The Secret Sauce of Business Success

Posted September 15th 2016


via Fast Company

There’s much discussion in the current election season about what makes America great. A less-discussed corollary: What makes American business great? For several months, our editors have been poring over thousands of submissions for our Innovation by Design Awards, which, in aggregate, reveal what animates economic success today. Whether it’s the intuitive ease of Airbnb’s new app or the clever underwater server farms of Microsoft’s Project Natick, the drive for change is palpable. What unifies these efforts has little to do with billionaires and CEOs. Instead, there is an optimistic and hopeful embrace of disruption, anchored by creative problem solving.

The discipline of design ties all of this together. Design is so frequently misunderstood, yet it is critical in a world that is constantly in flux, and where each new challenge requires a uniquely tailored solution. Combining hard-science arenas like computing with the more intuitive realms of art and psychology can be tricky, but that melding is where the magic happens.

“Design requires us to focus on what really matters most,” Fast Company’s Robert Safian wrote. As he goes on to explain, today’s most successful companies are the ones that bring multiple disciplines together and effectively weave principles of design into their business models.