Design-Driven Innovation

I’ve been reading the book ‘Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean’ by Roberto Verganti as part of my literature review. The book has an accompanying website which gives an overview of the book.

Design-Driven Innovation – by Roberto Verganti

Verganti analyses a specific Italian type of radical innovation. His opinions about how to go about innovation are radically different to the opinions of user-centered designers such as IDEO. This puts his framework in contrast with the framework of David Kelley that I have been analysing. Whereas Kelley focuses on observing users’ needs, Verganti suggests that users’ needs cannot prompt radical innovation – as they do not know what they need. Verganti has quoted the Chairman of the Italian company Artemide to illustrate this point.

“Market? What market! We do not look at market needs. We make proposals to people …”

– Ernesto Gismondi

Verganti proposes that Innovation has historically focused on two strategies: new technologies, and improved products based on users’ needs. However, he suggests that many successful companies (especially some Italian ones) also pursue design-driven innovation – which is a radical innovation of a product’s meaning.


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