Category Archives: Design Thinking

Tony Fadell: Stay a beginner to drive change

Tony Fadell NestWhat’s the most powerful technique available to innovators? Observation.

Tony Fadell, the creator of the iPod and Nest thermostat, shared his mantra for innovation at a recent TED conference:

“It’s seeing the invisible problem, not just the obvious problem, that’s important,” Fadell said onstage. “There are invisible problems all around us. First we need to see them. To feel them. Then we can solve them.”

Quick and Dirty Blueprint for Customer Development

customer development

This is a guest post by Jonathan Lau, a growth hacker.

Alright, you’ve got the idea, now how do you quickly and cheaply see if anyone will pay for it? Despite all the hype about new PPC technologies and social media marketing strategies, I have found that for companies starting out, emails and phone calls remain the most effective tools for customer development.

Follow this blueprint for a cheap and easily scalable customer development strategy that people actually respond to.

The work flow is simple:

powerade bottle

Powerade: A case of bad product design

I don’t get these Powerade bottles. They have a ‘security strip’ to hold the lid in place (see strips next to bottle in photo) to make it harder for people to open them. I mean if you’ve been working out and are thirsty, the last thing you want is to ‘waste time’ opening a bottle of Powerade! You want to quench your thirst. This new lid design is not making easier for me to do that.

The lid becomes an obstacle in towards my goal, to quench my thirst.

It’s not intuitive either. I’m not one to read instructions (Which it has on the side. When did we need instructions to open a bottle?!) so it probably took me 30 seconds to a minute to figure out the security strip and then finally open this thing.

Makes me think they never market tested these new bottles. It also makes me think they don’t know who their customer is, athletes.


powerade bottle


Make it easy for people to achieve their desired goal

Great design takes into account a users desired outcome and then removing obstacles from their path in achieving that outcome. If we wanted to ‘make it harder’ (a pain) for people to quench their thirst, Powerade did a great job at doing exactly that.

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