If you should need any evidence that Dev Patnaik, the CEO and founder of Jump Associates, is marching to the beat of a different drummer, consider what he does when he’s not in the office. Since 1999, Dev has been teaching a popular course at nearby Stanford University called Needfinding. In it, students draw upon
methods from anthropology, design research and business planning to discover
new insights about ordinary people and create new products for them. While the class
is required for all design majors, it’s become a smash crossover hit, drawing in legions of students from Stanford’s Business School, its School of Education, and even computer science majors.
This week, Dev takes the guest blogging reins at Fast Company, where he warns us that we’re in for a different kind of design discussion than we’re had in the past. He’s going to re-evaluate our relationship with those two elusive I-words: Innovation and Impact. Yep, Dev is going to prove that innovation still has a business impact. “Up until a year ago, innovation was the toast of the
business world. Companies around the world were investing heavily in design,
launching new products, and even building virtual retail stores in Second Life.” But in the wake of the financial disaster, he says, “It’s entirely
legitimate to wonder: is innovation relevant anymore?” While you ponder that, get cozy with a few recent samples of Dev’s work:
A Target store featuring the products Jump created together with the retailer for back-to-school shopping.
A photo from a biker rally during a project for Harley-Davidson to create a new brand community strategy.
A screenshot of NBC’s Web site for Sunday Night Football.
JumpSpace, Jump’s HQ, which Dev co-designed with Michael Fazio of Archideas.
Read Dev Patnaik’s Innovation blog