Designers Are Weak Without Marketing, R&D, and Biz Dev
A friend shared this absolutely great 3 minute recording of John Maeda's interview with IDEO's founder and chairman David Kelley. Maeda asked David Kelley: What is one piece of advice that you would give designers who are now in schools to help them survive in the future? Here is what Kelley had to say:
Listen to 3min Interview w/ David Kelley
Designers Don't Want To Work with Marketing, R&D, Business Dev
Design students, Kelley says, are isolated from what is happening in the world. They are surprised when they get out of school that there are these Head of R&D, Head of Marketing, Head of Business Development roles. There are these people of importance that they need to pay attention to.
Kelley says that when he was a design student he was led to believe that the design discipline was this big mucho thing where designers tend to work and stick with other designers. It's no longer the case. As design takes it's rightful place at the table, Kelley says, designers need to realize that the other seats at the table have value to us.
Other Disciplines Are Good Constraints
If we look at everything as a big design project, those other seats at the table are just constraints on us doing our job. We actually like constrains. Designers pretend they don't like constraints but it's actually easier for us to be creative and innovate when we have constraints, when it's more challenging.
Don't Look At Other Disciplines As The Enemy
Kelley warns designers to not look at other disciplines as difficulties or enemies:
Instead, see them as constraints such as "you have to paint on a particular side of the canvas." We're good at working under such constraints. Such constraints make our work better.
These other disciplines, Kelley says, have not been in our equation for so long. Now that Design has an equal seat at the table it's easier for us to recognize the value of other disciplines and work together.
David's Advice In Action
We gave a great Google Tech Talk a little while ago where we highlighted a real life example of how the design, engineering, marketing, and business functions of our team worked together to build, launch, and improve one of our products.
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