On Luck

I used to think that the phrase "The harder I work, the luckier I get" was a clever thing to say. Or "Luck favors the prepared mind." But now I'm not so sure. I understand the sentiment of these quotes. You increase your chances of getting lucky the more you put yourself out there. "You've … Continue reading On Luck


From Customer Insights to Product Features

There's a gap in the process that companies use to do product development. Strategic product development emerges from good customer research. The gap occurs because, in many companies, customer research is done by the marketing team. This seems like a great fit because the marketing team has excellent people skills. But there's a problem with outsourcing … Continue reading From Customer Insights to Product Features

Pitching With Empathy

Artists and Inventors spend a good amount of time crafting pitches--short descriptions of something they are working on that includes how that thing addresses a problem for a specific audience or customer. Each pitch should end with asking the listener for something specific that will help move the thing forward. This can be an ask for … Continue reading Pitching With Empathy

A Growth Mindset: Work Smart, Not Hard?

In 2006, Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck published the first edition of her book, Mindset: A New Psychology for Success. In the book, she defines two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Dweck describes a fixed mindset as, "students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain … Continue reading A Growth Mindset: Work Smart, Not Hard?

Engineering, Social Science, and Design

Design is multi-disciplinary. The best design firms employ staff from an array of disciplines and have them work together on projects. Each discipline brings its own expertise and distinguishing them can be confusing. Here's a simple description from the late CMU Industrial Design Professor, Bob Lepper: If it has to do with the relationships between things … Continue reading Engineering, Social Science, and Design

The Tools for Co-Creation and Open Innovation

In 21st-century design manifestos, the terms "co-creation" and "open innovation" abound. Co-creation is the phenomenon of designers designing new products, services, and systems with users and not for users. Open Innovation is the belief that the next big thing could be invented by anyone, from any walk of life, with any level of education. Tools … Continue reading The Tools for Co-Creation and Open Innovation