Over the next couple of days I’m at LeWeb11 in Paris – the annual get-together for technology entrepreneurship in Europe – where, based on previous years, I can guarantee I will meet a very influential audience ….startups, vendors, investors, press, bloggers, analysts….you name it, they’re here. It’s like the ‘Who’s Who’ of the tech world. Needless to say I’m here to absorb all I can, plus connect with all the startup related peeps (including startups that I’ve already mentored through our BizSpark program).
So, with day one almost over, what do I think so far? Certainly, in the conference, I’m very happy to report that the importance of design in slowly getting the recognition it deserves. As many people who know me already know I’m a real believer of design as it is equally important as the underlying technology and the business case in a good startup (and yes in any enterprise too ). After all, if an product or service isn’t easy and fun, then people won’t want to use it. Right? Right.
With that in mind, it was great to see LeWeb kick-off with keynotes from Karl Lagerfeld (no introduction necessary) and Dave Morin, Co-Founder & CEO, Path, both elaborating on the importance of design. So it was very apt that my next appointment was at the startup competition where I saw a great pitch by 23minutes.to (BizSpark member) who when I talked to them afterwards, also talked about the importance of design – even though they’re small, they already have one person focusing solely on the product design.
Just to put it out there once more before I wrap up for today “We are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the “things” that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have” – Bill Buxton (Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research).