Alfred van Elk about the coaching by Jacob de Baan

“Jacob is a versatile designer and has a good overview of the entire field. He’s not just any designer, because he knows what’s out there and thinks from experience. Which is why I trust him.

In the coaching process Jacob was very capable at verbalising things! We found out that as a designer I can work across a wide range of products and end up thinking I can tackle anything. Whether that is wise was another matter. Why would I take on a job that doesn’t actually suit me? When I realised what my strengths were, it was also easier to define my business model. The core question in the process with Jacob was how to be successful. That relies on four aspects: What are my core skills? Do I like what I do? Does it allow me to make a living? Is it being valued and remunerated? Is there a market? This assessment was followed by the definition of my mission: who am I and what do I want to be for my client. If I don’t have a clear mission, then whatever I do is a gamble. My mission is the benchmark that helps determine what I shouldn’t do. That can be about the (kind of) products, or a company’s approach. Following these principles, I will no longer start on the wrong kind of job. That gives clarity for myself. And weIl developed tools that translate into a clear profile to others.”

About Alfred van Elk

Before Alfred van Elk went solo, he worked as an industrial designer for a range of larger and smaller studios. This has given him a broad range of experience, which enables him to work well with a variety of current clients. For Alfred van Elk the product is his focus, through which he aims to convey something about the individual client, the market and society at large. He develops high-quality products that are long-lasting. His attitude is one of providing a service, for both start-ups and multinationals, and he is committed to a sustainable society. ‘At the end of the day I don’t design for myself.’

For more info about Alfred van Elk, see: