We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.
Mathias Jakobsen is a Learning Designer at Hyper Island and the creator of Think Clearly. Born in Denmark, he has worked as a life coach and consultant for startup CEOs and corporate executives as well as Bloomberg, Google, The New York Times, Carrot Creative, Holstee, Coca-Cola, Pratt, The Wharton School, CUNY, FiftyThree and many more. (https://www.30weeks.com/)
The idea that designers are bound to be servants of other people's and companies' products is extremely pervasive. Sure, you may build your own design agency but, in the end, that agency is simply a collective effort to serve someone else. From my perspective, though, the world is waking up to the idea that designers can be founders of a product and not just create the beautiful wrapping around some engineering core.
A recent study by Boston's Design Management Institute showed that design-driven businesses have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 by an astounding 228% over the past 10 years. These were companies that had design embedded within the company's organizational structure, design leadership present at senior levels, and a commitment to design's use as an innovation resource.