Service inception

I used Gophr a little while back and really liked the service. If I used couriers more then it’d be my go to agency for sure. I’m more than happy to help the if they sent me surveys and such. One such email that arrived recently was so succinct and easy I was curious to click the ‘made with’ link that took me to the nicely named Ask Nicely which got me to thinking on product and service inception, and a general jumble of thoughts.

Firstly and tangentially, it’s been interesting to see the wide use of ‘inception’ to refer to a complex or deeply nestled set of related thing since the innovative 2010 movie, which itself for me has an innovation inception in their heavy use and leveraging of the bending city view which I believe was popularises (if not created) by the Hear and Now poster from Jack Schulze and now closed UK agency Berg.

Furthermore, in an interview with Jack, that I can’t seem to find now, I remember him referencing his own love of very old maps that mixed perspectives for the benefit of the user. Coming back out the other way, there’s the Flatland Düzülke  work of Aydın Büyüktaş.

While that digression is more along the lines of Everything is a Remix, it’s also a bit Russian Doll like, or ‘onion layers’ like containment and repetition of the the same or related ideas. Whichever simile, think about things within things within things rather than one stand alone thing…

Back to Gophr and their user of Ask Nicely: On the Ask Nicely site I noticed their own use of Intercom in the bottom right corner, and their top level section referencing of Salesforce. At that point I stopped noticing the product and service inceptions as the battery level of their mobile mockup distracted me:


More distraction than digression, but why would you show a screen shot with a nearly flat battery? Surely I’m not the only person that this causes slight anxiety to?

Anyway, my main thought on the service inception of Gophr using Ask Nicely using Intercom and promoting Salesforce, is that it’s exciting to see such smart and established companies doing it so openly and successfully, rather than building their own versions of everything. Exciting I say because I hope it will encourage small business and individuals that doing the same is a good idea, not a sign of being small.

We had this issue every time that we recommended a third party service at With Associates, with a photographer or illustrator, or an SME or charity being insistent that it would look cheap or amateur if they had other company logos on their websites. PayPal even! The number of businesses that cut off their noses to spite their faces was incredible, all in the pursuit appearing to be bigger or seeming more independent. Really small companies having their own fonts designed even, because ‘default’ fonts look cheap and unoriginal.

Just concentrate on what your service is and what you customers want. Use the tools that achieve those tasks best and most affordably, then get on with it. If you have spare time to tweak, time that won’t hold you back from doing something measurably useful for your business, then go for it, but mostly, just focus on your services and borrow from others that are focusing on theirs.

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