Design Think and Design Do! How Does Design Thinking Help Entrepreneurs?

One of the questions that come up during conversations around Design Thinking is how can Design Thinking help Entrepreneurs working with constrained resources. At its core, Design Thinking is an approach used to solve complex challenges, where problems and therefore proposed solutions are not obvious, where you cannot use data or insights to arrive at a single solution. Therefore Design Thinking is extremely useful for Entrepreneurs who are finding solutions for such problems.

Innovation is the driving force for entrepreneurship, but that’s not the only area that Design Thinking can help you in. Growth stage startups struggle with managing workloads of their people, building a creative culture, at the same time being competent in the market. Let’s dive deep into some areas that Design Thinking can be useful for Entrepreneurs.

Find a market/product fit:

The first thing Design Thinking teaches is focus on the user. When you’re trying to design a product for your user, it helps you understand your target user’s needs, pain points, and challenges. It’d help you develop your product/service that is in line with what the user wants. This will help you connect with your target users right away, hook them with the benefits of your product that solves their problems, and help you build a market for yourself. 

If you already have a product/service and are struggling with finding users, you’ll need to Design Think and identify user personas. Again, based on who you’re solving for, you can reap the maximum benefits of Design Thinking if you understand their perspective better.

Build better prototypes:

The best part of Design Thinking is that it’s iterative. Based on the most feasible idea that you’ve picked out, you can build a prototype and keep improving it. Be mindful, when we say prototype, it need not be for product/service. It can also mean for the processes within your organization you’re trying to improve. 

While you might already be following a prototyping model to launch and improve your offerings, Design Thinking helps you hit the sweet spot while building prototypes between – viability, feasibility, and desirability making your prototypes much more efficient.

Solve people related issues:

Entrepreneurs often need to work with limited resources. One employee wears different hats and contributes to the overall growth of the organization. Also, founders need to make sure that there is a match between skills and roles within the organization. While juggling these responsibilities, sometimes managing people can become difficult. This results in challenges which if not solved early on will become crucial obstacles in growth. Therefore, to bring more empathy into practice and solve people issues, Design Thinking can be applied in their startups by entrepreneurs.

Build an innovative culture:

No doubt, design thinking brings out the inner creativity of your employees, but what it also does is make them inquisitive, make them question more. For design thinking to work, one has to unlearn the preconceived notions of what’s obvious and what’s not. It involves going to the root cause of any situation and develop a deeper understanding of why something – a process/product/service is designed and for whom. This naturally, stimulates the logical side of your people and makes them think differently. By participating in a Design Thinking workshop, you’re driving a culture that thrives on creativity and innovation which can do wonders for your growing business.

Entrepreneurs are the people who are pioneering out of box thinking and solving some of the messiest problems out there, and Design Thinking is an approach to help you do it more efficiently. That’s all the more reasons, entrepreneurs should Design Think and Design Do!

Through this series, we attempt to answer some freqently asked questions about Design Thinking in our conversations with the industry. If you have any specific questions about Design Thinking, please write to us on ceeinfo@fiib.edu.in