The design of business

This is an archive of blog post I wrote during my first venture (beginning of 8thcolor).

When you've never created a business, you're in front of a total mystery that you discover and experiment for the first time. But you're not the first, there are a plenty of people that did it before you. And hopefully, among them, they are many sharing their experiences, thoughts, theories or advices. I don't know if it is your case, but me, I'm hungry of all of that shared information. I read them and learn from them as much as possible.

One of my last reads is a book written by Roger Martin: The design of business. Well, I think the title couldn't be more adequate. It's a good start. The book was advised to me by Eric, a friend and a founder of Euranova. Another good point. After reading it, I'm not disappointed at all. Roger Martin explains a very interesting approach of design, especially the one of business. I've found myself in a lot of thoughts, but in a very clear framework. So clear that I'm now able to put the exacts words on my personal stance or formalize my approach of design. If you're interested in the creation of a company, or just in the use of design in your daily professional activities, this is a must read.

The book is easy to read and well structured in 7 chapters. First, Roger Martin introduces the concepts of knowledge funnel and design thinking in business. Naturally, a fresh created company goes through this funnel and grows from innovation to effective and reliable business. He then explains that most of business are run with the reliability bias and finally puts aside validity, i.e. the innovation process. In the third chapter, he argues how design thinking can create true advantages by balancing validity and reliability. In the following chapter, he gives the example of a big company, Procter & Gamble, transforming itself to fully adopt design thinking approach. The fifth chapter allows him to present management solutions in order to adopt, apply and protect a culture of design thinking in an organization. The sixth one is mainly a chapter presenting several real design thinkers. And in the final chapter, Roger Martin explains how you can apply this approach to your work even if your organization doesn't take care about it.

As a software engineer, this approach is for me a true echo to modern techniques of software project management such as Agile methods. Indeed, in a software project, you have to deal with validity and reliability. Even if the problem is an easy one, the validity fully depends on the needs and views of the customer or the user. According to them, you then produce a lot of blueprints that you iterately refines. When validity is met, you make the software as reliable as possible. That means you fix bugs or ergonomy, but also you improve its maintainability in order to make further development or modification easier without destroying everything. As a software designer, the design thinking is then very natural. Moreover, I think an IT company is certainly a place where it has to be applied because of the very changing and competitive nature of the IT market. I'm then convinced enkio should adopt this culture.

If you have any comment, question, or feedback, please share them with me.

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