Darwin in his seminal work “The Origin of Species” identified 3 drivers of evolution for living organisms. These are (a) External Conditions of life (b) Intercrossing of species and, to a lesser extent (c) Habit. Out of these three, Darwin believed that the second one, the reproduction through Intercrossing amongst species, is the main factor of their evolution. It is this mix of genetic recipes that will create a vast number of offspring, different the one from another, and of all these young species there will be few that will have these inherent attributes that will help them to best fit into their environment and eventually become dominant.
Interestingly enough, the first two drivers, the External Conditions and the Intercrossing, perhaps share some similarities with the two main Design/Product Development Processes, the User-Centered and the Design-Driven.
External Conditions / User–Centered Design process
Similarly to the External Conditions, during a User–Centered design process, the designer, as a creator, is called to analyze and interpret the User and her surrounding Context (Environment). In this case, the environment affects directly Product’s architecture and properties just like the External Conditions will affect a specie’s structure, functions etc.

Intercrossing  /  Design–Driven Design process
Both processes are primarily related to experimentation, coincidental or intentional.  They require a number of attempts and failures is likely to occur. However according to Darwin but also to Alberto Alessi (ceo of “Alessi”, a well-know company embracing the principles of Design-Driven design process) these are the processes that will give birth to the greatest changes and innovations. New product development Teams may work without any structured methodology, but it is the intuition and curiosity that will test connections between functions, interactions, technologies, aesthetics to propose new visions for new Products.  Obviously, some of them will be rejected but some are likely to thrive.
Factors such as Product's nature, Corporate Culture & Strategy, Market, will determine which process would be more suitable to be followed.
Related literature
Darwin, C., (1985), The Origin of Species, Penguin Classics, London.
Verganti, R., 2008, “Design, Meanings, and Radical Innovation: a meta-model and a research agenda”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 25, 436-456.

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