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Beyond Users

Author: Alen Faljic

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A podcast that teaches business to designers.
35 Episodes
Imagine working on the iPhone before its release in 2007. Imagine the number of design decisions to be made. No one knew if this is going to be successful. Now, imagine working on the iPhone in 2019. Now, the level of design work is completely different, for sure.  Each product has its lifecycle and its strategic position in the company. If we learn what type of product we work on, we will know where design has the most value. In this episode, I talked about: why iPhone is a “cash cow” and iTunes a “dog”, the growth-share matrix that helps us categorize our products, and what the role of a designer is for each product strategy.
Customer is king. Especially to designers. We would do everything for them. We fight for what they want and need. But is that always a good idea? I would argue that it is sometimes self-destructive. That it is against what customers actually want. Find out more in this episode in which we discuss the fundamentals of a business strategy
This week, I published the Business Design Guide, which introduces business design as a design discipline. In this episode, I present the outline of the guide and share a few stories from my career that led me to write this guide. I took one topic from the guide and presented it in more detail. What most budding business designers overlook is the importance of a design mindset. So, I share six mindsets that make a business designer, business designer.
John Oswald is a business design pioneer. He was the first business designer at fjord where he defined its role and built the team. He is currently a managing director at a strategic design consultancy Method London. With John, we discussed: the early days and evolution of the business design, five patterns of business design talent, how hiring business designers work, and how typical business design deliverables look like.
Imagine you are running a hotel. Who would you rather have as a customer? High value but one-time visitor or an average customer who will keep coming back for many years? It depends, right? Lifetime Value (LTV) is a concept that can help us determine the business value of our customers and with that understand: who is an ideal customer, how much they are worth to a business, and how much we can spend on acquiring a customer. In this mini d.MBA episode we cover the definition of lifetime value and its relevance for designers.
When you open a yoga studio, will you hire yoga instructor full-time or will you find a contractor? Will you sign a one year lease for your studio that you can equip the way you want or will you try to rent a pop-up store that gives you more flexibility? These are all design decisions that entrepreneurs and designers should think about. In this mini d.MBA episode, we spoke about: the difference between fixed and variable costs and calculating a break-even point.
In the second mini d.MBA episode, we look at two related business concepts: Opportunity Costs and Return on Investment (ROI) If you take a year off from work and do an MBA, this doesn’t just cost you $100k. During that same year, you could be earning your salary. So, your opportunity costs (for that year) are way above $100k. A freelancer that takes on a project with a 50% discounted rate won’t be able to sell that time to a much better paying corporate gig if it shows up at a later point. How can we best decide among different opportunities and their costs? One way is calculating ROI.
This is an experimental episode where I present one business concept and explain its relevancy for designers work. In the first mini d.MBA episode, I talked about cash flow and its importance. It is one of the most common reasons companies go out of businesses. When you run out of money, the game is over. If you like chocolate, expensive apartment buildings, Walmart, and loans, you will love this episode. You will learn how you can affect the cash flow as a designer and drastically improve the health of your product and business.
The Business Design Jam is back. In the third session, David Schmidt, a business design partner at United Peers, and I discuss four business design topics: how misaligned incentives fundamentally hurt user experience across different industries and what we can learn from Lemonade (the insurance startup from USA), why creating sustainable brands could be the next big wave in business innovation (we talked about Patagonia as an example here), we discussed a question that very few designers and entrepreneurs ask themselves: “how big should my company be” (hint: growing is not always the best answer), and we discussed what separates a successful corporate innovation from the ones that are likely to fail. If you want to add to our discussion, reach out to us on Linkedin (Alen, David) or Twitter (Alen, David).
Matic Pelcl is a director of product at Celtra, a creative management platform for digital advertising. Matic has gone through the experience of starting as a junior designer to having the proverbial seat at the table today. In this episode, we spoke about: why scalable design is important and when companies should start implementing it, what does having a seat at the table mean, and how does a design process look like at Celtra?    
Comments (1)

Miguel Alvarez

uin n kjii.

Dec 24th
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