Tom Hulme is a Design Director at IDEO as well as a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He opened IWE with a very inspiring talk about traits of successful businesses today.
He opened with saying that right now is an incredible time to start a business; many people are taking the risk and going at it because opportunity costs have been dropping.
As an angel investor he has seen a lot of companies and noticed that not all of them could accurately measure progress. Some had a very boring business plan, others counted lines of code they have, or number of people they signed up. What is the real progress though? Consumer feedback (employee feedback in some cases). He compared Facebook and Zynga and their dropping share prices, but he noted that while 49% of Zynga employees would recommend working there to their friends, Facebook had a rating of 97%. There are other factors at play besides financial performance and pleasing the shareholders.
He then shared his insights on what the new successful business models might be. He emphasized purpose.
- Have a purpose in order to scale. Develop a balance of profit and purpose. Profits will follow the purpose.
- You are what you measure. Develop KPIs to measure the road to purpose. He then went to say that Facebook likes is a vanity metric. Develop metrics that are good at tracking your purpose.
- Your product is a vehicle for your purpose. NO can be a design decision. Smartest designers are reductionists.
Instagram was one of the few apps that took away features in one of their earlier updates. Stripped the product down to the essential.
Desire paths can be incredibly powerful and help with the design of your product. For example, adding a snippet of Crazy Egg code can monitor where users mouse goes on a website (correlating with what 80% of people are doing on the site) - could help with design.
Don’t get distracted
Search bar should be more prominent on sites because what we usually do on sites is more like google (type what you’re searching for instead of browsing everything)
Don’t standardize across iOS and Android
Step back occasionally and see if you can design a greater product. Can you remove 10% of your product?
A/B testing is good for incremental product improvement
- Motivation versus incentives. Are you building a movement towards your purpose?
Incentives are valuable for mundane and repetitive tasks that you want to motivate
(Problem is that someone else can incentivize more and you can lose talent)
Design for multiple user motivations - your product has many different users
You can’t have a purpose and hate your users. Think of them as your partners who can help you improve your product/company. Allow them to be as creative as possible.
If you have a lot of human activity around your product, you have the potential to harness it for social good.