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26 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
75- Opportunity costs, negotiating salary, and MVPs
In the latest Designer in Nature Talking Business, we are hosting Elisabeth Graf, a service designer, innovation coach, and facilitator. And a d.MBA alumna! Lilly shared how she got into design and learned about the importance of a business concept called opportunity costs. Along the way, we also discussed how she negotiated her salary and got a 50% raise only 3 months after being hired, and why her most hated business buzzword is MVP.
22 minutes | Oct 13, 2022
74- What are economic moats and why do they matter to designers?
According to the Oxford dictionary, a moat is “a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defence against attack”. Ok, basically some kind of defense around the castle. So, how does this concept translate to business? And design work? Martyn Reding, chief design officer at Upzelo and former head of design at Virgin Atlantic, shared how he learned about economic moats and how he uses the concept in designing digital products.
61 minutes | Sep 19, 2022
73- Will Adobe ruin Figma? And will Patagonia save the planet?
Let’s take a moment of silence. Adobe is acquiring Figma. Judging by Adobe’s previous acquisitions this is surely the end of Figma’s best days, right? But Adobe is promising to keep Figma independent! Should we believe Adobe? But let’s also celebrate. The founder of Patagonia is giving away his company to fight the climate crisis. He is setting a beautiful example of how companies can shift their main stakeholder from stockholders to the society and planet. But it also sets a dangerous precedent that other billionaires could exploit. In this episode, we cover: why is Adobe really acquiring Figma, is Adobe likely to keep Figma independent, and how Patagonia’s news is a beautiful and dangerous precedent for other billionaires. www.d.mba/mini-mba
45 minutes | Sep 9, 2022
72- Dirty business of carbon offsets
Most of us have already tried to offset the carbon footprint of our consumption. Maybe you’ve paid to offset your flight, a parcel delivery, or even production of a product you bought. And it made you feel good, right? Well, this episode will make you feel a bit worse. Sorry. But if you are ready to take the red pill listen in and we’ll share: how governments try to force certain industries and companies into decreasing pollution, why do some companies voluntarily offset their carbon footprint, and why, unfortunately, neither of these two paths is currently effective.
19 minutes | Aug 25, 2022
71- Why designing for users isn’t always the right approach
When you hire a designer to help you on a project, you don't expect them to say: "What if we don't focus on users here?". Franz shared his story of working on a client project that benefitted from designing for suppliers, not customers. To make his point for focusing on suppliers he used a tool called a value chain. Tune in to Designers in Nature Talking Business, our new podcast format where designers (in nature) share their stories of how they learned or used their favorite business tools. And learn what is a value chain and how you can use it too!
47 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
70- When people say money is free or expensive, what do they mean?
Recently, you may have heard that money is getting more expensive. But how can the money be more expensive? Money is, well, just money. To clarify this business lingo, Alen and Franz break down the current business environment and share what sets the price of money. We talked about: what cheap and expensive capital even means, why is money now getting more expensive, and what implications this has on the business world.
34 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
69- Strong dollar is good for the US economy, right? Right?!
It’s usually a bad sign when currencies take over news. It was no different this July 13th when the news broke that one euro is worth exactly one dollar for the first time in twenty years. The US dollar has been gaining strength against other currencies over the last six months due to various reasons, which we cover in detail in this episode. But the question is: Who benefits from a strong dollar. A strong dollar is good for US companies, right? Well… It is not that simple. Listen in to learn what are the most common factors why currencies fluctuate, who benefits from a strong US dollar, and which companies and individuals will be harmed by it?
61 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
68- How to position and price yourself as a design freelancer
Working as a freelancer comes with opportunities and challenges. One of these challenges is how you position yourself to get the clients you love working with. And secondly, how do you price your services so you can survive and thrive. We invited two d.MBA alumni and design freelancers (well, they prefer the term contractors - more about that in the show), Tom Prior and James Bickerton to share their experience. We talked about: how James charges $7,500 for a 90-minute workshop when being a specialist makes more sense than being a generalist and how the future of freelance work could be equity pay.
40 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
67- If monopolies are so bad why is every company trying to become one?
There is a saying in business that if a company is trying to prove that it is a monopoly, then it is not one. But if a company is trying to prove that it is not a monopoly, it may very well be. Holding a monopoly gives a company an unfair advantage, which is good for the company but usually bad for consumers and society as less (or no competition) leads to less (or no) innovation. Lately, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple are all facing legal actions to hinder their monopolistic position. So, in this Business Design Jam, we talked about: what exactly is a monopoly, how common business practices may lead to a monopoly, and what impact market-dominating positions have on customers and society. www.d.mba
61 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
66- How to convince your company to test a 4-day work week?
Surely, most of us would agree that a 4-day work week is a good idea, right? Early research shows no drop in productivity, and a big increase in employee well-being. So, why hasn’t it been more widely adopted? At the d.MBA, we’ve been running a 4-day work week for the last four years. So, we thought we would comment on some common concerns about the setup and share our perspective. Tune in to learn the most common arguments against the 4-day work week, and learn from our story how you could propose an experiment in your team or company.
49 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
65- What does a market crash mean for design (and business) community?
The prices of tech companies have fallen dramatically. Facebook, Netflix, Google, Apple, and Amazon are all down between 20 and 80% since their record highs. Yikes. Everyone is freaking out. But why? How does a market crash affect companies and us working for them? How does this affect designers? In this Business Design Jam, we talked about: the recent (mini?) market crash in the tech sector, why Netflix’s stock price is down almost 80%, and what Netflix can (and plans to) do about it. To read more about the profit tree, which was mentioned in the episode, check out this guide.
11 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
64- Designing and aligning incentives
Have you ever hired a freelancer and paid them per hour? And did you have the feeling that they are extending their scope of work so they could charge you more? Then, you have already experienced misaligned incentives, which are one of the biggest challenges and opportunities for companies. They can hurt relationships within companies and damage partnerships with outside collaborators. In our latest podcast episode, we explore how incentives affect the work of designers and why we are in a unique position to help companies better align incentives.
38 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
63- Andrew Whelan - Business Design at Ford
Business design is already pretty common among design agencies but not so much in product companies. So, we were excited to talk to Andrew Whelan, a Business Design Director at the D-Ford London Lab, where he leads a diverse and multi-skilled team tackling some of the biggest business model opportunities in the auto and mobility industry. We covered: what the role of business designers at D-Ford entails, Andrew’s favorite business design tools, and how to make the case for the business design discipline.
34 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
62- Wall-worthy school certificates for the digital age
Last week, we launched new school certificates. Using a combination of generative art and blockchain, we created several hundred unique certificates so that each student can receive a piece of art that is wall-worthy and trustworthy. To learn more about the project check out the blog post with visual materials. In this podcast episode, I spoke with Emil from design studio Ljudje, which helped us bring these beautiful certificates to life. We covered: How the certificates were designed and generated, how they are minted (you can see the current collection on OpenSea), and how many certificates were created and minted. https://d.mba/blog/school-certificates-for-the-digital-age
65 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
61- NFT Business Models
In this Business Design Jam, we talked about NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) and what new business models they will enable. Franz Emprechtinger and Alen Faljic covered: digital art and recurring revenues, fractionalization, distributed ownership, and crowdfunding, community and network effects, and internet native cooperations - DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). www.d.mba
40 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
60- Aarron Walter - Business case for emotional design
Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Content at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He's the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. In this episode, we talked about: the business case for emotional design, how healthy personal finance lead to better job performance, and Aarron learnings from his recently launched podcast Reconsidering.
12 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
59- Hidden costs behind every decision
The opportunity costs are a super important concept for our decision-making process. They describe potential benefits that we miss out on because we decided to do something else. For example, focusing the company’s resources on rebranding instead of product development. In this episode, we will cover: how opportunity costs affect decisions taken within companies, what are sunk costs and how to avoid sunk cost trap, and how we can present design solutions better to get more buy-in from senior stakeholders.
38 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
58- Guestimation Challenge 2
In the guestimation challenge, two contenders make fast estimations with very little data available. This game imitates a real-world scenario, where we need to estimate certain numbers for our projects. For example, when we want to understand the size of our competitors, how much revenue our product or service idea could make, etc. This time, contenders are two d.MBA mentors Jo Roberts (Senior Business Design Director at Prophet) and Sherif Labib (Business Designer and Senior Advisor at PwC Luxembourg). Listen in, see how business designers guesstimate, and train your guestimation muscle!
17 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
57- The good and the bad side of scaling companies
Economies of Scale is one of the most fundamental concepts in business, which define how competitive are our organizations. In this episode, we dive deep into what this concept really is and explain: why almost every company wants to grow bigger (and why that is good and bad), why investors dislike service companies, and how to use the keyword “marginal cost” in your next big meeting. www.d.mba/course
51 minutes | May 4, 2021
56- Yancey Strickler ex-CEO @Kickstarter - Towards more generous capitalism
Yancey Strickler is the cofounder and ex-CEO of Kickstarter, which revolutionized the field of early-stage investments with the crowdfunding model. The company has helped raise over $5 billion for more than 200,000 projects. After leaving Kickstarter, Yancey became an author and wrote a beautiful book titled This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World. In this book, Yancey lays out how we got to the world where making money became the main and only goal for companies and how we can change that culture through the Bento method. In this podcast, we go deep into how designers can use the Bento method to raise the quality of their arguments in business conversations. www.d.mba
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