Disruptive Forces: IDEO

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2008-03-27 Email Print this article Print


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Location: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Tim Brown

Revenues: N/A (private)

What they do: This design consultancy delivers products, services, environments and digital experiences.

Disruptive qualities: IDEO creates experiences, not simply products. As founder David Kelly puts it, “We are in the understanding people business.” An innovator’s hallmark is teaching others, and that’s what IDEO is known as: a disruptors’ evangelist.

The tech that makes them tick: For all its market analytics and automated design acumen, the company that crafted Apple’s first mouse, the Palm V and the world’s first laptop still comes down to the human brain. “We manage a constant stream of experimental projects designed to expand our knowledge,” says Tim Brown. “We expect every experiment to produce an output we can communicate or experientially evaluate in some qualitative way.”

Who they are disrupting: IDEO threatens bicycle makers and health care providers, product packagers and online retailers. But the company really disrupts from within, teaching thought leaders across industry boundaries how to think and act like a change agent.

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