Kuddos to Adaptive Path.

Truth be told, Adaptive Path took a big risk introducing their new venture in the market back in 2001. They were trying to sell their new service calling themselves ‘user experience consultants’, a service that nobody had ever heard of at the time and even when explained, it still came off a tad vague and hypothetical and most would even question its value. Moreover the market was quickly dwindling and the industry was taking a nose dive so Adaptive path had their work cut out for them.

Adaptive Path’s founding philosophy is what has always been their greatest asset and continues to be their guiding philosophy to this day: viewing and evaluating old problems from a different perspective, trying out new approaches, and reaching out to their peers in the larger community and bouncing ideas off each other. It is with this philosophy and great talent that Adaptive Path has been able to create and even hone some of the best workshops and conferences in Experience Design. The company has not done so all on their own; according to Jesse James Garrett, Chief Creative Officer of Adaptive Path, they have had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the smartest and most talented teams (including Twitter, Harvard Business Review, NPR, Flickr and Airbnb) in the industry to solve the hardest user experience problems.

While the company has made new innovations that have influenced the industry in significant ways, making a lot of friends and establishing great relationships within the industry, it comes as no surprise that the company has received many offers from interested parties willing to buy their business. However, most of these offers have been rejected.

“Over the years we have talked to a lot of people who wanted to buy our business. The trouble is that few of them were actually interested in everything we do. Maybe they just needed a bunch of digital product design resources, and the strategy, research and service design work would fall by the wayside. Or they valued our designers but not the program management and support functions that we find critical to the success of our project teams,” explained Garret.

“None of that sat well with us. It felt like they valued what we had built but not the purpose for which we built it: to advance the practice of experience design in all its forms, whether directly through our own design work or indirectly through our events, training, publishing and public speaking,” he added.

However, someone has finally come along that seems to get them: Capital One. Adaptive Path has always followed a particular approach and mindset, which has contributed to their success and they have found that they share that very same mindset and approach with Capital One.

“They are a company with a great culture that shares and values our intellectual curiosity and design sensibilities, that wants us to continue doing great work inside their organization but also helping others do great work too,” said Garret about Capital One.

Even though the firm will be focused on solving experience design problems for Capital One, they affirm that they will continue with their annual conferences and workshops in their bid to advance user experience design.

What Does This Mean for Other UX Consultants & Firms?

Now that we have seen Adaptive Path, one of many successful UX consultant groups, acquired by financial juggernaut, Capital One, what does this mean for other user experience consultants and firms?

It is no doubt that the Fintech space is a great space for startups today. It is a huge industry and with the vast amount of data available, companies are able to challenge themselves and consumers with trending financial technologies that will disrupt the industry, but will we be seeing more of these acquisitions occurring in the near future? How does this impact smaller firms and UX consultants?

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Photo By: Adaptive Path