Last night, I spoke at The SF Acumen Fund Chapter‘s event and someone asked a question that struck me as important. They asked about Acumen’s perspective on design. My gut reaction was that Acumen Fund is not a design firm, but the question warranted more consideration.
Bavidra Mohan, another Fellow in my cohort, took the lead in highlighting the importance Acumen and its investees place on human centered design principles. In particular, Bavidra’s role at D.Light (incidentally the full name is D.Light Design) was to gather feedback from the end customer in rural India and take those lessons all the way back up the supply chain to D.Light’s manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China.
While Bavidra was speaking, it occurred to me that design is not only a popular trend (we actually held the event in a design company’s space) but that it has now become an essential component of how anything is developed, from internal processes, to advertisements, to product messages. While it may not be the first thing you think of when you consider diligencing a BOP business, it is true that Acumen is fundamentally in the business of investing in products and services that are designed in a way that meets the mass market (think BOP) consumers’ true needs. Read more »