Truer Words Have Never…

Today I came accross the below quote that I had not read in a while. I felt it was a fitting and an eloquent expression of the struggle that many entrepreneurs / business owners have to go through to reach the other side of an industrious effort.

If you’re reading this for the first time, print it out or save it. #Evernote.

It is a healthy reminder of the underlying depth of greatness.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man/woman who points out how the strong man/woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man / woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself / herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he / she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his / her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

So…remember these words and remind yourself that you have already achieved more than most because you chose to step into the arena. Keep believing and fighting…..eventually you’ll get to the other side. And even if the outcome is defeat, you can keep your head up high knowing that you dared greatly.

Thank you Teddy Roosevelt.

Design Thinking is…Thinking

I attended a Design Thinking event hosted by the Keizai Silicon Valley association in Mountain View. It was a fascinating discussion about how design thinking can (and should be) used as a engine to spark innovation with Japanese companies. During his presentation, Aki Koto-san (a Partner at WiL), talked about Suzuki Motors as a use case who recently embraced this way of thinking.

Many know Suzuki as the makers of motor bikes but they also manufacturer wheel chairs. In an effort to ignite creative thinking and innovation, Suzuki sent a few of their engineers to the Valley to embrace Design Thinking as a way to reimagine wheelchairs. There approach included the following:

  • Interviewing 150 Elders
  • Volunteering at a Wheelchair Store
  • Using a Wheelchair in Real Life Situations

The 3 engineers also lived together and ultimately came up with new ideas that were empathetic to wheelchair users. We do not know exactly what the team conceptualized but, as Koto-san shared, Suzuki Motors approved their idea.

I look forward to seeing what Suzuki will be bringing to market. But, more importantly, I hope that other companies in Japan will take notice. Design Thinking is all about thinking in the right way to not only solve problems but to FIND problems that we did not know were there.