Insight from IDEO: How to Prototype a Business

There’s a great post on IDEO‘s website on a topic that is fascinating to me: How to Prototype A New Business (from their Creative Confidence series).

The post is based around an interview (audio below) with Joe Gerber, the MD of IDEO CoLab, which is “a collaborative R&D Lab exploring emerging technologies and its future impact”.

Among some of the useful points, there is a nice lens that can be used to assess new businesses: Viability, Feasibility, and Desirability.

Source: IDEO

Prototyping is a key part of the Design Thinking process and this podcast shows how important it is in Business Design. This is because the hardest thing to predict is the desirability, so you have to test this empirically.

In the podcast, Joe goes into great detail about how you can do this by trying to sell the concept as if it were already a product to see if there is genuine customer appetite (he refers to setting up a “lemonade stand”).

There are some amazing resources linked on there such as Tom Hulme’s Business Model Canvas and a list of Prototyping Tools that can be used (both physical and digital).