IDEO is a design consultancy based in Palo Alto, California, United States with other offices in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Munich and Shanghai. The company helps design products, services, environments, and digital experiences. Additionally, the company has become increasingly involved in management consulting.
IDEO was formed in 1991 by a merger of three established design firms: David Kelley Design (founded by David Kelley, who is also a professor at Stanford University), ID Two (founded by Britain's Bill Moggridge), and Matrix Product Design (founded by Mike Nuttall). Office-furniture maker Steelcase owns a majority stake in the firm, which operates as an independent unit. The founders of the predecessor companies are still involved in the firm. The current CEO is Tim Brown.
The firm employs approximately 500 people in the disciplines of Human factors, Mechanical, Electrical and Software Engineering, Industrial Design, and Interaction Design. IDEO has worked on thousands of projects for a large number of clients in the consumer, computer, medical, furniture, toy, office and automotive industries. Notable examples are Apple's first mouse, Microsoft's second mouse, the Palm V PDA, and Steelcase's Leap chair. Major clients (as of 2004) included Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Eli Lilly, and Steelcase.
In 2000, the firm was the subject of the "Deep Dive" episode of ABC's Nightline; they redesigned a shopping cart in five days. In 2001, IDEO's general manager Tom Kelley wrote 'The Art of Innovation,' and more recently, 'The Ten Faces of Innovation.'