Yes, doing design with everyone at your company is a lot of work. But it’s necessary if you want to be a truly great designer — otherwise, you’re simply papering over bad decisions. For example, imagine that your CEO created a complex pricing structure for your product. You could focus on making the pricing page as clear as possible using your interface and information design skills. But the harder and more important design opportunity is to work with your CEO on repricing your product so it’s clear to customers and compatible with the business goals.
Having more people who do design is additive, not competitive. These designers make your team and your product stronger, because they’re contributing from their unique perspectives. Help them bolster their skills, and use their expertise to the advantage of your product and company.
The solution [at Airbnb] actually deemphasizes the designers. The point… isn’t to create a “design-led culture,” because that tends to tell anyone who isn’t a designer that their insights take a backseat. It puts the entire company in the position of having to react to one privileged point of view.