Feeling Sure about Uncertainty September 23, 2009Posted by milimittal in Design Thinking.
I am in a rut. I don’t quite know where I am in the design process (am I even in the design process?!) with our start-up, MyChef. It feels like we are in the design process because we’ve gone from problem-selection to ideation, then to observation, then back to problem-selection, ideation, frameworks, imperatives and back again – but I don’t feel all that comfortable in the absence of linearity, so I am unclear as to how close we are to implementation. Though I am a creative person who loves to characterize myself an ‘outside the box thinker,’ loves to paint, draw, dance and sing, I can’t get outside the trap of linearity. It takes me a lot of effort to be comfortable in a world without clear direction.
What strikes me most about this week’s readings is the simple notion that if you spend time with your customers- observing them, talking to them, you have a much higher chance of a) finding a problem that actually exists, b) innovating and creating a solution that works and c) selling the thing – you’ve already got a set of customers ready and waiting that you have talked to! It seems very simple and yet is overlooked by some of the biggest companies day in and day out.
The MyChef team recognized that this past summer (after having defined a problem and solution that we knew very little about) and conducted several focus groups and interviews with people we envision as our future customers. The readings (and Sara) emphasize the importance of observation over interviewing due to the customers’ own lack of awareness, and I completely buy-in to that concept. I struggle, however, with how to actually observe our customers’ thought processes and planning decisions. Perhaps I need to think more creatively on this one.