|Founders||David Kelley; Bill Moggridge|
|Headquarters||Palo Alto, California, United States|
IDEO (pronounced "eye-dee-oh") is an international design and consulting firm founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. The company has locations in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Boston, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. The company uses the design thinking methodology to design products, services, environments, and digital experiences. Additionally, the company has become increasingly involved in management consulting and organizational design.
The firm employs over 650 people in the disciplines of human factors, mechanical, electrical and software engineering, industrial design, interaction design, and communication design. IDEO has worked on projects in the consumer food and beverage, retail, computer, medical, furniture, toy, office, and automotive industries. Some examples include Apple's first mouse, Microsoft's second mouse, the Palm V PDA, and Steelcase's Leap chair. Major clients (as of 2004) included Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Microsoft, ConAgra Foods, Eli Lilly, Ford, and Steelcase.
IDEO was formed in 1991 by a merger of two established design firms: David Kelley Design (founded by Stanford University professor David Kelley), London-based Moggridge Associates and San Francisco's ID Two (both founded by British-born Bill Moggridge), and Matrix Product Design (founded by Mike Nuttall). Office-furniture maker Steelcase owned a majority stake in the firm, but began divesting its shares through a five-year management buy-back program in 2007. The founders of the predecessor companies are still involved in the firm. The current CEO is Tim Brown.
While the company started with a focus on designing consumer products (e.g., toothbrush, personal assistant, computers), by 2001, IDEO began to increase focus on consumer experiences (e.g., non-traditional classrooms). Kelley applied the term "design thinking" to business in order to encompass the approach to work of IDEO across industries and challenges:.
IDEO's organization consists of project teams, flat hierarchy, individual autonomy, creativity, socialization of recruits and engineer buy-in.
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