It’s been said that innovation is the lifeblood of a business.
At Delve, we take that one step further as innovation literally is our business. We don’t develop products or services of our own; we bring innovation to our clients’ customers. For over 50 years, Delve’s researchers, strategists, designers, engineers, and prototyping specialists have helped clients embrace and leverage innovation to create new products, services, and processes. We’ve worked for more than 700 companies and just completed our 3,000th project.
Historically, our company focused on developing physical products, ranging from surgical devices to consumer goods. Designing tangible products is a critical part of what we do, but we have expanded our client base to include digital design, software, services, insurance, and financial products. We work with clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies like Google to those that aren’t even a company yet — such as scientists on the cutting edge of research.
As complex and technical as our assignments often are, we believe that true innovation isn’t just about technology: It requires a focus on the humanity of the user. Whether we’re developing a brand-new product or creating a better version of an existing one, it’s vital that we understand both the technical and human needs involved.
For example, we had the opportunity to help a Silicon Valley startup that was trying to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open heart surgery. Invasive surgeries are, on average, more dangerous, and require a longer healing time and hospital stay. Finding a non-invasive way to perform this surgery would be a true gamechanger.
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The client had a really brilliant technical solution, but the procedure had the potential to be incredibly complicated and error-prone for surgeons and dangerous for patients. Our job was to take this technology and find ways to change the product and process, so it became simple and intuitive.
We studied, interviewed, and observed surgeons. We used these observations to make small, critical changes to the product. It took hard work, iterations, and prototyping, but our team came up with a solution that turned the client’s brilliant technology into a usable solution.
Shortly after wrapping up the project, the startup was acquired for $490 million. The president flew to Madison and threw our staff a party. I expected him to say, “Thank you. You made us wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.” Instead, he said, “Thank you. This product is going to save a lot of people’s lives and you were an important part of that.”
Like the field of innovation, our business constantly changes. We’ve opened offices in San Francisco and Boston and moved our headquarters to a new building in downtown Madison. We recently changed our name from Design Concepts to Delve to better reflect how we approach innovation.
Though we embrace the change that is the norm in today’s world, we are committed to ensuring that some things never change, especially the underlying curiosity that drives our team and is embodied in our company vision: Be inspired. Be inspiring.