Thursday, October 23, 2014

Responsible product development. Family style.

When creating something, you sign a responsibility pact.

By respecting that pact, your creation has all the potential in the world. Just like a child has.

The same parenting guideline applies equally for new products. You have already developed a deep understanding between your child, and it's your responsibility to make everyone understand and respect that. A small child cannot yet communicate that. Neither can a new product.

It doesn't matter how many of you there are, you're all mutual parents. The whole company is.

You all have valuable information related to the well-being and success of your child. If you share that information with new people becoming involved in your child's life, everyone greatly benefits from that. Especially your child.

The challenging part is, that most of the time, it's people you don't see. People in meetings you never attend. People in cities you never visit. People in companies you've never heard off. They all have expectations for that potential you've been meticulously nurturing.

Therefore it's important that everyone of you understands their role as a parent. All of those new external expectations can be perfect opportunities for your child.

Just remember to ask and also listen if your child wants to play hockey or piano. Break down those expectations to see how they fit the personality and traits of your child. Don't just blindly decide and demand something.

Because that breaks children, instead of helping them to grow. Don't expect opportunities to create a perfect child for you. That's just horribly wrong.

Treat those expectations as goals. Because they'll help your child to grow; to become stronger by overcoming challenges. However, it works only as long as it's the child who's overcoming them. Everyone else around is just a safety net, allowing graceful failing, and encouraging to retry. It's about honesty toward your child and ones potential.

If you solve a puzzle for your child, it's you who did it. No matter how hard you claim otherwise.

So don't make dishonest promises to anyone. Those just end up hurting both the growth of your child, and your role as a parent. Don't ask your child to skip elementary school in favor of dreaming about university.

People will understand if you openly explain your family values to them. What makes your child behave like one does. Also, if your child suffers from a permanent illness, it's only good if people involved are aware of it.

In the same way, every product has their shortcomings and weaknesses. Be open about them to others, and avoid planning the future on those weaknesses. A lifetime of failure will break children as well.

So remember to listen to your children.

Don't force them into being something they're not. Nobody benefits from that.

Because if you do, I sincerely hope that the responsibility pact in question was not signed in blood.

Our children deserve better.

Both in family life and product development.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post. In the meantime, agree or disagree, debate or shout. Bring it on and spread the word.

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