Donux goes to: WMF - We Make Future 2023

Last week some of the Donux team attended the WMF - We Make Future event. Here's a recap of our takeaways regarding product design and the SaaS world.

Last week some of the Donux team attended the WMF - We Make Future event. Here's a recap of our takeaways regarding product design and the SaaS world.

Giuseppe Mamone
Giuseppe MamoneJun 22, 2023

Last week some of the Donux team attended the WMF - We Make Future event in Rimini.

The fair was a gathering of many people in the Italian Startup Ecosystem. Everyone was there!

We met a lot of amazing people and learned a lot.

But what are our general takeaways regarding product design and the SaaS world?

Keep reading!

In general there is a lot of enthusiasm for digital products: the event was full of startups, big and small, presenting their product or solution. I tried to write about all the great ideas we saw, but the article kept growing and growing!

Instead, I decided to highlight some constructive criticism about the Italian startup ecosystem and ways in which it could improve.

Design is still a second-class citizen

As I said, we talked with a lot of people and discovered many misconceptions about what design is. As digital product enthusiasts, we definitely live in a bubble.

Many still think that design means dealing just with colors and user interface. Of course, those aspects are very important!

However, it’s the research, the analysis, and the discovery that enable great User Experiences and interfaces.

Speaking of which…

Product maturity

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

A product expands from its core idea to help customers solve their pains and reach their goals.

Still, in 2023 many products are really solutions looking for a problem to solve.

Many still think that the central part is technical (developing the solution). But more and more, especially in the early stage, that’s becoming a commodity. There are a lot of starter kits that can help you jumpstart product development, provided that you know what to build.

We should talk to our customers, deeply understand how our product could improve their life and start from there.

People are still attached to their ideas.

This surprised me a lot: many people still don’t want to talk about their idea because they’re afraid it will be stolen by someone else.

That was proven wrong repeatedly: sharing ideas and constructive criticism is the lifeblood of creating great products.

If the execution does not make a difference, then probably the original idea wasn’t worth pursuing in the first place.

An exhibitor’s POV

This was our first time at WMF as exhibitors.

What would people say? How would we present Donux? What should we do?

We went back to our core mission: to spread best practices of building digital products with great design, while having fun.

So we decided: our WMF would be focused on giving value to everyone who came by our stand. And I think we delivered on this mission!

We did:

  • live educational sessions

  • live value proposition workshops

  • live UX audits

  • surveys about the status of SaaS products

  • live design changes (which was also my first time coding on a large touch screen 😅)

And we had fun!


If there is one thing I wanted to highlight it is that we still need a lot of education to design and build the right product. This is true for both early-stage startups looking for product-market fit and for bigger companies who want to scale their product and design game.

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