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IDEO is a global design company that creates positive impact through human-centered approach to design. It provides support to organizations in the public and private sectors to innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas. IDEO was formed in 1991, in Paolo Alto, California, as a collaboration between Stanford University professor David Kelley Design, (who created the first Apple mouse in 1982), and ID Two (the designed of the first laptop in 1982), led by Bill Moggridge. The name of the company was chosen by Moggridge, meaning "The Art of Innovation", derived from"idea," as in "ideology" or "ideogram".

Initially the company provided traditional design services for business, such as the Oral-B toothbrushes. Starting from 2001, they shifted from designing products to designing experiences. Whithin the company itself, there was no hierarchy, with the exception of former CEO David Kelley. Project management duties were rotated. A staff of ten was dedicated to administrative functions. To keep bureaucracy small, the size of each office was limited to about two dozen people.

In 1996, office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. made an equity investment in IDEO and David Kelley was designated Steelcase's vice-president of technical discovery and innovation. IDEO had been working with Steelcase companies on various projects since 1987 and helped design the company's ergonomically advanced Leap Chair.

Since iterative process to design was one of the fundamental elements of IDEO's worth ethic, in 2000 they introduced a firm called "IDEO U" to teach clients to be more innovative. IDEO later designed Procter & Gamble's own innovation center, called "The Gym." Currently IDEO has offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Munich, New York City, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, with Tim Brown as CEO.


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