A closeup picture of the word Trust on a United States dollar.
A closeup picture of the word Trust on a United States dollar.
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Trust. It's arguably at the center of everything we do. Whether it's trust in ourselves, our peers, our communities, or any of the organizations we belong to it is the foundation for how we interpret, act, and interact with the world around us.

Not surprisingly, this makes trust an essential element in building a healthy and successful business. We need it to feel psychologically safe, as that headspace gives us the confidence we need to take the necessary risks to learn and grow. However, we only feel psychologically safe when we believe we will not be penalized — or thought…

A book that is open.
A book that is open.
Photo by Victor from Pexels

Storytelling is universal. It’s a human trait that we have practiced for over 40,000 years. It is how we process the way the world works, understand other humans in a deeper manner, and make sense of the cause and effect of our own, and each others’, actions.

Through stories we package our experiences into meaningful narratives that we use with others to create connection, understanding, sympathy, and empathy. Stories help us learn, help us feel validated, and help us remember important concepts — even if some of those concepts turn out to be assumptions or biases.

“Storytelling is the most…

Ethics of design & gamification.

3 people sitting next to a computer screen pointing at the screen and discussing the content.
3 people sitting next to a computer screen pointing at the screen and discussing the content.
(Credit: Unsplash)

Yes, we, as a society, are talking about ethics, but, like many things, we need to be talking about it more. This rings especially true in this era of mass data collection and the increasing power of machine learning to process, draw conclusions, and act on this raw data. And, as designers, like it or not, we are on the frontline of these discussions. We make design decisions every day as to how we’re allowed to convince, lead, or, in some cases, manipulate humans to act in a certain way.

It’s “not that product designers don’t care about the ethical…

Before we get started, I’m going to be upfront with you. I think both of these terms, Gamification and Design Thinking are utterly hyped to a point that, in many cases, they are detrimental to actual progress and innovation in the field.

Despite this belief, hang in there, I do believe the fundamental insights these terminologies are based on are valuable.

Well, that was almost awkward.

Hype is a double-edged sword. Hype can be necessary to push forward meaningful concepts into the mainstream. …

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” — Isaac Asimov

We all make assumptions on a daily basis. They’re our shortcuts, our brain’s way of saving energy, to navigating and acting within the world around us. These predications are arguably a necessity, but they also have the potential to hold us back and limit us, both in our personal lives and our businesses.

Per textbook definition, assumptions are “things that are accepted as true or certain to happen, without proof”. We don’t often realize when…

So, you’ve done it. You’ve built a company from the ground up, proved product-market fit, and are preparing to grow. Regardless of what led you to this moment, one thing always remains the same: scaling up a business marks the end of an era.

Despite the feeling of success, for you, or your business partners, it’s easy to be feeling more out of sorts than ever. You’ve noticed it’s impossible to continue to be everywhere at once (though let’s be real, was it ever really possible in the first place). You can feel your company’s culture is growing beyond your…

Melinda Jacobs

Geek interested in organization psychology, game theory, & the impact of technology. Founder & co-CEO @ perkio.co 🏳️‍🌈

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