Tom Peters about IDEO
"In recent years, as the L.O.I. (Legend of IDEO)
has spread far and wide, the company has had clients begging for advice not
just on a product or two, but on the IDEO way of innovating. It has
responded vigorously." Their "methodology not only works for IDEO, but has
proven to be transferable. It's now quite simple, of course. Beneath the
IDEO method lies the incredible, throbbing IDEO spirit that led me to love
at first sight."
Living the Future
Seeing and implementing thousands of projects
has afforded IDEO a unique perspective on the future. They've got a sense of
the holistic nature of
learned how things evolve, and witnessed
firsthand. "Knowing the start of the art or the soon-to-be state of the art
in one industry can give you a jump in your chosen field."
The Fun Factor
David Kelley, the founder of IDEO, believed
that if he
hired people he liked and respected, everybody would have
fun and more work
Pranks became second nature in the company very
soon. When Hovey left for a week's vacation, he returned to find a sheetrock
wall where his door has been. Windshield cement inspired many office pranks:
You'd leave your desk only to return to find everything glued down: soda
cans, papers, pens. David's door was once glued shut when he was getting a
pitch from a salesperson. Another office was webbed in by the sticky trails
from a hot glue gun. There were rubber band wars and squirt skirmishes, and
plenty of water balloons dropped out of the window."
The pranks and play served a purpose – gave
people a sense that they had some control over their destiny, a feeling of
belonging to something larger then themselves...
All IDEO-designed products were inspired by
watching real people. "We are not funs of focus groups. We don't much care
for traditional market research either. We go to the source. Not the
"experts" inside a company, but the actual people who use the product or
something similar to what we're hoping to create. It's precisely this
observation-fueled insight that makes innovation possible. Uncovering what
comes naturally to people. And having the strengths to
change the rules,"
writes Tom Kelley.
is practically a religion at IDEO, one they practice nearly every day.
"Though brainstorms themselves are often playful,
brainstorming as a tool
– as a
skill – is taken quite seriously." In a company without many rules,
IDEO people have a very firm idea about what constitutes a
how it should be organized:
Sixty minutes in an optimum length. The level of physical and mental
energy required for a brainstorm is hard to sustain much longer than
sessions aren't presentations or opportunities for the boss to poll
the troops for hot ideas. Nor should they feel like work. And
brainstorming is most definitely not about spending thousands of dollars
at some glamorous off-site location."
Idea engine: "Brainstorming is the idea engine of IDEO's
culture. It is an opportunity for teams to "blue sky" ideas early in
a project or to
a tricky problem that's cropped up later on. The
more productive the group, the more it brainstorms regularly and
"The buzz of a good
brainstormer can infect a
sense of opportunity that can carry it through the darkest and most
pressure-tinged stages of the project."...
Keep Eyes Open for Inspiration
IDEO's Hot Studio System