Welcome to Design Thinking for Startups

Let’s look back on our first week together and reflect on your experiences.

We wanted to show you – not tell you – what Design Thinking for Startups was all about. Our goal: to help you realise it doesn’t take months to get a business started – just a clear objective and a dedicated space. So, our first week was intense, but you now know how far and fast we’ll be flying this year. Many thanks to all of you for keeping your minds open and staying committed to the process!

On Tuesday, we talked about your diverse backgrounds and why these differences are important on MACE (MA Creative Industries and the Creative Economy) – our differences make us stronger because they give us an opportunity to explore a broader and richer range of perspectives.



On Wednesday, you worked with the Cricut team and gained a hands-on experience in using Cricut machines and Cricut Design Space. Thanks to Cricut, we have 7 Cricut machines available for you at the University (in the IT Department, on a sign in-sign out day-loan basis). We would like to see how you use them for prototyping, packaging design, trade fairs, stands, business cards, team T-shirts. Make use of all or none of these suggestions – but do find a way to make these tools work for you as a business resource.

On Thursday, you went to the toilets in groups of 3 – as the blind, the deaf, and the robot only doing as told –  because every MACE adventure starts with a trip to the loo.

The loo trip was an exercise in role-play and observation. Observation is important in Design Thinking as it it allows us to connect to the things that we haven’t connected to before. The adventure also helped you get to know each other better and build empathy within your little group. The idea of empathy at the core of Design Thinking user-centered approach stands as a pile of building blocks waiting to be built and made real – through genuine human contact and relationships.

I asked you to use the empathy map to document and communicate your observations – you struggled just enough to make mistakes to learn from . You also struggled when I asked you to describe the pains and gains of your person(a) to me. This is because these tasks are not easy and getting used to being okay with not getting it right the first time takes time and practice. All the mistakes you made are just the right ones for now – use your blogs to reflect on these.



Finally, on Friday and Saturday you took part in our startup weekend session with Dr Dan Lockton who guided you through the process of working from identifying and framing a problem to an idea and a prototype in under 48 hours.

Via Skype, we were joined by Stephen Wendel, Head of Behavioural Science at Morningstar, who gave us truly deep and interesting insights on using design to change behaviours.

At the end of the session, we peer judged your presentations:

  • Is the problem well defined?
  • Is the user well defined?
  • Does the solution resolve the problem?
  • How innovative is the solution?

Photos taken on the day by Dan are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2fka8asew57fcz4/AAClR5-hdernkcN7TOjwuJEra?dl=0

Again, many thanks to all of you!

Your turn now – use your blogs to reflect on your experiences last week. Use photos. Link to materials/people/ideas that inspired you. I look forward to reading them all.

See you on Friday!

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