Why the brightest design minds in the world came together for this startup’s movie

by Justine Hofherr
January 10, 2017

Pinterest, Airbnb and Kickstarter are just a few incredibly successful companies launched by design veterans who know the value of beautiful, easy-to-use products.

Just think, when you pick up your phone and zoom in on a photo, delete a text or refresh your email with a few swipes of your finger, you have designers to thank.

None of this is lost on InVision, a startup that considers itself the world’s leading product design and collaboration platform. Providing over two million people with an end-to-end design platform that takes any idea from concept to code, InVision has revolutionized the design process for individuals and major companies since its founding in 2011.

With customers ranging from Uber and GoPro to Evernote, Twitter, Vice Media and Salesforce, InVision doesn’t have to do a ton of marketing. The product, which lets users rapidly turn design files into clickable and interactive prototypes, generally speaks for itself.

But this wasn’t powerful enough for InVision’s CEO, Clark Valberg.

According to Clair Byrd, Acting VP of Marketing at InVision, Valberg was speaking with some incredibly talented, influential designers, and thought, “This is so powerful – I wish we could film this and release it for the design community.”

The idea for a film featuring some of the brightest design minds of our time was born, with the intent of showcasing the impact of their contributions and how design influences how people view the world.

“I had never made a video in my career, let alone a feature-length documentary,” Byrd said. “I believed we could make a movie, found the right partners — from Netflix to Spotify — and then pushed aggressively on timelines to make it happen.”

Produced by InVision and directed by Matt D'Avella of Catalyst Films, “DESIGN DISRUPTORS” premiered in June 2016 in San Francisco to a sold-out audience.

The film features an elite group of designers from 15 disruptive companies including Netflix, Google, Facebook, HubSpot, Twitter, Pinterest and Spotify (valued at one trillion dollars combined) who share the perspectives and sacrifices that were necessary to alter age-old industries and disrupt the status quo.

Byrd describes the film as a labor of love. “The initial goals were simply to create the first and best documentary on digital design, and then get it into as many hands as we could around the world,” Byrd said. “The business goals came later.”

“DESIGN DISRUPTORS” has reached more than 30,000 people at 1,000 community events, with marketing activities surrounding the film yielding new leads, new free user signups, conversions from free to paid memberships and higher annual revenue," Byrd added.

In addition to nearly 4x return on investment, the film generated tens of thousands of dollars for charity. All proceeds from the film benefitted the AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship Fund, which helps minority and economically disadvantaged students studying art and design disciplines in colleges and universities around the U.S.

“The film offers a rare window into the work of some of the most prominent designers in the field,” Byrd said. “It explores their approaches and philosophies, and who is truly disrupting incumbent markets. If you need to book a hotel, you think Airbnb. If you’re streaming music, you’re likely on Spotify. When you need a ride, you think Uber and Lyft. These companies did not exist 10 years ago and now, they are leaders in their categories. Who knows what apps and services we’ll be using in the next 10-20 years!”

The documentary is meant to be a defining resource for designers, Byrd said, and she hopes it inspires each viewer’s approach to their own work.

“All of this innovation is going to increase exponentially over time, and “DESIGN DISRUPTORS” showcases how design-driven companies are fundamentally redesigning the way we live,” Byrd said.

Since its premier, InVision has screened its film in theaters around the world, from Sydney to Prague, and has upcoming screenings in New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles, all the way to Bengaluru, Karnataka.


Photo via social media

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