Broadening Experience to Make Better Connections

Human Perspective_Steve Jobs
Every industry tends to be a bit insular. What happens when you are fully immersed in one environment is that you end up absorbing the thinking of those around you, and that by and large is colored by like-experiences.

Plus, as Fred Wilson said#, you may end up in a bubble, where many of the people you come into contact with have a vested interest in telling you what you want to hear. There is a reason why CEOs are some of the loneliest people in business: everyone they work with works for them, the people they report to are often not people they work with, and so on.

I haven't worked with Steve Jobs, so do not have first hand experience of what it was like dealing with him. The closest I got was reading Ed Catmull's account of their relationships and business dealings at Pixar, and it sounds like beyond the products he brought to market, the arc of his life demonstrated how experiences not only inform our work, but change how we show up.

A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.