The book

Reading this book will ward off evil –> wicked problems that services become, when dark, deep and ‘disturbingly small’ design flaws cause them to fail in the most unexpected ways.

Services have always been ‘designed’. But their designs are more important than ever given how much more we depend on them – as individuals and organizations, societies and governments, as markets and economies. No matter who you are, not a day goes by without paying for or providing a service, or making use of one, or facilitating it. With technological advances, such as in cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, 5G networks, and the Internet of Things, we will buy and sell even more kinds of value in the form of services, and will face new kinds of challenges and opportunities.

Thinking in Services by Majid Iqbal reveals the surprising design of services and explains the thinking that goes into designing them. It is for deepening your understanding of what services really are, what they could be, and why they even exist – and therefore why they fail in unexpected ways. It is for having a keener sense for what makes a product a service, for making better arguments for changes to designs, and for developing new ideas and concepts.

This book is for a broad audience and therefore provides a non-disciplinary view into the thinking that goes into the designs of services. Concepts in the book borrow from math, biology, and computer science, using Gestalt psychology to encode principles of systems thinking, design, engineering, economics, finance, and operations. Concepts that may cause damage to the simplistic explanations attached to populist notions, on services and their designs.

If a book we are reading does not arouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? ~ Franz Kafka

It is a book that makes you think. Going through it, the familiar concept of service becomes unfamiliar; even strange. Absent are some of the words we normally use to talk about services. Those that are there have new or additional meanings.

To understand something is not to be able to define it or describe it. Instead, taking something that we think we already know and making it unknown thrills us afresh with its reality and deepens our under- standing of it. ~ Kenya Hara

A lot of effort from Insperio AB went into producing a book that brings new knowledge and insight to the topic of services and their designs. Part of that effort was from Bureau Mitte, into making the book to go through, pleasing to the eye, and fun to read. Please accept it with all its flaws and imperfections.

Check your local or online booksellers and get your copy today. If you already have a copy, thank you for giving it a chance on your reading list. Readers make a book complete. Adding your own notes and observations makes the book your own special edition. To get the most out of it, use what is within your reach i.e., quiet time, curiosity, and imagination, heeding the following advice in the foreword:

This is not a book to skim through, but one to delve into with curiosity and imagination. Think with it, link the insights to your own practices and you will be richly rewarded.” ~ Kees Dorst, Professor, Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, UTS Sydney

Adam Grant, Wharton professor, TED talker, and the author of Originals, suggests that the struggle to understand an idea can promote deep thinking.

Below is a list of ‘good reads’ that not only make you think, but also go well with Thinking in Services, having influenced the author’s own thinking on the designs of services.

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