Breaking Free from The Lean Startup religion: The Service Designer Manifesto

Breaking Free from The Lean Startup religion: The Service Designer Manifesto
by Tenny Pinheiro
Eise Books
July 21, 2015 – 52 pages
Free on Kindle


Our civilization is facing complex, systemic and scary wicked problems. It is already known that the exclusion for over 100 years of human variables from the production equation had a central role in creating the majority of these problems. Further, during the decades following the Industrial Revolution this scientific sociopathy spread out, like a cancer under metastasis, turning itself into several of the corporate illnesses and incongruences our society is facing today.

A century has passed since that first generation of “at all costs” Rockfeller’s and Carniege’s entrepreneurs. One legacy remains: The scientific management. Yep, it is alive and kicking, with its dated “carrot and stick” philosophy ingrained as the primary engine for corporate culture maintenance.

This is where we stand today. Now, how we are going to spend the next 100 years is up to us, and mainly, to the new generation of entrepreneurs. One thing remains true: we can’t get new results by trying the same approach over and over again. So, if we are to focus again on a scientific-only approach to entrepreneurship, well… you do the math. My bet is that we are in for a tough ride.

Entrepreneurs must learn to be the masters of their tools and practices, instead of religious followers of them. They need to learn how to build, explore and preserve empathic connections to the people they intend to serve with their solutions.

The Lean Startup brings up interesting perspectives to optimize the development process. Those productivity-driven assets will be incredible helpful as long as entrepreneurs are building something relevant to the people they are aiming to serve. Service design, with its human-centrism, opens crucial empathetic windows that connect entrepreneurs to real people’s needs, problems and desires.

The author

Tenny Pinheiro is a founder and board member at Livework Brazil, the pioneer global Service Design agency, and the creator of Eise – The School for Service Innovation. Eise is an unprecedented entrepreneurship acceleration program through Service Design.He is also a permanent columnist at the influential design blog Core77 where he pens the Design @ Your Service column. Tenny has always been an entrepreneur and started his first startup when he was 13 years old. Since then, has bootstrapped several business initiatives and served as a mentor to dozen others. As a designer, he has been working for over a decade on service innovation projects for fortune 500 companies, NGOs and governmental agencies in every sector of the economy, across the world. He is a lover of cognitive sciences, and a certified Hypnotherapist by the NGH, the most prestigious clinical hypnosis organization in the world. And if you think this is weird, wait until I tell you he also has an expert level METT – Micro-Expression recognition – certification, by the Paul Ekman institute. Tenny Pinheiro plays a leading role on the Service Design community worldwide, and since the establishment of Eise, has took upon himself the mission of helping startups integrate Design into their making.