#7 Steve Vassallo @Foundation Capital: Empathy is killing your product

Steve Vassallo on Beyond Users.jpg

Steve Vassallo is a general partner at Foundation Capital (VC firm that invested in Pocket, Netflix, Uber, etc.). Before that, he worked as a lead designer at IDEO where he worked on a famous Cisco's 7900 series VoIP phone. He recently published a book "The Way to Design", which helps designers become entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs adopt best design practices. You can read the book for free online.

In the episode we talked about:

  • why will the 21st century be the decade of design,
  • why empathy has become a buzzword and what empathy really is,
  • common struggles of designers who want to become entrepreneurs.

Listen to the episode

Show notes:

  • 2:00 How Steve got into design?
  • 4:00 How popular was design in the 1990s? 
  • 5:40 Why is design relevant for business and tech people and why is business important for designers
  • 10:44 What do designer founders struggle with the most?
  • 13:10 How Steve works with designers to become better founders? 
  • 16:10 How do good startup teams mix best practices from different disciplines? 
  • 19:35 How to apply design to think about the business?
  • 22:35 Steve's favorite business model
  • 25:55 How to start thinking about the business side of an idea? 
  • 27:45 Why empathy is killing your product (and what empathy really is)?
  • 32:50 How do best startup teams gather data?  
  • 36:40 Steve's decision to get an MBA
  • 40:45 How can designers learn about business models? 
Alen FaljicComment