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Service design for innovation

Innovators and startups don't follow the 'business as usual' playbook.


In the high-pressure, rapid drive towards creating, validating, launching and scaling a winning new business model, the perspectives of design thinking and service design can deliver unique advantages.


Read on to learn how Kolmiot supports innovators on the path towards success.

Ready to discuss an opportunity or project? Get in touch

Why (service) design thinking for innovation?

a service perspective

Too often, a narrow, product-only focus prevents innovators from understanding the context in which their concept will be used once in the market. Even when focusing on an MVP, service design tools and techniques can help the team see the bigger picture, and plan for growth. This helps ensure a more successful launch, and sets the right conditions for scaling.

deep customer understanding

While Lean Startup encourages customer research, it is often far too shallow. Through applying different research methods, a more nuanced understanding of customers can be easily achieved. And through tools and visualizations such as personas and journey mapping, richer insights are gained. Service design complements and strengthens typical customer development.

balancing the business needs

Service design represents a unique amalgamation of understanding the customers' needs - and championing them during the design process - but also those of the (potential) business as well. Unlike UX and product design, service design concerns itself with critical business issues, such as the underlying business model, value proposition and implementation.

A winning concept

Demonstrated value

A viable, scaleable business model

And service design can help solve those challenges, through techniques such as:

- Ideation

- Co-creation

- Visualization

- Contextual research

- Holistic service perspective

- Prototyping

- User research

- Deep customer empathy

- Service design in conjunction with business design

- Canvases such as the BMC and VPC

- Platform design

Who have I worked with?

tykn logo.png

innovation consulting for a blockchain-based start-up

Tykn are a start-up based in the Hague with a compelling back-story. Founded by a Syrian immigrant to the Netherlands who spent time in the refugee system, they know first-hand the challenges of the billions of people around the world who are un-documented or un-banked. By applying their blockchain expertise, they are working with public- and private-sector clients to improve digital identity.


During my time with Tykn I assisted them with an in-depth review of their mission, vision and market context. I guided them through the development of new candidates for business model and value propositions, which they moved on to validate with potential customers.

Successful innovation means getting three factors right:


coaching startups in service design and design thinking

ING Labs is the international organization's accelerator programme, where in-house and independent start-ups receive support to bring their innovations to market.

Working as a service design and design thinking coach, I helped multiple teams move through a Lean Startup-inspired methodology, ensuring customers remained top-of-mind.


service design and design sprints for a banking innovator

An innovative daughter of ABN AMRO, Moneyou offers a range of financial services. Seeking to capitalize on open banking initiatives - and capture a new target market - the bank launched 'Moneyou Go', a unique new banking proposition.

Working closely with a small team, I brought a unique service design perspective to the ambitious project. This included customer development and the serving as creative lead for design sprints.

Past innovation-related project experience includes:

Priva (Netherlands)
Rabobank (Netherlands and Intl)

Read more on the Cases page

Why focus service design on innovation?

Innovation is a key driver of success. Staying ahead of the curve, identifying and exploiting new areas of opportunity, and creating new value streams are critical. Without successful innovation, organizations risk being overtaken by competitors and market developments, and left behind by evolving consumer expectations.

Innovation efforts take on multiple guises:

  • A team which downs tools for an intense, isolated innovation sprint

  • An in-house innovation lab to incubate and accelerate innovation efforts

  • A stand-alone, external operation which supports multiple, independent initiatives

With several years of experience supporting innovation teams and startups in different settings, Kolmiot knows what it takes to harness the dynamic energy of an innovation lab, and apply design thinking and service design, to ensure that the end-user remains firmly in focus throughout the often rapid and high-pressure innovation lifecycle.

How can I work with you?

Accelerator or Incubator

  • Dedicated service design support for projects at any phase in the startup lifecycle

  • Coaching of multiple projects simultaneously

  • In-house workshops on design thinking and service design topics

  • Full-time or part-time basis


  • Dedicated service design support for projects at any phase in the startup lifecycle

  • In-house workshops on design thinking and service design topics

  • Full-time or part-time basis

Other innovation environments

  • One-off workshops on design thinking and service design topics

  • Ad hoc and on-going coaching

  • Service design support

  • Advice on service implementation

A design or development agency

  • Unmatched service design expertise

  • Project support for existing clients

  • Advice on service implementation

  • Workshop facilitation

  • Design sprint facilitation

  • Training

Who am I?


Jesse Grimes

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