market sizing for service design, round 2

Based on some prior fact-finding, I constructed the following two estimates of the total U.S. market for service design, in dollars. They’re very rough, but the only attempt I’ve seen at doing it.

First, a top-down evaluation of the market size. This estimate works from the size of the U.S. service economy down to how much a subset of businesses would spend on planning and designing those services:

top-down U.S. market size of service design

As is the case with all market sizings, this top-down is larger than the following bottom-up market sizing. But the difference is quite large.

Second, the bottom-up market sizing. This estimate works from the number of service design firms and internal teams to a total annual investment in service design:

bottom-up U.S. market size of service design

The question I have is why such a huge discrepancy between the top-down and bottom-up estimates? There’s a 614% increase from the bottom-up estimate to the top-down estimate.

My hypothesis is that farm more “agencies” and internal teams are doing the work of service design, but they call themselves different things or approach the work with different toolsets, approaches, and mindset. There are many ways to plan and design a service.

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