- All Community
Late last year we invited Food Genius to be IDEO's inaugural Startup-in-Residence—we’d worked closely with them as part of our role at Excelerate Labs and felt that a collaboration could provide a unique experience and tremendous value for both companies. Justin and team collocated with us for 14 weeks, and so began a journey in blending startup methodology, agile development, design thinking, and customer-centered design.
The reality is that most of the project teams at IDEO look like and act like startups—integrating equal parts design, technology, and business, and operating with a lot of autonomy—so Food Genius slotted into the flow here, and really quickly became a part of our community.
They shared their work with the entire studio (and received loads of feedback from designers and customers), they participated in design reviews for other teams, they connected with our clients, we spent a ton of time designing, prototyping, evaluting, and iterating together, we ate a bunch (http://labs.ideo.com/2012/05/03/ideo-food-genius-curry-crawl/), and we might have done some drinking in there too.
“When we first met IDEO, we expected them to solve our design issues,” says Justin Massa, Food Genius CEO. “What we learned during our residency, however, was how to use human-centered design thinking to become a customer-centered company and sustainably solve our business problems. The experience was life changing.”
I’ve used that quote a lot in the past few months, but the the reality is that the learning was mutual. We certainly helped provide Food Genius with the tools and experiences to navigate a rapidly evolving marketplace, but our world class designers got the opportunity to work side-by-side with the most committed, inspiring, and motivated clients they’ve experienced in a while.
It was a win-win in my book, and it’s an experience we’re looking to repeat.
We’re excited to announce our next residency program and we’re looking for companies that might be interested in collaborating with us this Fall. The full details can be found here www.ideo.com/chistartup, but if you have an early stage company that’s looking to challenge the status quo and deliver meaningful impact in the world, then we want to hear from you.