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Business Designer (Product Management)

In a nutshell:

IDEO is looking for a Business Designer with product management experience to join our Palo Alto studio. The ideal candidate loves to craft and build new businesses and understands how (and why) designing products and services can drive strategic growth for our clients. The right candidate will have a demonstrated ability to work with a broad set of designers (Interaction, Communication, Industrial, etc.) to bring a variety of concepts and products to life and to market. We are specifically looking for people with a depth of experience in end-to-end product life cycles, business model design, market analysis, financial modeling, and implementation.

In your past life, you may have been an intra- or entrepreneur, product manager, or consultant – with experience bringing a scalable new offer to market. You fundamentally think that when you design a new product, service, or experience, you’re simultaneously designing the broader business strategy and roadmap for future growth.

Why is this role important for IDEO's work?

As a Business Designer, you will be the business anchor on the team ensuring that the viability of new concepts are thoroughly considered. In this capacity, you'll work with the team to understand the client context, collect and interpret relevant data, develop insights, explore and define growth opportunities, define strategy, create tangible design expressions, communicate the vision, and ultimately help our clients get new offers to market.

You will take the lead in enabling your project team to forecast and simulate the impact of new offers and business models, to better understand the size of markets and opportunities, and to help inspire and validate the strategic direction of projects through data (and good old fashioned math!).

Once here you will:

  • Collaborate with clients to understand their business challenges and opportunities and to help identify and prioritize their near and long term goals.
  • Design organizational structures and strategic assets to help companies support new offers and drive innovation.
  • Partner with various designers to create new and evolve existing physical and/or digital products in ways that foster strategic business growth.
  • Use discovery-driven planning and financial modeling to explore the business model possibilities behind design concepts and to shape and influence their design.
  • Design business models that enhance and extend consumer experiences.
  • Translate business data and concepts into actionable insights for the IDEO team (and community).

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

Some previous projects to check out:

  • Ford Greenfield Labs: Ford Motor Company and IDEO have collaborated in shaping future mobility solutions and formed Greenfield Labs, a collaborative innovation lab practicing human-centered design.
  • Willow Breast Pump: Breast pumping used to be a cumbersome, complicated experience for mothers that wanted to provide breast milk for their babies and retain flexibility in their days. IDEO helped Willow design the first all-in-one, wearable breast pump which won two Best of CES awards in 2017. It provides a quiet, easy-to-use experience superior to previous products in the category.
  • Future of Voting for LA County: Voting is an important part of a citizen’s life, and IDEO helped the largest voting jurisdiction in the US create an intuitive, accessible voting experience and ballot machine for every type of voter, acknowledging the inherent complexity of the process and diversity of the population.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • A minimum of 5-7 years of industry experience.
  • Successful candidates will combine rigorous business acumen across many of the following areas, along with world-class depth in one or two: Product Development, Product Management, Start-ups, Marketing (Product or Brand), Organizational Behavior, Operations, Finance, and Design.
  • Operational experience in or a deep understanding of taking offerings to market and scaling, whether as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.
  • Familiarity with project management tools and Agile Development.
  • Excellence in complex business model development, scenario planning, and forecasting, with a depth of experience using Excel as a baseline.
  • Demonstrated fluency with the human-centered design process and an ability to work in multidisciplinary design teams.
  • Experience in a client-service or consultative role which might include management consulting, creative services, design, finance or operations.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.

Pop quiz:

Please include your answer to the following prompt in your cover letter:

Please tell us about a time that you applied human-centered design to solve a business problem (200 words or less).

Application instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter including your answer to the pop quiz question.


Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.