May 3, 2010
The DESIGN:Chicago conference centered on how “design thinking” applies to business, and how the Chicago region is growing as a hub for design.
Gordon Segal, the cofounder of Crate and Barrel, was one of the speakers. The central emphasis of his talk was his belief that an entrepreneur should start with an idea and build a business around that idea, as opposed to wanting to start a business and then searching for ideas. This resonated with me, as so much of the advice and reading about entrepreneurship and business development implicitly assumes that the reader belongs to the latter group. This has been a source of annoyance through the process of building Datascope Analytics, as we are an example of the former; we are passionate that appropriate data analysis, well-communicated, has the potential to make an impact on complex societal problems.
Secondly, as thought provoking as Gordon Segal's insights were, Mert Iseri from Design for America stole the show with an impressive talk on how design can help solve problems that have social impact. His brief talk received uproarious applause during the type of conference where uproarious applause never occurs. By delivering such as well-designed talk, Iseri illustrated the power of design thinking by example.