Nothing proclaims the growing importance of creativity and design to entrepreneurship than the move of RISD president John Maeda to the key Silicon Valley venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins where he will become the first Design Partner. At the same time, John will chair the Design Advisory Board at eBay
From Airbnb to to Kickstarter to Youtube, a growing number of startup founders have a design/arts background that provides the skills and values to start new companies. Knowing what is meaningful to people, reframing what is conventional, playing to reach unexpected outcomes, scaling creativity to actual creation–all these skills come out of an education based in art, music, liberal arts and creativity in general. John has understood this for many years and has been a proponent of STEAM, not just STEM.
One of the great challenges ahead to to recreate venture capital itself using the tools of creativity and design. The old portfolio approach of backing many, many startups with the hope of one or two breaking out is ridiculously inefficient. VCs typically have a 5%-10% success rate. Applying the creative competencies of design to early startups could raise that startup success rate to 50% or 60%. And that could have a major economic impact on all of us.
Good luck John. Brilliant move.