3. Background: The Relationship Between Design and
Design Thinking perspective: “a discipline that uses the
designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs
with what is technologically feasible and what a viable
business strategy can convert into customer value and
market opportunity.” (Brown, 2008)
4. Background: The Relationship Between Design and
Our perspective: we want to postulate the idea that design
can take a role in earlier phases of the entrepreneurial
process and act as an instrument to frame, generate, shape,
develop, prototype and assess business ideas that could
potentially become entrepreneurial opportunities.
5. • The creation of a new venture is a wicked
problem and it faces many of the same
problems that a new product development
process faces because of the complexity of
value chains and markets:
– High levels of uncertainty and risk
– The need to deal with systemic problems related
to creating an entire value chain
– The need to build new networks to develop and
sustain the new businesses
– The difﬁculty to give incontrovertible proof of
the potential success of the entrepreneurial idea.
6. • Speciﬁcally, a key construct that has
received little attention is the
• The discovery (or creation) process is
sloppy and casual. Reliable and replicable
methods for systematically searching,
framing, developing and assessing
opportunities are still undeveloped.
7. • There are many similarities between the front-end of
the entrepreneurial process and the front-end of new
• Both processes:
– entail the creation of a new product or service or an entirely
new company in a new venture process
– both must deal with the uncertainty, non-linearity and
“fuzziness” of these early stages (Barringer & Gresock, 2008)
9. • Both processes have a front-end of innovation,
however the front-end of the entrepreneurial
process has received little attention.
10. Focus: The Front-End of Innovation of the
• Barringer and Gresock
(2008) propose to use the
Stage Gate™ model used in
NPD to systematize and
structure the FEI of the
However, linear processes
such as the State-GateTM
model are not deemed
appropriate for the frontend of innovation.
• The complexity, non1. The New Concept Development
linearity and “fuzziness” Figure(NCD) provides a common language
and a visual representation to the components
instruments to navigate of the p.47) End of Innovation. (Koen et al.,
11. Service Design Tools
• Service Design tools were designed to
tackle many of the issues the creation of a
new venture poses:
– Dealing with fuzzy and ill-deﬁned problems
– Creating a network of actors
– Framing and generating ideas
– Prototyping intangible concepts
– Assessing collaboratively feasibility and
validity (Blomkvist, 2010)
12. Research Questions
• Can Service Design Tools be transferred
and applied in the front-end of the
• How would their application affect the
process and/or the result?
13. The Dream:in Project
• The DREAM:IN project is an open innovation platform that
utilizes design-led processes to empower communities in
emerging countries. This is accomplished in the ﬁrst place
through ethnographic research that uncovers dreams of
communities and secondly by a design driven process that
transforms these dreams into social and business ventures
14. The Dream:in Project
• The focus of the experiment is the Believe phase, also known as “The
Conclave” the students are joined by entrepreneurs, investors,
experts, knowledge brokers and knowledge managers in an open
innovation workshop. The objective of the workshop is to transform
the dreams and aspirations of the citizens interviewed into ideas
that could potentially become entrepreneurial opportunities, and
perhaps even new ventures.
15. Experiment Objectives
To test the effect of the use of a simpliﬁed
service design toolkit during a business
idea generation workshop.
The workshop took place in Beijing, China
on March 23 & 24, 2013 in the context of a
pilot workshop for the Chinese version of
the Dream:in project.
16. 1. Selecting useful service design tools according
to criteria such as ease of use, requires special
know-how (or not), type of thinking it enables
(divergent or convergent) and objectives of the
2. Designing the interactions that would take
place during the workshop.
3. Selecting tools according to objectives and ﬁt
to the Dream:in workshop format.
4. Designing simpliﬁed versions of the tools that
would become the frameworks to be used
during the workshop.
5. Deﬁne sample: 10 participants would be using
the tools vs. 90 not using them (each day).
19. Workshop Development: Day 1
• Work ﬂow
24. • Teams using the tools:
– Detailed more their ideas
– Needed 50% less time to do all the work
– Explored the problems more before moving to
– Worked more efﬁciently, they did not waste
time deciding how to manage their time or
– Prototyped (roughly) their ideas.
– Assessed collaboratively their feasibility and
25. • It can be said the use of the tools added
efﬁciency, allowing teams to produce more
work in less time.
• Using the tools provided a sort of “checklist”
keeping complexity at bay for participants.
• The tools provided a structure to “fuzzy
• The tools positively inﬂuenced the quality of
the process and the outputs.
26. • Design can play a role in developing business
ideas, by becoming an instrument to shape their
content and the design process itself.
• Design is a helpful aid in creating plausible ideas
respecting constraints and boundaries
(alternating divergent and convergent thinking).
• Design instruments provided a structure that
clariﬁed the “fuzziness” and the uncertainty of the
front-end of the entrepreneurial process. Thus,
we propose the use of design instruments as a
reliable strategy to generate innovative business
ideas that may become entrepreneurial
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