Chapter 4

Anatomy of a Venture Designer

Next: The Approach →

Your job is made up

What do you call someone who designs businesses for a living? It’s a bit weird. We struggled with this for a while, and we had all sorts of job titles:

  • Product Strategist
  • Creative Developer
  • Business Designer
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Prototyper

None really did a great job of communicating the full scope of the job, or they just sounded a bit naff. So we finally settled on calling everyone in the team a Venture Designer. We think it’s elegant and to the point, and hopefully should prompt some inquisitive questions when you tell people what you do.

But seeing as ‘Venture Designer’ is something we totally made up, we should probably try and define what we mean by it. The short answer:

Someone who designs businesses for a living.

That’ll probably be enough to explain to your family, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Venture designing is a multidisciplinary act

As a Venture Designer you’re essentially acting as interim founder. Founding a technology based business requires skills across 3 core areas:


  • Size markets and identify trends
  • Demonstrate possible business models
  • Articulate an investable proposition


  • Ability to synthesise user needs into product requirements
  • Ability to demonstrate user experiences


  • Understand the technical viability of an idea
  • If required, produce proof of concepts

We don’t expect everyone to be a pro in every area, but we do think it’s important to have a basic grasp and understanding across the three.

Why is being multidisciplinary so important? Put simply, speed. The same person who has the idea is able to reason with the commercial aspects, as well as the product and technical. It also means rather than talking about things, we can just do them. To quote James Murphey of LCD Sound System:

The best way to complain is to make things.

Less talking. More doing.

The Approach →