Apple and Samsung took different approaches toward design thinking


DML_design thinking

… Samsung is a good example of a “technology push” firm. Samsung has been a late mover in the electronics market. Responding to unparalleled business challenges, the company first expanded its design team from 200 designers in the late 1990s to 1000 designers in 2012. Samsung has made noticeable debuts in winning several international design awards. However, the company’s intuitive and analytic teams needed to work closely before they were able to deeply understand and appreciate each other’s way of working. The forced collaboration produced challenging decision-making conflicts—the types of conflicts that are difficult to resolve without a moderator. Instead, decisions were made exclusively by the intuitive team or exclusively by the analytic team. This issue explains why Samsung has performed well in design awards, but has not yet introduced an iconic product like the iPhone…

… Apple approaches design thinking differently from Samsung. Its design team does not communicate with its manufacturing team. Instead, an independent team (consisting of Steve Jobs and his supporters) made most of the firm’s business decisions. In the process, Jobs limited the decision-making power of the analytic teams in order for them to be comparable with the power of the intuitive team. Note that although Steve Jobs was often criticized for his assertive decisions, he did free the intuitive team from the analytic team. As a result, Apple products are welcomed by a massive number of consumers—even though their individual features do not necessarily outperform the products manufactured by their competitors …


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