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Learning to unlearn: how to design for disruptive startups

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I was invited to the Sydney UI/UX meetup hosted at SafetyCulture to talk about designing for disruptive startups. I talked about what defines a startup, the cyclical nature of learning and unlearning, and finally how we approached this at Spaceship.

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Learning to unlearn: how to design for disruptive startups

  1. 1. Learning to unlearn How to design for disruptive startups
  2. 2. Before we start… L E T ’ S G E T O N E T H I N G S T R A I G H T
  3. 3. You currently work at a startup A R E Y O U A C O O L P E R S O N Put your hand up if…
  4. 4. You think that startup is innovative Keep your hand up if… 5 % H O N E S T Y R A T E
  5. 5. Your startup has no competitors Keep your hand up if… D O N ’ T B U L L S H I T M E
  6. 6. S O M E I N T E R E S T I N G Q U E S T I O N S How do we gauge innovation?
  7. 7. How do we gauge innovation? What defines a startup? S O M E I N T E R E S T I N G Q U E S T I O N S
  8. 8. A L L T H E G R E A T E S T S T A R T U P S
  9. 9. How do we gauge innovation? What defines a startup? How does this affect the way in which we brand these companies? S O M E I N T E R E S T I N G Q U E S T I O N S
  10. 10. Hayden Bleasel Director at Lightsaber @haydenbleasel W H O D A T B O Y
  11. 11. I ’ V E W O R K E D W I T H S O M E C O O L P E O P L E Spaceship Presumi Tyro Palantir Sumry (a new type of super fund)
  12. 12. Spaceship Presumi Tyro Palantir Sumry (resume tracking algorithm) I ’ V E W O R K E D W I T H S O M E C O O L P E O P L E
  13. 13. Spaceship Presumi Tyro Palantir Sumry (Australia’s 5th big bank) I ’ V E W O R K E D W I T H S O M E C O O L P E O P L E
  14. 14. Spaceship Presumi Tyro Palantir Sumry (big data analysis for “the government”) I ’ V E W O R K E D W I T H S O M E C O O L P E O P L E
  15. 15. Spaceship Presumi Tyro Palantir Sumry (a timeline-based personal resume) I ’ V E W O R K E D W I T H S O M E C O O L P E O P L E
  16. 16. A N D N O W F O R S O M E T H I N G C O M P L E T E L Y D I F F E R E N T I’m current director of Lightsaber Lightsaber is a high-end creative studio for future-makers
  17. 17. A N D N O W F O R S O M E T H I N G C O M P L E T E L Y D I F F E R E N T I’m current director of Lightsaber Lightsaber is a high-end creative studio for future-makers
  18. 18. A N D N O W F O R S O M E T H I N G C O M P L E T E L Y D I F F E R E N T Right now, we’re working on: • A jobs board that helps students work find work at amazing startups • An online showroom that connects design influencers to the media • A drone company that will deliver Dominos to your doorstep • A VC firm looking to invest in solving for core human needs • A company that develops next-generation LiDAR technology for self-driving cars
  19. 19. G E T T O T H E D A M N P O I N T Designing for companies requires learning… Why am I saying any of this?
  20. 20. … but designing for disruptive startups requires unlearning as well. G E T T O T H E D A M N P O I N T Why am I saying any of this?
  21. 21. “Unlearn: to make an effort to forget your usual way of doing something so that you can learn a new and sometimes better way” I O W N A D I C T I O N A R Y Cambridge Dictionary
  22. 22. Y O U S P I N M E R I G H T R O U N D B A B Y LearnUnlearn Question Research
  23. 23. Unlearn your perceptions… not facts.
  24. 24. S O M E E X A M P L E S B R U H Tyro (corporate innovation) Spaceship (experience innovation) Flirtey (product innovation) Let’s explore branding the following companies:
  25. 25. W H A T T H E C A S U A L S D O The typical process - Brand Awareness Research - Competitor Analysis - SWOT analysis - Surveys - Marketing strategy The problem: this is all traditional market research
  26. 26. S O M E E X A M P L E S B R U H Designing for Spaceship We were on a mission to redesign the entire Superannuation industry. 1. [Research] Understanding the old world 2. [Learn] Look what’s happening around you 3. [Question] Exploring the future of finance 4. [Unlearn] Identify problems from first principles
  27. 27. S O M E E X A M P L E S B R U H Designing for Spaceship We were on a mission to redesign the entire Superannuation industry. 1. [Research] Understanding the old world 2. [Learn] Look what’s happening around you 3. [Question] Exploring the future of finance 4. [Unlearn] Identify problems from first principles
  28. 28. Watching other superfunds trying to innovate in design
  29. 29. S O M E E X A M P L E S B R U H Designing for Spaceship We were on a mission to redesign the entire Superannuation industry. 1. [Research] Understanding the old world 2. [Learn] Look what’s happening around you 3. [Question] Exploring the future of finance 4. [Unlearn] Identify problems from first principles
  30. 30. S O M E E X A M P L E S B R U H Designing for Spaceship We were on a mission to redesign the entire Superannuation industry. 1. [Research] Understanding the old world 2. [Learn] Look what’s happening around you 3. [Question] Exploring the future of finance 4. [Unlearn] Identify problems from first principles
  31. 31. How can I learn to unlearn? L E T ’ S K E E P T H I S P R A C T I C A L
  32. 32. H O W T O B E C O M E U N L E A R N E D Read about unlearning Study design thinking Question your existing perceptions Explore different roles Don’t fear being different
  33. 33. “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” M A K E S M E S O U N D S S M A R T Sheryl Sandberg
  34. 34. Stay lit fam 🔥🙏 @haydenbleasel

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