For me, the holidays bring many hours spent making magic in the kitchen. While making non-thanksgiving themed Indian food last week, I got to thinking about what an appropriate metaphor cooking is for business ideation.

Many businesses, creative or otherwise, find themselves plagued by the proverbial “too many hands in the kitchen,” whether that be too many points of view from various business partners or too many concepts. The end result, more often than not, is a mucky gumbo with no distinguishable flavors.

 While we all get excited about a variety of ideas, (our “favorite ingredients”) and want to share these with our consumers, presenting too many elements confuses and turns them off.

At Design the Planet, we’ve found the key to overcoming this is deciding the “base” of your dish, the central narrative that is your primary message, early in the process. From there, you can build upon this message with complimentary ideas, spices and other extras.

When we work with clients, we use “Style Guides” to determine their brand’s intrinsic message and essential look. You can see the end result at Archbishop Shaw Highschool’s website.


The cooks at Design the Planet start with a hearty base, then add essential goodies like yummy vegetables, and spice from there. (Additionally, take notes from historically successful projects: my ratatouille is a spinoff from my mom’s excellent recipe).

Starting with a strong central narrative and disposing of all but the core components is a difficult but necessary part of delivering a digestible message! When every piece has a direct purpose, your message rings loud and clear, leaving a good taste in the consumer’s mouth. This lesson applies to so many disciplines.