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FUSE in Focus

A community that brings designers and brand strategists together through creative, inspirational, educational, and thought-provoking content.

Tangent Two : Design Thinking : Chief Daddy-O

Plum Organics is a designed business.
nothing short of inspiring. If his speech goes half as well as our interview,
you'll be craving baby food and starting your own venture before you push up
from your cushy seat. 
Neil started Plum Organics after time with Clif Bar and IDEO'fairly
impressive foundational businesses to learn the craft of design
"I approached
everything through the lens of design. We started a company and looked at
things from a fresh perspective. From day one we designed the culture, the
products and now our recent project 'the full effect' addressing malnutrition
and hunger in America." 
Neil didn't just seek to design a better product, package, or
experience'he sought to design a better business. And now that he has, the
platform has been raised to do more and do better with the business he and his
team have designed.
"For me the
problems we face in the world, reinventing baby food, reinventing 40,000
products in grocery, the design community is uniquely suited to tackle these
problems, starting companies, and taking a wholistic look at designing a
The opportunities are abundant for design thinkers to make a difference
and be rewarded for their efforts. Neil has provided the rest of us with a
roadmap to address any important category to us as individuals. He not only
spoke about the impact design had on their 2012 package redesign effort (20%
life in sales volume at Target alone), but also of what designing their culture
has done for the business growth in general. 
Are you considering the leap from design thinker to entrepreneur? Here's
some of the advice from Neil that I'd like to second:
"First think,
then take the leap. It isn't as scary as it seems, business is risky, but designers
are uniquely suited to bring fresh ideas to the world." 
If you're in Chicago on Tuesday, April 16th at 11:45 am and have any
affection for design, learning from Neil Grimmer from Plum Organics will be the
organic, dark chocolate sprinkles atop the FUSE sundae'and worth the entire
conference ticket price.
There, I said it.
Aaron Keller
Managing Principal