It’s time to get serious about design. For startups especially, this is one factor that can make or break the business.

Up until about five years ago or so, there were still old-timers who insisted that engineering was the backbone of any venture. Find the brightest programmers, the argument went, and everything else would fall into place.

But these days, with important exceptions like search engines and security software, the technology behind most startups is fairly straightforward. With code libraries, new programming languages and open-source launchpads, engineering has in many respects gotten easier and more accessible. And exactly for that reason, one way to stand out from the crowd is with an intuitive interface that users love and that lends itself to quick adoption. Design is more important than ever.

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