basketball, shoe, you. Couldn't pick two remarkably. Different shoes to try to match together and, create. A story that was authentic to the. The shoe heritage of both of those stories so. I, had to learn the. Jordan process, of navigating, the. The insight collecting, the divergence, of all the ideas these are just a few of the divergent sketches, of different ways to combine the icon, Heritage's of both stories, and then, converging, on to directions that we wanted to take to market so, we we, agreed to execute, a mainstream. Mid top in, regular materials, on the right and on. The left a. Premium. High-end high, top and of. A, limited quantity that, would be more exclusive, and we we agreed on both of those directions and because. Because. We were asking. All the nike categories, to adopt all these 3d, tool sets and experiment. With them I had, to take my own medicine, because. I we were asking them to do it I had to I had to learn how to do it and I. Had to learn the footwear programs to articulate, the design, intent in 3d as well and. We, ended up making them we, executed four colorways, in the spring and summer, 2010. Seasons, they. Sold really, really well with. With sneakerheads and all kinds of folks and then we followed up with the high-end version and sold, that with limited quantities so it was a top seller for the Jordan Brand for. My first hit as an as, a fledgling sneaker, designer and. This. Door led to many more open doors across the Nike, portfolio. Where categories, were willing to let me just sort of pick, up a brief and try. My hand at something and. I'm. Forever thankful split so you could imagine the. Creative appetite, that, was now, in like, a forest fire in my mind of like all the things that are. Exciting. About design and innovation and how do I get. Even deeper in this work. Super. Super thankful for that but. Beyond that outside of Nikes berm, outside, of the world headquarters the, world was changing too I mean no better place in Silicon Valley than to exemplify, the change that was happening with, the advent of mobile technologies. This. Multidisciplinary, convergence, that was brewing and you're. Starting to see design celebrated, on the cover of business magazines. Organizations. Artists. And media. Producing. These commentaries, around like the value and the power of design highly. Recommend you see objectified, if you haven't already an. Amazing, body of work that just continued, to fuel, and fire up my curiosity. For. Or design, and. What. Was brewing for me was this, convergence, that I started to see a little bit of myself in and I wanted to continue. To sort of hone that but. I had to be a bit honest with myself and say you. Know what the engineering, and business legs, of the stool sort of rationalized. A few, shoe projects, wasn't going to necessarily answer, the design leg of the stool I had, to go deeper I had to be more mindful and I I was facing a choice honestly, a big, fork in the road I could continue to claw and scratch in, the Nike environment, for another ten years with, side, hustle shoe projects, before.
Perhaps They would credential, me as a esteemed. Footwear, designer or, I. Could, perhaps, think bigger than just shoes and say you know what I want to build out my creative toolkit, my creative foundation, more robustly, and really, positioned, myself at the intersection. Of this Venn diagram, and work. On innovation for the rest of my career so. This was the bigger dream that was coming to fruition for. Me and. Around. That time I was. Looking at schools I thought, I was done with school my. My, mentors and friends said you're done with school why. Are you thinking about going back to school, but. As, you're experimenting, and you know you know shoot projects like this and I. Want. This like it becomes, like you've, become so hungry that you just want to fulfill on it and. Upon. Navigating, the Nike Network I met a lot of alums, from Art Center College of Design and, I. Found myself really. Gravitating, to the ethos of what the school represented. So. Thankfully. Applied was able to get accepted, and. Packed. Up the house in Beaverton Oregon and move down to LA to begin, another chapter of graduate study at this. Institution, and the. Route the real, heroes. Of this story are. My wife and son my. Son wasn't even one yet when we decided to pack up and, sir. Sorry, about the motion. But. They're they're the true heroes of the story to be able to see. This dream and and encouraged, me to go to. Really go for it and. It. Was it was just a quite, fascinating, inflection, point in my life. And one that I hope inspires, my son for the you know for the rest of his life. But. Anyway. Art. Center had very, much gone. Through a metamorphosis around, the same time too so it's serendipity through, this story was quite constantly, my friend Art, Center had sort. Of changed from this sort of purist, position, you, had to come from design, historically. To, participate, in the graduate programs at Art Center, but. With my cohort of applicant. They. Open the aperture they were willing to entertain other, disciplines, in the mix so my cohort, of student. As we were entering in I was. Joined by folks, that had come from places like. Coca-cola. Marketing. Like one guy was a marketing director for coca-cola in Europe, another. Another person had traversed. Harvard. There Harvard Medical School, sort of program two, to three years in and decided. To pivot, and change the. Medical arena through design, and not. Continue to be a surgeon he, saw more effectiveness, of going that angle so he pivoted, and restarted, his graduate education, so. This was a cohort of 14 of us that were sort of mired, together with, all of our visions and big dreams and we we. Rationalized, our way through the program and it was half industrial. Design practicum, but, it was also half venturing, like, how do you leverage, your design capability, to provoke. A venture, opportunity, and speak to the desirability. The, viability, and the feasibility of a new innovation. And actually. Go build it so. That that was sort of the school of thought and this, notion of designer, as entrepreneur. Was becoming front and center and, as. I was rounding the final semesters. Wondering. If if. A full-time job would, be waiting on the other side of this experience, especially after such a big career gamble, of leaving. A place like Nike. That. That that. Volition, to want to be helpful I was freelancing for. Ventures. And entrepreneurs, around the LA area and. That. Networking, and that work brought, me in front of a small, handful, of players. That have come from long histories, and the management consulting and, equity, spaces, they. Knew all too well the perils of waterfall. Where big, enterprises, work with perhaps. A strategy firm for a while then they hand off the ideas to a design, firm for a while to, flush out the experience then they hand off the idea to an implementer, it might be a couple years before you even see a prototype, in market for a lot of big companies that's, that's proverbial. Waterfall. But. I'm preaching, to the choir with. In Silicon Valley in that, there's. A start-up audacity, that we wanted to help large, companies begin to garner and so, our thesis, is we met each other was well why don't we just get two disciplines sitting around the table from day one have. That team get to an integrated, vision much faster, and then, have that same team just go build the huh furring go build a solution go build the business. Around the solution, and get in market as fast, as possible, so we learn and so. Our efforts we helped a few large companies and they're rolodex created, a lot of value quickly and we, garnered the attention of, some very big players in the management consulting space booze.
And Company was the first global platform, to take a bet on our small team we've, created a lot of value very quickly for them for their clients. Ten. Months into the journey, with them they, got absorbed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and, it wasn't necessarily the right fit for our maker group and so. We started pursuing our options, so, BCG, watched all this happening the Boston Consulting Group and. They. Invited us into their fold and they said you know what you guys have the demonstrated, product market fit already we're very excited let us know what you need and that's what they did so they brought us on board we. Were called BCG Digital Ventures a wholly owned subsidiary and, we were a new venture, platform. For. This very. Established. Esteemed, management. Consulting group and. We were a bunch of makers coming into a management consulting, party trying, to understand but. Based on our learnings prior we, knew what to ask for we said we're. Actually not going to join BCG, teams, out in the field at, the client site and just join a BCG, case we're. Makers we have a different way of working so. Instead we need to have, you, invest. In us by building innovation, studio strategically. Located around the world where. We ask the clients to come live in residence with, our multidisciplinary, teams. And so. It was a much different way of working and, to give you a sense of the space that we created we, worked with a very bold architect, to, rationalize. Venture. Spaces, for these teams these multidisciplinary, teams to be able to function the way they need to function like true startups. And. We asked every. Every, client to send three to five of their people, to join that team. And live in residence for the next many months if, not over a year, before they actually cooked the business and spun, out the business either, in a J in, a JV scenario, joint venture scenario or. Perhaps. As a new business unit eventually, gets plugged back into the larger client enterprise, so. We had to create spaces for our new experts, that are a part of this platform so giving designers, a village, to be able to rub elbows with fellow designers, and share best practices was very important, allowing, coders to code in engineers, to do their thing and the, right modalities, that made sense for each expert, and, because. We CG was so hypothesis. First in their problem-solving approach, we. Had to, carve. Space and push on the walls to say you know what we, have different experts that need the problem-solve, in different ways perhaps there's a deductive, or inductive way. Of problem-solving that we need to appreciate and, we need to give these experts, the space to function and thrive. So. In. Essence. We were turning this theory, this utopian, notion of the multidisciplinary Venn diagram, we were living it by reality, I mean, my time coming through Nike this was the exception, not the rule most, large, companies this is the exception, very, few people get to work this way we, got to wire, ourselves, to work this way all the time which is really fascinating. But. It wasn't easy because when you bring these different disciplines together. We. Had to be conscious of all the baggage that each person was bringing into this very new platform, with a very new environment, surrounding the the, teams and, we. Have to look at the historic, somewhere each of these folks are coming from when they form a venture team the. Business side. The. Conventional, disciplines, of strategy, marketing, finance. They've. Commanded, a lion's, share of, influence, in, the how, enterprises. Are managed so and, our prizes are strategically, oriented, for their future turi. Technology. Maybe, to, a lesser extent and. Here. In in the Bay Area you, know we see a lot of engineering led companies. And. That's a good thing right and there's familiarity, at a large corporate level with a lot of technological, platforms.
And And. Key. You know intellectual, property, but, there might not be as much familiarity, with some of the fringe technologies, coming over the horizon like. Blockchain. Or deep learning or some of the more, advanced, things, that are yet. To be commercialized, fully but. Design I think has. Faced. A beleaguered set, of misperceptions and, and. In misnomers, around, its value, for, large enterprises. Unfortunately. There's still the stigma of it being the last step in the value chain all the good thinking was done please. Put beautiful, form around the function that I thought of in advance, putting. Lipstick on a pig I mean some of these these. Notions that we're familiar with and then. When, it comes to design, like what type of design do we need and, the. Lack of understanding, definitely. Feeds into this misperception, of design, being a fragmented, notion I honestly. Believe this audience knows the value of design, but, you you, know as well as I do that it takes a tremendous amount of educating, and. Advocacy. To. Make. Sure that design has that seat at the strategy table and. It takes a lot of energy to keep that seat once you get it. So. You know building community, building. Trust showing, evidence or, all parts. Of the equation and so, we had to work hard to get those venture teams to build their chemistry, so that we could actually unlock. The intersection, of overlap. And. Because. We brought the client, into the party they were living, literally in residence with us now. This venture team starts to take on a unique advantage we. Had them, basically connected, to a larger, client, enterprise and now that venture team could actually leverage, scale. They could leverage the. Subject, matter expertise, of that larger client they, could leverage the distribution, channels they could leverage their. Brand and for a new venture we might create a sub brand that keys off the parent brand. And all of a sudden we're garnering this corporate partner alignment, which is quite interesting, that, we. Can leverage the assets, that inform, the core of the client and have that be a unique advantage compared, to a start-up being birthed out of a garage let's, say.
So. You know a very very cool sort, of experience, to sort. Of witness, and, I think that multidisciplinary, teaming allowed, us to show up to the marketplace differently, if, we compare that to a strategy. Team going out into the field to engage a market. Opportunity they. Might come in with a research. Plan to do a bunch of focus groups and surveys to, get data right, but. For us we could show up very, differently so. If we want to provoke, this notion of health. Care and well-being for, your pets and engaged, pet parents we could actually make a prototype, within days and come, out and engage. People. And really, test, attitudes, and have, honest conversations with, them and co-create a better answer than what we provoked in this prototype. And I promise you no pets were harmed in the. Making of said wearable. Another. Another fun. Venture. That was one of my favorites to witness, was. One that came out of our Berlin Innovation. Centre Bosch. Engineering, came to us with, a curiosity. Run how do I get into mobility, that was it that was the hypothesis, a hypothesis. That we needed to to. Wrestle with and. Again. We really, ring. Fence the multidisciplinary team we, gave him the right nutrients, we gave him a methodology, to follow they trusted the process, and they, diverged, all kinds of wild ideas and converged, on. This. A scooter. Sharing platform called coop so. They've since deployed thousands, of scooters across four major European, cities where, all you need to do is actually pair pair, to a scooter with a normal driver's license you have to worry about parking because you can park a scooter on the sidewalk it's not illegal. To do so, creating. Very simple, mobility. For the the, modern urban you, know commuter, and. It. Was just a fun experience and that that business actually spun out its operating on its own it's a it's a nerd joint venture where all stakeholders, are enjoying, the financial, upside of this business, so, this isn't like this wasn't theory, the was, creating. A real business that had the function bless you and. Creating. Value for all the stakeholders that believed in the mission. Meanwhile. Weird. We were juggling like let's say five of these at first and ten then 50 then 70, on the order of 70 new, ventures at any given time at various stages of incubation, and the. Question was well what does my what was my role in that that soup of multidisciplinary, recipe, that we had created I was. Tasked to, serve. As the, vice president of strategic design, and, so every venture got a couple, strategic, designers, to, join the fol to really manage the creative, navigation. Of that team through the creative process, and approaches, and also, to go deep where necessary whether. It was ethnographic, research or an industrial design of a you know device and we would team quite closely with experienced, designers that, come that came from the digital UX UI side of the coin.
So. What was strategic design for. Us it meant the study of human behavior in context. And the design of holistic. Solutions, aimed, to satisfy, those latent unmet needs that we discovered, in the marketplace, how. We. Really double down on finding. Those implicit s-- those. Latent, sort, of attitudes behaviors, motivations. The. Thick substance that we needed to to, garner to be able to craft a transformative, solution, and Design Thinking was, especially helpful for us to to. Bring those insights together and to get the team mobilized around the right things and. Honestly. For our. Design. For. Every designer on the venture team. The. The true task, of courage that we would we would we would ask of them that we would empower them to follow was. To just, have, them recognize that the, venture teams the the relationship holders may, not know what to necessarily, ask for, from you as the designer on that multidisciplinary team everyone's learning how to work together right, so. By. Charter to them as, designers. You, need to make sure that you're looking for those moments whether it be a journey or a system you're. Finding those moments where your stakeholders, no matter if it's b2b, b2c b2b, did. You see. You're. Finding those moments where you're creating new utility, for, someone to naturally, take a step forward in their user experience on, their. Terms that. We're not pushing solutions, on top, of them or pushing, the solutions and search for a home we understand, the need and we're saying create. That new avenue of intuitive, utility, and in, a world of big data with. Information, and pinching on us from all in. Every direction, how. Do we as designers help, parse through the noise and surface up information that's relevant, for, that person to naturally, want to take a step forward and their. Terms in their user experience and, then, lastly how, do we do, more than just solve the incremental pain points that we discover, but. How do we actually elevate. The promise, and change, how someone, feels. When they engage a particular brand, change. The whole mind frame of how they feel. About the brand at which they're engaging and they want to come back for more that was that, was the true spirit of what we wanted every designer to show creative confidence and creative courage to go find those moments and if. You did that well in a particular moment in the journey we. We tended to call those moments moments of truth and, if, you do it really well maybe. You can make a business out of that one moment of truth and everyone's, happy. So. It, begs the question what does the multidisciplinary team give. You eye, on. Estat. It, the. The the teaming, and collaboration. Inform. Where, future, innovation, is going to come from the. More things converge the. Collaboration, is the the, true secret sauce of what's going to fuel future innovation, and. How does that team do that well, it, can look to the future differently. If we, look, to the future through this proverbial, lens if this is a lens staring at the distant time horizon, we. Can have that team see the future through a number of different vantage, points. They. Can see the future through the lens of people industry. Trends, and exemplars and I'll, talk to reach, we. Start with people every. Engagement that we encountered, there was already reams, of conclusive. Evidence research. Research. On audiences, segmentation. Market. Size size. Of the prize all. The different. Quantifications, you can imagine and. This. Was typically the modality, where you know strategy teams would evoke focus, groups and surveys to, collect that type of information and. We have to be careful to ensure that the information that we did have wasn't, already expired, because consumer, movements, were changing, every six, months. But. For us it meant getting outside of ourselves to find the stuff that was truly, missing and that, meant getting out there with the people and not treating them as, research.
Subjects, Behind a mirrored glass but, engaging them honestly in a co-creative. Collaborative, manner and doing, a number of open-source techniques, to. Try different things to create together as a, participant, as a collaboration. Not as a research, study, that you're in this box and I'm studying you and quantifying. You we, had they go much deeper than that so. Whether it was shot belongs or generative exercises, or affinity mapping. Or shadowing, the expert who's serving there and consumer. We. We, navigated hundreds, of different research. Techniques. Investigation, techniques to, make sure that we were being thoughtful to design the right research approach, before we got started in our work. And. One. Rubric that's helpful is sort of the inverted triangles, where usually. We had a lot of the bottom, stuff with. Large. Sample size we had statistically, significant. Conclusive. Data that. Is absolutely still necessary to inform strategy, and prioritization, think. Of that as the framing, almost like in an archaeological dig you have the frame kind of areas. So. Where do you dig. The. The upper region was often, what was missing 90 percent of the time like what do people really care about we need to go find that stuff it isn't the conclusive answer it's something different that we need to shape so. Usually, it required. Picking. A smaller subset of people and, spending. A lot more time with. Them whether. It's days in their environment, or you. Know 60 to 90, minute. One-on-one, conversation, with them to truly understand, attitudes. Motivations behaviors. Aspirations. The, contradictions, between concrete, and their future ambitions, like we we really tried the mine into that stuff. And over. Time the team would distill, what. We called value criteria, what, are the things that each constituent. In the ecosystem. Cares, about truly and in. This case this is a restaurant. Chain example, where you can imagine the end consumer that. Person wants to feel satisfied and if, you do it repeatedly. They're, going to come back and be, a consistent sort of patron. With you and maybe even engage in your loyalty programs, but. In the world of mobile tech we, have to be careful of what data we're asking from people, and ensuring, that we're giving them a value. In return and, walking, a delicate, dance of give and get and not overstepping, our bounds right. And. They're not alone in the ecosystem, there's a person. Serving them in the restaurant that that, stakeholder, it's, caring. About other things they, want to feel like they are empowered. To do a good day's work they. Want to feel like they can enjoy some of the spoils of a good day's labor, through incentives and they, want to feel like they found, the job or sorry they want to feel like they left.
The Job better than when they found. It through, appropriate professional, development, they walked away from the job that they had better and. They're. Not alone we have the restaurant or the person. Owning the restaurant or perhaps a chain of restaurants who's. Worrying about strategy, building, great culture and empowering, their workforce by investing, in the right capabilities, so. What's the system of concern. Across stakeholders, we need to map that and understand that and a lot of these elements, are sort of human, value criteria that may remain, steady over the course of time but, some, of them might change based on how trends, and movements and pins on each of them if, we take data, privacy as an example that's, changed, remarkably over, the last ten full of years, five, years ago it would be awkward to ask like can I know, your location and now. We take it for granted with. Every app that we consume. Let's. Talk about industry. Well. We when we engage, a particular industry, it's all too easy to sort of just lean, into the present consensus, of how the industry is supposed to bathe that's. Just the way this industry is that's the way healthcare is that's the way consumer. Products are deal, with it you know aligned to what the, the constraints, are but. As designers, I think we have an opportunity to better question, what's going on one. Useful tool that hopefully. A lot of us are familiar with is the business model canvas by. The strategize er folks, which. Allow someone to come, into a new situation look, at a business model existing, or new and break, down the piece parts the elemental, pieces and foundational, principles, that make it run and. We can start to ask questions like. Why does it have to be that way is there something that we can do to swap out an assumption and disrupt. Create, opportunities, for disruption. But. If your Twitter feed is anything like mine there's a lot of questions being asked, of large enterprises or, on ethics transparency corporate. Responsibility, sustainability. What's right what's the more, broader reaching, impact, of some of these business decisions, so. A friend of mine by, the name of Craig walmsley he's a head. And design, strategy, at publicist sapient he, actually sort, of, reconfigured. This canvas and, he, created what he calls an impact canvas, where, we're still rationalizing. The same business and customer aspects. But, now we're questioning what. Is the impact of that employees. Work, having, on his, or her family, what. Is the data privacy issues creating. In terms of ethical challenges, how. Is our business, model. Exploiting. Or diminishing. Resources. How. Do we how do we rationalize some, of these bigger implications, ethically. And actually have conversations, where we're again asking more questions and, through. That push, that provocation. Our. Ability to ask the right questions creates opportunities, for, disruption. And being, able on top of that to proactively, navigate. The disruption, and not feeling like you're reacting to it and this is where dreaming plays in because your dreams inspire, the. Professional, conviction to actually challenge these models a.
Fun. Example for my few days you know again that. The tooling, required to create these mid souls not Souls is very very expensive energy, intensive, costly, if, you, get a design line wrong imagine, having to scrap that hunk of Steel to recreate another mold. And. Imagine how the customer, attitude is changing customers. Want to customize, want to personalize their offerings they don't want to just take. Whatever is on the store shelf so. How do you enable that when this stuff is so expensive and so energy intensive, well. If we question that input of the costs, and time associated is there, another technology that could come in and disrupt that assumption, so, leveraging things like 3d printing to print temporary, nylon, molds that could print a few thousand, runs a product you. Know for the cheap, that. Definitely, now opens, up long tail possibilities. To tap. Into where the customer wants to go when, it comes to customization, and personalization. So. The, iceberg, analogy sort, of rings true you. Could take it as a given if you just only look at the surface but if you go deep and really. Question the the, first principles, that are at play the. Whole iceberg could flip on its head. Trends. Trends. As a vantage point oftentimes when we hear the word trend our minds go to technology, typically and. You. Know CES. Is one annual. Anecdote, in January all, the big brands are showcasing, their perspectives, on the role of. Machine. Learning deep, learning 5g. And what that's going to provide. Us. Connected. Sorry. Connected. Hardware. In the pervasiveness, of these, devices now seamlessly talking, to one another very. Exciting stuff but. As I navigate those. Hallways I often, question okay what's the human imperative, out of all this what will this mean for real people and real contexts. So. My. Encouragement is when we think about trends, and we talk about trends then we go more holistic and, how. We collect trends, so, one acronym that is quite helpful is the Steep acronym. So. Steep, basically, talks about like let's let's encourage ourselves to collect the full gamut of trends across social. Technological. Economic. Environmental. Political, regulatory. And legal and energy. Related trends, that are infecting our space there's, no space not being affected by these major categories, and, there, could be more categories, that's the plus in the, case of healthcare there might be delivery, model trends so delivery could be a D on the, end of steeped. And we. Curate those trends. Accordingly, and. As. We're looking for signals reading articles following, luminaries, looking at research looking, at startups, all, those things are in forming a distillation. Of what we believe the important trends are for our topic, that we're focused on and. We try to synthesize those, trends, as as. Gradients. As vectors, of change something's, rising something's, increasing, something is fanning out and, we. Try to give it that color because it's gonna definitely guide how we leverage, these trends in our problem-solving. On. Top of the steep rubric there's, also the school of thought around this notion of renewal, so, any new innovation, that comes on the scene and this. Is based on the work of Jeffery Williams out of Carnegie Mellon, but. Basically every, every, new offering, goes through a period where it comes on the scene there's a lot of excitement as we all see but, usually there's a lot of trial and tribulation and early adoption so then there's a period of disillusionment, there's usually a dip or people.
Like Oh this this sucks it's never gonna happen. But. Someone, does eventually figure it out the adoption, starts to happen, and we start to see scale and over. Time something, else comes into the picture which, challenges, the the, previous offering, and so, that offering, matures and eventually retires for, the new thing that comes in its stead and every. Industry, has. What we call these, economic. Time cycles, so, for consumer, tech we, might see innovation cycling, every six months on a very fast clip but. If you're in chemicals. Or paper making, insurance. Or even nuclear some. Of those cycles take years, before, something else is ready to come in and when we talk about innovation and future world building like what timing are we talking about how. Are the variables, lining up in a perfect constellation, to, ensure a greater probability that, that innovation is going to be successful, so, timing is especially critical when we think about is, this really ready for a game time or are, we too early and being honest about that in our, future forecasts. Taking. It even further there's this notion of a probability, funnel, as, we. Forecast, ourselves out in time beyond today, what. Do the next three five 10, fifteen twenty years look like and. We could look at recent movements. And trends, to evoke, a more most, likely path that's ahead of us and in, paint, that future world but. As designers, we. Have to use our dreams to imagine, more. Divergent possibilities. Than just that we, need to expand. Our imagination, into the possible, and even the plausible, even rub up against the boundary. Of science fiction to. Say like what alternative, future landscapes, can we model out to, provide new canvases, for designed experiences. And. We can start to play games with all these like frameworks right we, can actually take two trend vectors that. We believe we're going to be highly impactful, and cross. Pollinate, them together in the case of health care I might cross, pollinate, the. The gradient, between stationary, practices, and practices. Moving to the point of care its mobile solutions, with. How. General, or specialized the care is going to be in the future and just, by cross pollinating those two trend vectors I just, created four quadrants, or four future worlds, that we could contextualize and. This is not about consulting two-by-twos I promise, you there'll be no data line running through this we. Can actually add color we can throw paint and each of those quadrants we can bring to life a world, we. Can we can imagine personas, we can imagine business models we can imagine, supply, chains. Disruptions. Happening. In each of those quadrants, and we, can keep going we can keep cross pollinating, and creating multiple, future, worlds, and we should as designers. Leading that future. Imagination. And the, picture shows, you an example where we took a sea level, leadership. Group through, this exercise and, together we provoked 30 worlds, with them in a day and. What was interesting at the end we. Had them take a step back and say let's. Vote on the worlds that you want to see your brand living, in in ten years and they, voted on six of those thirty future, worlds and that invoked. A whole rich conversation, around actually. You know what those six worlds that we picked. Inform. The capabilities, that we can invest in today to. Prepare for an uncertain future an. Uncertain future that's variant it has these wide possibilities, but at least we know we, want to wring friends reef ring-fence, ourselves, to, live in this region over here.
So. Very very powerful, stuff if we commit to it and, trust the process. Lastly. Exemplars, the last vantage point exemplars. Are purely the living, embodiment of, those trends taking flight. I follow, luminaries, is one example I follow the work of John Maeda and, Mary. Meeker I love, their annual reports where they espouse. Predictions, they question. Uncertainty. They they surface some wild cards that we need to consider and all, those things are useful tools to allow. Us to synthesize, compelling, vectors of change. Research. Groups are also exciting, so, the work of you know MIT Media Lab or Stanford I, mean. This in this case like wearables, what could wearables do and their prototyping. Things that are five to seven years out and provoking. Like the future of what clothing could could, do for us moving forward so if your scarf were to change if you're taking a phone call or your, sweater taps you on the the arm to tell you to move left when you're walking down the street all. Very, interesting stuff and. Then, there's something to be said for putting it for. For getting yourself out there and engaging. With people. Beyond, your immediate company walls. So. Engaging, in conferences, following. Your peers and, similar. Topic areas but perhaps in different industries is also quite helpful, following, startups following, the deal flow the flow of money give. Insights where things are emerging, that can inspire you at work. So. What do we do with all the stuff that we've conjured up Malta just we're a team all these insights flying around what, do you do with it Design. Thinking has been especially helpful to allow us to guide, the whole multidisciplinary, team through that experience of what a creative typically, goes through when. We discover. The extreme so we converge. On an opportunity set and we id8. All the possibilities, for awhile before locking in on the thing that we want to go build and, I. Typically dislike, presenting. Such a clean, linear, picture, of the process we know that's not true, typically, it, tends, to look more like this, this. Is a sketch that I made on the plane a couple years ago where. There's. A lot of just chaos, and anxiety, when you start, any innovation. Opportunity, it's like oh the margin I've been enjoying in my core is four running out I'm. Worried, about disruption, because I have a competitive threat moving at ten times the speed and oh by the way I need to find new sources of gross margin, growth to, inform my profitability, moving, forward and I, need an innovation, capability, that gives me new ideas for growth but. Also with. That the bottom half. We. Have a core business that we need to be mindful of the core business that we need to keep, alive in sustaining. The entire mothership, and, we, need to constantly renew, that core, asset, as well so the idea flow, between innovation. Capability, and the core business is very. Important to nurture so as designers like, where are we in the soup, right. It's very important to understand where you are so.
That Your work can have the right impact and for, us it wasn't enough to just put an iteration on the wall and. Call it good we. Had to explain. The human centered guiding principles, and technological, imperatives, that were informing, that iteration and that, wasn't enough in this world where. Are we where. Are we in the process and what. Feedback, is critical, for. That group to sort of give up and share, so that the designer can go take, another iteration, and, if. We get that wrong we're, wasting a lot of time because we're our. Objectives, and imperatives, are misplaced. So. Through. That experience I. Started. Feeling this growing concern and, I'm my jump task to you, know lead a growing, cohort of designers across each of these different ventures and, I became very worried, about the designers experience, even. Though it's like we had a lot of interest doing great things creating great businesses, but. Sometimes. The perception of design and a multidisciplinary setting, is oh they're the ones that are naturally, good at the post-it notes they're, naturally good on the whiteboard they're. Imagining, they're using our visual language to move the team forward and that. You know we don't mind doing those things those are necessary things to move teams forward, that we are innately pretty, good at inherently. But. As we know there's a lot of deep work that has to happen outside of the team brainstorm, at, your desk out in the field there's a lot of deep work and I, started to write. Articles. About. That very thing and I shined a light, on, like. Where design actually practicing, deep empathy and codifying. That empathy in terms of how products. Are architected. And really establishing, the right guiding principles from from, the jump or, how. Are we actually you. Know mimicking, someone following, through in their shoes and actually, experiencing, the end person's. Realities, by doing it - and calibrating. Our senses of how we can better design for their needs or how. Are we tapping into. Philosophies. That might exist in the humanities, outside of design and ethical, places. Like. Tapping into philosophies, like flow. Tapping. Into Mihai to accept me highs work and how do we help, people find. Their notion, of flow to, unlock their human potential and experience, and, how, do we look at all the different faculties, of ingredients. That are out there to design with, KY. And I were talking earlier about this, case study she shared around you, know this the the notion of designing for the sound, of your car when you step, in and all the different, audio triggers, that you get when you enter a car like.
These Are all these ingredients that we have to be mindful of human. Beings are very central, physical, tactile beings and, we're we can't, only focus, on the interactions, that are happening through, rectangular, viewports, we have to consider the full breadth of ingredients, when, we design against a latent, friction that we find in the market, so. These are the things I started writing about and then I was invited. To share. That message on the Ted stage at a TED event in Milan. In partnership, with BCG, so, I shared what. We call the four super powers of design, you. You can easily google it for super powers of design and sort. Of feel. Out those case studies that we share, to. Get a sense of you, know it's not about the. Design Thinking teaming. Kumbaya. Sort of message, it's no, that's good and all but we need to create space and room, for, us to go deep as experts, and, bring a really good idea back to the team room that, can really galvanize, and, accelerate. The team beyond. Just the brainstorm. And. That. Conviction. That's those sets of convictions. Attracted. More sort of side hustle opportunities, outside of my BC gdv day, job where, entrepreneurs, would reach out and say hey can you help me Kevin. I like your perspective, on this I don't, necessarily want all. Of BC cheese, you, know platform I want just your singular, voice can you help me out with my product, and then, those opportunities started coming up more and more again and it made me kind of question, there's. An opportunity here that maybe hang my own shingle and start my own platform, around these tenants, that I'm starting to believe more and more in and so. April. Of last year I decided to leave, my BCG. Job and start. My company called dreams design in life and really. The the play on branding, is that. The, dreams. Are. Critical. For us to imagine new possibilities, design. Is the medium to bring our visions into reality and, life. Appreciates. The, countries. The. Constraints, where, we need to understand, and empathize and show compassion to design the, right things for the people based on their true, authentic needs, and so. That's the third of the continuum, that has informed the brand and in, terms of how you, know we engage it's, all about breadth and depth it's, not about like a big platform play where you're forced to like absorb. All this stuff. It's like how can we just begin problem-solving, together and being thoughtful around, the opportunity, and go wide, with certain. Capabilities, to bring people in in a multi dysmenorrhea sense but, also go deep once we identified the big nuggets of work that are required and ensure, that we're being very thoughtful in that work and taking, some shared risk and reward and how we arrange those relationships, that's, what my firm is focused, on it's not about just entertaining. Any idea, and opportunity. Out there I want, to collaborate with the right people I want my company to collaborate with the right people so I'm very slow, in the. In the business development of those relationships. One. Example that, venture. That I'm personally, invested in as a co-founder. Investor. And, contributor. I contributed. The Industrial Design for this one it's, a it's a blockchain adventure. Called, kevo and we're. Looking at the space of those. Early, adopters who are starting, to invest more seriously in cryptocurrencies, and there's. Some you know there's some offerings, on the market right now to, allow someone to perform. A air-gapped. Sort of transaction, and record of their crypto. Assets. Not leaving it to, some marketplace to get hacked, so. These devices are starting to become popular. But. There are very arduous you have to manage, manual. See phrases, you have to have. Complicated. Passwords, and keys and if you make a mistake it's really easy to just mess up your whole asset. Mix and and. Regret, the choices that you've made so, as. A as a collective, as now, it's like 15 of us that were working together, we, diverged all the different possibilities of form-factor digital, interaction, user behavior, and. Eventually. Sort of converged, on. This. Better mousetrap, where we're creating a device that offers. Multi-factor. Authentication, and. Essentially. The. Device to records a mirrored copy of that information that cryptid crypto, information. On, to, the carbon key and you, send that carbon key back to kevo who, then works with a third party to put that carbon key in cold storage much like a security safe-deposit, box, so.
If You were to ever lose this device you. Get your carbon key back you get a new device and you're immediately up and running you don't have to worry about like all the, all the manual, friction, that's, involved. In the the, current incarnations, of offerings and. It's, we. Had to think about the form factor - it, had to look. Like something that was more, serious than a USB like stick drive that could break in your bag or get lost, you. Were talking about investors, that are investing, serious, money, in their crypto assets so, they needed a device to match the, emotion. Of that, investment. And. It's, more than just the device we're thinking about the ecosystem so how do we create a future world where we. Take, crypto. Investing, and make it as user. Friendly as a savings account at your regular bank so, we're looking at beneficiary, services, of how, do you like pass on your assets to a loved one, we're. Looking at extensive, coin support for multiple coins and we, of course the coal storage service that I mentioned to store your carbon key to, get restored so it's about the full ecosystem play, for, this offering and we're, taking pre-orders and, we're gonna come, to market with it at the end of this year it. Boils down to the the story that we're trying to tell and the, systemic, element that need to come together to really support that story, to. Bring it forward to its fullest potential. Now. I'm gonna pause here and say that if. You've. Internalized, sort, of how your journey has played out and sort. Of followed along the different analogs of lessons that have been sort. Of shared I am. Quick, to say that I would be lying if I told you that those inflection. Points that I've encountered, were, part of some master plan it clearly was not the case I would be lying if I said that. Serendipity. Was a friend very. Blessed very grateful for those experiences, both the trials to tribulations as well as the successes. But. Honestly, if there are any takeaways I think there are a couple elements that I do would, say that, I would encourage us to think about the, first is I honestly. Believe that curiosity. Was the defining thread through every chapter of my experience, I could. Never go wrong when, I leveraged my curiosity, and, taking, it further, learning. How to take calculated risks. Initially. Small risks, to talk to someone outside, of my ether. Considered. Risks to may be engage in something that that was a stretch for the sake of learning and trust building and evidence, creating and then. Encountering, a big fork in the road where I encountered, a choice for my career and. This. Isn't about like shooting in the dark and trying all kinds of things usually. There's some conviction, running in your heart as well. Ideally. In tune with your dream that you had that's. Guiding, the choices that you make guiding, the explorations, that you're making so. These three, elements curiosity, creative risk and conviction have. Worked tremendously for, for my path and hopefully you can see how, they could play in your path. Because. Hopefully. This presentation gives you permission to dream again if you have if, you've stopped dreaming and, revisiting. Those things that you wrote down I would. HIGHLY encourage you putting energy and so like internalizing. Them and spending a little bit of time every week to flush, them out and. We. Reach individuals on this planet we reach indelible, fingerprints. That are very important, each of you should. Feel like you should have a hand and some license, to shape the future that you want so.
Your Dream. Relates. To the necessary inclusion. Because we need your voice to make our. Better, than what is being, perceived in the media around. Such dystopian, sort of outlooks, we. Can find optimism, hopefully in our dreams again, so. Whether. Your dreams sort of started at a child level. Hopefully. You're still dreaming and they've only since refined, with age and you're, looking forward of the future projection, of yourself and, being. Mindful of the journey that you're on how, are you tracking the, stuff, that you wrote down how are you tracking along that path and, I. Would encourage a couple questions that you should ask yourself like. What if beyond. Just your future projection, like, what future do you optimistically. Want to see ask, a what-if question around that future that you suppose, could, be possible, and then. Like if you include yourself which you should. How. Is your. Journey, going how are you renewing, yourself to better position yourself to have some license, how, are you transforming yourself to position yourself to have a hand in shaping that future because. We need your voice. And. It's funny recently, a friend of mine a dear friend in LA her name is n dia Winslow she's a famous voice-over, artist books, model, advocate. For health and wellness she's, got so many talents all in one person, she. Basically saw some, of my sketches on Instagram and said you know what I want a voiceover to your sketching can we do something together, okay. Sure so we started, like commiserating, and in, over the course of what amounted to a weekend's, worth of work, we. Created a video and. Put it out into the wild with the with the aim of inspiring people to, dream again so. I'll play it for you now. What. Does it mean to dream. Do. We pause to sit still and dream, about the right things. Is. It about what we like to buy is. It about wealth is it about fame. Ha