Issue 4: October 2020
October already? It was summer when I nervously sent the first edition of this newsletter. I’ve learned a lot curating these emails since then, each issue uncovering new topics worth exploring.
When it comes to popular topics, I’m interested to look beyond click-through rates and hear which articles have really resonated with you.
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Curator of Designers in Business | Follow me @tomprior
Creative Strategy and The Business of Design
53 minute interview with Douglas Davis (Strategist, Author & Chair, B.F.A. Communication Design) by Eugeniu Esanu.
Discovering Douglas Davis and his book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design has been a highlight of my research for this month’s newsletter.
As an educator, author, and speaker, Douglas is empowering designers to cultivate the business side of their brain while maintaining their creative instincts.
In this interview with Eugeniu Esanu, Douglas shares his fascinating journey into design before diving into practical and compelling ways “we can be strategic partners who grow businesses and move needles”.
THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS
When Advertising Isn’t Enough
26 minute talk by Connie Chan (General Partner at
Andreessen Horowitz) at a16z Summit.
Ever been frustrated when designing for - or attempting to use - digital products which rely heavily on advertising revenue?
In this talk covering themes from her article about emerging multimodal business models, Connie Chan explores digital revenue models popular in China which reduce reliance on advertising income.
As they gain wider traction, these emerging models could spell good news for designers and consumers in other markets too.
Not only do these new business models present challenges and opportunities for designers, they offer flexible and clutter-free ways for consumers to enjoy content.
BUSINESS METRICS DEMYSTIFIED
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Last month we looked at Customer Acquisition Cost, a measure of the financial resources needed to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
This edition we’re exploring Customer Lifetime Value or CLV. This key metric considers the revenue a business can expect from customers across their entire lifetime with a brand.
Customer Lifetime Value and Why it Matters
10 minute read by Mailchimp.
According to Mailchimp, CLV is “more than just a simple exchange of goods for money, CLV is a measurement of how valuable a customer is to your business over time”.
Mailchimp do a great job of articulating the reasons CLV deserves attention, while also highlighting its pitfalls and common mistakes to have on your radar.
Why Your Most Profitable Customers May Not Be the Best Customers
11 minute read by Lia Heaivilin, Co-founder and CEO of Digital PowerUp.
When it comes to exploring CLV, who do you think your ideal customers are? The ones whose purchases generate the most profit per transaction?
According to Lia Heaivilin, it’s usually the customers who most closely align with a business’s core values and mission, rather than those with the highest profitability.
Leveling Up Your Design Communication
60 minute talk by Aarron Walter, VP of Content at InVision for An Event Apart.
If you’re looking to communicate the value of your design work more effectively, Aarron Walter has you covered in this excellent talk from An Event Apart.
It’s packed with sage advice for making our work more tangible and accessible to other disciplines.
As Aaron puts it, “if the work’s not visible, it can’t be understood. And if the work’s not understood, it can’t be valued.”
Forget ‘design thinking’ if you want to create a successful new business
9 minute read by Al Cottrill (Partner/Co-founder at Class35) for Sifted.
Provocative in its title, this article goes on to deliver a compelling take on the importance of establishing a sustainable business model ahead of design investment for any new venture.
Al argues that we should design backwards from viability because “economic profit is a boundary condition – a hurdle that must be met. Simply, if the economics don’t work, nothing works”.
Thank you to Patrick Sansom for suggesting this article for inclusion.
Business Model Canvas
Tool developed by Strategyzer
The Business Model Canvas is a simple tool to “clearly understand customers, create better products, and grow businesses”.
It’s a great way to structure how you learn about customer segments, revenue streams, value proposition and more.
THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS
31 minute podcast with Rebecca Henderson, Harvard Business School Professor and Author for HBR After Hours podcast.
Modern capitalism takes justifiable criticism for its part in the uneven distribution of wealth, and its focus on shareholder value over the health of stakeholders and the climate.
In this excellent episode of the After Hours podcast, Rebecca Henderson argues that a reimagining of capitalism is the only realistic and pragmatic way to tackle these issues, particularly climate change.
By reviving its original values (unrecognisable compared with modern practice) and banning or heavily penalising unsustainable outcomes, Rebecca believes the focus of business leaders will shift toward better outcomes for the planet.