Doodle by @cloudythecrab

It’s that time of the year where some are vociferously declaring their New Year’s resolutions to themselves and to their loved ones, while other loathe that very word as it brings bitter memories and jitters from past experiences. I wonder how many of you reading this blog have paid yet unattended gym packages or a treadmill that lies in the dungeons or booking that are collecting skeletons of book bugs. I am sure every one of us has some unkempt promises to reflect on.

When we say the word design thinking that is how it sometimes feels, it is this…


doodle by @cloudythecrab

“One idea can be transformative. One idea can change your career, your life, your community, your family, and even the world. I truly believe that each of us has at least one special game-changing idea inside us right now. The trick is, how do we get it out?”

- Josh Linkner

When you achieve a state of flow you lose track of time, you forget all your physical needs, and even loose feelings of self-consciousness. That is exactly how one should feel when they are all in an ideation session — brainstorming their ideas away. Even the most formidable ideators…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

If you ask me the single most important reason I became a human centred design (thinking) practitioner and started my own firm called Design Squiggle is to “Put Empathy back into Innovation”.

Empathy is the trickiest word you can ever come across. But it filled this biggest void I always felt when practising innovation. I began the journey with more systematic innovation tools like TRIZ, Six Sigma which had a great emphasis for systems thinking and process improvements — of course, they are great tools — that human element though was missing. While I have been an Innovation consultant for…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

We were in a discussion with the CEO of a leading pest management company based out of Chennai. While we were engrossed in discussing the different insects and termites and their long-term effects, we were interrupted by a call. The call was from one of the customers his team had to serve on that day. From the one-sided conversation, I could gather that the customer was unhappy about the fact that the service guy had not bought along his safety equipment like gloves and mask. …


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

When I was at Cognizant, our team worked on an interesting corporate social responsibility project. The Outreach program was focused on education — majorly at the K-12 students and undergraduate students. There were independent groups of volunteers who were tagged to a certain government school in the city — where they did volunteering work — like teaching classes, training students on soft skills, encouraging good habits like reading, painting the school, organizing extracurricular activities and talent events and so on. Mostly volunteers catered to the most important needs of the school. …


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

“An entrepreneur is someone who is always on the lookout for problems that can be turned into opportunities and finds creative ways to leverage limited resources to reach their goal. Most people approach problem as though they can’t be solved and, therefore, don’t see the creative solutions sitting right in front of them.”

– Tina Seelig in her book ‘What is Wish I Knew When I was 20’

Problem-solving is an inborn skill that — at least in Asia, we possess in hoards — we are born with. Our mind is already solving the problem before the person who is…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

There are many reasons that made me quit my corporate life to become an entrepreneur. One of the biggest nightmares of my old lifestyle are those endless meetings that get you absolutely nowhere. You would sometimes feel like you are back to the starting point after hours of debating and back and forths. I am a big fan of ideation and exploration — but not those no agenda meetings that run data and graphs and predictions — especially presentations and meetings that have the word strategy in it. It is my real good luck that I landed in the discipline…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

Before starting my own innovation and design thinking consulting firm called Design Squiggle, I used to work at Cognizant as an Innovation Consultant. They had a dedicated team called the Cognizant Innovation Group that managed the innovation efforts across the board. Every year since 2010 our team hosted the Cognizant Innovation Summit — an Oscar like gala event bringing thought leaders, keynote speakers and innovation experts into a forum.

As the hosting team, it was up to us to find ways to spotlight and recognize innovators. It was also a great forum to exchange ideas. So every year we organized…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

My ex-boss used to tell me a story about her time in the USA. She was asked to work out of the headquarters at New Jersey for a while. And one morning she was riding the elevator up to her cabin. A gentleman walked in and smiled at her, she smiled back. It was gnawing at her that his face was sort of familiar and then it stuck her that she was riding the elevator with the CEO of the company. They exchanged greetings and rode the elevator until the parted ways at their respective destinations. Now my boss isn’t…


Doodle by @cloudythecrab

As much as I like to brainstorm with others, I also like PAINStorming. It has been one of those frameworks that once you come across you really want to imbibe into your toolkit. It is great done in a group followed by a bit of design research — where you go and talk to customers, observe them when they are getting the job done, and then you come back and discuss what you found using this simplistic framework.

P.A.I.N. is an easy to remember framework that stands for,

People: This is all about who is the user/customer/ stakeholder who is…

Design Squiggle

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store