There's a scene in an episode of old school "Star Trek" when Captain Kirk slams his fist onto a conference table and proclaims, in ham-fisted acting glory, "Risk is our business." Certainly, there is an admitted amount of risk in entrepreneurism and product design. But is risk really our business?
Entrepreneurs and product designers have to get a certain thrill from taking a risk, plunging deep into the unknown. That's why entrepreneurs become startup founders. Why product designers explore wild ideas. Risk is the beginning of the work we do. To get to answers, we have to be risky, examine a variety of concepts no matter how far out they may seem. We have to allow for the possibilities that we may be wrong, that not every idea will lead to a solution. It's opening up the problem rather than closing it down. That's just good Design Thinking.
But there's risk and Risk with a capital "R." Big "R" risk is not doing any research into the market, learning whether your product bridges a needed gap in a market/user fit problem. Or assuming someone will buy your product just because you build it. Like how Eric Reis didn't figure out who would actually use and pay for his first project, which failed completely. That's foolhardy.
We have to take chances, be allowed to fail every once in awhile. But that doesn't mean that we seek complete failure or jump off the edge of a cliff without looking first to see where we're going to land. So yes, risk (lower case "r") is our business. Only in so much that we need to be fearless to get answers quickly and succeed rather than crash and burn.