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Why aren't there more designer entrepreneurs?

This post was previously edited by a moderator.
It seems like most entrepreneurs are either tech. or non-tech.? Which category do designers fall into? And why don't you see more starting companies?

22 Replies

Alan Peters
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Alan Peters Entrepreneur
VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks
I think there's a pattern-matching bias towards hacker-hustler cofounding teams. Not saying it's a bad model, just saying it's not the
Tim Cullen
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Tim Cullen Entrepreneur
Principal Software Engineer
What exactly do you mean by designer?
Bako Rambini
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Bako Rambini Advisor
CNFDI Paris (fashion design) student-taking a fashion & luxury management class at Bocconi University
I am a fashion designer in Paris and I attend many entrepreneurs event. I do not know if it si the case in other countries but in France, it is much easier to fund a new company from scratch if it proves to be innovative ( in a tech way). Traditional fashion is much more difficult to fund, even combined with a social/sustainable business model. So maybe that is the reason.
Joseph Foster
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Joseph Foster Advisor
Fostercode Senior Software Engineer

It depends, a true "web designer" should have a good understanding of UI related languages and markups(i.e. JavaScript, CSS, HTML). I would consider that quasi-technical whereas a straight graphic designerI would not.

I think part of the reason is mindset. Design focuses on the product while development (or tech services) focus on the solution. A designer, much like an artist painting a canvas, tends to focus their efforts heavily on making an attractive product. While a developer focuses on accomplishing a task, completing a solution.

Personally, I enjoy both phases; but I know you can get eaten up in design time if you don't watch it, lol...

Eran Eyal
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Eran Eyal Advisor
Advisor, startup founder, strategist | endlessly inquisitive.
It has less to do with whether you're a designer and more to do with the product.

Are you producing a product that uses technology to solve a problem in unique or better way? If so, you're a tech entrepreneur. If you're selling a design service, it's non-tech.
Brett Tuley
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Brett Tuley Entrepreneur
Technical Leader Northrop Grumman

Assuming your referring to the 'art' type of designer and not the kind that can also program and put together a web page then I have a couple thoughts:

I find that as I run into designers at entrepreneurial events they are often in a position where they need to get paid for the work they do and cannot take on the risk of co-founder. Perhaps because the average salary of an engineer is higher they simply have more opportunity to invest some of their time in risky unpaid exploration?

Also, there seems to be no shortage of people with ideas that 'just need a little design work' (I know I'm one of these entrepreneurs myself) and perhaps designers have been burned enough that they have learned to ask for money upfront?

Jared Zimmerman
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Jared Zimmerman Entrepreneur • Advisor
User Experience Director
I answered this in Quora -- Why are so few startups founded by designers? http://qr.ae/qYkNS
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X
Entrepreneur
Let me ask a question? Was Steven Jobs a designer? Were Dolce & Gabbana designers?

Design embraces many disciplines and its harder to come up with a winning formulea in design. But if the designer can create the winning 'product' , 'design' , the success is overwhelming!
Joanan Hernandez
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Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
Hello Alexia,

Brian Chesky, one of Airbnb founders, is a designer.

Cheers!
Jose Benavides
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Jose Benavides Entrepreneur
Director of Product/UX at Duetto Research
Tech has been traditionally defined as a programmer. Designers would be in the non tech along with business, marketing and other critical, but non tech areas. One big hurdle that I see a lot of non tech people fall into is that they can't find someone to bring their online product to life (tech). If you're already a programmer, you don't need anyone to make your idea a reality, even though it might look horrible. If you're a non tech, a beautiful mockup or business plan is not the same as a working product. I would say that's why you don't see as many non tech entrepreneurs as tech entrepreneurs. For non tech you have that extra step of finding and/or hiring someone to implement your vision. The above is all based on the premise that you are asking about mainly online software businesses.
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