|IDEO's offices. Who wouldn't want to work in this kind of environment?|
Design Thinking at IDEODavid Kelley is the founder of IDEO, one of the most creative companies around today. Kelley is a pioneer of Design Thinking, something we've been talking about recently on Twitter with our pals on #jedchat and #JDSMediaLab, and his company has been employing Design Thinking for the last 20 years. In fact, IDEO is responsible for such inventions as the first mouse for Apple and the standing toothpaste container.
The key values at IDEO are collaboration, "anti-disciplinary" thinking, and, as Kelley puts it, "empathy for the consumer." Groups comprised of thinkers from diverse backgrounds -- computer science, design, journalism, business, etc. -- gather and think about ways to make products that show a true understanding of how consumers use the products they buy and/or interact with. Kelley believes strongly that the way to improve and create products is to observe consumers as they use them. By noticing when a consumer is having a less-than-perfect experience as he utilizes a product, IDEO employees gain knowledge about what to improve or create. See some of IDEO's products here.
The Stanford d.school
Kelley founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, where Stanford students from -- you guessed it -- all different backgrounds and majors can gather and learn about Design Thinking. Steve Jobs, one of IDEO's first and most loyal customers and a good friend of Kelley's, pooh-poohed the idea of Kelley's issuing a degree from something as flighty as a design program, but Jobs was a passionate believer in Kelley and was excited by the idea that Kelley would be teaching Design Thinking to people who were pursuing careers in a variety of fields and who would therefore apply the thinking to those diverse areas.
If you look at the website for the d.school, you'll notice that it has values RealSchool really loves. Who's signing up for the d.school's boot camp with us?
We've posted about Kelley before. Here's his TED Talk about having confidence in being creative: