So, MING Labs. What’s MING Labs? Digital design agency? Business design consultancy?
Service design partner?
There's plenty of ways to describe it in three words, but to be honest none of it feels just right.

Konfuzius said: If your company descriptor is not three-word, it cannot survive for eight years.
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Above all, MING Labs is a bunch of humansif 70-ish people counts as a bunch. Three humans, Marc, Matthias and Sebastian, started this ambitiousfine enterprisemess back in 2011, and, for better or for worse, it hasn’t stopped ever since. We started with designing and developing iPhone apps. The demand and interest for apps has somewhat reduced since then (both from brands and from people), but back then they were the thing — so we were doing it, and it was good. Then we started doing more things: websites, web apps, research, opportunity maps, customer journeys, serious stuff! — and suddenly we found ourselves running an inventive digital company which also happens to be good with production. Wow. 

The thing is:

none of the three founders is a designer.

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We’re inexplicably lucky to work with some brilliant ones, but our personal interests always were in the business side. even though some of us named Marc also enjoy talking about typefaces for two hours Such as: What’s the goal? What are the outcomes? How can we make it work better?

This is probably a good time to mention that Marc and Matthias met
at

IBM

, and at least one of them worked there for over 10 years, while the other one was co-founding his first software startup. We know the corporate world very wellprobably more than we would’ve liked to and like to think that we can apply our design experience to improving that world a little. Meaning: working with companies on design projects on a bigger scale. Not just design this, produce that; rather,

help these companies change how they work. Make it less corporate.

More human. 

So that’s what we do now. We partner with companies big and large to help them change their processes and workflows, introducing best design practicesin fact, design is the core of our work, but we thought we should make you read between the lines (literally) to the B2B settings. Call it digital transformation and business enablement, if you like. We see change as a complex, long, exhausting journey for which the right people are not only essential but also vital. There’s a good chance we might be those people. But that’s of course not up to us to judge.

Group Created with Sketch.

A fair question. Unlike traditional design agencies, we think a lot of the business side of things, including organizational aspects: breaking silos, changing the way people work and think, and so on. Traditional agencies don’t do that, as far as we know at least.

Unlike most consultancies, we don’t come assuming that we know everything and we’re here to teach. Maybe that’s a stretch, but based on our observations, consultancies treat each company like they’re all the same, no matter the industry. We politely disagree: For us, each company is different, and each brand has its own roots and heritage that have to be understood, interpreted and treated carefully. We are hired to work on new problems together, not to tell people what they want to hear. 

What you’re getting from MING is a team of, say, five people who’ll work with you day in and day out, and they will bring you somewhere new. Which is perhaps exactly where you’d like to end up.

We’ve been heavily present in Asia — both physically and spiritually — since our first day, which is, let’s say, somewhat unusual for European founders with charming German accents.

Even though Marc doesn’t speak Chinese, we’ve done a lot of projects with companies from China, Singapore and other places. Somehow this East/West duality became a part of our identity, adding an extra element to the whole cognitive diversity that we had going always.

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