Advice to Startups About Design
As a part of TechCocktail's "Startup Mixology Conference":http://startupmixology.techcocktail.com/2011-dc/, JESS3's co-founder "Leslie Bradshaw":http://lesliebradshaw.com was asked to present on one of the many ingredients needed to make a startup successful: design. And even more so, how to successfully work with designers.
Drawing from our team's passion for working together and building a culture of excellence and execution, JESS3 prepared four topline tips that included:
1. Make a designer your second hire, not your tenth. Give them a strategic seat at the table and leadership role in the company. It is that important.
2. Make your choice, make it right, listen, learn and defend. This includes:
- Finding the right person and / or team.
- Put your trust in them. Completely.
- Learn how to speak their language.
- Make them feel that they are supported. Let them see genuinely that you support them.
- Understand their process and what motivates them. And why.
- Defend their POV and timeline at all cost with investors, coworkers and clients.
3. Don't be bound by geography to hire designers. Look to virtual communities like "Behance":http://www.behance.net/jess3, "Dribbble": http://dribbble.com/jess3, "Forrst":http://forrst.com/ and "Visual.ly":http://visual.ly/ to connect with and recruit diverse talent. Look to physical events and workshops like "UX Week":http://uxweek.com/2011/, "Offf":http://offf.ws/bcn2011/ and "Anderson Ranch":http://www.andersonranch.org/ to make offline connections and deepen your own knowledge base.
4. Establish a culture of precision, excellence and execution. Think about the companies, cultures and outputs created by greats like: David Ogilvy, Walt Disney, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Anna Wintour and our own CEO and founder, "Jesse Thomas":http://www.linkedin.com/in/jess3. Don't compromise on excellence. Putting out amazing work / product is key to being known and noticed. Sustain it. Make it part of your DNA.