Cart 0

Design|Research is a Hybrid, Next Generation Innovation Consultancy

We are not a design firm but really an innovation and business building firm with deep roots in design, strategy and user experiences.

Our mission is to create meaningful products in a world awash with ideas and ugly knowledge.


At D|R we are rooted in real-life sh#! that happens in New York every day. As a result, we strive to being the best, we refuse to let anyone put us in a box. We think that’s where we stand in the whole equation, especially coming out of New York and knowing New York so well.


Design|Research We bring ideas to life.

"Design|Research’s systems thinking approach leverages deep social science and agile business model creativity.  The ‘hybrid’ style is surprisingly rare in the innovation field.”   — Kiyo Yamauchi. Head of User Research, Japan at Twitter

Our model makes us more open to coming in to: promote growth mindsets,  cultivate imagination, not sell a design concept.

We recognize that value doesn't always flow automatically when you create a great user experience or a product with unique aesthetics.  In essence, we believe that you have to design the surrounding business system, including critical pieces like the revenue/cost model in order to amplify the overall opportunities.


Overview / Commentary

The purpose of D|R innovation is to provide optionality.  It is not made to answer the call of “we demand results, now!”  Rather, innovating is investing in options, in future potential. While innovating has uncertain short-term returns, it is the best means for long-term survival. Inno- vation is profit insurance

Think of D|R as your human-centric R&D department for agile anthropology, generative research (fuzzy, front-end research), disruptive insights (black swan ideas), strategy, design thinking, content innovation, philosophy, behavioral economics and exponential business models supported by start-up metrics.

By combining world-class design expertise with a entrepreneurial mindset, D|R helps clients create new growth by delivering breakthrough products, services, and experiences across a variety of challenges: digital, physical, and social currency.

Social currency is a determinant factor about how a company fits or is part of the social lives of consumers or others, and the extent it engages with others in social networks, both offline and online.

The emphasis of our work (problem finding x problem solving) is to capture insights and articulate value attributes early on in the innovation process prior to the value engineering, design and marketing add later on in the process (e.g., solution space). 

Our goal is to help clients reach the right strategic answer in terms of breakthrough innovation but is *not* involved in the ongoing implementation of that answer.  Innovation strategy informs where the company is going; design informs how it gets there.  Design makes strategy real. The purpose of good design is to help the company realize its strategic intent. 

Creative Destruction is Real and Acc- elerating.

Disruption in your market is not a matter of if, but by whom. This transformation is not about apps or gimmicks or improving the status quo. The disruption we are seeing, is aimed directly at the core of the established business models, challenging them to its very foundations.


✦ The churn rate of the S&P 500 is accelerating faster than ever before. On average, every second week a company on the S&P 500 is replaced by a new company. At the current rate, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027. 

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen states that companies launch 30,000 new consumer products each year—95 percent of them fail.

A recent business study by Rita McGrath (Thinkers50, Columbia Business School professor) states;  of every (publicly traded) company on the stock exchange with a market capitalization of over $1B, only 10 were able to increase their net income by at least five percent per year,  for 10 years in a row.  "This is clearly a shorthand way of thinking strategically about the life-cycle of a competitive business advantage."   

Peter Diamandis, co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University says 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies are predicted to disappear in the next 10 years. Competition is no longer the multinational overseas; instead, it’s the exponential entrepreneur creating companies like Uber, Airbnb, DropBox, Oculus, Whatsapp, SpaceX and Tesla”    

Most experts (e.g., McKinsey) agree that the speed of change that we are experiencing today is actually the slowest it will be in our lifetime. As a result, disruptions are coming closer and closer together.

Over the past few decades, we have helped build a corporate culture that systematically prioritizes short-term gains over longer-term product health.

Even progressive companies who proudly tout their social mission or creative vision in their advertising & social media tend to reward their employees for short-term metrics.

At D|R we believe that design thinking’s user-centered approach is being used in today’s MBA business environment to validate rather than predict new ideas and design concepts. In essence, the mind is conditioned to refuse the “theory of possibilities."  

Market Research is Not Innovation.

According to Nathan Shedroff, Chair of CCA; He states 95% of Market Research is worthless! view loc: 41:35

“Demanding data to confirm or kill a hypothesis too quickly can squash the intellectual play that is necessary for creativity.”    source HBR

We believe that design thinking starts with human values. Business design innovation is driven by a deep understanding of customer needs, which then leads to the question, what technology and business model can we use to deliver the experience that will delight customers.

Think about what the world will look like five to ten years out - across a range of different industries, not just your own. In this future world, how do the needs & desires of your current consumer change? The time for cynicism has past and "the move fast and break things" era is over. It’s time to ask the right questions and dare to design the future today.

The worst place to develop a new business model is from within your existing business model. 

The irony about the use of ‘fuzzy’ front-end business models is that when used correctly, it actually forces managers to think rigorously about their businesses.

Life’s too short to create something nobody wants.  The business model, not the technology, software, data or design solution, is the product. view @ Scribb.L Lab


Innovate to change the rules of the game.

Never innovate to compete.  Innovate to change the rules of the game. 

In other words, if you start evaluating new ideas and design concepts with soulless business logic, you will end up with only incremental improvements and most likely your future will be more or less like the present. 

While traditional analysis suggests that Possible Futures take years to develop. In today’s world this is no longer the case. Futures are no longer bound by time. Today, Possible Futures & disruptive ideas can be delivered just as fast as the ideas for Plausible Futures.

For the first time in history, we reached a point where technology acceleration is faster than our ability as humans to adapt to it. source

In an economy where machines do most of the work, the nature of the knowledge locked inside new products is becoming social. Social platforms (human focused) are the most extreme and advanced expression of what may be the defining corporate strategy of our time. "We believe that humanity will change more in the next 15 years than in the previous 300 years." 

“Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible.

Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent.”  — Robert Anton Wilson

innovation process.gif

Radical Innovation is a chaotic & sometimes irrational pro-cess.

It’s a style of advanced creativity. But if your goal is innovation, it’s the only style that works.

You cannot solve exponential problems with linear solutions.

We have entered a decade of disruption of large corporate business models, driven by a step change in the power of technology and the audacity and speed of start-ups. To be fit for the future, visionary companies will need to deliberately re-imagine themselves by injecting or attacking established models with new ideas fueled by technology.

We are now living in strange times aren’t we? Everything around us has an air of uncertainty. Clearly, we live in a new world inspired by disruptive unicorns, and clearly there are new rules.

Services, Time & Cost

We offer a 6-Phase Innovation Process that ranges from a 48 hour sprint to a 90 day business+design program. The goal is to harness and nurture select methodologies & activities (qualitative and quantitative) that will ultimately assist and define, new meanings, knowledge, and unmet needs for both business and design alike.

To reiterate, the emphasis of our work is to capture insights and articulate value attributes early on in the innovation process prior to the value engineering, design and marketing add later on in the process (e.g., solution space). 


Managing Risks

It's not about getting the best insight or the right answer or 95 percent of what we need to know; its about designing and iterating 'knowledge-prototypes' that get us to more than three-quarters of the way to what we think we need to understand in a fraction of the time and at a fifth of the cost of what management / innovation consultants ordinarily invest to get that essential information.

A typical McKinsey project costs between $500,000 and $1,250,000.   Rocketblocks Or you can pay Stanford $12,600 for a 4-day “Design Thinking Bootcamp” called “From Insights to Innovation.” Bootcamps usually come with the promise that you don't need any skill, or that anyone can get results! All you need do is follow a 14 step process or use the latest buzz words like "design-thinking" to achieve phenomenal success in anything related to business.

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 9.33.24 AM.png

Key Industries:  Automotive, Agricultural, Consumer Packaged Goods, Financial Services, Healthcare Systems & Services, High Tech, Media & Entertainment, Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products, Private Equity & Principal Investors, Retail, Social Sector, Nascent Startups, we can help support your (Kickstarter, IndieGogo or MicroVentures) campaign from start to finish.

Design|Research is a Hybrid, Next Generation Innovation Consultancy

We Envision Ideas Radically

UBER A.jpg