I’ve always had an appreciation for aesthetics and function, but still, I used to be hesitant about advocating for design and usability when in the company of my developers and engineers. There was something not quite serious enough about design to insist on it as a strategic priority. But after leading several companies and advising dozens of startups, I’ve come to believe the exact opposite- that design is not only “nontrivial”, but the essence of strategy and customer adoption.
For entrepreneurs or those launching new products into the market, design should be a fundamental concern and a foundational element of the business plan. It guides and frames the user experience and therefore drives what actions users will take (hopefully ones tied to your business model). In the case of branding and marketing communication, good visual design communicates at a glance what you want to user to know about your organization. And design decisions also determine an array of go-to-market and support costs.