4 Reasons Why Design Is Taking Over Silicon Valley

by | Apr 13, 2015

Design Thinking is being used more and more by innovative companies around the world – including technology companies. In a recent article in Fast Company, John Maeda, design partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, says the fortunes of design are on the rise in Silicon Valley. During a presentation at South By Southwest 2015, Maeda argued that not only is Silicon Valley taking design more seriously; design is actually taking over. Here are four key reasons why the most successful tech companies of the future will really be design companies.

MOORE'S LAW NO LONGER CUTS IT.
Maeda said during his presentation, because "Moore's Law no longer cuts it as the key path to a happier customer" in Silicon Valley. For years, the solution to every problem in tech was to build a faster chip. Now, design—not silicon —is seen as the answer.

START WITH DESIGN, DON'T END WITH IT
With design capturing more and more venture capital dollars, there's a shift occurring in tech. Before, tech companies saw design as something to spray on a product at the end—think of the generic beige case you might slap a desktop PC into, but increasingly, the companies that are making the biggest splash are integrating design into every product from the beginning, like the Nest smart thermostat.

TECH IS NO LONGER FOR TECHIES
There was a time when tech companies didn't have to worry about design, because their audiences were techies, just like them. Not only is that no longer true, but the ubiquity of tech has made user interface and experience design more important than ever before.

DESIGNERS ARE IMPORTANT TO STARTUPS
Designers are key to startups and established tech companies alike, Maeda argues. In startups, early hires heavily influence corporate culture, so bringing in designers on the ground floor is hugely important. That's a fact startups are surely starting to wake up to: designers are now hired at a rate of one to four compared to engineers at tech startups. According to KPCB's talent partner Jackie Xu, this ratio used to be closer to 1:15 or even 1:30.

You can read the entire article here.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

View All Posts

Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

Need help to get your business to the next level?

More related articles on innovation

Share This