Human beings are also products. The only thing both the product cycle… | by Sharon Gray | May 2022


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Product design and management are similar in concept and use cases to the fields of developmental and clinical psychology. A basic definition will be that developmental psychology refines the experience of a product/human, while clinical psychology uses that experience to meet user needs. In the case of a product, the users are external, but in the case of the human, the user(s) can be both external and internal, most often internal.

Coincidentally, the one thing the product cycle and the human cycle have in common is the need to achieve. As mundane and extraordinary as it is, failure to succeed will render a product/human flawed and useless – and therein lies the problem.

For every human being on earth, the most important thing is the need to achieve. Success is relative; it can mean anything from finishing your training to getting a promotion at work. However, I think we have attached too much power to the word ‘achievement’ that it has now nuanced the basic meaning of the word, which is simply getting things done on time and with a bit of discipline.

50 Cent was the first to put this into perspective for me in his book “Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter” – outlining the timeline of his victories from a kid selling drugs in southern Jamaica, Queens, to a TV mogul, he mentioned that in every moment of his life, whatever he wanted, no matter how reckless or unnecessary it seemed, prepared and motivated him to move to the next level of his life .

But this isn’t an article about 50 Cent’s greatness, because as much as I’m fascinated by the concept of greatness and its associated elements like discipline, style, and weirdness, I’m probably more interested in people not so awesome who have more genuine things to tell me about average human nature. However, it was important to reference his very documented life to explain my premise for this article, because you can always go back to trace the points.

This isn’t a tech article either; it is an article about human design and management. If we ignore the technical aspects of technological or psychological approaches for a minute, we can see that there are three major phases of human development that impact success; Design, Product-market fit, and Ultimate success. Using Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, I will attempt to break this down.

The Conception phase covers infancy, early childhood, middle childhood and ends in adolescence (0-21 years). If you really reflect on that time period as far back as you can remember, and try to be objective about what worked and what didn’t, what hurt and what didn’t, that what you liked and what you didn’t, the personality types you vibrated with and those you didn’t – you will unlock the answers to how you were designed and what you are capable of and not able. Just like a product, the design phase contains all the clues to how you were built and what you were built for.

The Product-market fit phase covers early adulthood (21-39), a time we all know is filled with great turmoil and dilemma. We find it difficult to fit in with friends, industries, workplaces, or geographic locations. In an effort to better understand yourself, many people seek therapy during this time, and what a trained therapist will first establish are all the unique elements of your conception phase that will help you better navigate people. , places and situations. In my case, I could do it myself because I understand how to use psychology, and I’m also extremely willful and brutally honest with myself. I wouldn’t advise you to do it yourself because not only do you lack the structured knowledge that will help you navigate this process, but it’s also a long and very painful process that requires discipline and responsibility. Only a trained professional can get you through this, but when you get there and become incredibly self-aware, you will become Unstoppable, or as Nassim Taleb calls it, Antifragile.

The Ultimate success phase covers middle adulthood and old age (40 to 65+). This is a time when many people are marketing and succeeding. Success, in this case, is very subjective, in fact, the great philosopher Damon Dash posits that success is a feeling, not an actual accomplishment. This means that whether you’re a C-Suite living in a penthouse apartment or you’re a teacher, living in a modest house in the countryside, what really matters is how you feel about everything. you have made and/or acquired. when you are alone with your thoughts. That’s why it’s important to get the product-market fit phase right, because what you might call success or accomplishments may actually just be someone else’s design scenario.

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