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IDEO Product Development

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Angela Walczak-Owen

on 8 October 2015

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Transcript of IDEO Product Development

IDEO Product Development

IDEOs Management, Organization & Culture
Innovation Process
History of IDEO
“one of the world’s largest and arguably most successful product development firms”
“Palo Alto, the heart of California’s Silicon

Contributions to the PALM V

Nathan Mauch
Angela Owen
Matt Mordecai
John Montgomery
Scott Wenger

Brain Storming
The firm followed several principles of brainstorming:

stay focused on the topic

encourage wild ideas

defer judgment to avoid interrupting the flow of ideas

build on the ideas of others (since it was usually more productive than
seeking glory for one’s own insights)

hold only one conversation at a time to ensure that introverts
also got their say

go for QUANTITY (very productive brainstorming could generate 150 ideas in 30 to 45 minutes)

and be visual
since sketching ideas would help people understand them
Product Development Process Phases
Implement detail engineering
implement manufacturing liason
Small design studios of less than two dozen employees

Achieved growth by budding out smaller design studios when one appeared to large

Strategic placement of design studios in stimulating locations all around the world

Lack of hierarchy and a discouragement of formal titles

This avoided losing workers to administrative positions instead of creating products

Employees were able to focus solely on their work and not get caught up in the working gears of the company

Encouraged employees to leave desk and walk around during mental blocks

1991 IDEO started from a merger between
David Kelly Design, ID Two and Matrix

1996 Jeff Hawkins brings the Palm Pilot ($300)
to market and starts the Palm V ($450)

1997-99 Development of the Palm V and expected
market release by Q1-99

1999 Another competing product to hit the market
in Q4-99, the Handspring Visor ($150)
Applied Management Practices

Corporate Culture
Product Development Process

“fail often to succeed sooner”— IDEO company culture

Handspring ~ Visor

Product Development Process

2 AAA batteries (not rechargeable)
Only avail in one color

Corporate Culture
Similar with the Palm V project
No Policy Policy

but the time line was smaller for this project
Applied Management Practices

Rev. April 26, 2007
No policy Policy
no bureaucracy
no politics
no hierarchy

Structured Creative Product Development

Teams were small and maintained the same group from phase 0-IV
1996-99 first ship Q1-99
1997-99 product launch Q4-99 $150
Time & Price Pressures

Tried & True Tech
Spring Board Slot
No Policies
No Bureaucracy
No Hierarchy
sacrifice innovation and design in order to meet the client's goals
Lack of differentiation
Secret Project kept from everyone outside the visor working group.
This created a disconnect from the companies usual culture of discussing projects openly throughout IDEO
Team Cross Over which goes against project start to finish standard
Promotes collaboration
No willingness to cannibalize old technology
Lack of vision of future markets
High Risk tolerance that lead to failure with taking on this project

Employees were able to focus solely on their work and not get caught up in the working gears of the company

Encouraged employees to leave desk and walk around during mental blocks
Internal Creative Drive - did not listen to customers
Full transcript