Talk: Effective and nuanced innovation with Design BETs

Tobias Ahlin, Lead Experience Designer at Minecraft

Tobias Ahlin

Lead Experience Designer, Minecraft


We spend a lot of time working with tools and frameworks to help us work better together. We stay agile; we stay lean; we stand in circles; we avoid waterfalls. We ship MVPs, or maybe MLPs. We have a rigid set of tools and processes to make sure that we can ship something that works, and on time. We have agile coaches that helps us stay together, and move in the same direction. This is, all of it, essentially production management. But what tools and processes do we have to make sure we’re heading in the right direction? How do we know that we’re building something of value?


Design BETs (Belief Exploration Trees) is an idea management framework and set of tools developed partly at Spotify, refined at the creative business school Hyper Island, and used at Mojang. It’s an innovation framework that helps us have better ideas, stay nuanced, connect our ideas to business goals, and avoid getting stuck in local maxima. Rather than dictating in what order we do things, or how to manage the production, it focuses on quality; how to have original ideas of value, how to update our belief over time, and how to make better decisions in groups.

In this talk, we’ll explore what causes innovations and companies to fail to produce something of value, and how to fix it.