Design Thinking: Too Late to Catch the Wave?

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At SXSW (South by SouthWest) two or three years ago, all the videographers were dismayed to realize that videography had already reached a peak. But when one of them said this, those who were presenting said, NO. You guys are on the forward edge so it seems to you like it has all been done, but behind you is an entire ocean that has not yet been surfed.

This seems to be the same question/perception that is being discussed in Is Design Thinking Dead? Hell, no.

The author, Grant McCracken, says that the moving force behind design thinking, Bruce Nussbaum, has declared that design thinking “has given … all it has to offer.” BUT…

In this world, designers can continue to create extraordinary value. They are the people who have, or could have, the laterality needed to solve problems, the sensing skills needed to hear what the world wants, and the databases required to build for the long haul and the big trajectories. Designers can be definers, making the world more intelligible, more habitable. But this won’t happen if, confronted by the inevitable difficulty of the early days, they take their balls and go home.

In sum, it is wrong to say that design thinking has given us “all the benefits it has to offer,” and it’s wrong to call it a “failed experiment.” I think we should be arguing that design thinking is just getting started. And a good thing, too; we need this approach more than we ever did.

I think McCracken is right.

And I think it is the same problem videopodcasters at SXSW had a few years ago. They were too far ahead of the wave to see the entire ocean behind it.

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