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What's So Funny About Innovation?

Anything compelling has to have a human element to it, but humans are inherently complex, and therefore unpredictable. The most successful innovations often seem counter-intuitive when they are introduced, but that's what can make them so valuable. So, if logic so often fails, how do you innovate and create brands, products, and services that people will connect with, care about, and value?

Take a cue from stand-up comedians: like brands, they have to consistently deliver fresh, innovative thinking that their audiences relate with. What lessons can designers and brands learn from the deliberately counter-intuitive comedy industry?

Join Paul Valerio, Principal at experience design firm, Method, and Baratunde Thurston, comedian and best-selling author, for a Q&A around comedy and how it can be used for brand, product, and service innovation.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How are the resources comedians use to craft a stand-up routine similar to those used by product and service designers?
  2. What kind of research should comedians and designers conduct, and how do you use it to inform creative decisions?
  3. What are the similarities between the mix of material and performance of a stand-up routine, and the mix of tangible features and the skill of presentation in product and service design?
  4. How do you acount for context? How do you understand and appeal to an audience that is not fixed?
  5. What makes a good joke (or product or service)? And how does this translate into a good routine (brand)?



Paul Valerio, Principal, Method, Inc.

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