AdTechCharacter Matters


Design: If you don’t put value in design, please check here.

Okay. I am here to make an appeal to CEOs who don’t put a lot of value in design. I understand. It’s okay. Your sales team is very important. Your designers are great. They give you fantastic stuff. Your website looks good. Your collateral looks good. Your ads are good. They’re wonderful people, good on them, but at the end of the day, your focus is going to be on sales because you’re the CEO and the sales are where the dollars come from.

Wait. Stop. Give me a moment to change your mind. Let’s talk about vaping. Why? Vaping comes on the scene in America in about 2008. R.J. Reynolds gets into the game about 2013 with their Vuse product. All vapes basically look like this. You’ve got your power button, you’ve got your little socket in the back to plug in, you’ve got your reservoir here, and then you fill that up every once in awhile with whatever your favorite vaping fluid is. Then this is your heating coil here, and every once in a while, that’ll burn out. You just take that and replace it with a new one. Easy, right?

So Adam and James come along, two designers from Stanford, one of them with an MFA. How useless is that? They say, “Here’s ours. When you want to recharge it, stick it in the magnet we gave you. When you want a new one, you take this out and then put this back in and you’re done.” That designe earned them 72% of the market. It didn’t make better flavors. They don’t have a better sales team than you do. What they do have is a killer design.

The next time you’re tempted to skip past the design phase, stop. Go to your designers and ask them what they can do to make the product better because a great design will make you more money than a great sales team.

Shout out to Jordan Nowaskie. Keep the faith, brother! Design rules! If you’ve got questions for me, email me at

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