Design Thinking, and thinking like a child, for product design

This is a slightly shortened piece I wrote for The Irish Times on Design Thinking in organisations. Full article is here

Bring design thinking to your product Thinking like a child could save your business cash

US technology investor Dave McClure coined a maxim that sums this challenge up: “Your solution is not my problem.” He had sat through many a pitch from start-ups seeking his investment before distilling this nugget. And the idea, once grasped, is obvious: entrepreneurs often produce products that do not solve the kind of problems customers actually have. An entrepreneur pitching for investment is keen to talk up their solution, but what counts, says McClure, is that there is a genuine problem to be solved in the first place.


Designing products that solve real problems is difficult. A process called “design thinking” can help a business to shape its product to meet customer needs.

The process has five stages, and begins with the “empathy” stage during which the business goes out to research the problem among the people affected by it. Using the insights discovered by talking to people, the team can progress to the “definition” stage where it defines the problem based on real needs of potential customers rather than the entrepreneurs’ Continue reading