Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking for answers to how to build a successful startup? Building a business is no easy feat, but with the right approach and some expertise, it can be done. Design thinking is one of the best ways to develop a product or service that customers will love. Design thinking has been used by some of the world’s most successful companies like Apple, Google, Airbnb and Uber. It’s their go-to methodology for creating products that are not only useful but also profitable. In this blog post, we will explore how to use design thinking to create a successful startup. We’ll look at five design-thinking secrets that are invaluable when building a business from scratch. They will allow you to reach your goals faster and smarter. Read on to discover these essential secrets!

Understanding Why Startups Fail To Learn How To Build a Successful Startup

According to Forbes, 90% of startups fail. This is a staggering statistic and one that is often quoted when discussing the risks of starting a business. So why do so many startups fail?understanding why startups fail to learn how build successful startupThere are many reasons why startups fail, but some of the most common include:

  1. Lack of market need – One of the most common reasons for startup failure is that there simply isn’t a market need for the product or service that they’re offering. This can be due to a number of factors, including poor market research or an oversaturated market.
  2. Insufficient capital – Startups often fail because they run out of money before they’ve had a chance to become profitable. This can be due to underestimating the costs of starting and running a business, or failing to secure adequate funding from investors.
  3. Poor team dynamics – Another common reason for startup failure is disagreements or infighting within the founding team. This can lead to team members leaving the company, or even legal action being taken against the company.
  4. Bad timing – Timing is everything in business, and startups often fail because they launch at the wrong time. This can be due to launching too early, before the product or service is ready. Or too late, after the market has already been saturated by other companies.
  5. Unknown customer acquisition costs – Startups often have no idea how much it will cost to acquire customers. And the lack of this information weighs heavy when they actually hit the ground and realize that the costs are unsustainable.

How to Build a Successful Startup? Design-Thinking Secrets (With Examples)

There are many factors that contribute to startup success, but one of the most important is design thinking. This process of user-centered design can help you create a product or service that meets the needs of your target market.

Here are some design-thinking secrets for startup success:

  1. Start with the user in mind.

When you’re designing a new product or service, it’s important to think about what your users need and want. What pain points are they trying to solve? What would make their lives easier? By starting with the user in mind, you’ll be more likely to create a solution that meets their needs.

Starting with the user in mind is one of the key design thinking secrets to building a successful startup. By understanding what customers need, companies can develop products and services that precisely meet their needs. This approach leads to sustained growth for startups as well as customer loyalty.

For example, consider a startup developing an app for finding nearby restaurants. Rather than simply designing an app that lists all eateries within a certain radius, they could start by asking users how they search for food. And why they would want to use such an app over other sites or methods. With this information in hand, the team behind the product can create something tailored specifically towards user requirements – making it more likely that people will be drawn towards using it compared with competitive offerings.

By taking the time to think about how to build a successful startup from a user-first perspective, businesses have greater chances of succeeding long-term. They would have created something meaningful which fulfills the unmet needs of their customers.

  1. Use prototypes to test and iterate.

One of the best ways to test your product or service idea is to create a prototype and get feedback from potential users. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement before you launch your final product.

How to build a successful startup is an ongoing challenge that requires innovative solutions. Using prototypes to test and iterate is one of the most effective design thinking secrets for creating a successful business. Prototypes are minimal versions of products or services that allow entrepreneurs to quickly test out their ideas in the real world without investing too much time, money, or resources into development. This agile approach allows startups to fail fast and move on more quickly while also allowing them to learn from each mistake they make along the way.

For example, if an entrepreneur wanted to create a new video streaming service they could start by creating a simple prototype version with basic features and using it as a testing ground before making any large investments into building out a full-fledged product. With this approach, they can get feedback from users early on and use those findings to improve their product over time until it’s ready for market launch. This process ensures developers don’t waste valuable resources on products that may not be viable in the long run and increases their chances of successfully launching their business idea.

  1. Get feedback early and often.

Feedback is essential for making sure your product or service is on track. Make sure to get feedback from multiple stakeholders, including customers, partners, and investors. And don’t wait until your product is launched to start collecting feedback – the sooner you can get it, the better.

Getting feedback early and often is a key design thinking secret to how to build a successful startup. By gathering customer insights as soon as possible, entrepreneurs can gain valuable direction on how to move forward with their products or service. When an entrepreneur seeks input from customers, they are better equipped to create something that solves the problems those customers experience. Early feedback helps guide decisions about the product’s features, pricing structure, and even business model. All this leads to sustainability in a market that’s ever-evolving.

An example of this approach in practice can be seen with Slack, which quickly gathered user feedback when launching its initial product in 2013. They used this insight to improve the chat interface’s design and functionality – both of which resulted in increased user adoption and engagement over time (which is essential for any startup). Ultimately it was these early adaptations based on customer feedback that propelled Slack into becoming one of today’s most popular collaboration platforms amongst businesses and organizations around the world.

In summary, getting feedback early and often is critical for any entrepreneur seeking success with their startup venture; it allows them to make informed decisions so they stay ahead of trends while ensuring they create value that resonates with users’ needs.

  1. Handle early-stage team dynamics with empathy and clarity

Handling early-stage team dynamics with empathy is a critical design thinking secret to how to build a successful startup. Establishing strong relationships, trust, empathy and clear communication between co-founders and the rest of the founding team is paramount. This ensures that everyone is on the same page about company goals, strategies for execution and operational roles. Having clarity on how work will be divided between members of the core group can help prevent conflicts from arising in times when tough decisions need to be made or when deadlines appear impossible to meet. Being empathetic with all team members will help the founders to build trust and loyalty as well.

For example, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton had clear visions in terms of how they wanted their product developed. They also respected each other’s opinions and were empathetic toward each other. This allowed both mindsets to shape what eventually became one of the most powerful messaging applications ever created. By allowing different perspectives on strategizing around how to build a successful startup, both were able to leverage their individual expertise while at the same time collaborating as a cohesive unit which allowed them to achieve tremendous success in an incredibly competitive industry.

  1. Build a great startup story for attracting investors.

Design thinking is a key secret to how to build a successful startup; specifically, building a great story for attracting investors. On the one hand, having an effective business plan that outlines goals and strategies is essential. But on the other, setting oneself apart from competitors with this story can be what wins investors over in the end. A good startup story provides more than just facts and figures; it paints a vivid picture of why your venture matters. And what impact it will have on society or industry as a whole. Design thinking as a mindset is essential for great storytelling.

Read: How to Make a Pitch Deck

For example, if you’re starting up an online marketplace for handmade items like jewelry or crafts, you’ll want to emphasize its potential reach beyond local artisans or vendors. You could explain how your platform connects buyers with sellers all around the world while providing insights into global trends in fashion and design — essentially creating jobs while also sparking cultural exchange through commerce. This kind of narrative makes your company stand out from others. It demonstrates thoughtfulness about where you fit within larger social issues or movements. This in turn resonates strongly with investors looking to support innovative ideas that make an impact beyond financial rewards alone.

What Really is Design Thinking For Startups? Is It The Answer To How to Build a Successful Startup?

what design thinking for startups how build successful startup


Design thinking for startups involves a creative problem-solving process that helps founders figure out how to build a successful startup. It is an iterative approach that begins by identifying the problems and opportunities of the business. A key factor here is that DT helps identify the real problem from a highly empathetic angle. As such, this is truly one of the main issues when looking for answers to how to build a successful startup. This is because the probability of a new venture’s success hinges heavily on finding the right problem to solve!

This is followed by generating potential solutions and finally testing them in order to determine which one works best. Design thinking enables founders to develop innovative products or services and create strategies that can lead their venture from concept to market success. As such, it provides invaluable guidance for entrepreneurs on how to build a successful startup.

For more about design thinking, you may read: What is The Importance of Design Thinking?


Design thinking is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs looking to create successful startups. By understanding the user’s needs, creating prototypes quickly, and engaging with customers throughout the process, businesses can focus on innovation rather than simply execution. The five design-thinking secrets in this article provide a framework for success that any entrepreneur can begin implementing today. With this strategy at your disposal, you are sure to be well on your way to building a thriving business in no time!

About the author

A Haryanvi by origin, an entrepreneur at heart and a consultant by choice, that’s how Ajay likes to introduce himself! Ajay is the Founding Partner at Humane Design and Innovation Consulting (HDI). Before starting HDI, Ajay founded the Design Thinking and Innovation practice at KPMG India. His 16+ years of professional career spans across various roles in product and service design, conducting strategy workshops, storytelling and enabling an innovation culture. He has coached 50+ organizations and 2000+ professionals in institutionalizing design and innovation practices. He loves to blog and speak on topics related to Design Thinking, Innovation, Creativity, Storytelling, Customer Experience and Entrepreneurship. Ajay is passionate about learning, writing poems and visualizing future trends!

We at Humane Design strongly believe in the human ethos and draw inspiration from humans and other elements of nature to design innovative solutions for organizations of all sizes. We will be glad to be your success partner. Email us your requirements at

Connect with Us!

Privacy Preference Center