Your great idea is just the start, says RIM’s Don Lindsay

Second keynote for day one of DesignThinkers - Don Lindsay from RIM

You have a truly great idea?

Terrific. But that’s merely the start. Because it’s not about the idea, it’s about the execution, says Don Lindsay, VP of User Experience for Research In Motion.

Lindsay brought his own insights — and lessons learned during 25 years of design experience with firms like RIM, Apple and Microsoft — to DesignThinkers 2010 today as a keynote speaker on the opening day of the conference.

“Ideas are important but execution is a larger part of the success equation than the idea,” Lindsay told an audience of more than 1,000 filling the Metro Convention Centre’s John Bassett Theatre.

Making references to his work on products such as Apple’s Mac OS X, iApps, Blackberry’s BB6 and BB Torch, and RIM’s new BlackBerry Play Book tablet, Lindsay outlined five steps he considers critical in getting great ideas executed out in the real world:

Find a champion for your idea;
Think holistically, from concept to end-user experience;
Act efficiently;
Execute flawlessly;
Create a great team.

“Success is not about hiring rock stars,” he added. “It’s about building rock solid teams. So create teams that work, that collaborate, that have success together as rock star teams.”

On the challenge of producing great design in technology today, Lindsay stressed the importance of focusing not simply on what you think is good design, but on what your end user needs – whether it’s a current need or one you are able to create through your product.

“It’s not about designing a moment. It’s about designing all moments. Address the customer’s needs and meet those needs, or create them, with the product. Focus on creating great experiences through the combination of hardware and programs.”

He noted that RIM has designed its new Play Book from an “experiential perspective,” with the technology itself playing a secondary role to the customer experience, and he called this approach a major culture shift for RIM.

“It’s not just about creating great technology – it’s about creating great experiences.”


MARK NUSCA for ADOBE PR in Canada.

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About rgddesignthinkers

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) is the professional body for graphic designers in Ontario. RGD grants graphic designers who qualify the right to use the designations Registered Graphic Designer and R.G.D., a quality signal of standards of professional practice. RGD has approximately 2800 members. Attracting over 1,000 participants and a full line-up of fascinating speakers, DesignThinkers is Canada’s largest, most important graphic design event. It’s an occasion to listen, learn and interact with peers from across the country.
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