Business Innovation Through Design Thinking

Business innovation is essential to any organization’s success and must lead to three outcomes: superior solutions, reduced risks and costs associated with change and employee buy-in.

Businesses have developed numerous effective tactics for reaching their results, but when trying to implement them they often encounter new barriers and trade-offs.


Airbnb is an innovative online marketplace connecting people who have spare space in their home with travelers looking for short or long-term lodgings. This model of business innovation represents design thinking in action: data-driven companies conducting experiments to test creative hypotheses before initiating change.

In 2009, when Airbnb was struggling to turn a profit with $200 per week in revenue, its founders used design thinking to turn things around. By identifying problems and finding effective solutions they doubled profits.

Listening carefully to their customers and viewing things differently allowed them to find ways to increase bookings – this simple yet groundbreaking idea revolutionized their business for good.

Airbnb has successfully innovated their business by encouraging their employees to take calculated risks for the company. They encourage individual team members to test new features by placing small bets, then sending more pirates in that direction if it pays off – this structure allows them to move swiftly forward while discovering new opportunities.


UberEats takes design thinking practices seriously and continuously strives to enhance and evolve its product. Their innovation workshops bring people from various disciplines together in an attempt to brainstorm possible improvements.

UberEats’ designers also travel regularly to cities to observe how their products are used by delivery partners and restaurants during busy hours, sitting with customers as they place orders, as well as watching customers order dinner in their own homes. This process provides real-world feedback and insights not available within its office environment.

Design thinking can help businesses innovate their product categories in a revolutionary manner. Through it, teams gain a better understanding of customer preferences and needs – leading them to create solutions tailored specifically for the market place.

UberEats’ team places great emphasis on empathy and understanding their customers’ unique needs, learning through design thinking to listen and learn from users in the field to produce products which customers love.


Nordstrom has expanded from its humble shoe store in Seattle into one of the premier fashion specialty retailers. One of their many innovations that made Nordstrom so successful was their focus on customer-centricity.

At this company, corporate humility is valued; new executives work closely with employees on the store floor while top leaders take phone calls themselves so that all staff know exactly what it takes to provide customers with service.

Nordstrom boasts an expansive inventory and selection, often twice that of other department stores. Furthermore, its decentralized structure enabled local buyers to make inventory selections that better suited customers’ needs.

TextStyle app also serves as a powerful value capture play, placing personal stylists right in customers’ pockets for ultimate customer loyalty.


Design thinking is the process of understanding customer needs and empathizing with their needs in order to create products and services they crave. This technique is widely utilized by designers and other business professionals as an innovative approach for developing innovative solutions for their organizations.

Netflix serves as an ideal example of how this approach can transform a company, using design thinking to constantly optimize their business model.

Blockbuster initially required customers to visit physical locations in order to rent DVDs, with same-day returns being the main inconvenience for people looking for convenient streaming of movies and shows.

Netflix implemented design thinking as part of their business strategy to stay ahead of competition and provide the optimal customer experience. Their empathic approach to user behavior and expectations ensured continued expansion while they also began producing their own movies and series that consumers couldn’t find elsewhere on streaming services.

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