PicNic Festival 2012 – Startup workshop


From DesignThinking to doing business

Yesterday I participated as facilitator to a workshop organized by DesignThinkers Group at the PicNic Festival 2012.
The target of the workshop was to create in 90 a proposal for a new startup, from the strategic vision to the internal organization and the touchpoints with the desired final customers.


It has been excellent to see how a cosy environment, specific and well designed tools and nice facilitators can easily make 10 strangers just gathered work hard and focused on a common idea.


It was also very interested to check the actual process of creating a new company: what do professional of the design world imagine as a competitive organization.
Well I was really surprised by one group in particular: here all the member agreed on creating a “guerrilla agency”, with a “flexible culture”, hiring just “highly experienced professionals” with no “9 to 5 mentality”, able to work on remote and always connected to every coming project and advance of every company department.


Basically, the perfect worker would be a robot with the creativity of a master of art direction and the commitment of the worker of Foxconn.

Unfortunately the short time did not allow any discuss over these points, that in my opinion can raise quite fundamental questions:
– Where would you find such professional profiles, how would you motivate them to join this start up and how could you afford them?
– Are they the right profiles for a newly created company?
– How can you build a strong team out of people with a strong caracter and position given by their skills?
– Why don’t you even consider young figures, which get motivation from their inexperience and willingness to grow?


As a young professional, I must admit that this vision quite upsets me: if even startups don’t want juniors, which are the changes to be hired by big companies?

Fortunately, a quick look to the real successful startups shows us that who won the race where the young! Probably there are still a lot of factors to be considered behind the year of effective experience to evaluate professional figures, especially in the field of design.


Ps: actually the winner of the workshop (the group who created the best startup with the most interesting proposal for customers) was not the freaky skilled and workaholic company!


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