Design has become a business buzzword, but what does it mean, and why is it relevant to nearly any company in the world that wants to create successful products and eliminate customer pain points?

The best definition I’ve heard comes from a talk given by Google Ventures partner Daniel Burka in New York City last night. “Design,” he says, “is the scientific method for business.”

Design = the scientific method for business

And by extension, the design sprint he and his GV partners have pioneered and described in the book Sprint is one “scientific method” we can use to design great products and marketing campaigns. (I recently published a review of Sprint that focuses on a couple of the book’s fascinating case studies.)

I love Burka’s definition because it adds empirical heft to the concept of design, which is still narrowly associated with UX, usability and aesthetics. But design, as practiced by Google Ventures and its portfolio companies, is an extremely rigorous process with specific rules and timelines, a focus on prototyping and a non-negotiable commitment to customer testing.

Even if you don’t think design applies to your business, check out Sprint. You may find it to be the most influential business book you’ve read all year (and I’d love to discuss it with you).

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.