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How and why Quest came to be: Jeroen's story

How and why Quest came to be: Jeroen's story

It has always been a dream of mine to run my own design studio. But my thoughts on what that studio should look like have evolved over the years I've been in business. Here's my story of how Quest came to be.

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Agency Experience

Just like I said in the intro, It has always been a dream of mine to run my own design studio. But my thoughts on what a good design studio looks like have evolved over the years I’ve been working at agencies. And with more than 10 years of agency experience, I can truly say that I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’ve worked at three completely different types of agencies. Every experience has taught me a plethora of valuable lessons. And every experience has brought me closer to starting up Quest.

Something Missing

I’ve always been fascinated by creating exciting brands, products & campaigns. And although I’ve been lucky enough to work on some amazing projects in the past, there was often something missing. Something that frustrated me:

  • The product or company didn’t solve a real problem
  • The product or company damaged people or the planet
  • The campaign or communication was rather deceitful
  • There was a mismatch between the company’s values and my own

What’s the point of making something nobody wants? And why on earth would I help a company grow their business if that means they will just damage the planet more?

Human-centered Design

In 2015 I started working as the Creative Director of a corporate service design agency. I immersed myself further in the principles of human-centered design and design thinking and I immediately knew that using these methodologies was the key to creating something people actually want and use.

I was involved in a number of challenging projects, mostly focused on improving the service and customer experience of large, international organizations. A great experience, but my mind was already set on starting my own studio. The only question was: what would that studio look like?

Not Just Another Studio

Michael and I, being former colleagues, were thinking about starting a business for quite some time. So we decided to run a ‘find your why’ workshop for ourselves for once. Our why turned out to be exactly the same: to use our skills to accelerate the change we want to see in the world.

We also knew that we didn’t just want to be ‘another studio’, so we brainstormed about what a future-proof studio would look like. We came to the conclusion that our studio needed to incorporate the following in order for us to be successful and happy:

  • Services: strategy and design continually reinforcing each other
  • Methodologies: design thinking & scaling lean
  • Customers and projects: positive impact customers and projects only

The time had come to prototype our business and test whether this niche market was interested in our offering and big enough for us to make a living.

Screw it, Let's Do it

The answer is simple: yes. Purpose-driven startups are emerging and more & more corporates are finally starting to understand the value and necessity of integrating purpose and sustainability into their core strategy. And an increasing number of companies understand the cost of bad design and the long-term added value of human-centered design.

An increasing number of companies understand the cost of bad design and the long-term added value of human-centered design.

So Michael and I decided to follow the advice of Sir Richard Branson: Screw it, let’s do it. Quest was born.

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