4 mission-critical reasons to hire a creative director today in your deep tech start up

I have grown to believe that a Creative Director should be an early member of the core team in a deep tech startup.

It is commonly a blind spot because it is assumed (especially by scientists) that the job is to polish things up when the real work has been done.

I put to you that a Creative Director can make the difference between success and failure today.

Here are some things they could be doing from the Day One to build the why, how and what at the core of a company.

#1 — Contribute to the WHAT with Packaging

It is hard work for any human to consider buying something that looks horrible — a container of mush, a gaping box of circuitry, a screen capture from a spectrometer.

Customers can help us build the right product and we can engage with them from Day One. This is considerably easier is they don’t need to get past a baked-in resistance from imagining that this company makes ugly things.

#2 — Contribute to the SO WHAT with Sampling

When we send a sample, or show investors & customers around our lab or factory, what does it feel like?

Has someone designed how they feel at each step? Is it fun? What’s the reveal? Can they imagine what it will be like when it ships?

How can they experience what we are building to experience the “So what?”

#3 — Contribute to the HOW with Imagining

How will our product integrate with the world?

This is especially important with a new category. Today, rockets don’t go to space every day, drones don’t deliver our shopping or manage our farms, hydrogen doesn’t power our trucks, milk isn’t produced like beer.

What does that world look like? Do I believe it can happen? Am I excited to help it happen.

#4 — Contribute to the WHY with Campaigning & Educating

The impact that comes from a massive technological shift can only happen if large numbers of people understand it and want it. They may be direct customers or indirect citizens who will give this thing a social license to operate or not.

Having a new enzyme to recycle plastic is only useful if the world moves to adopt it. How will the company start this conversation in parallel with the technology development stream?

All this also means that the company has materials that can interact with customers early. This builds interest and collects insights which feed back into the product development.

This can shave YEARS off a company’s timeline because capturing the imagination of the customer does not happen overnight.

Imagine if you had someone in your company every day, doing this work proactively as a member of the senior team.

I’d love to chat with people exploring this. I am @philmorle on Twitter

This post was created with Typeshare



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Phil Morle

Phil Morle

Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.