Rethinking IT in the Digital Service Economy

When family members and church family take it upon themselves to impress upon me perspectives they feel should take precedence in my life they find themselves bombarded with a lot more context than they ever wanted to have to bargain for because of how much more advanced my activity contexts tend to be.

Aside from observing their more natural interactions and usage contexts when I am given the chance, over-communicating my own activity contexts to those who will be the most important to my future has become an integrated daily routine of mine to keep them from being so out of touch with my mental model as someone who has such a far more sophisticated social network than theirs and the empirical understanding of knowing what the business advantages are for doing so.

This is perhaps the tradeoff I have made for being connected to so many design disruptors and global service design influencers. Below is a book for those more embedded into IT organizations that are not quite clear on where to begin doing service design work.

In all, over-communicating my activity contexts has become good way for me to be more mindful, accountable and self-aware of my own activity contexts on a day-to-day basis (however annoying it may be).

Here is also a link to a dated paper on the wealth of networks by Yochai Benkler which I recommend for those interested in learning about the value of networks in general.

The Wealth of Networks How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom:

This year’s iPhone upgrade experience.

November 1st marks the anniversary of my 5 year resignation and start date with Apple.
Every year since 2007 my wife and I have both had the privilege of upgrading to a new iPhone (one of the perks of being married to an interaction designer). This year’s iPhone upgrade program had a few kinks to be worked out – mostly the result of my own fallibility.
I feel for the people working the retail experience who have to put up with people like me when I go into the store, I have tremendous respect for them (especially on launch day). They are ten times more patient than I will perhaps ever know how to be. Reminds me of what a corporate snob I must appear to be to most people (God help me).
There is at least some satisfaction in knowing that Marissa is enjoying this year’s upgrade.

3 new curated daily news publications.

I recently introduced three curated daily news publications, which I hope your businesses will benefit from as new technologies continue to uproot existing business models.

1) devoted to designing smarter touchpoints for retail, IoT and wearables.

2) A more thoughtful service @ devoted to designing business and disruptive innovation into the public and private sectors.

3) A more human interface @ devoted to NUIs (natural user interfaces), the quantified self and crafting more meaningful product interactions into holistic service experiences.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016

We will be live streaming the Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016, this weekend live from the Sydney Opera House in Australia in our incubator space on 4th & Market Street.

Stop by and have a beer.



Service Design Sprints @ I Love Mondays


rethinkCAFÉ in collaboration with The London Design Festival and the Service Design Fringe Festival is hosting Service Design Sprints‘ first West Coast Sprint Master’s full day bootcamp on September 19th from our incubator space located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Join us, get certified and learn just what it takes to become a world-class Service Design Sprint Master.

In this program you will learn how to innovate and accelerate business using Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean Startup.

This Boot Camp is a global Sprint Master certification that takes place in Brazil, Japan and the Netherlands.

This certification is an 8-hour immersive and practical program that offers guidance to entrepreneurs and business leaders on how to integrate Design Thinking, Service Design and Lean Startup to create sustainable, desirable and profitable service experiences.

The Boot Camp is designed to provide you with the right service design knowledge to so that you can facilitate your own Service Design Sprints. You will learn to execute this process and be provided with tools to solve a Service Design Sprint challenge. You will work in groups and have discussions in order to create solutions that are more relevant from a customer’s point of view.

A Service Design Sprint is a 4-day Design Thinking intervention that brings together clients, customers, managers and designers in a joint effort to redesign a business’ service experience.

In this boot-camp you will learn how to run service design sprints. It is a Design Thinking and Lean Startup integrated approach capable of delivering entire service experience transformations to businesses worldwide.

Sprints fit any kind of business. From a coffee shop or a veterinary hospital to a startup or a B2B company—they even work for large corporations. aims to democratize Service Design, using Design Thinking to create more sustainable, desirable, and profitable services. We are a global community of Sprint Masters that you will get to be a part of.

You will be connected to Sprint Masters around the world to share experiences and learning, create opportunities, expand your network, and even facilitate sprints together.

We’ll equip you with written materials and videos to support you in your sprints so that you can also start selling sprints. You will be equipped with cases and presentations in order to run sprints in any company.

Our community is comprised of a diverse membership. We always say that Design is a mental model or a mindset — it is the way you think about solving problems and not your educational background. You don’t need to have knowledge of Design to participate in our courses, nor do you need to be a Designer.

If you want to undertake positive impact, change the way of working within the company you are in, or just want new lenses and tools for your personal life, you are in the right place!

Today we are more than 150 Sprint Masters across United States, Brazil, the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Brazil.


How it works:

1) Q&A
The first part includes a debate to discuss and answer questions about conceptual themes introduced by The Service Startup:: Design Thinking gets Lean (e.g. MVS model) and how works. We will also share some sprint stories and talk about all the opportunities involved in becoming a Sprint Master.

2) Hands-on Sprint Experience
It´s time to get your hands dirty in a Service Design Sprint, from end-to-end. It will be fast, crazy and super fun. We want to give you the tools, thinking and a glimpse of the energy that flows through a service design sprint.

3) Sprint Master Certification
By the end of the boot-camp, you will be certified as a Sprint Master. The certification will allow you to become part of the global community.



By becoming a Sprint Master, you will get access to several benefits:

– Cases and sales toolkit: You will earn credibility and will be able to deliver proven results. By being an active member, you are allowed to use our cases and sprint stories in order to negotiate your own sprints with your prospects. After all, you’re part of our community. So, they are your stories also 🙂

– Experienced Sprint Masters Support: Yes, problems happen all the time. But if you get in trouble, Sprint Masters Trainers will help you with your sprints.

– Reputation and credibility: You want to show how good you are, we know that. Being part of our community of certified Sprint Masters, you will definitely make it happen. Your member profile on the Web site presents your sprints, your assessments and recommendations. Actions speak louder than words. is growing exponentially to become well known in the design community and business organizations around the world.

– Recruiting helpers: Helpers are future Sprint Masters. People will be happy to help in exchange for experience to later become Sprint Masters themselves. They are under your supervision and you will be connected to our social networks and be given training and content exclusive to community members.

Finally, you will be connected to our social networks and have access to training and exclusive content to the community members only.

About connectors:


Founder and CEO. Renato Endo has made a career as chief service designer and project manager for Livework. Renato’s expertise in traditional service design projects has been instrumental in the creation of the sprint master’s management tools and training models. As CEO of, he is a leader in the SM community and makes sure to keep our SM’s connected, honed, and up-to-date.


Founder and CMO. Alessandro Ng has studied both Telecom Engineering and Service Design. He has established a career both as a project manager and business manager for consultancies and large enterprises. At SDS he is responsible for connecting the community to hubs of SMB’s including retail associations, franchisee organizations, and the like.


The Service Design Fringe Festival is a celebration of all things service design. It takes place along side the London Design Festival 15th – 25th September, and is based in the OXO tower, with other events throughout the city.

Lessons from a Principal Design Coach

If there is one thing I’ve learned from those who have coached me throughout the years it is that human nature dictates that if you have a desire to give back to see others grow, you must also have a willingness to make enough of an investment into those you mentor to allow yourself to be let down by them.

People convince themselves (without knowing it) that they have gotten everything they need out of an experience before getting to the good stuff and will oftentimes give up early when they think they have nothing more to know or gain. At which point a back stab can appear to be a more attractive ‘gain’ – even though it ends up preventing them from growing.

Experience is the best teacher, if you have a sadistic desire to raise up design founders the question is never IF your protégé is going to stab you in the back, the question is WHEN they will (and how deeply). If you are coaching someone who you don’t ultimately want to excel past you, you are in this for the wrong reasons altogether.

You really have to have been burnt a few times as a coach before you can have that kind of mature and sober perspective about it – Once I obtained that, I was able to be a much better coach to those I’d bring under my wing. Knowing that it is a WHEN and not an IF has brought a lot of insight and discernment into my practice.

Join rethinkCAFÉ in collaboration with The London Design Festival and the Service Design Fringe Festival as we host Service Design Sprints‘ first West Coast Sprint Master’s bootcamp round on September 19th from our incubator space located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district. Early bird tickets are still available.

Event details:

The qualities of the professional

The professional displays courage, not only in the roles she embraces (which invariable scare the hell out of her) or the sacrifices she makes (of time, love, family) or even in the enduring of criticism, blame, envy, and lack of understanding, but above all in the confronting of her own doubts and demons.

The linebacker and the Army Ranger go into action as part of a team. But the artist and the entrepreneur enter combat alone. I take my hat off to every man or woman who does this.

Steven Pressfield (Turning Pro)

As a standalone company, Apple’s services business could be worth as much as $260B

Trying to sell service design and design thinking for innovation to people who have never come across it about the benefit it will have to their business is like trying to sell an airplane to a remote village without knowledge about how airplanes work, what they do or why they would ever have a need for one.

When we opened the war room at Union Cowork in San Diego we opened an airport in a remote village with very little awareness about the value or purpose of flight travel.

This is the ongoing problem that we can only address through demonstrating the power that design thinking can have on people’s business. It is only through through testimonial and case studies that this value can begun to become understood by people who see it as a gimmick.


Jamie Miller (Union’s owner) argues that the gap is not as wide as an ‘airport’, likening us to “A coke dropping in a remote village in Africa.”

Jamie Miller (Union’s owner) argues that the gap is not as wide as I express. The metaphor he uses to illustrate his point is one of “A coke dropping in a remote village in Africa.”..

“The design of the can, the obvious weight of a liquid is universal to the point these people understand they are to drink from it. The people embrace the fact it tastes amazing and makes them feel refreshed. They don’t need to know how complicated the process is to carbonate water or to establish distribution chains or what caffeine is. They only need to embrace it as something that adds value to their lives.”

This statement “It just has to have value.” is indicative of my original point. Nobody who has experience applying design thinking to their product or service formulation would ever make such a statement (this is the type of statement made by people who haven’t ‘tasted the value’). The value of service design has already been proven by companies who actually understand disruption — the burden isn’t on us to ‘preach’ that value.

As refreshing as design thinking may be perceived to be (yes, it should be refreshing) — it must be refreshing in order for it to feel inclusive and inviting. People aren’t at their creative best when something isn’t refreshing. The point however is not refreshment, it is radical insight and perspective into their customers lives. Many people are too afraid to re-assess this because they’ve been led to believe that ‘pivoting’ is the worst thing they can possibly do by people who just want to make a dime off of their ignorance by fueling preconceived notions about their need for business innovation. (There is a good reason why people who have the word ‘innovation’ in their job title have much lower job security than people who don’t.)

Here is one reason we focus on service design, service innovation, service aesthetics and use service dominant logic at I Love Mondays and rethinkCAFÉ.

As a standalone company, Apple’s services business could be worth as much as $260B



The application deadline for our June-December incubator program is May 20th —