Business for Unicorns – Episode 5: Solving Better Problems with Mona Patel

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Mona is the CEO of Motivate design, UX expert, professor, speaker and author.

“I work to make technology approachable. At first, I got to think about keeping shuttles in space and medical equipment operating smoothly. It was groundbreaking and heavy, and I thrived. It gave me a distinct POV: there is no problem too big to solve for, and no design too small to make a big impact.”

In 2009, Mona started Motivate Design, a UX/UI research and design agency. They are based in NYC and their clients Fortune 500 companies from all over the world. Our UX staffing agency UX Hires (2010) was born soon after to support a need Mona saw in the community. Motivate has been on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list three years in a row.

Mona’s latest project is a new proprietary method of customer investigation, Insider Insights. It uses the best practices of investigators to get to the truth about what customer’s think about your company. We talk about this exciting new project in the podcast – it’s brilliant.

Mona also does a million other things, so go to to read her full bio.

In this podcast Michael and Mona discuss:

  • Mona’s amazing book Reframe: Shift the Way you Work, Innovate and Think.
  • Why business leaders are crummy at defining our actual problems.
  • Mona’s 8 BS Excuse Personas.
  • The power of “what if” questions.
  • The importance of design in the customer’s experience.
  • Common design pitfalls most companies make.
  • The key signs that your company should consider doing market research.
  • Mona’s advice on personal branding, speaking, and becoming an author.

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