"Design school is the future, business school is dead."
The point may be stated in the extreme, but the point to consider is the importance of design in the future of business.
I have heard Nicholas talk about design several times but my thinking on design began with some posts from Frog Design after reading Helmust Esslinger's "A Fine Line" (Esslinger founded Frog Design.) Frog helped me to see the parallels to entrepreneurship in design. I then found the Stanford Design School, which is heavily influenced by the thinking of the design firm IDEO, and began reading about their design processes. Lately I have been reading Karl Ulrich's writings on design. Ulrich is another alumni of MIT (Negroponte) who teaches a Coursera offering on design. He also advocates that design should be part of a general requirements university curriculum, like writing, calculus, etc.
All of this reading lead me to realize that design process is an excellent model for the first part of a two-part process approach to entrepreneurship, which I described in this post a few days ago. I think both Nicholas and Ulrich would agree with this concept that a formal design process is the foundation of entrepreneurship, or at least the foundation to develop the hypothesis to be tested in the market. (For the sake of completeness, let us assume that the design process is used for addressing documented large market opportunities.)
In this post, "How to Survive the End of the Industrial Age", I basically argued that the individual must control their economic destiny in the 21st century and that entrepreneurship is the best solution. Therefore, I believe that business schools, as one means to teach entrepreneurship, must change as follows:
- Business school curriculum must be changed to use entrepreneurship as the principal theme of the curriculum, as opposed to the current focus on strategy, productivity and finance.
- Design courses and the design process must be taught as a required course with several electives in the subject
- Computer science must be taught such that every graduate has sufficient knowledge to program, understand the design of a computer or smart phone at the component level and recognize a business opportunity in big data and the technology required to commercialize it, to name a few courses to be offered
- Every student needs to develop a new business with each course/semester helping the student to refine their concept and commercialize it. (Ideally the business school would provide the seed money.)
- Adjunct professors with practical experience would teach a larger percentage of the courses
(All of my posts on design are here.)
Image credit: Systemtek