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1 minute read - by Sofie Vandenhende

Why business design enhances design thinking

At Leap Forward, we believe that you can only create sustainable businesses, when (1) your product is solving a real customer problem, (2) for which people want to pay and (3) for which they choose you above competition. Our method: the art of business design!

Being pioneers in service design and design thinking during the last decade, we have been purifying the best methods to create these immortal businesses. Applying design thinking in our design sprints, we help entrepreneurs and managers to create more user-centred products and services. We learn them how to reduce the risk of heavy R & D rounds and how to structure their collaborative brainstorming & design processes.

Creating new ideas is not the same as writing a business plan.

Although design thinking helps us and our customers to think out of the box, sometimes a solid business model lacks. It is not because you have an awesome idea, that it is actually solving a real customer need. And it is not because your customers are facing a problem they want to pay for, that you can bring your solutions to live for a price that corresponds to their willingness to pay.


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What is your value proposition? How does your financial plan look like? How are you going to create a steady market position? How are you going to scale?... To provide an answer to these questions, we studied and reinvented the art of ‘business design’. Thereby, we follow the definition of Rotman: “Business Design is a human-centred approach to innovation, that applies the principles and practices of design to help organization create new value and new forms of competitive advantage. At its core, business design is the integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy.”


If you manage to create value to your customer, value for your company will automatically follow.

Business design provides the tools and methods to develop new business models in a more creative way and capture the value they create. We do this by:

  • in-depth market analysis
  • the articulation of critical assumptions to test
  • testing with low fidelity prototypes
  • fast learning by product- or business model iteration


business design
design thinking


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Article by

Sofie Vandenhende

Sofie abhors it when good ideas end up in the trash bin, because of the wrong innovation processes, a bad go-to-market strategy or poorly composed innovation teams. In her passion to create everlasting value, she helps entrepreneurial teams in identifying new opportunities and building meaningful products / services.

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