Learn and apply business fundamentals to persuade stakeholders, gain influence, and level-up your Design career
Design & Product Leader • Airbnb, DoorDash, Salesforce • UC Berkeley MBA
Design-focused companies like Apple, Airbnb, and Tesla dominate their industries, yet 67% of CEOs don't know what their Design team does, and 90% don't believe Design impacts their business strategy. There’s a gulf between Designers and their stakeholders. Business leaders don’t “speak Design,” and few Designers learn to “speak business.”
Demonstrating business knowledge is even more important in today's market. Designers need to articulate their value clearly in a market rife with layoffs. Companies expect Designers to wear more hats as hiring slows. Managers are stretched thin to provide coaching and air cover.
This course will transform your perspective on what business leaders care about and give you the tools to communicate on their level. We'll introduce frameworks and tactics taught in top business schools, applying principles from economics, strategy, operations, product management, marketing, and statistics so you can articulate Design's purpose and value in a way that resonates with business leaders.
If your design work needs to resonate with business stakeholders, if you work in a data-driven environment, or if you’ve struggled to communicate with stakeholders who don’t leverage Design holistically, this course is for you.
Managers: Want this course for your team? Reach out about custom team cohorts. email@example.com
Senior-or-higher IC designers who want to develop their business acumen to influence more strategic and impactful product work
Design managers & leaders who must collaborate with and persuade founders, executives, and other cross-functional leaders
Designers who work in Product or Eng-led environments where good Design must be strongly and carefully advocated for
Designers who have considered business school, but want to learn key business skills without the huge financial cost.
Speak the same language as your business partners. Pull from topics like economics, strategy, operations, product management, marketing, and statistics to identify and articulate the many ways Design creates business value.
Learn and adapt the techniques Ryan used to get C-suite execs at Airbnb and DoorDash onboard with major product and strategic initiatives.
Bad testing practices kill good designs. We’ll dive into when to test, when to avoid testing, what metrics to focus on, and how to use data to make your case.
Our in-person time will apply our lessons to challenges you face at work. Get actionable feedback from Ryan and the other experienced design professionals in class.
Describing the ROI of Design
Design & Product Leader • Start up advisor • Design mentor
For the past 10-years, Ryan has led numerous cross-functional teams to launch some of today’s most recognizable products.
As an early employee at DoorDash, he reported to one of the company’s co-founders and led multiple 0-to-1 product initiatives to successful and impactful launches despite complex cross-functional politics.
At Airbnb, his work was regularly reviewed by Brian Chesky. He managed dozens of stakeholders across multiple teams, using a combination of data and storytelling to get buy-in to overhaul the company’s most business-critical products, including the booking flow, messaging platform, search platform, and Host availability and pricing tools.
Ryan believes that business expertise will unlock influence and meaningful work for the next generation of Design leaders. In addition to a BA in graphic design, he earned an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, which consistently ranks among the top MBA programs in the world.
Defining Design's holistic business value
Design creates more value than what’s measured in product metrics. We'll identify and connect Design to different types of value throughout the business.
Connecting Design to value through metrics
Tests and data determine whether designs live or die. We'll build a foundation for you to confidently participate in the testing process, reinforce your decisions with data, and push back if necessary.
Crafting an effective communication strategy for Design
Designers bring different tools and tactics to the table. We'll identify and articulate how Design produces unique value in ways stakeholders may not expect. We'll also identify how Design works similarly to other functions, so you can find common ground and build rapport.
Tailoring tactics to your environment
How to successfully advocate for your work—and the Design function as a whole—depends greatly on your company culture. We'll identify the environment you're working in, and discuss tactics and narratives that will help (or hurt) your credibility and influence.
Mondays & Wednesdays, 10am - 11:30am PT
Twice-weekly live sessions introduce actionable content and frameworks. All sessions will be recorded.
Fridays, 12pm - 1pm PT
Optional time to ask questions or review and workshop your projects together
1 - 2 hours per week
Additional assignments, lessons, and resources to apply to your work