d.MBA - MBA for Designers


Design is not just about aesthetics or users. Good design solves business challenges. So, understanding business is crucial for good design work.

d.MBA is world’s first online MBA for designers. It’s an 8-week part-time program that teaches business to designers. It’s not just another mass open online course but rather a carefully crafted experience where you will be taken on a journey in a small group of designers and mentors, who will care about your progress.

The next session will start in March 2019. Join the waiting list below to be notified when applications are open.

Curriculum designed by ex-IDEO business designer

Course curriculum is designed to cover the most important topics that designers should now about business. So, d.MBA covers 7 business topics:

  • Industry Analysis

  • Competitor Analysis

  • Business Models

  • Business Strategies

  • Prototyping with Numbers

  • Design Metrics

  • Business Metrics


Learning approach focused on career impact

We all know that merely consuming information is not enough. True learnings stretches us to challenge our current mental models and that requires work, trust and care. d.MBA’s approach has four steps:

 d.MBA’s Learning Pedagogy

d.MBA’s Learning Pedagogy

  1. Learn - Each week you’ll receive roughly video materials, covering business skills accompanied by examples from various industries

  2. Explore - Explore deeper with additional resources and weekly live Q&A session where mentors answer your questions

  3. Do - Each module consists of one or two assignments. You can use these assignments to apply the knowledge to your project

  4. Reflect - You will give and get assignment feedback to other participants. The circle is finished with your reflection


Real MBA experience with live sessions, mentors, and an alumni network

The true value of MBA is not in the content itself but in the community, which will hold you accountable and provide support when you are lost. d.MBA combines best of online format (flexibility) and community based learning.

  • Learn from peers - All assignments are shared among the students so you can see their projects. This gives you a chance to reassess your work and see how you can improve it.

  • Mentor support - You will have a support from mentors, providing guidance during projects, answering questions in the weekly live Q&A sessions, and provide feedback after hand-ins.

  • Practical knowledge applicable immediately - For assignments you can work on your current projects so you can transfer learnings immediately to your daily job.

  • Lifetime Alumni - Stay in touch with alumni even after the program so you can tap the network for your new projects and challenges.


Your mentor

 Alen Faljic, ex-IDEO biz. designer and founder of d.MBA

Alen Faljic, ex-IDEO biz. designer and founder of d.MBA

  • ex-IDEO business designer
    More than 4 years of experience in the business design field; worked with Fortune 500 companies

  • Master’s degree in business
    Graduated from the world-renowned business school Vienna University of Economics and Business

  • Taught designers at top tier design companies
    Google, Vodafone, IDEO, McKinsey&Company, BCG Digital Ventures, Designit, Verizon, SapientRazorfish,



1. How is d.MBA different from the regular MBA?

There are three main differences: 

  1. It includes only the content that designers need to have. Traditional MBAs are much broader in their topics and include many topics that are not relevant for designers. 

  2. In the d.MBA we always talk about the implications for the design work. For example, when we cover generic business strategies, we also explain what designers role is in each of these strategies. 

  3. A cohort is full of fellow designers. Each participant is dealing with a slightly different situation and through participating in Q&A sessions and community discussions, you can learn from each other. Experiences and questions of other designers are more useful and relatable than that of, for example, an engineer or a businessman.  

2. How does the course look like?

The course lasts 8 weeks. Each week follows the same cycle:

  • On Monday, you will receive course material. 

  • On Friday you can join Q&A sessions and get your questions answered.  

  • You have to submit your assignments by Sunday midnight. 

  • You have to share your feedback with your colleagues by Tuesday night. 

Furthermore, to give the best experience of an online program we are using some digital tools as a backbone of the course:

  • Google Drive for accessing course materials

  • Zoom for weekly Q&A sessions

  • Slack for an ongoing communication within the cohort, sharing interesting resources, and having discussions around the course material

  • Slack for submitting assignments as well as giving an receiving feedback on these assignments

3. I live in Europe/America/Asia/Australia. Can I join?

Absolutely. All course activities are designed in a way that you can join wherever you live. Even weekly Q&A sessions are scheduled so that we cover all time zones.

4. What is the level of collaboration with other participants?

There is no direct collaboration with other participants, however, you are in constant touch. For example, there is a Slack community where you can ask questions, join discussions, share resources, and talk about your challenges. Each week, there is also a Q&A session. There, each student has a chance to ask their questions. By joining these sessions, you can learn from questions that other ask. Also, you will give and receive assignments feedback from each other. 

5. How much time can I expect to spend on course each week?

The course was designed for busy practitioners so don’t worry if you have a full-time job and stressful project(s) on your hands. Once you are in, you’ll find the time.

For d.MBA, you will need around 6-8 hours per week. You essentially have the whole week to watch 1 hour of course material and finish your assignment.

6. How do I apply for the d.MBA?

d.MBA application is simple. Once the applications are opened, you need to fill out a simple form, introducing yourself and why you want to join d.MBA. Based on that, we will choose 25 participants and invite you to join the course and make the payment. 

7. What are criteria for choosing participants?

This course is for design professionals. Regardless if you are working in an agency, as an in-house designer or a freelancer, this course is for you. On the other side, this course is not for you if you are not a designer or if you are a business professional trying to become a business designer.

While more working experience improves your chances, the main criterion remains your motivation. Focus on that in your application. If you can showcase that you are willing to learn, put in the time, share your experience, and generously share feedback with other students, you’ve done your job. 

8. How much does it cost?

The course price is €1.000 or $1.150. You pay for the course after your application has been accepted. We will follow up with the further instructions. The payment can be made by your personally or by your employer. There are no further costs.

9. How does the course content look like?

The course consists of videos and additional course materials. Each week, you’ll receive around 50-70 minutes of video material, weekly assignment, and materials for further exploration. Some chapters include additional frameworks or tools. For example, Competitor Analysis comes with a spreadsheet, which you can use on your projects.

In this first video, you can see an introduction of a concept called Blue Ocean Strategy, which is a part of the Business Strategies module. This is the third video out of six in this module.

In the second video, you can see the explanation of Discovery-Driven Planning, the corner stone for the Prototyping with Numbers module . This is the second video out of six in the module.

10. Should I have any prior business knowledge to join this course?

No. You don’t need any prior business knowledge. We will start from the ground up, avoid business jargon, and build a holistic understanding of business.

11. Will I get certified?

d.MBA is not accredited. This is not an official MBA program. The focus of d.MBA is on practical knowledge and network. However, at the end of the course, you’ll still receive a certificate for the finished program.

12. What is the size of an intake?

The size of the intake is very limited. The next intake in March 2019 is planned to have a maximum of 30 students.


Have additional questions? Reach out to me via LinkedIn.