3 min read

A piece of advice from Stanford: “We have to celebrate failure”

“You’ve got to make it okay for teams not to get it right the first time. You’ve gotta say ‘great job, let’s have a failure party’.”

In the episode “Why Design Thinking Matters” of Tech Innovation Talks, we sit down with Scott Sanchez, Deluxe’s Product Innovation Officer, and Stanford’s adjacent-faculty coach and advisor, to talk about design applied to the business world at large.

Take a look at what this episode has in store for you.

The best technology is called “understanding your customers”

Scott’s own history with Design Thinking is one of a true designer. As he recalls when someone asked him in his early days of engineering.

That’s great, Scott, about the technology (…) but how do you build a business out of that? And I looked at him with this deer in headlights look and said, ‘oh my gosh, you can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t know how to build a business, you fail.

Scott Sanchez, Product Innovation Officer at Deluxe.

As is the case with many designers, the path towards getting interested in Design Thinking usually takes them down many paths they weren’t originally planning on going down. After taking a quick detour from engineering to business management, Scott finally stated:

I realized at that moment that you can have the best technology and the best business in the world, but if you don’t really understand your customers, you fail.

Why Design Thinking Matters: the goggles of a business designer

This is the unreliable truth that Designers hold above all others: the only way to truly succeed in any market or industry is to truly understand your customers in order to provide solutions to their problems. This is a concept that our second guest knows all too well, the CEO of MJV, Mauricio Vianna.

Mauricio added to Scott’s introduction by saying: “Once you start looking at the world with the goggles of a designer, everything changes.

This shared experience of being introduced to Design Thinking’s mindset is not unique to our two guest speakers. The methodology behind DT is built to be flexible and robust, allowing it to be applied to almost any situation and in every industry.

And these ‘goggles’ as Mauricio calls them, can be very contagious. One of the topics we touch on in this Tech Talks is the idea of using Design Thinking as a catalyst for cultural transformation within a company. The Design Thinking methodology is much more of a mindset than it is a collection of tools and strategies. As Scott mentions:

When I think about culture change using elements of design thinking, (…) You’ve got to teach people how to think like a designer and apply it to their day job. (…) Innovation can’t be one of these things that just happen in the nighttime or in a special skunkworks team out in Silicon Valley.

Scott Sanchez, Product Innovation Officer at Deluxe.

You’ve most certainly heard DT experts preach about how Design Thinking has to be ingrained within an organization’s culture or how it’s a mindset that must be applied to every scenario and disseminated throughout the company in a top-down fashion. These ideas might seem a bit lofty or even insincere, but if you give our two guest speakers a bit of your time, you’ll see just how much they truly believe in these principles.

We don’t want to spoil too much of the interview, so we’ll just leave you with this little taste. But here at MJV pride ourselves on our company’s commitment to Design Thinking as a methodology, which we pioneered in Latin America. We truly believe in DT’s reach and scope.

Catch this full TechInnovation Talks episode here. You can also find us on Spotify, Apple, and Google podcasts.