Partner and Global Managing Director, IDEO Ventures
I love bringing new things to life and helping others do the same. In that spirit, I lead the creation, feeding, and scaling of IDEO’s portfolio of entrepreneurial new ventures. In the last year, highlights of that roster include IDEO U, Creative Difference, and coLAB.
What you won’t learn from my bio:
I volunteer as a referee for the American Youth Soccer Organization.
1995, and then again in 2004 (I’m a boomerang)
Diego Rodriguez is a senior partner at IDEO, a founding professor at the Stanford d.school, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence Emeritus at Harvard Business School, and a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab.
Diego has held a variety of high-impact leadership roles at IDEO. His many years spent as an IDEO Bay Area office head—the general manager of a creative community of 300 people—provided him with a wellspring of insights into the art and science of leading a culture of innovation. Diego pioneered a new IDEO design discipline called Business Design, which has since become a core part of the firm’s offering.
Since 2014 Diego has been leading IDEO Futures, a group focused on creating new businesses for IDEO. By providing funding, strategic guidance, and roll-up-your sleeves operating know-how, Diego and team work across the firm to bring new ventures to market. So far they’ve launched several new offerings, including IDEO U, coLAB, and IDEO’s Startup-in-Residence program.
A dedicated educator, Diego is committed to growing future innovators. At Stanford, he created a new paradigm for active learning with his class Creating Infectious Action. As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School, he advised students on startups, worked with professors on innovation-related topics, and collaborated with the Harvard Innovation Lab.
His influential blog Metacool is an opinion leader on business, technology, and innovation. Fast Company calls it “a must-read for anyone who wants to incorporate design thinking into their work.” Diego has received many accolades, including a Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award, and he holds multiple patents. In 2010, Fortune named him one of “The Smartest People in Tech.”
Prior to IDEO, Diego did cutting-edge work as an R&D engineer at HP and as a marketer at Intuit. He earned bachelor’s degrees with honors in engineering and humanities from Stanford, and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.