Hi, I’m Steven Klimek.

I guide teams to solve problems through human-centered design. I also write, usually around the intersection of culture, systems design and psychology. I talk quite often about things like EQ, second-order effects, adaptability and the value of discomfort. And now, I’m also working on a children’s story!


I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior and what is really happening beneath the surface. 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 encouraging people to be their authentic selves with confidence.


  • 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 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).


  • 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 problems (we so often scramble for technical optimizations without exploring psychological solutions that often turn out better).


  • EQ is the most valuable yet least recruited 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, being stranded abroad, or facing some similar adversity 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!