Thoughts on Design, Inc. shutting down

Kyle Mills Hall
Jun 1, 2017 · 3 min read
sad face

First of all, it’s a sad day for Hemeon and team. You guys did some excellent work over the past year and a half. (If you don’t know what Design, Inc is…er…was, have a look here, here, and here.)

Second, I was on the platform for about 2 months at the very end of its life. I bought some credits and submitted some proposals. The people that responded were really great. We had good conversations. The others were silent — odd since only 5 people could submit a proposal for each project. I was never chosen, but it was an interesting experience. I think the thing I enjoyed most was seeing all the projects come through (you could subscribe to receive every new project that was posted). There were such a range of project types, budgets, timelines, etc. I got the sense that most people were just testing the waters to see what kind of response they would get.

On Startups

Just bc you’re a badass doesn’t mean you’ll make it

The people that worked on Design, Inc. are seasoned veterans. They’re great designers, thinkers, and technologists. Being a badass, however, does not necessarily give you the upper hand. You’re not invincible.

Don’t place all your effort into a single platform

Let’s say I quit my job and started freelancing full time, but Design Inc. was my only source of work. What would I have done then?

Design Inc.’s failure as a platform taught me to not put all of my eggs in one basket.


It’s ok to fail. Too often in our society, failure is looked down upon. Definitely have a plan to win, but if you don’t succeed 100% or even if you fail miserably, take the learnings from that and apply them to your next venture.

You can’t, and more importantly won’t, win them all.

Know when to fold

You can dream all you want, but have a backup plan. Shoot for your goal, but make a plan that allows you to realize when it’s not working and know what to do next.

Being in the public eye

It’s both good & bad. Having a lot of visibility can be great when you’re trying to gain adoption. However, when things don’t go as planned, it can really take a toll on your moral. It tends to hurt more when you do fail. Learn to manage how you deal with that pressure.

At the end of the day, you’re still running a business

To stay in business, you need more money coming in than going out. There are plenty of other factors in what makes a “successful” business, but if at its core it’s not making money, it will fail.

You can build the most amazingly badass product or service, but if no one uses or buys it, it will fail.

❤️ to @hemeon and team

Shoutout to Joel too. Check out his vlogs :)

Kyle Mills Hall

Written by

I help early stage companies with Product & Design |

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