Monthly Archives: November 2016

[Info] The best jobs for your personality type

Written by Richard Feloni and Skye Gould
Published Monday 10 October 2016
Nils Westerlund of Sweden, Sofia Braendstroem of Sweden, Alessandro Contini of Italy  and Emma Rose of Britain (R-L) of the HowDo start-up attend a production meeting at their office at the Wostel co-working space in Berlin March 18, 2013. Europe must urgently tackle youth unemployment, the French, German and Italian governments said May 28, 2013, urging action to rescue an entire generation who fear they will not find jobs. Some 7.5 million Europeans aged 15-24 are neither in employment nor in education or training, according to EU data. Youth unemployment in the EU stood at 23.6 percent in January, more than twice as high as the adult rate. Picture taken March 18, 2013.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTX103SF

Figure out which type suits you best, and then check out the charts below.
Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter
America’s biggest companies have been operating on the assumption for decades that certain personalities correspond to certain jobs, and one of the main tools they’ve used is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test.

It assigns people one of 16 personality types based on how they measure themselves against four criteria — it’s the test where you can find out if you’re an ESTJ or an ISTP. According to statistics from a few years ago, around 80% of Fortune 500 companies use the test, as does the world’s largest hedge fund.

To determine five of the best jobs for every personality, we consulted one of the most popular personality guides based on the Myers-Briggs system, “Do What You Are,” which has sold more than 1 million copies over its five editions, and spoke with one of its authors, Paul Tieger. (Note: The book is not affiliated with the Myers & Briggs Foundation, the company that manages the official MBTI test.)

The job lists aren’t meant to be definitive, but rather serve as a fun way to see how certain occupations attract a particular kind of person.

Figure out which type suits you best, and then check out the charts below.

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider

Image: Skye Gould Business Insider
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[Info] 22 coisas que pessoas criativas fazem diferente. Quem é criativo vai entender a maioria.

Pessoas criativas são diferentes. Você já deve ter percebido que aquele seu amigo que tem umas ideias malucas se diferencia dos outros em muitas características.

Ou melhor, se você for uma pessoa criativa vai entender o que estou falando só de ler os itens a seguir.

O site Just Something levantou 22 características de pessoas criativaspara tentar entender o que as fazem tão especiais… ou pelo menos diferentes.

Se você quer ser um pouco mais criativo, ou atiçar seu raciocínio, talvez seja uma boa seguir essa lista.

1. PESSOAS CRIATIVAS SE INSPIRAM NAS HORAS MAIS IMPROVÁVEIS

A verdade é que ninguém sabe quando a próxima grande ideia vai chegar. Isso também serve para os criativos, mas eles sabem que uma hora a ideia chega. Sem mais nem menos, ela chega.

2. ELES SONHAM ACORDADO

Os criativos podem estar onde quiserem a qualquer momento. Calma, não estou falando de teletransporte. Eles simplesmente se perdem em suas próprias imaginações… e o pior, isso pode acontecer enquanto conversam com você. Faz parte.

Pessoas criativas (11)

Fonte: tumblr.com

3. ELES FICAM ENTEDIADOS FACILMENTE

É impressionante como essas pessoas precisam de estímulos quase que constantes para se manterem ativos e alertas. É muito difícil que consigam prestar atenção em algo que não estão interessados. Déficit de atenção ou não, isso faz parte dos criativos.

4. ELES ENXERGAM O MUNDO COM OS OLHOS DE UMA CRIANÇA

Uma parte deles nunca amadurece e isso talvez seja o real segredo para a criatividade. Eles observam o mundo com os olhos curiosos de uma criança.

Pessoas criativas (10)

Fonte: justsomething.co

5. ELES VÃO FALHAR… ASSIM COMO VÃO TENTAR NOVAMENTE DEPOIS

Criatividade não significa que você está imune a falhas e erros. Assim como as outras pessoas, os criativos também sofrem derrotas na vida… mas o grande segredo é que eles não param em qualquer rejeição. Eles levantam e tentam de novo.

6. ELES ESCUTAM QUE DEVEM ARRUMAR UM TRABALHO DE VERDADE

Muitos criativos não se animam com trabalhos convencionais. Eles querem algo novo, diferente, desafiador… e isso pode ser motivo para sempre ouvir que devem procurar um trabalho de verdade. Meh.

Pessoas criativas (9)

Fonte: coolwebsitedesigns.org

7. ELES SEGUEM SEUS CORAÇÕES

Há quem diga que as pessoas criativas têm uma tendência de assumir mais riscos e não se preocupar com problemas. Isso pode trazer inúmeros desafios, mas também muito mais satisfação.

8. ELES SE PERDEM NO TEMPO

Não há nada mais prazeroso para os criativos do que criar algo que realmente importe para eles. Isso pode fazer com que esqueçam de comer, beber e até dormir. Quando as ideias fluem, nada mais importa.

Pessoas criativas (8)

Fonte: crystalkidbabyshark.com

9. ELES TRABALHAM QUANDO OS OUTROS ESTÃO DORMINDO… E DORMEM QUANDO OS OUTROS ESTÃO TRABALHANDO

Os horários convencionais não se encaixam na agenda dos criativos. Eles fazem as coisas quando é melhor para eles.

10. ELES ENXERGAM OPORTUNIDADES ONDE OS OUTROS VEEM DIFICULDADES

A maioria dos criativos sabem que o copo está meio cheio.

Pessoas criativas (7)

Fonte: emlii.com

11. ELES SE APAIXONAM POR SUAS CRIAÇÕES EM UM DIA E NO OUTRO AS ODEIAM COMO NUNCA ANTES

Isso é um mistério, mas há algo que deixe os criativos inconstantes sobre seus trabalhos.

12. ELES ODEIAM SUAS CRIAÇÕES EM UM DIA E NO OUTRO ESTÃO COMPLETAMENTE APAIXONADOS POR ELAS

Assim como o #11. Uma loucura.

Pessoas criativas (6)

Fonte: flickr.com

13. ELES SÃO HUMILDES E ORGULHOSOS AO MESMO TEMPO

Pessoas criativas sempre estão dispostas a aprender, mas são extremamente orgulhosos quando se trata de suas ideias.

14. ELES ESTÃO SEMPRE À PROCURA DE NOVAS FORMAS DE SE EXPRESSAR

A busca por novidades nunca para. Qualquer que seja o criativo, ele sempre vai procurar (e encontrar) novas formas de expressar o que pensa e sente.

Pessoas criativas (5)

Fonte: whicdn.com

15. ELES PROCRASTINAM

Eles vão cumprir horários e entregas, mas é provável que tudo fique para o dia anterior. Ou para as últimas horas.

16. ELES VEEM O OUTRO LADO DA MOEDA

Os criativos sempre observam situações de diferentes pontos de vista.

Pessoas criativas (4)

Fonte: emlii.com

17. ELES NÃO GOSTAM DE LIMITES

Regras e limites, definitivamente, não foram feitas para criativos. É por isso que algumas vezes eles são vistos como rebeldes.

18. ELES NÃO COSTUMAM GOSTAR DE NÚMEROS

Tente obrigar pessoas criativas a estudar matemática e veja como eles odeiam números.

Pessoas criativas (3)

Fonte: francoisebertieaux.be

19. ELES SÃO GRANDES OBSERVADORES

Qualquer coisa pode servir de inspiração para os criativos, por isso estão sempre observando pessoas e situações. Até os mínimos detalhes.

20. ELES ESTÃO SEMPRE BUSCANDO NOVAS EXPERIÊNCIAS

Fugir da rotina é uma ótima maneira de se manterem motivados. Lembra do #3?

Pessoas criativas (2)

Fonte: jornaldoempreendedor.com.br

21. ELES RECOMEÇAM TUDO DE NOVO

O recomeço não é um medo de pessoas criativos. Se algo não está bom, recomeçar tudo de novo de um jeito melhor não é um problema.

22. ELES AMAM

Eles amam a vida, as pessoas, os animais, a natureza… eles amam tudo que é belo e puro. O amor dos criativos pela vida é contagiante e realmente pode transformar relacionamentos. Fique próximo de pessoas criativas, eles vão fazer sua vida um pouco mais interessante.

Pessoas criativas (1)

Fonte: youthvoices.net

Essa lista foi feita para pessoas criativas, mas eu digo que também é para aqueles menos criativos, porque no fim todos nós somos criativos. Cada um a sua maneira. 😉

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[Info] The Artificial Intelligence Behind Google Translate Recently Did Something Extraordinary Those translations aren’t making us laugh as much as they used to.

By Justin Bariso, Founder, Insight
CREDIT: Getty Images

As someone who lives between two countries, I’ve relied heavily on machine translation for a number of years. It took me years before I could communicate casually with my in-laws (they’re fluent in German and Polish, but not English), without my wife serving as an interpreter. (I don’t need to tell you how dangerous that can be.)

I realize that nothing beats a skilled human translator. But who has time (or money) to hire a person to translate simple, everyday tasks?

That’s why I’ve always been amazed at computer-aided translation, specifically Google Translate.

True, in its earlier days, Google Translate could spit out some pretty laughable, if not completely unintelligible, nonsense in an attempt to convert a message from one language to another. But generally, most of its attempts were helpful.

In recent times, I noticed the quality of these translations steadily improving. Nowadays, I can literally copy and paste a pretty advanced technical document (or God forbid, a letter written in German legalese), and the translation is remarkably good–at least as good as a human translator’s first draft.

Google is consistently at the head of the pack when it comes to A.I. and algorithm-based learning, and Translate’s no exception. The program generates translations using patterns found in huge amounts of text, discovered through millions of documents that have already been translated by humans. As time goes on, the program recognizes more and more patterns, receives input from real people, and continues to refine its translations.

What’s New

Then, recently, something really exciting happened.

As reported by technology blog Tech2:

“In September, Google switched from Phrase-Based Machine Translation (PBMT) to Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) for handling translations between Chinese and English. The Chinese and English language pair has historically been difficult for machines to translate, and Google managed to get its system close to human levels of translation by using bilingual people to train the system … Google planned to add GNMT for all 103 languages in Google Translate. That would mean feeding in data for 103^2 language pairs, and the artificial intelligence would have to handle 10,609 models.

Google tackled this problem by allowing a single system to translate between multiple languages … When the translation knowledge was shared, curious Google engineers checked if the A.I. could translate between language pairs it was not explicitly trained on before. This was the first time machine based translation has successfully translated sentences using knowledge gained from training to translate other languages.”

In other words, Google Translate’s A.I. actually created its own language, to enable it to better translate other languages.

Wow.

So, when was the last time you used Google Translate? If it’s been a while, I suggest you give it another try.

Because those results aren’t as funny as they used to be, but they’re a lot more useful.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
PUBLISHED ON: NOV 28, 2016

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[Info] OS BICHOS CORPORATIVOS MAIS INSUPORTÁVEIS DAS REUNIÕES DE TRABALHO

ilustração animais-veja Site

(Arte: Rubens Gomes)

Ao longo de um mês de trabalho, o profissional brasileiro faz aproximadamente dezesseis reuniões. Isso mesmo: praticamente uma a cada dois dias. Claro que isso é uma média, diria até que bem conservadora. Conheço empresas onde os principais executivos passam boa parte do dia trancados nesses encontros, sendo que boa parte deles são totalmente improdutivos, por não terem objetivos claros. O exagero do recurso e o descontrole permitem a proliferação de profissionais que ninguém sabe direito o que fazem na estrutura, mas vivem bufando entre os andares, de laptop na mão, rumo ao próximo compromisso dentro da firma. A seguir, listei alguns tipos da fauna corporativa que proliferam nas reuniões:

O TIGRE DE REUNIÃO. É o rei do encontro. Quando abre a boca, possui ideias e soluções para tudo. Quem não o conhece fica intimidado com tamanha eloquência. Ele nunca perde a oportunidade de interromper os colegas para demonstrar que tem algo a dizer sobre qualquer assunto, do problema dos custos das impressoras da firma à crise de refugiados da Europa. Quando termina o encontro, o Tigre de Reunião entra em estado de hibernação. É incapaz de tirar do papel qualquer das sugestões que apresentou. Só acorda na hora da próxima reunião.

O AMIGO DA ONÇA. Seu departamento está longe de fazer as metas do ano? O sujeito finge que o negócio não é com ele e, na frente de todos, promete cobrar os subordinados. Qual o status daquele projeto importante do setor que ele chefia? Sua resposta padrão: “Vou mandar um email ao meu time para saber em que pé o negócio está”. Faz isso sem nunca ficar corado.

A HIENA HARDY. A exemplo do bichinho do desenho, anda com uma nuvem carregada sobre a cabeça. Ó vida, ó dor… É o reclamão do escritório. Nunca faz críticas construtivas. Só abre a boca para dizer que nada vai dar certo ou que aquela ideia já foi tentada inúmeras vezes, sem sucesso…

O MACACO SABIDO. Os colegas de reunião fazem parte de seu show. Não importa o tema do encontro. Quando pede a palavra, é certo que vai se gabar dos seus projetos concluídos. Na fauna corporativa, no entanto, só o burro não desconfia dos números e dados que o Macaco Sabido costuma apresentar atestando o “sucesso” de sua área.

O BICHO-PREGUIÇA. Chega sempre 15 ou 20 minutos atrasado. Além de desrespeitar quem foi pontual, obriga os colegas a repassar os tópicos que havia perdido.

O JACARÉ DIGITAL – Como um réptil na lagoa, fica imóvel, sem dar palpites a maior parte do tempo. Porém, ao observarmos com atenção, percebemos que ele fisicamente está na reunião, mas acompanha as ultimas noticias no tablet, os e-mails no celular, e, mais recentemente, seus grupos de WhatsApp pelo smartphone.

O POLVO GUARDA CHUVA – Parece ter mais braços que o restante do time. Fala de quase dez assuntos ao mesmo tempo, com dez pessoas diferentes. Mas dificilmente se aprofunda na pauta da reunião.

O PAVÃO HIGH TECH –  Participa da reunião com a asa aberta a maior parte do tempo e um ar de superioridade, usando pencas de termos de TI e jargões de tecnologia que ninguém consegue entender.

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[Info] Teaming up with another company? How to make it work, according to research

Written by Josh Brown Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Published Monday 28 November 2016
 Emma Rose of Britain (L) and Nils Westerlund of Sweden work in the office of the HowDo, a "how-to-do-it-yourself" app,  start-up at the Wostel co-working space in Berlin March 18, 2013. Europe must urgently tackle youth unemployment, the French, German and Italian governments said May 28, 2013, urging action to rescue an entire generation who fear they will not find jobs. Some 7.5 million Europeans aged 15-24 are neither in employment nor in education or training, according to EU data. Youth unemployment in the EU stood at 23.6 percent in January, more than twice as high as the adult rate. Picture taken March 18, 2013.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTX103SC

Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Alliances between companies can be risky, but managers can work to ensure the best outcomes from these strategic partnerships. A new study offers a roadmap for companies looking to team up without taking a wrong turn.

“Too often firms, especially small ones, rush into an alliance haphazardly without asking key questions about which partners make the most sense, how an alliance should be structured, and what is the exit strategy for when an alliance is no longer productive,” says Frank Rothaermel, chair of business and professor of strategy and innovation in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business.

Rothaermel has spent years examining thousands of research and development alliances forged between firms in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other industries to understand what makes those partnerships work. Time after time, it came down to several key steps.

First and foremost: Picking the right partner. Before rushing to join forces, companies should take a step back and ask, ‘Are we right for each other?’

“Managers shouldn’t assume that the partnership will be beneficial based on a loose understanding of the other firm’s goals and experience,” Rothaermel says.

Potential alliance partners should be evaluated based on whether they contribute strategic value and complement the firm’s existing portfolio of partnerships, write the researchers.

Rothaermel and coauthor Ha Hoang, a professor of management at ESSEC Business School in France, highlight partnerships Tesla Motors Inc. forged with automakers Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. to help bring its electric cars to market. While Daimler helped Tesla with a cash investment and engineering expertise, Toyota provided the electric carmaker with access to an automobile manufacturing plant. More recently, Tesla added a partnership with Panasonic to their portfolio to build the Gigafactory to produce lithium-ion batteries.

When negotiating the terms of a new partnership, larger companies would be wise not to rush to leverage their size to achieve an unfair deal for the smaller company.

“Negotiators who focus on capturing the lion’s share of the potential value at the expense of their partner run the risk of undermining the alliance and seeing little in actual gains,” the researchers write.

Other steps are also essential, such as ensuring all partners stay on the same page operationally in a bid to head off potential problems. Another crucial part of the process: knowing when and how to call it quits.

“One executive we interviewed admitted that the lack of an exit plan left his company at a loss for what to do when a larger partner terminated their four-year partnership,” the professors write.

And finally, diversify. Just like an investment portfolio, rather than relying on one key partnership, build alliances with multiple firms to lessen the impact if one partner jumps ship.

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[Info] 5 Things I Learnt as a Designer at LEGO

Jonathan Bree 🚀Follow Industrial design, UX, product strategy and startups. Maker. London. Nov 17

At 5am on a cold, misty morning, my plane tumbled to a stop in a strange land where I didn’t speak a word of the language. I was about to embark on one of the best (and most bizarre) adventures I’d had so far — working as a designer at LEGO HQ in Denmark.

I was fresh-faced, just a few weeks after finishing university, and about to be thrown into the deep end of my first real design job.

Over the course of my time there, I would work on a secret project, a real life ‘LEGO House’ — a 12,000 square meter new spiritual home for the cult brand, standing 23 meters tall. The ‘House’ was to be filled with slightly surreal digital and physical experiences showing the values and future vision for LEGO.

The LEGO House in progress, construction expected to be completed in the latter half of 2017.

That sink-or-swim experience influences much of my approach today. Here are the top five things I picked up in between all of the pickled herring, liquorice-flavoured everything, and hygge*.

*Don’t ask.

1 — Every point of the experience matters

Often as a designer or entrepreneur, the focus is on the product, testing learning and shipping — however, the product is merely one piece of the experience puzzle. Where are the users when they interact with it? What were they doing before? How did they discover it? What will they do after? These are all part of the broader product experience. Every product, whether it may seem like it or not, is a service of some kind, and needs to be considered holistically within the user’s journey.

At LEGO, the approach is to actually map the experiential journey that the product or service will exist within and seek to understand how that can be made better.

Below is one of the tools LEGO uses to plot the user’s mood across the various touch-points of the journey, diving into how the user feels and their situation at any one moment.

Every pain point is an opportunity to be won or wasted, and can add to the product experience… or easily subtract from it.

2 — Build play in

For a product to be truly sticky, it needs to be more than functional, connecting on an emotional level — to be a joy to use… like, actually fun.

Of course, this doesn’t mean throwing unnecessary animations in left, right and centre. The user’s path to completing a goal within the product should never be impeded by pointless fluff, but there are always novel ways to accomplish a task or fun elements can be embedded into the experience.

This is a key part of the LEGO philosophy; embed little surprising moments of play into everything. Although perhaps this isn’t surprising for a toy company. However, this approach is now being applied in markets where it wouldn’t have in the past — take the popular example of Slack, which sits in the ever so lively enterprise communication space… with other fun products like… Lync and Yammer. At the end of the day, any product will be used by real people, so building small moments of delight (what designer Oki Sato calls ‘!’ moments) can be the difference between success or sighs.

Some nice examples:

Product Hunt tells you to go to bed if you’ve been browsing too long. Credit: Muzli

When Google Chrome can’t connect to the internet, users can pass the time playing a tree-hopping dinosaur game until they’re reconnected. Credit: omgchrome
If you click MailChimp’s high five hand too many times, it starts to turn red. Credit: Little Big Details

3 — Think with your hands, not just your head

Make it real. At LEGO, I had the pencil snatched out of my hand and was told – don’t sketch it… build it.

You can perceive the form and functionality of anything so much better once you make it more tangible, and realising something in physical form is one of the best ways of doing this.

Foam models and paper prototypes may seem crude and childlike next to CAD or wire-framing tools, but absolutely nothing beats sense-checking in the real world — the sooner something can be tested, the sooner it can be improved. Something that is astoundingly obvious when you are holding a physical model in your hand and trying it out may be completely lost in the 2D world of a computer screen or on paper.

Get it off the paper.

4 — Don’t be afraid to dismantle to find a better way

Sometimes the only way to fix something… is to take it apart and start again.

When something doesn’t work, it is all too easy to try to fall into the trap of simply fixing it, which will get you back on track as quickly as possible. But this misses the real opportunity, which is to actually re-build with a new understanding of the previous design’s weaknesses.

Just as with making something out of LEGO; it’s always quicker to create something a second time, because your understanding of it runs a little deeper. You know where the awkward parts are, so you can change your approach.

Although it can seem crazy or painful to start again or intentionally break apart something that you put time into creating, the end result will be all the better for it.

5— Simplicity is strength

In the same way that Twitter’s famous 140 character limit frees people from the burden of producing a masterpiece, (and led to significant growth in its early years) LEGO frees people to build quickly, effectively — but most importantly, roughly.

Roughly? Lower fidelity lowers the barrier to entry — everyone can try and anyone can succeed. There is no wrong way to connect simple plastic bricks, and no wrong way to tweet. It is a playground safe from failure. It is much in the same way that many are hesitant to draw in front of a group or are put off by the pressure of a blank page (just think about how often you hear the phrase: “but I can’t draw!”). Whilst drawing may offer more scope and depth, there also comes the perception that someone can miss the mark… creating a subconscious barrier to entry.

Less allows for more.

6 — Allow the plan to change

Yep, I know… I said 5 at the start. But sometimes you have to be prepared to change the plan or break the old structure when it no longer fits or works the given task. Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you are about to create or what the outcome will be, and that’s ok. Let the plan change.

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[Info] Ideo, Astro, And Whipsaw: What Every Startup Should Know About Design

 DIANA BUDDS 05.31.16 7:00 AM

At Highway1, a design accelerator based in San Francisco, startups have four months to transform a prototype into a market-ready product, develop a business plan, create a brand identity, and craft a manufacturing strategy. To ease the process, Highway1 pairs the young entrepreneurs in the program with seasoned pros from top design consultancies.

The startups that made it into the 2016 class—entrepreneurs have to apply to be part of the program—included Blumio, a medical device company that worked with Whipsaw on a blood pressure monitor; OBE, the maker of a wearable virtual reality controller, which received input from Astro; Sensassure, a senior-care company that worked with Ideo to develop a urinary incontinence product; and Calliope, a water-conservation company, which was paired with industrial designer Scot Herbst of Herbst Produkt Design.

We asked Ideo, Whipsaw, Astro, Scot Herbst, and Highway1 about their best advice for startups, the most meaningful advice they were ever given, and other words of wisdom for startups that want to hatch the next great product.

CLARK SCHEFFY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IDEO SAN FRANCISCO

While the team at Sensassure had a great idea to help a population underserved by design—they developed a urinary incontinence product for seniors—they didn’t have much industrial design experience, which is where Ideo came in to help. Clark Scheffy shares his thoughts on universal design and solutions to the most common design challenges he’s encountered with startups.

A startup’s branding should be able to outlive its first product:
“We often work with teams that have a fantastic bit of engineering. But a product is more than what something can do. It’s about communication, delight, and something people aspire to use and will fall in love with. This means collaborating closely as a team to design how the brand will come to life for users. Most teams appreciate this, but in some cases, we’ve heard ‘Oh we already bought a logo.’ In general, we’ve found that companies big and small are most successful when their vision is shaped from the inside out versus from the outside in. It feels much more authentic and ownable when the approach to design is truly holistic. From the tone of a company’s story, to the visual presentation of prototypes, and even business cards, they’ll tell us how good it felt to show up aligned at investor meetings.”

Keep feature creep in check:
“We’ve been in situations with teams where we challenge them on their idea and ask whether it could perform a certain function, and they will answer, ‘Oh, yeah, it could do that, too.’ Pretty soon the idea has grown 10 new possible scenarios for the user experience and a lack of clarity on the one thing it will do incredibly well. Teams out there need to get engaged with users, build and get feedback on a lot of prototypes, and narrow their idea to the one thing their product will do that no one else’s can, and then be able to say it in a single sentence. In other words, create a clear value proposition—and design the proof of that proposition into the product. For the great new companies of our day, that is very clear—push a button, get a car; rent someone’s apartment like you would a hotel room.”

Know your audiences:
“In an era saturated with early-stage companies that are building convenience-based apps for their peers, Sensassure is working in quite possibly the least sexy and most human centered of spaces—aging and urinary incontinence. Not many 20-somethings are genuinely excited about solving for that but this team was. To better understand their environment, they physically moved into a retirement home for the better part of a year. They learned and considered the entire system, building incredible empathy and trust with their stakeholders, caregivers, and users—elderly adults—along the way. We wanted to work with them for that reason alone. They immediately struck us as an incredibly talented team who were coachable and had endeavored to deeply understand their user in the search to improve their lives.”

Universal design doesn’t mean lowest common denominator:
“A lot of ‘universal design’ has seemed to result in ‘that medical look’ that we all know and probably don’t really love. Putty-colored plastic, blue buttons, rounded corners. In our experience over the years, we’ve seen some really good concepts turn really awful in the pursuit of universal design principles applied ad hoc. It has come to mean, ‘If you see me with this object, I’m sick.’

“Usability is incredibly important, but that shouldn’t mean designing to the lowest common denominator of an experience. And just physical usability doesn’t take into account the emotional experience of an aging person or someone with a medical condition, and how the joy of using an object, or the invisibility of using an object might also be part of the solution. What if eyewear, a common solution for those with impaired vision, were designed with universal design principles?

“If we approached senior care like we approach every other type of design, we allow for the idea that there are many, many different kinds of people out there—many of whom are aging—and they deserve interesting and delightful experiences just like everyone else.”

On the best advice he’s received:
“Jim Yurchenco, who led Ideo’s early engineering team said, ‘Don’t settle for finished in the pursuit of good. Don’t settle for good in the pursuit of excellent.'”

NORIO FUJIKAWA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, AND BRETT LOVELADY, FOUNDER, ASTRO STUDIOS

Astro Studios worked with the startup OBE to develop a wearable virtual reality controller for gaming. Their collaboration yielded a sharp-looking jacket fitted with sensors that translate natural gestures and movements in the physical world to the virtual environment. Below, Norio Fujikawa and Brett Lovelady share their thoughts on designing wearables and for VR—two fast-growing design categories.

When it comes to VR, think about transitions:
“Time and again at Astro, we see amazing technological advancements in VR, but the applications to create total immersion are the most compelling aspects of VR and one of the biggest challenges,” Fujikawa says. “A truly immersive experience allows a user to shut out their real surroundings, to disregard what is happening around them, to transport them to a new virtual space. However, we are still real people once you shut down the system, remove the headset, and put down the controllers. We still have a physical existence outside the imaginary world of the machine. And the setup and transition times between worlds isn’t smooth or optimized yet. VR is currently a device- or technology-driven experience. If VR truly evolves to the next level of interaction it promises to be, the way we interact needs to evolve as well. And this is where OBE comes in.”

User confidence is an essential part of the experience:
“[Designers should] continue to push what we mean by wearable technology and not think of it as just a tool that we strap to our bodies,” says Lovelady. “Beyond the reality of fashion and comfort, people have to feel confident and not foolish for things they apply to their bodies, especially in social or public settings. There’s a reason most people don’t wear Bluetooth earphones—and it’s not the utility or technology, it’s the social stigma.”

Think about seamless utility:
“Most wearables must provide some level of utility to offset the hassle, awkwardness, or redundancy of using them in the first place,” Fujikawa says. “The more seamless, embedded, easy to use and to maintain a wearable, the longer the product will stay relevant and useful.”

On the best advice received:
“Design is point of view applied to enable the hopes and dreams of people, and our job as designers is to ultimately improve the human condition, to be the advocate for people, near and long term,” Lovelady says. “Regarding business, design is not art. It’s a commercial endeavor. So whatever you’re designing, build it to sell it. Otherwise YOU bought it.”

DAN HARDEN, PRESIDENT/CEO/PRINCIPAL DESIGNER, WHIPSAW

Whipsaw consulted with the startup Blumio to develop a wearable blood pressure monitor that uses sensors as opposed to uncomfortable air pressure (like what your doctor uses). Below, Dan Harden dispenses tips on what makes for a strong wearable.

Design for a disappearing act:
“A good wearable product experience is when it just ‘goes away’ because it’s so comfortable you forget it’s on, like your favorite T-shirt. Since wearables are on your body they are fashion statements that speak volumes about who you are, so design is key. If that wearable provides valuable health data, like blood pressure, a meaningful experience is also when it delivers valuable instant information that you can trust and act on.

“Blood pressure is the single best indicator of general health, however blood pressure monitoring devices are cumbersome and uncomfortable. Blumio had conceived of a new type of monitor that used small radar sensors to measure blood pressure instead of the conventional air-pump cuff that squeezes the arm. The biggest design challenge for us was how to configure this new technology into a form factor and usability model that end users would appreciate, and that would define this new product paradigm. Our design solution is a seamless fabric armband that has a pocket at the end, which contains a thin and flexible electronic sensing unit. To separate the electronic unit from the armband for cleaning, the armband strap grommet pulls apart like a snap to access the electronic unit. When Blumio is on you barely notice it, but if you want to show it off, it sure looks cool.”

On the best advice he’s received:
“When I was interning with the renowned designer George Nelson he told me, ‘Don’t design more junk; the world already has enough.’ Hartmut Esslinger of Frog Design often told me in his thick German accent, ‘Just do eet.’ This was before Wieden & Kennedy coined that slogan for Nike, and it was his way of saying don’t overthink things, trust your intuition, and take bold risks.”

SCOT HERBST, PARTNER, HERBST PRODUKT DESIGN

Industrial designer Scot Herbst of Herbst Produkt Design—a consultancy that’s worked with Logitech, the Home Depot, Clorox, Crate & Barrel, and CB2—advised two companies in the 2016 Highway1 class: Calliope, a residential water monitor, and Cocoon Cam, a wellness monitor and camera for babies. Here’s what he thinks all startups should know.

Hunt for potential flaws and iterate after you find them:
“For us it all boils down to this one cardinal rule: Be self critical. Don’t be afraid to question your product or idea. You should constantly be trying to find the holes in your thinking, and the ways your innovation can be simplified. If you don’t find the flaws then investors or customers will. Innovators and designers should be careful not to become so committed to a path or a specific execution that they cloud their judgment. Great innovation is guided by a constant stream of incremental pivots that reflect a fluid thought process.”

Strength comes in numbers:
“Even more important than a great idea is a great team! If you have the right heads on a problem, and the right chemistry, you can’t lose. The power of the group dynamic is so critical to the successful outcome of any idea.”

Don’t design for an oversaturated market:
“Please. Dear God. No more fitness tracking. Just stop the madness. Dare I suggest: If you really want to be healthier, step away from technology.”

Best advice received:
“Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, always says: ‘The smartest person in the room isn’t the one who knows everything . . . it’s the one who knows what he or she doesn’t know.’ I always appreciated that because so much of entrepreneurship is not being afraid to do things yourself and get your hands dirty, but equally important is knowing when it’s time to delegate and defer to others who have deeper skills in some areas. The lone genius is a myth in the product world.”

BRADY FORREST, VP OF HIGHWAY1

Brady Forrest has seen a number of companies come through Highway1 (close to 70 since the accelerator’s first class in 2013). Below he shares advice on how startups can get off the ground.

Ask for feedback early and often:
“Getting customer validation and making sure you are building the right thing is incredibly important. Too often founders have a vision that doesn’t match a customer need. They need to let their initial idea be shaped by customer feedback and usage. Startups need to give their prototype, even at early stages, to others to try. And then they need to accept the user feedback and incorporate it as they iterate on their product. It will ensure they build the right product, and a product that people love to use. I constantly meet founders who are afraid to give their prototype to anyone to try. Waiting until you have a final product to conduct user testing is too late.”

Court the right industrial designer:
“The selection of an industrial designer is incredibly important to the future of your company, because they become a partner in product development. Startups will form relationships with designers and will continue working with them as the product is refined and makes its way to market. The relationship might even carry on to future products.”

Know your goals—and what it will cost to achieve them:
“Our number one goal is to help startups turn their idea into a business and their prototype into a product. A big part of this is figuring out what their key product and business development milestones are and then determining how much funding or revenue they will need to meet them. For the startups to attract investment, they need to show investors a well-developed “looks like, works like” prototype and customer validation or traction.”

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