Chapter 2

Principles in the absence of process

Next: Outputs of Venture Design →

Queer icon and all-round amazing human-being Judge Judy once said: beauty fades, dumb is forever.

In this instance beauty is our process, and our principles are the dumb. Awkward phrasing? For sure. Great analogy? The jury’s still out.

Point being that our process has and will continue to change, but our principles have remained the same since day one. When we don’t have all the answers (which is most of the time) we can always fall back onto them.

Company values

Whilst have a set of principles for venture design, our company values act as a great framing for them:

  • Think big, act small, move fast.
  • Value momentum over perfection.
  • Embrace uncertainty & remain decisive.
  • Suggest solutions not problems.
  • Prioritise diversity to strengthen our collective intelligence.
  • Be polite, generous and show empathy to others. Always.


How do some of those company values translate into principles for us as the Venture Design Team? Well…

  • Partners, not clients. We’re not an agency. We’re here to work with our partners to build great businesses that can stand on their own two feet, but are elevated by their support.
  • It’s okay to be opinionated. Most founders usually have very strong opinions: they typically have some sort of provocative ideology that goes against traditional wisdom. Design like you are right, test like you are wrong.
  • Take leaps, not steps. We don’t want to build something that’s a bit better than X: we want to build something insanely better than X. Building a small startup is just as hard as building a big startup, so why not think big?
  • Ask how something could work, as opposed to why it won’t. It’s easy to shit on ideas. An app that lets you stay in a strangers house? Self destructing photos? Remember most new ideas seem dumb, until suddenly they’re not.
  • It’s okay to say you don’t know. Honesty and transparency are needed to avoid mistakes and wasted effort. Think we’re doing something wrong? Say it! We’re all here to learn and grow, and being open and honest is essential to that.
Outputs of Venture Design →