The cover story of this week’s _Business Week_ is titled [“The Power of Design”][bw]. It focuses on the process and practices of design firm [IDEO], a major competitor of [frog].
For me, it’s an interesting look into the way a competitor does things. I think this article is good for IDEO, obviously, but also good for design in general, by exposing a broader audience to some of the current design best practices (contextual inquiry, rapid prototyping, usability testing), and the real business benefits to be gained from them.
The problem is, the article portrays IDEO as if it is the only company using these practices, which is far from the truth. frog, for example, uses many of the same practices–and some others–and we are not alone. IDEO is portrayed as the 800lb. gorilla in the design industry, while its competitors (including frog) are described as if we really aren’t much competition at all.
This paints a misleading picture of the competitive landscape (IDEO is only slightly bigger than frog, and we regularly compete and win against them), though I’ll concede IDEO is currently winning the PR battle. It stings now, sure, but ultimately this will be good for frog and our clients. Nothing like some strong competition for the “world’s greatest design firm” title to sharpen our focus and create opportunities to innovate internally, improve our processes, practices, and (ahem) our PR.
One thought on “The Power of Design”
I am guessing this blog will improve your PR in someway. I’ve become addicted to the new “transperant” company concept. Even though you mentioned that you will not be talking about the work of frog design, we still get a view into the thoughts of the Chief Technologist.
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