Desirable, technically possible and economically viable

I frequently find myself in a state of simultaneous dismay and delightful admiration about the end product of designers.”

I joined this assertion of Don Norman to one of the major problems related to the ideas, innovation and entrepreneurs, and that is – To be able to create a balance between the desirable, feasible and economically viable. And this is often a mix of emotions that accompany people on the path that an idea has to go through until it is actually a case of work done.

What causes this mix of dismay and delight?

Designers are trained as craftspeople, without any substantive knowledge of the content areas in which they do their work. My dismay comes from their lack of understanding and by the confidence with which they proclaim masterful solutions to the world’s problems. They often produce innovative, clever solutions, but with no evidence that they have actually addressed the most critical parts of the problem or that their solutions actually work. They are often unaware that others have toiled with those issues for decades, that the problems are deep and profound, and that no single approach, no matter how brilliant, will suddenly solve all the issues.

On the other hand, this very lack of knowledge can produce profound insights that lead to advances in understanding, hence my delight. Having too much knowledge can lead to following the failed footsteps of those who preceded you.”

On the other hand, this lack of knowledge can produce profound reflections that lead to advances in understanding, hence my joy. Have a lot of knowledge can lead to failed follow in the footsteps of those who have preceded you.”

“Why not start off with a wide range of unconstrained ideas, then together with the sound specialists, refine the result to be both graceful and effective?”

Many of the people who want to transform their idea into a business on its own initiative seek to do soon the assumption that they dominate all the aspects of the process beyond and are convinced they have the skills needed for it.

The truth however is tougher than the dream and requires a lot of work and a lot of collaboration in an environment of diversity and adversity.

The approach of the most critical parts of a problem and verification of functionality of things are two important aspects referred by Don Norman as lacking in the innovative production of designers.

However when we talk about business it fundamental that we are were that “Innovation needs to happen at the intersection of desirability, viability, and feasibility.  These three elements make up the legs of a proverbial stool called “it’ll work in the world.”  Too many innovation initiatives focus on only one or two, much to their detriment.  For example, creating something without regard for its feasibility out in the world is not unlike designing a bridge without regard to the existence of gravity: it might work, but the likelihood of it being a reliable, safe, means of transport will be greatly diminished.  And while it might be tempting to “really be creative” by ignoring constraints, a wiser approach is to view constraints as liberating.”- Diego Rodriguez

This concern of crossing the desirable with what is technically feasible and economically viable reminds me of an initiative that I have taken a few years ago, with a family legacy in the cosmetics industry.

I had desired products and the technical capacity to produce and new ideas as well as some capital and enthusiasm. Everything ran serenely (perhaps too much) until arise constraints and adversities arise my domain.

Then I checked how much interdisciplinarity and collaboration are so important when we talk about in the implementation of our projects.

Now looking back I think it is easy to identify what was missing and that Graham Hill in a very clear and surgical way calls to attention in a comment on “Starting up a Start-up. How to start a service design business? “:

“Starting a business brings with it many challenges. Jess lays out some of the many human challenges involved in his excellent response. He also mentioned – but didn’t elaborate on – perhaps the most important thing of all, namely, do you have a viable BUSINESS MODEL. Unless you have a viable business model, no amount of marketing, salesmanship or consulting skills will get your business off the ground.”

The lack of knowledge can produce profound reflections, as Don Norman said, but can also bring failure, I say.

It is true that no single approach can suddenly solve all the problems and that’s why it is good to remember:

Creativity and design thinking is nothing without a business model to take the ideas generated to market. And a willingness to get out of the building as soon as possible to test the ideas.Graham Hill

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One Response to Design Thinking- Dismay, delightful admiration and business model

  1. Hayk says:

    Feasibility, desirability and viability are the three pillars, but unless they stand on the foundation called business model, there is a slim chance of synthesis or even a concert.

    Historically, breakthroughs/inventions in science, tech and art happened mostly via serendipity, ignorance and malcalculation. But their systematization, expansion and going mainstream happened and was filtered through the three pillars+business model..

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