I just finished up an interactive visualization thingy for the designers fund (built by porkepic.com using isotope). It showcases businesses founded by designers. You can sort the cards and see how wildly successful they are. Or you can flip the cards and learn more about the designer-founder behind the company.
Designers taking the world back from the MBAs! Not a half bad idea, eh?… OK, I'll stop.
over 1 year ago
I thought that was you! Really cute. Nice work.
Same! I saw this yesterday and it reminded me of your work!
This is great! Designers FTW!!
This is absolutely gorgeous. Great site. Great inspiration. I hope, one day, to put my card up there.
I saw this yesterday! Didn't realize you did this, good stuff!
Heh, seems like only 3 of the companies managed to get by without funding? Speaks volumes about the viability of the business models…
Yeah, that is something I never understood either Samo. Funding is seen as a prize in that world, but isn't it a better achievement for them to be able to operate independently?
Yeah, if you grow independently you have to prove from the get go that your business model works, that people are willing to pay money for whatever product or service you offer. Sometimes it makes sense to get funding to grow to that next level, but if your idea is based on "getting funding" it can quickly turn into a lottery (since Google et al can only buy so many "cool" startups).
But yeah, it feels way too much like a competition for "free money", often with little realistic plans beyond that. I know a bunch of "startup" people in Vienna, and it’s just always a big we’re-so-cool who-got-more-funding circlejerk with the product only being an afterthought. And it’s not even like people aren’t willing to pay for good service (Dribbble is a nice example of that), it’s just that growing users by 5% a month seems… boring?
Ah well, as long as people like you make it look pretty there’s at least something to marvel at. :)
Agreed. I feel that the reason to create a startup in the first place is to be independent. That you want to create something that doesn't yet exist in the corporate marketplace and have full control over its awesomeness or crappiness. So I am suspect of defining success in terms of "outside funding."
I hope that the takeaway from this visualization is more "look at what designers have made" rather than "look who is winning the funding game." With that said, I combed through the spreadsheet of data and picked out the companies that I legitimately thought offered a good product.
And as my own personal option (for what it is worth): I think designers (generally, but not universally) are hard wired / trained to look at the big picture and engineer holistic solutions to small and big problems. So they are perhaps less likely to make shit that no one would ever need/want. "Designing" systems and behaviors rather than just building them. But I have no data to prove that, it is just an intuition…
Kelli, really appreciate your work and thoughts on top of it. You're brilliant. Enrique from the DFund contacted me and introduced me to the fund. Excited about potentially being involved and hope to add my card to your infographic someday : )
Thank you Garrett! Enrique is a super-nice dude.
Best of luck in 2012 :)
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