Tom Hulme has previously been Design Director at IDEO Europe. IDEO is one of the world’s most reputed design and innovation consultancies known for its human-centered approach. At Slush, Tom shared the most important things he learned while working at IDEO.
- The importance of empathy. One of the biggest reasons for large companies to fail is that they lose empathy for their customers. Having empathy and love for customers can also be the biggest relative advantage of a startup. Thus, get to know your customers, and it doesn’t mean focus group interviews – it means watching them in their daily lives.
- Perfect is the enemy of progress. It’s extremely difficult and slow to do things perfectly. If you want to make progress, you have to get out of the door and test something. So instead of testing something behind closed doors, you can actually release it into the wild to get real feedback.
- The significance of being open. Historically designers love their portfolio and they never show their ideas to anyone. But in order to figure out whether the idea is good, you need to reveal it. For example, retweets and hashtags were not originally invented by Twitter. They were driven by the creativity of the userbase.
Now working at Google Ventures, Tom helps to invest in high-growth businesses. If you are interested in hearing more about his work at Google Ventures and what he values in investments, check out the whole video of his speech at Slush 2015: