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The Seven Axioms of Yves

  1. "Design is how you treat your customers. If you treat them well from an environmental, emotional, and aesthetic standpoint, you're probably doing good design."

  2. "Design must be integrated throughout the organization. Design-driven businesses foster creativity and innovation at their core and reward factions typically at odds (marketing and operations or engineering) for working together."

  3. "Design is not a short-term fix. It's a long-term engagement that requires you to think about how design affects everything that touches the consumer—from product to packaging to marketing to retail to the take-home experience."

  4. "As in marketing or operations, you must be willing to fail at the design level."

  5. "Design must be driven from the top. CEOs in most industries today must have a true relationship with, and understanding of, the creative side of the business."

  6. "With design, the solution to a problem will be different every time. Doing what your competitors are doing is not the answer. The connection to your customer has to be unique, not formulaic."

  7. "Never ask the consumer about the future. You can ask them what their aspirations are, but you will not get an answer about what you should do. Design will bring those stories to life."

A version of this article appeared in the October 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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