Meet the consultant is a new series that introduces you to a consultant from the database of Consultmi.co. This series discusses a range of important topics in the selected consultant their field. Our second interview is with Sofia Nyyssonen, who is the founder of Indigonic. Indigonic focuses on improving service design. Service design maps the users experience of their visit and based on the data, creates a more efficient user experience. More information can be found at https://indigonic.fi/about-us/. As a successful entrepreneur we wanted to know how more about the person who started Indigonic.
If you had to give an introduction about yourself before a
presentation, how would you describe yourself?
I’m an MBA educated and entrepreneurial Service Design Consultant, with over 4 years’ experience founding and running a service innovation and design agency. I have a passion for building user-centric dialogue, and helping clients optimize success and innovation with service design. I enjoy continuously learning and pushing my boundaries in new areas that enable well-rounded perspectives.
- Later in your career, you decided to pursue an MBA, what were the reasons for this? How does having an MBA help you?
Following the completion of my B.Soc.Sci. Economics / Political Science at the University of Helsinki in 2005, I have spent the majority of my career across various public sector and administration roles. However, I have always had a strong interest in service innovation and design and decided to pursue an MBA, which I completed in 2014. Since then, alongside my career in the public sector, I followed my entrepreneurial flair and founded my own service design agency – Indigonic.
- What inspired you to start Indigonic?
I’ve always desired a career that allows me to experience working with an array of clients to provide expertise in a field that I am really passionate about. Running my own design and service innovation agency means that I am responsible for all operational aspects of managing the business, alongside providing innovating services to clients that are both cost-effective from the point of view of the service provider and beneficial from the end-customer perspective. My main motivation is to help my clients, across a multitude of industries and maturity, to innovate customer experiences and to enable them to understand customer’s needs.
- What is the biggest business lesson you have learned since starting Indigonic?
Since starting Indigonic, I learned that startups are unpredictable and that you will have failures several times before you get it right. That is the way the startups work, with changing direction and moving backward playing a natural and valuable role in learning and discovery. To get it right, I had to leave the guesswork behind and get out of my office to test customer reactions to my hypothesis, gain insight from their feedback, and adjust the business model. In fact, embracing the fact that startups regularly fail and pivot along the way is one of the greatest lessons I learned.
- What do you think the biggest pitfalls are of people deciding to start for themselves?
I believe the biggest pitfalls are misunderstanding or just getting wrong key assumptions about your business model. Questions like: who your customers are, what problem they needed to solve, what features would solve them, how much customers would pay to solve them, etc. The ability to learn from these mistakes distinguishes a successful startup from those who fade away.
- Since Indigonic focuses on improving the design and every business is different, how does this process start?
The process usually starts with an initial meeting with a client seeking to address issues they identified in their business (poor customer experience, redefining value, human-centered innovation, issues relating to new technology, etc.). I work with my clients in a workshop setting to identify the challenges to be addressed, and to teach them the tools that might best work to co-create solutions to these challenges. The process usually involves four stages:
1. Discover – understanding and empathizing with unmet needs.
2. Define – framing opportunity, looking for patterns and insights.
3. Develop – rapidly testing ideas, learning form end-users and refining.
4. Deliver – iterating, evaluating, creating and learning.
The process enables clients to systematically design, test and refine a product, service or system that provides an answer to the challenge they defined. The practical and experiential nature of the process and testing of ideas ensures feasible solutions are designed for a specific context and are able to be implemented at a realistic cost.
- Throughout the start-up stage of Indigonic what was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome this?
Perhaps the biggest challenge was assumption that offering a particular skill or service (like service design consulting, etc.) is the same thing as running a business that offers that service. The two are requiring completely different skills, mindsets and focus. Tackling the types of strategic questions, such as targeting particular niche market, were ones that shaped the direction of our services. I overcome this by strengthening my decision-making process, and building confidence in my abilities and ideas.
For more information about Sofia or Indigonic, visit https://indigonic.fi/about-us/ or her LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sofianyyssonen/. To visit her user profile on Consultmi can be found at https://www.consultmi.co/sofia_nyyssonen/tasker.