As technology advances at an exciting pace, human needs are driving change in the areas that matter most. Innovators, through bold and purposeful ideas, are disrupting the status quo with products that are shaped by both data and compassion. This book is for you if you would like to join us in imagining and building new experiences for your fellow humans.
Tech pioneers, for instance, are now taking aim at new dangers to our planet and our future. They’re easing the stress consumers often feel to get things done in an increasingly demanding world. At the same time, they are solving a myriad of other problems, some of which feel very personal to them, based on their own experiences or those of people close to them.
Empathetic innovators are needed more than ever, and this book outlines the steps to strategically move from an idea to a finished product that meets your vision for impactful change.
Our tribe of purposeful inventors has a special mission. We let our humanity inspire us to keep people as the focus at each stage of design. We aim to build products that will ease lives and elevate our customers rather than frustrate them. In a nurturing environment, we empower fellow members of our teams to create, discover, be a little playful, and challenge the ordinary, creating products that are imbued with purpose and sustainability.
The progress is inspiring, but the push for change has just begun. New ways of thinking are needed more than ever as we face down human trafficking, social inequality, food insecurity, and more.
Are you ready to join my tribe of innovators and inventors who are working to move humanity forward one great idea at a time? If so, I present to you my framework for the conscientious innovator with an eye toward transformation. We’ll start by building a strategy that defines the problem you want to solve for future clients. Along with your team, you will form a vision for the impact you’d like to have on users’ lives. Next, we will move on to what I like to call the roadmap to success. At this point you’ll choose the features that will best address the issues your users long to solve. With those in mind, you’ll add objectives and timelines to your roadmap for a focused and strategic plan. Lastly, I’ll show you how to finish strong in the execution portion of my framework, which includes the building of your prototype and your product launch.
The time is now ripe for change. As I write this introduction in 2020, life as we know it is on hold with massive cancellations and deep anxiety as the unprecedented virus known as COVID-19 spreads across the planet. The story is rapidly unfolding as I write, but one thing is already clear: with less freedom to interact with others and perform so many tasks we used to take for granted, now surely is a moment like no other time before it for resourceful thinkers to step forward. New ways of doing things are needed urgently to help the world adjust—and to increase our chances to stay safe.
Whatever the issue is you’d like to target, I’d love to share with you the wisdom that has helped create successful product launches for a wide range of clients I have been privileged to work beside, from small start-ups to Fortune 500 enterprises. During a career of more than twenty years in product development and design, I have witnessed a thrilling evolution of ideas and tools. That means entrepreneurs can dream even bigger than before. The practices and priorities I advocate in these pages are ideas I’ve seen work time and time again in the competitive and challenging arena of tech innovation. My passion is to help entrepreneurs stay relevant while giving them the tools to understand the ever-changing landscape of new technology.
Now it is your turn. We’ll start at the beginning point of all successful products—with a problem to be solved. As I’m sure you know, life is full of those! Everyday frustrations spur us on to find better ways to bank online, keep track of our water intake, pick a doctor or a therapist, or manage our to-do lists as we navigate through life.
Perhaps you have an idea to make a common task less of an aggravation—a way someone could do it faster or with more success. Perhaps you’d love to explore a new idea that might ease some of the hurt and worry you see in the world. One key to success is an intimate acquaintance with the segment of the population you want to serve. I will show you ways to get to know your future customers through proven research methods. Then I will outline ways to position your product as a standout in the marketplace, designed specifically for those who need it most.
Together, we’ll walk step by step through the process. We’ll examine how some pretty awesome innovators are impacting lives in exciting ways. I’ll illustrate my points with stories of success, using ingenious products you may use already—or that you might want to try after you hear about the ways they’re meeting vital needs. I think you’ll be inspired by the thinkers and creators who have gone before you in building a better, safer world for us and our children through the power of design.
Purposeful CoLab is a call to action for the modern innovator in a changing age. The designs that will be most successful will defy the current trend of feature-rich and complicated products that ignore users' needs. In an increasingly connected world, where one product or another is always buzzing or chiming for attention, consumers want products that will fit seamlessly and easily into their busy lives while solving crucial issues. Products and services should simplify a user’s life, not complicate it further.
Also fundamental to success is radical transparency along with a careful mindfulness of the footprint your brand will leave. With so much information at their fingertips, the new generation of consumers places a high value not just on what you make but on what your business stands for; they want a brand that cares.
In these pages you’ll find sound and tested guidance for the incorporation of these mandates from consumers into your product launch. More importantly, you will be a part of an exhilarating movement led by dreamers, optimists, innovators, and creators. Won’t you come along? The task we have before us is no less than building a new—and better—future for ourselves and the generations that will follow.
I am excited about the changes that can come when thoughtful design and integrity of purpose come together. Let’s change the world together, one product at a time.