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Design is not the most important factor  

Witty post by yongfook:

Here's my pitch. This talk of designers as the new kings of startups is becoming increasingly overblown. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. Design is merely the barrier to entry to your product not getting lost in the primordial soup of startups. It is simply your ticket to a seat at the table of possible contenders.

Focus on value creation. Design enhances value, it does not create it. Stop creating shitty startups that look amazing. A product or service that is indispensably useful yet looks like ass is infinitely more likely to be successful than a product that solves zero problems but looks like a work of art. Stop this cycle of creating beautiful novelties, getting your 15 minutes, then disappearing. Create value.

(my emphasis)

I have to agree. As an immediate example, to do my cash flow forecasting on GrantTree I tried a number of solutions. One of them, Pulse, looks great, and I signed up for the 30-day trial (including putting in my credit card details), and dutifully started filling up the data. I gave it a good shot - I actually put in all the relevant data. It took me hours. Then I finally woke up and realised that any tool that requires me to do that much shit work is doomed and certainly not worth paying for.

Then I tried Float. Float looks kinda cute, but nowhere near as slick as Pulse. But it works. It pulls all the relevant data directly out of my FreeAgent account (link includes my referral id!) and so it requires almost no shit work. It doesn't look great, very beta, but I'll be paying for that one as soon as my trial expires - probably via the "founders' lifetime membership".

Solve an important new problem, and design is secondary. One exception is competitive markets. If you are competing against other businesses, offering essentially the same product or service, design becomes an important differentiator.

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