A look at Google Venture’s Tom Hulme and his TED Talk “What can we learn from shortcuts?”




Shortcuts have become an essential part of our everyday lives. Expectations for productivity today require the use of shortcuts by many people across various industries. Tom Hulme explains why that’s not necessarily a bad thing and what exactly we can learn from the kinds of shortcuts we’re taking.

Tom Hulme works as a general partner at Google Ventures (GV). With GV, Hulme invests in high growth technology companies and occasionally works with the design team. Prior to GV, Hulme was a design director at IDEO Europe where he founded OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform where 100,000 users from more than 170 countries solved challenges for social good.

World Economic Forum recognized Hulme as a “Young Global Leader,” and has been featured in Wired UK’s “Top 100 Digital Power Brokers” list every year since the list was established. He has also been included in the Evening Standard‘s list of “London’s 1000 Most Influential People.”

Short Cuts = Desire Paths

An animated speaker, Hulme’s most recent TED Talk entitled “What can we learn from shortcuts?” touches on topics of design, physics, entrepreneurship, and investment. Hulme discusses shortcuts, or what he calls “desire paths,” saying they are usually the paths of least resistance and the points where design and user experience diverge. In the talk, Hulme also gives examples of three different desire paths he’s encountered in the world and finds particularly interesting.

He discusses the importance of designing specifically for human needs. So, launching the service first can help further determine what consumers really want. Hulme says a designer’s job is to watch for emerging desire paths like these and pave them where appropriate.

View Tom Hulme’s full TED Talk here:

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