UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment and for supporting Jay’s new book. The winners (who will receive signed copies of Jay and Gary’s books and a month’s supply of CLIF BARs) are: Samantha, jnylyn78 and mommaof3ontherun. Congrats!
Way back in 2006, Clif Bar & Company founder, co-owner, and co-CEO, Gary Erickson published his book Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar & Company recounting Clif Bar’s origins and our journey to become a different kind of company. Today in 2010, Clif Bar is once again the subject of another great new book: Design is How it Works, How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons, by Jay Greene. In this book, Jay Greene, former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and an award-winning journalist, explores how Clif Bar and other successful companies have made design thinking part of their DNA.
Jay visited Clif Bar & Company for a few days in October, 2008. He caught us at a particularly exciting time — not only did he visit us a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, his visit also coincided with our Annual Epiphany Ride and Halloween festivities. In celebration of Jay’s book hitting shelves, I asked Jay to tell us about his book and his visit to Clif Bar & Company. We will also be doing a little giveaway — leave a comment on this blog post today and three people will be randomly chosen to receive an autographed copy of Jay’s book, an autographed copy of Gary’s book, and a month supply of CLIF BARs in your favorite flavor!
Kate: What is “design thinking”?
Jay: It’s really the practice of applying the skills designers use to create products to solve all sorts of business challenges, even ones that don’t require a focus on aesthetics. Designers intuitively use creativity and empathy to help them create something that has an emotional connection with customers. They prototype concepts and collaborate with colleagues to test theories and come up with novel approaches to new products. Design thinking applies those concepts to businesses where appearance doesn’t count for much. Design thinkers use anthropology, sociology and psychology to study customers in order to understand their unstated and unmet needs.