When it just seemed people were finally figuring out what Design means, we get the backlash.
I had drafted a post responding to Design Thinking bashing (like this and this), and now Maeda reheats his annual report (if you can make it past the atrocious graphic design–really, try to click your mouse, or all the circular references) that announces maybe we are putting too much emphasis on Design. I can’t respond any better than Timothy Bardlavens who finally calls him out: the emperor has no clothes. Or actual products he has designed.
Both of these responses are taking the surface view of design, the lipstick on a pig that I had hoped we had long passed since Design Thinking brought the business world up to speed that Design = Problem Solving.
So a ‘design led’ company is one that emphasizes identifying the problem and then solving it. Integrating business, technology, and designers. It doesn’t mean we hire Jonny Ive as our CEO and just start making pretty things that have no business value or technical foundation.