Apple Mouse Inventor IDEO Sells 30 Percent Stake to Hakuhodo DY Holdings

IDEO CEO Tim Brown and kyu CEO Michael Birkin
IDEO CEO Tim Brown and kyu CEO Michael Birkin Photo Nicolas Zurcher - IDEO

IDEO, the acclaimed Silicon Valley-based design and innovation firm credited with such creations as the original Apple mouse, has sold a 30 percent stake in its firm Hakuhodo DY Holdings.

The deal will make it possible for IDEO to leverage kyu’s other creative companies and “bring a broader set of creative perspectives” to tackling systemic design challenges, said IDEO Chief Executive Tim Brown, reports the Wall Street Journal

IDEO, famed for designing innovative products such as Apple’s first mouse and the Palm V PDA, has made its name for a “human-centered design” approach.


The company has recently been working with Eli Lilly and Co. on the design of insulin pens and other drug related devices.

“We see that the need of both business and society is to retool many of these systems,” said Brown. “To do that, we’ve needed an ever growing set of capabilities and capacities.”

While specific financial terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, IDEO said it will continue to be owned and independently managed by its current partners.

“This is a pendulum swing that we’ve seen over and over again,” Brown told Fast Company.


“I’m tremendously excited to hear about design being valued from all aspects of business, whether it’s all of Silicon Valley and the visually driven companies around the world or whether it’s these different forms of professional services firms that are bringing design in. There has always been and will always be a real need for organizations that can bring creative problem solving to wherever it’s needed.”



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