Tangent Two : Design Thinking : Chief Daddy-O

Plum Organics is a designed business.

Neil Grimmer is 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 entrepreneurship.

"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 business."

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



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