Hi, I’m Steven.

I guide teams to solve problems through human-centered design

You’ve arrived at my creative writing outlet, where I’ll typically hover around the intersection of culture, design and psychology. This means I talk quite often about things like EQ, second-order effects and why most leaders suck, with a few travel reflections mixed in.

IDSPIRATION…WTF?

I’ve always been fascinated by why we do the things we do. Several years ago I became fascinated with Freud’s id concept, the instinctual part of our psyche. I started (and paused) a cultural blog project called Initial Descent and then co-founded a social journaling app, Sideview, where you might notice some familiar branding (letters 2 & 3). The idea has always been about encouraging free expression in a highly-filtered world, and I coined IDspiration as my way of influencing people to be their authentic selves with confidence.

BIO IN 3 BULLETS

  • I’ve worked in 5 countries on 5 continents; currently in Tokyo by way of the mid-Atlantic, California, New York, Dubai, Amsterdam and São Paulo (fun fact: In Japan, my name is クリメク スティーブン).
  • Most of my work has been focused on digital innovation (although I believe human-centered design can be applied to just about anywhere on the org chart).
  • I’ve traveled to about 75 countries and flown more than 2.6 million miles (4.2 million km). I still stare out the window for every takeoff and landing (and silently judge people who close the shade while we’re below the clouds).

I GEEK OUT ON

  • Don Norman (“A challenge to the designers of the world: Make signs unnecessary” 🤯).
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon (yes, my all-time favorite book was written for 5-year-olds).
  • Reframing the problem (we so often scramble for technical optimizations without exploring psychological solutions that often turn out better).

🔥HOT TAKES🔥

  • EQ is the most valuable yet least recruited-for skill in the working world.
  • Fluency in human-centered design is as valuable as any kind of language (programming or otherwise).
  • Failing a business, getting fired from a job, having to sleep outdoors by necessity or a similar misfortune will make anyone’s life richer by virtue of stretching their comfort zones.

Thank you for stopping by. Leave your email address below to get some occasional interesting thoughts from me, or drop me a line to connect!