Race to Saturn

Add a Human Personality to What You're Building

On a recent Founders Project call, one founder started brainstorming some great ideas for another founder about how to inject a big personality into their product. In that case, the ideas centered around how to make the moment users receive a delivery through the product an event. We all had fun going deep on how they could do it.

I thought these ideas were powerful because they could add excitement to people’s experiences. And that’s a theme we’ve been discussing recently: How the best products are about increasing meaningful human connection and/or adding richness to people’s lives.

A lot of the time, founders look at their products as tools or a technical-type service. But a product that doesn’t increase the richness of someone’s life is a more hollow product. In some cases, that can be ok, but most of the time the power of the product - and the loyalty of customers - decreases the further it moves away from focusing on actually elevating people.

I believe that’s a mistake that Silicon Valley has often made in the last 15 years: Going after problems of human connection and meaning with tools that are pure software. Where the benefits are about new features, not new connection. As a result, we have lots of ways of saving time and adding convenience, but few things that help us feel fulfilled.

So, start with how you want to elevate people. Think about how you can make it exciting and fun for people to interact with what you’re creating. And be ok adding a unique, even big, personality into your company.

If this resonates with you, we can work on it together as you set your goals for the coming week in the Founders Project.