June 23, 2023
Design doesn't make business.
Not even a world-class design. Not now. Maybe before. Because competition was less. Access to talent wasn't easy and reaching the right customers was a work of magic. Few did it well. But now, everything is within reach. What worked then, won't work now.
Maybe a great landing page brings you more eyeballs but if it doesn't evolve well, the hype won't last. A great product design might give you a head start because of its ease of onboarding, but if it doesn't evolve well, it won't last either.
Design lasts if it evolves well.
Design make business if the two evolve together.
We used to take on only a few clients per year.
We used to charge $40-100K a month depending on the risk.
We used to think a few months was enough to make lasting change.
Our clients? We worked with governments to bring alignments to their processes, conglomerate CEOs to digitalise their dinosaur enterprises, founders to pivot their startups or evolve their products to remain ahead.
These clients were basically hiring us because they couldn't afford to fail.
Their next move was their make it or break it step.
So we got hired.
High-intensity, high-risk, high-pressure, high-reward was our typical project. And we delivered. Every single time. Because we were trained for it. That's all we did. Our specialty which we honed for years.
We delivered the impossible results. No matter the pressure. And we took great pride in the outcome. We thought we did it. We transformed the company. And our clients loved us for it.
But months, sometimes years later when we checked back in, we learned the hard truth. The change we helped to create didn't last. The growth didn't hold.
Usually for one main reason —
they didn’t have the talent and experience to maintain the same level of experimentation and execution internally to keep testing new ideas and implement their learnings fast.
And that as an outcome, or legacy for a design service company like OP is depressing. Not a meaningful career to lead. At least, not any more.
So no more adrenalin rushed projects. No more dopamine fuelled collaborations. No more quick wins. They aren't enough to last.
We want to build meaningful relationships with founders we respect to make lasting change. Growth that we can be a part of for the long-term. Where Business + Design evolve, hand in hand.