Introducing The Way to Design

April 27, 2017
Steve Vassallo

Dear friends,

For years I’ve had this growing conviction that design is now the thing that will set modern companies apart. It comes from the fact that technology has been commoditized. It comes from watching good design rise in consumers’ priorities. It comes from investing in companies started by thoughtful designers. It comes from my own background as a product designer. Design is the way to build great products and great companies.

But when I’ve met with young designers who are considering taking the entrepreneurial plunge, they seem as unprepared (and anxious) as I was when I was a bright-eyed designer at IDEO thinking of starting my own company. I wanted to do something to help them, to give back to my community of designers. So, last year, I put together a research team at Foundation Capital. We interviewed 50 designers, scholars, and tech founders; set up a war room to tease out what we’d collected; and tested those findings with the community.

Now, after many months of work, what we’ve produced is a primer on how Silicon Valley should do design. It’s been a long road getting from there to here, but without further ado, allow me to humbly present … The Way to Design.

My hope is that you will it open the eyes of all readers to the power of design. And if you know any designers who are thinking about starting their own companies and might benefit from a little guidance, please share this with them. If you know an entrepreneur who wants to build a company that understands how to do design, please share this with them. And, of course, I wouldn’t object to you sharing The Way to Design (or any part of it that especially resonates with you) on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Friendster, GeoCities, smoke signals, cuneiform, cave drawings, or any other forms of human communication.

Thank you in advance for reading and helping to spread the word. I’d relish your comments, reactions, criticisms.