Tag Archives: Ideas

On Being a Design Thinker – Part 3

The first two steps to the Design Thinking process that i elicited earlier can be summed up in one word: Empathize! When you define and try to understand the problem statement, you try to get into the mind of your customer – the one whose problem you intend to solve. Since I am trying to solve my own problem, it might seem that i do not have to do that much to really understand what my problem is – i already know. But this process helps one to step outside my shoes, see others who are going through similar problems and try understanding if the root cause of their problems are similar to ours. To be frank, one loves to solve others’ problems more than his own.

Point of Views

Now that you have empathized with my problem, i believe you would want to take the next step in the journey as well. This brings us to the next step, which is to create a Point of View. The first step towards creating the PoV is to create the persona. A persona is basic description of the customer. If you were to define your customer in a single line with as few attributes as possible, then that is your persona. This constraints us to identify what is most important for the customer in relation to the problem at hand and helps us zero in on the root cause as well. In my case, I am the customer and I will show you a persona of myself.

ImageNow we have a single liner about me that tells me who I am. It would help if you can draw the image yourself – would make the exercise more fun. In sticking to my lazy persona, i simply cartoonized myself using tools available online!

A Point of View you create should follow a template:PoV

The first one identifies the user/customer (me in this case), then goes on to identify the Needs that need to be solved (this would be something that has come up during the Define and Understand phase, and may or may not be something totally obvious). you then show why the need arose/must be met and this would be because of an insight you gained during the define and understand phase.

The Point of View in my case would go something like this:

Anantha Shankar needs to change the way he converts ideas to actions because his existing methods aren’t giving him enough dope to sustain the initial high.

This is the Point of View i would be using for the subsequent stages of the Design Thinking phase.


Now is where i would be using all those post-it notes to jot down the ideas i have. Since i do not want to waste paper (and by extension, the post-it notes, I will use my personal Trello account as a whiteboard. So here are a few thoughts that had come up that seems to make sense. So here is a snapshot of the ideation stage. I will come back to this board and add more.

trello Design Thinking

I will explain steps Prototype and Test in the next post. Till then, have fun thinking 🙂


Postal Service as a distribution system


This morning, i read an article in the newspaper as to how Amazon is starting a pilot project with India Post to test its Cash on Delivery model. I found the idea to partner with the indian postal service simply amazing. Not only is the idea intuitive in nature, but also seems like common sense – why did no one think of this before? India Inc has been ruing the lack of proper supply chain infrastructure and here you have a distribution network that spans to the remotest villages possible.

What other avenues can the postal service be used for?

1. ITC could extend its e-choupal network to places hitherto new boundaries by franchising it to India Post

2. The Postal service infrastructure, if improved a bit, can be used as an effective first response to natural disasters

3. MNCs looking forward to enter the FMCG arena can tie up with India Post to tap their distribution system

What other avenues do you think the Indian postal service can be used for?