Designer Fund share their insights on what it takes to start a successful business as a designer
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Issue 031

So you want to become a Designer Founder...

Starting a business can be daunting, especially if you're venturing outside the familiar realm of design.

As designers, we possess unique attributes and skills that make us prime candidates for entrepreneurship.

The question often is about something other than whether designers should start a business, but rather, how to begin...
⭐ Recommended article by Ben Blumenrose, Co-founder & Managing Partner at Designer Fund
12 minute read
The smart folks at Designer Fund recently shared this excellent article outlining how designers considering taking the leap as business founders can start on the right footing.

Here are my key takeaways from their insights...

1. Seek out novel problems

Instead of only solving known problems, designers should actively seek out new challenges, particularly in sectors like climate innovation, healthcare, or fintech.

These are all areas of opportunity that can significantly benefit from design innovation.

2. Partner wisely

Choose a cofounder who compliments and balances your skills and values design. Previous collaborative experiences with potential partners can be invaluable.

3. Perfection vs. Progress

While designers often aim for perfection, it's crucial to prioritise learning quickly in a startup environment. Regular product updates are often more valuable for gathering insights than perfect but infrequent releases.

4. Apply your design skills beyond the product

Beyond product and marketing, design can be leveraged for various business functions like recruiting, fundraising, or sales.

Getting a business off the ground is often about telling a compelling story and making abstract ideas feel tangible, something designers are enviously placed to excel at.
Design is a superpower that can be applied to many parts of a business

Ben Blumenrose
Co-founder & Managing Partner at Designer Fund
5. Delegate

Recognise the areas you're less passionate about or less skilled in, and outsource or delegate them. Ignoring or mismanaging these areas can become serious pitfalls. 

6. Explore diverse funding routes

Venture capital is one of many funding methods. Consider other avenues to fund your startup, like bootstrapping or harnessing revenue from existing businesses. The funding choices you make should align with the founder's vision and desired lifestyle.
If you enjoyed this edition, you might also like the podcast episode I recorded with Andy Budd.

Andy explores the opportunities for design entrepreneurs, the funding ecosystem, and shares practical advice on how to become a designer founder.

Enjoyed this edition? Get in touch
- I'd love to hear from you and share your stories in a future newsletter.
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