Silicon Prairie News

Gentry Underwood takes a designer’s approach to startup problems (Video)

Des Moines November 6, 2012 by Michael Stacy Only 13 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

With the ascent of Apple, the notion that an emphasis on design can drive business success has become more commonplace in recent years, Gentry Underwood says.

But Underwood, the co-founder and CEO of Orchestra, doesn't need to look toward Cupertino to see the impact that a design-centric approach can have on a company. After all, Underwood's own experiences provide a pretty good example of that. 

On Oct. 10 at Thinc Iowa 2012, Underwood reflected on his path — from his background in design to his more recent foray into entrepreneurship. He told the audience that the approach he has always taken in his work as a designer has served him well as an entrepreneur. 

“At its core," Underwood said, "design was a way of thinking. It was a way of approaching problems, a way of looking out into the world and seeing solutions that other people didn't see, bringing creativity to an unknown problem.”

Underwood devoted his time on stage at Thinc Iowa to talking about how approaching problems like a designer can help a startup succeed. "I've become to believe very deeply," Underwood said, "that thinking like a designer is really well suited for entrepreneurship.”

For Underwood's Thinc Iowa talk in its entirety, see the video above. For more from Underwood at the conference, see our post: "Gentry Underwood: Be willing to ride that whole wave through". 

About Gentry Underwood 

Underwood is co-founder and CEO of Orchestra, a company dedicated to helping people work better to live better. Their first app, Orchestra To-do, was Apple's 2011 Productivity App of the Year and is Lifehacker's Best To-do list for iPhone. Underwood has a mixed background of software design, psychology and anthropology. Prior to starting Orchestra he lead the knowledge sharing domain for IDEO. Originally from Texas, he now calls Palo Alto home.

About Thinc Iowa

Thinc Iowa is now Big Des Moines, part of The Big Series, a trio of events produced by Silicon Prairie News. The Big Series in 2013 will include the inaugural Big Kansas City in March, Big Omaha in May and Big Des Moines in October. Stay tuned for announcements regarding all three.

Credits: Video by Event1 Video.


Thinc Iowa 2012 Video Series presented by Iowa Economic Development

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is dedicated to supporting innovation by connecting entrepreneurs with resources and development opportunities in Iowa. It salutes the founders of today and tomorrow; encouraging ideas that will invigorate a new economy. Please visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com for more information on how IEDA can help your business ideas come to life.

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