Services are …

Below is a list of sentences that are excerpts from a manuscript. None of them are formal definitions per se, but you can see an opinion forming, that might be formalized as a new way of thinking, with the basic tenets being: services are products of a particular kind that materialize from performances and affordances, in situ and at-the-time. Those products are in the form of outcomes packaged within experiences.

  1. Services are agreements between people on arrangements between things; about outcomes and experiences that fulfill a particular need, through performances and affordances.
  2. Services are essentially contracts that promise outcomes and experiences through performances and affordances.
  3. Services sets of promises (credit here to Jeff Sussna for being the first to put it in so many words).
  4. Services are not only social arrangements between things, but are themselves things that may be ephemeral or transient. They become to be and they either persist or perish.
  5. Services are essentially contracts between two or more parties, for things to go well.
  6. Services make possible pathways, connections, and transactions that are otherwise impossible.
  7. Services exists so people and their things have greater flexibility, freedom, and choice to pursue happiness and health in their own curious ways, and be undeterred when confronted with new challenges and opportunities.
  8. Services are agreements between people for arrangements between things. At the heart of services are things acting towards the welfare and wellbeing of other things, through the twin principles of sharing and caring.
  9. Services are products of performance and affordance.
  10. Services are systems because several parts work together to produce an effect that’s different from what each part can produce on its own.
  11. Services are like bridges connecting prospect and potential on two sides. They’re subject to dynamic loading as demand and supply flow across in situ and at the time. The height and span depend vary across sectors of the economy. The terrain is defined by strategic industry factors, or costs and risks peculiar to a sector, including competition, regulation, technology, and trends, as customer needs grow and change over time.
  12. Services (on the other hand) are products of concurrently projected supply and demand.
  13. Services are things doing the things for other things.
  14. Services are complex adaptive systems, which means demand and supply adapt to each other over time, becoming more and more tolerant and aware, and thereby improving the experience on both sides.
  15. Services are dynamic by nature.

Which of these are resonate more?

Filed under: definition, philosophy, thoughts


TL;DR I can audit the design of a service to prevent or predict systemic failure, using a proprietary method called 16F I make intractable problems, tractable by reframing them. I then design solutions that won't create problems elsewhere, now or in the future. The solutions are in the form of services. I focus on system-level structures that give meaning and purpose to the design of lower-level constructs such as processes, interfaces, and interactions. I've spent the last 10 years obsessed with the questions: What are services? Why do they fail? Why do they exist? I'm now writing a book. Design is my dogma. Curiosity is my doctrine. Industrial engineering is my discipline. @mxiqbal

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