Nash :: repeat entrepreneur
4 min readMay 11, 2020

End of lockdown and Design Sprint !

With lockdown coming to an end and activity slowly starting up again, at a time when companies are seeking to save money, and innovators are wavering between showing their muscle or being discreet, it is the right time to change paradigms and get into new habits.

Indeed, after three years observing them, I can say that, in France, so-called « collective intelligence » methods are not given the attention they deserve.

First of all because of the usual parasite phenomena which accompany emerging trades : charlatans are two a penny, worthless methods abound and empty terms are bandied about. A lot of you say to us « Design Thinking, what a ripoff!», or, « It’s all very well following a training course, but afterwards, the practical applicability is nowhere to be seen! ». And you’re right: most of the time, the quick-fix training dealing with far from practical cases, the « for dummies » methods which are so boiled down there’s nothing left, don’t give you much useful material, but enable training providers to distribute a facilitator’s diploma along with a certificate attesting to your ability to use an on-line software programme that your grandmother could have mastered without any after-sales service! To cut a long story short: once bitten, twice shy.

The second cause of reticence is exactly the opposite: too many experts of the method for the method. You’ve already met these guys: you don’t understand a word they say, but they look like they know what they’re on about, they’ve just got back from Berlin, Singapore or San Francisco where they are on kissing terms with such and such top brass in the field they are the apostles for, but for you, it’s pre-covid double Dutch, or worse, Chinese. And what’s even worse than that is that they often don’t understand your trade and don’t know how to adapt their method to your needs and projects. The ‘dialogue’ may sound surrealistic, and if it happens to work, you’ve been very lucky!

The third factor, which is a consequence of the second, is that the outcome of all that is totally opaque: and I’m not even talking about ROI! Roughly speaking, you do a few workshops, some quick sessions, some sprints, ideation sequences, you diverge, converge, diverge and converge again… but the concrete results for your business, planning or budget are nowhere to be seen! You are not given the keys to understanding, or, worse, you are given fanciful figures.

Under these circumstances, it is very difficult to convince anybody of the value of collective intelligence methods when the time has come for budget cuts.


Light Me Up :: Innovation Studio, with its three-year experience, defends what should enable us to get through the present crisis through innovation, at minimum cost.

Let me explain.

We are not the rigid and scrupulous apostles of any particular method, because a method on its own is useless. We are agnostic from this point of view, and propose to mix different approaches according to your projects. Intellectually, this means we don’t wither up or drop off to sleep, and from a business point of view, this enables you to see immediately that we understand what you do in your company.

That’s reassuring. How did you get to this position?

Because we are entrepreneurs ourselves. Because we were force-fed ‘method’ for months: we’ve been down that road and we know what it takes to succeed. In other words, we didn’t learn the method in order to teach it, but in order to use it. Our attitude is thus very different from the one you will most often find on the market.

The other point of difference which is valid for us but also for the competition outfits which do their job correctly, is the way you sell the acceleration and innovation sessions. Especially when you sell a Design Sprint (for example), which has a non-negligible cost according to the project involved. It’s important to put the cost alongside what it enables you to avoid or invest. In other words, before putting a price tag on what we sell, it is of prime importance to estimate the cost of the project « without » our intervention.

Very often the Design Sprint (for example) is an investment: the equivalent of several months’ work in 4 days in order to decide whether or not to launch a big development. In fact, that’s a few thousand euros for a clear, tangible, fact-based ‘go/no go’.

Before investing hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros in a programme, this means you save most of that money in case of a « no go », or you accelerate the first phase of development at cut price in case of a « go ».

At a time when money will be hard to come by, but when it remains important to innovate, I maintain that the Design Sprint (in the pure form which we champion, enriched and reinforced by other approaches), is a way of staying in the race as far as innovation is concerned, but at a lesser cost!

If you want to talk it over, contact us!




Nash :: repeat entrepreneur

I write about stuff that will absolutely captivate you…. I’d read me if I were you ! 🤡