Regularly, students ask me about what qualities make good entrepreneurs. There are too many cliché answers I could give, so over time, I’ve built up my own list of three that aren’t cliches:
When I looked at my designs for an ‘email client of the future’ I wanted it immediately. I didn’t want to wait for someone else to figure it out, my impatience was such a huge motivator that it pushed me to sit down and make it happen as soon as I could.
Without naivety, it’s painfully clear just how much work, energy, and time it takes to start a business, or build an entire line of email clients from scratch. So I think naivety really helped me: I was able to jump right in without reservation.
When it comes to designing products that are successful at fitting right into place in a person’s life, workday, or environment, it starts with empathy. You have to be able to get into the mind of your potential customer and figure out their language, motivations, goals, working styles, etc.