Every decade, the Internet startup community latches onto “the thing” that will make them successful. In the ’90s the focus was all on marketing and biz folks. Come up with an idea, raise tons of cash, market the hell out of it and grow fast. Come the first decade of the millennium and the focus shifted to the developers. The philosophy was to get some great hackers, put them in a room and allow them to create something great.
This decade, the in-thing is design. Everywhere you look, the mantra is about using design as the differentiator that will catapult the startup to greatness. Nothing wrong with that – design really does make a difference. Unfortunately, far too many people are confusing simplicity with good design. Sure, there are way too many bloated products out there, but there are now increasingly many products that are extremely shallow, in the name of good design.