Category Design

Category Design is a business discipline. The central premise is that while leadership teams tend to focus on designing products, their company cultures, and business models, they can also design the market category they serve. It is taught in academic institutions as an important business and market strategy.

Category design was proposed in the book Play Bigger. The book lays out a justification for why category creation is an important strategy. and includes a step-by-step guide to applying design thinking to category creation:
* discovering and defining a category problem,
* creating a clear story (called a point-of-view) that explains and sells the category idea,
* defining a category blueprint,
* driving the category strategy across a company’s stakeholders (mobilization),
* shaping customers’ thinking (lightning strikes).
The concepts tie back into recent writings about how our brains work, particularly cognitive biases as described by Daniel Kahneman. Good category takes advantage of cognitive biases such as the choice supportive bias and groupthink bias.

After the book was published in June 2016, Mike Maples, a founding partner of Floodgate, published articles supporting the concept.

The 6-10 Law
Data research shows that "category kings" (companies that dominates a market category) that go public when they are between six and ten years old create most of the value among all VC-funded tech companies. Companies that go public sooner than six years old often lose value; companies that IPO after ten years old create little value for shareholders. The reason is thought to be that categories take around six years to develop, and most of a category’s growth happens in that six to ten year timeframe. After ten years, a category is established and growth slows, so share prices level off.

The book cites BirdsEye,, Facebook and VMware as predecessors and inspirations, among others.<ref name=":2" />
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