Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby iab » January 10th, 2013, 12:52 pm


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Mr-914 wrote:Seriously though, I think passion is just the fuel to great design. I can design anything, but I know that my first ideas will be only surface deep and lack direction. It's being driven enough to keep chipping away at the problem and keep trying to increase the understanding of the problem that makes a great design. Sometimes, this is limited by the client (no money or time). Sometimes, it's limited by the designers ability to work efficiently (burn through the bad ideas fast enough to get to the good ones).


For me, that requires a paycheck. I certainly am not passionate about most anything I have professionally designed. I have only bought 1 product out of all of the ones I designed. And that was a pregnancy test. And in that case, a positive can be a positive or a negative. That certainly throws a wrinkle into its design.

For me, it's all about being professional in the use of my time to accomplish the "great" design (please note the irony of me posting this during business hours). And I couldn't agree more about the time needed. That was the issue I had with the one time I worked with ideo. They flew in, did some 50,000 foot fluff, and then flew out. They, atmo, did not do the due diligence to determine anything much beyond regurgitating what the client told them in the first place. I can't really blame ideo, they were likely on a slim budget. Or their hourly was huge, god bless them.

While that is only an anecdotal experience, my point is it takes a tremendous amount of time to determine how to change behavior. There is no quick panacea. I am currently working on a 160-year-old problem that has not wielded a solution to change behavior to date. But we have taken that 160 years of knowledge, and used it as a guide for a potential solution. It may launch in 2014, it may not.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby no_spec » January 10th, 2013, 4:47 pm


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I disagree with Yo's implication - that a great designer can create a great solution to any design problem.
Yes, "Design is Design" but thats a broad generalization with limits, and we're talking ab0ut the limits of IDEO ...

With the exception of pure styling excersizes, I still say Talent + Experience = great results. if no experience Talent alone won't make up the difference. Said designer would exceed the time/resources constraints. and vice versa .
(I work with engineers that are fond of saying they can send our projects to the moon with enough time and money)

Perhaps it's just because it's design awards season again, I'd like to find ways to define a problems difficulty as a measure of how good the solution is. Therfore when a consultancy struggles/fails to reinvent an entire category or simply regurgitates corporate inputs, even if successful - the resulting evaluations should be very different.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby eobet » January 11th, 2013, 6:39 am


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scrotum wrote:A buddy of mine hired IDEO years ago when he joined a start-up, he's been telling me ever since how useless they were and they ended up doing much of the work in-house. In the 60 Minutes piece David Kelley actually holds the product and claims credit for it.


Two pages of discussions and nobody thought this was interesting enough to ask more about?

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby no_spec » January 11th, 2013, 9:36 am


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From the couple projects I have insight too, one, I believe IDEO bit off more than they could chew, at the time they were offering turnkey solutions - not anymore.

We've all had projects that turned to crap by the time they got to production. Why, is another discussion.
Bashing IDEO isn't the point. Consultancies rise and fall all the time, just like any business. That any ID consultancy gets on TV is good for us all.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby daaphearthrob » January 11th, 2013, 10:34 am


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yo wrote:
scb wrote:nice video. but i'm more interested in design DOING! with all the fame, i can't recall a good product ideo has designed in the past 5 years.... can anyone?


BOOM roasted. When I was at frog, I was chatting with Hartmut Esslinger and he said almost the same thing word for word.


And when I was at IDEO so did David Kelley. They all started their companies because they like designing stuff.

Too many people take a dump on IDEO because they don't "make stuff anymore". The reality is that they do. The finality of the things they make has changed, a lot. It is true, they don't make dope consumer electronic devices nearly as much as they used to or probably as well as places like Lunar, Fuse, Astro and New Deal. But I guarantee that they have designed several products in the last 5 years that you have used, maybe even loved. That product just happens to be a service or environment. If you go to walgreens you've benefited from IDEO's work. If you keep your money at one of a handful of banks around the world you're service is markedly better because of IDEO.

I'm really tired of the industrial design field's narrow view of what product design is. I myself care deeply about designing beautiful objects, but understand that there is grand spectrum in which my talents can be used and that some industrial designers choose to be passionate about solving problems and yes creating products that are not necessarily physical.

It's really easy to say, "I want to do design doing" like designing thinking is just a bunch of hot air. It's not one or the other, great designers are both. Do you have to work at IDEO to do design thinking? hell no. But I would wager to say that most of IDEO's detractors in the field of industrial design are people who have never worked at IDEO and probably never will and their nay saying is at least partially based out of jealousy.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby scrotum » January 11th, 2013, 12:43 pm

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eobet wrote:
scrotum wrote:A buddy of mine hired IDEO years ago when he joined a start-up, he's been telling me ever since how useless they were and they ended up doing much of the work in-house. In the 60 Minutes piece David Kelley actually holds the product and claims credit for it.


Two pages of discussions and nobody thought this was interesting enough someone to ask more about?

You could probably guess which product. I've heard the same thing from someone else who was involved in that project.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby jon_winebrenner » January 11th, 2013, 12:47 pm

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scrotum wrote:
eobet wrote:
scrotum wrote:A buddy of mine hired IDEO years ago when he joined a start-up, he's been telling me ever since how useless they were and they ended up doing much of the work in-house. In the 60 Minutes piece David Kelley actually holds the product and claims credit for it.


Two pages of discussions and nobody thought this was interesting enough someone to ask more about?

You could probably guess which product. I've heard the same thing from someone else who was involved in that project.


My guess was the defibrillator...but to answer the original query as to why nobody asked...because it doesn't really matter. There are always two sides to every story.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby yo » January 11th, 2013, 1:39 pm

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daaphearthrob wrote:
yo wrote:
scb wrote:nice video. but i'm more interested in design DOING! with all the fame, i can't recall a good product ideo has designed in the past 5 years.... can anyone?


BOOM roasted. When I was at frog, I was chatting with Hartmut Esslinger and he said almost the same thing word for word.


And when I was at IDEO so did David Kelley. They all started their companies because they like designing stuff.

Too many people take a dump on IDEO because they don't "make stuff anymore". The reality is that they do. The finality of the things they make has changed, a lot. It is true, they don't make dope consumer electronic devices nearly as much as they used to or probably as well as places like Lunar, Fuse, Astro and New Deal. But I guarantee that they have designed several products in the last 5 years that you have used, maybe even loved. That product just happens to be a service or environment. If you go to walgreens you've benefited from IDEO's work. If you keep your money at one of a handful of banks around the world you're service is markedly better because of IDEO.

I'm really tired of the industrial design field's narrow view of what product design is. I myself care deeply about designing beautiful objects, but understand that there is grand spectrum in which my talents can be used and that some industrial designers choose to be passionate about solving problems and yes creating products that are not necessarily physical.

It's really easy to say, "I want to do design doing" like designing thinking is just a bunch of hot air. It's not one or the other, great designers are both. Do you have to work at IDEO to do design thinking? hell no. But I would wager to say that most of IDEO's detractors in the field of industrial design are people who have never worked at IDEO and probably never will and their nay saying is at least partially based out of jealousy.


Fair enough, and I agree, it can be more difficult to demonstrate experiential design, which IDEO (and frog and every other large consultancy has been doing a lot of with nearly the same list of a big medicine, global financial, and large retail clients) but as I remember, aren't these some of the same reasons you left IDEO?

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby Design coterie » January 11th, 2013, 1:54 pm

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anybody else totally distracted by Charlie Rose's popped collar?

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby daaphearthrob » January 11th, 2013, 3:09 pm


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yo wrote:
scb wrote:nice video. but i'm more interested in design DOING! with all the fame, i can't recall a good product ideo has designed in the past 5 years.... can anyone?


And when I was at IDEO so did David Kelley. They all started their companies because they like designing stuff.

Too many people take a dump on IDEO because they don't "make stuff anymore". The reality is that they do. The finality of the things they make has changed, a lot. It is true, they don't make dope consumer electronic devices nearly as much as they used to or probably as well as places like Lunar, Fuse, Astro and New Deal. But I guarantee that they have designed several products in the last 5 years that you have used, maybe even loved. That product just happens to be a service or environment. If you go to walgreens you've benefited from IDEO's work. If you keep your money at one of a handful of banks around the world you're service is markedly better because of IDEO.

I'm really tired of the industrial design field's narrow view of what product design is. I myself care deeply about designing beautiful objects, but understand that there is grand spectrum in which my talents can be used and that some industrial designers choose to be passionate about solving problems and yes creating products that are not necessarily physical.

It's really easy to say, "I want to do design doing" like designing thinking is just a bunch of hot air. It's not one or the other, great designers are both. Do you have to work at IDEO to do design thinking? hell no. But I would wager to say that most of IDEO's detractors in the field of industrial design are people who have never worked at IDEO and probably never will and their nay saying is at least partially based out of jealousy.


Fair enough, and I agree, it can be more difficult to demonstrate experiential design, which IDEO (and frog and every other large consultancy has been doing a lot of with nearly the same list of a big medicine, global financial, and large retail clients) but as I remember, aren't these some of the same reasons you left IDEO?[/quote]

At the time, yes. Like many people on this board my first love in design is creating beautiful objects. At IDEO I was averaging maybe 1 or 2 projects per year that was object focused. IDEO allowed me the opportunity to grow immensely as a designer, strategically and tactically but I felt like I needed greater exposure to a more object-centric design environment to balance myself out. Moving on from IDEO had more to do with my own personal journey as a designer and less about design thinking or design doing or the firm itself.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby jcharles00 » January 11th, 2013, 10:34 pm

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This is a really interesting thread. I never realized that there was such a rift between traditional ID and "Design thinking" firms. (even though I've seen it as a rift in trying to come up with my own path) It also never occurred to me that a company like IDEO would be considered "fluff".

I guess as a follow up to the dialog here, I'm curious if you guys think there could be a better model for integrating the interdisciplinary "design thinking" branch with more traditional product design. I wonder what that would look like..

Or is the output the determining factor between these two types of business? Can you do service/environment design without it being fluff? Is physical product design already as informed as it should/could be?

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby yo » January 12th, 2013, 12:22 am

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daaphearthrob wrote:At the time, yes. Like many people on this board my first love in design is creating beautiful objects. At IDEO I was averaging maybe 1 or 2 projects per year that was object focused. IDEO allowed me the opportunity to grow immensely as a designer, strategically and tactically but I felt like I needed greater exposure to a more object-centric design environment to balance myself out. Moving on from IDEO had more to do with my own personal journey as a designer and less about design thinking or design doing or the firm itself.


Agreed. And to answer jchalsoo's question a bit as well, I feel like my time at frog was like grad school. What I learned there about opportunity identification, ethnographic research, workshopping to produce organizational alignment, synthesis sessions, and stewarding organizational change is invaluable to what I do every day now. It also gave me the ability to leverage my experience in product to brand positioning, retail environments, mobile and web, which all factor into my responsibilities.

What made it all the richer is that is was supplemental to years of experience in product development, and now I have the opportunity to bring that mix to an organization that makes things.

Not saying this is "right", just that it works for me personally and that I love it. For me to be comfortable I need both accountability and authority over to the end result.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby nxakt » January 12th, 2013, 3:16 am

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Design coterie wrote:anybody else totally distracted by Charlie Rose's popped collar?

Fully. And the inappropriateness of making up an epitaph and proposing it to a man that has more life ahead of himself. It may be editing but I can almost see the shock in Kelly's eyes when he gets asked the final question. Not design thinking.

Two other strong concepts that come to mind watching the segment are "hippy", and "California". Those implications can be drawn out in various ways.

I can look at produced work and drawn my own conclusions whether of not I respect the design that someone, or some firm, does. I cannot evaluate what I cannot see or what is kept hidden from me. Therefore I cannot draw any conclusions about IDEO. Seems like a good group of people with a very successful business.

It is smart business thinking to remove the criteria for success or failure from the public equation. Just a portfolio of products is harshly black and white.

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby Mr-914 » January 14th, 2013, 8:19 am

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Shaw: I think these pieces are plug-and-play for news shows.

"we need to show something innovative. Cali, check. Hippy, check. Mention Steve Jobs, check." It could be Google, Apple, Ideo...
Ray Jepson

"L'homme n'est rien. L'œuvre c'est tout." Gustave Flaubert

Re: IDEO on 60 Minutes

Postby zippyflounder » January 16th, 2013, 7:39 pm


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Seemed to me that IDEO's dogma works just fine for existing products and product lines however when was the last time the did a new product type? Lets face it, it's not that hard to do line extension of a existing product line, but something new....that's a far piece different.

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