Be humble

A view months ago I had a guided tour at Rockstart, a start-up accelerator in Amsterdam. One of the start-ups that has a an office in the Rockstart building is Peerby. Peerby has an application that enables people to borrow the things they need from people in their neighborhood for free. At the time I was visiting Rockstart, Peerby was working on a new business model.

For their new business model they are using the Lean Start Up approach. While we got a short talk from the communications lady at Peerby about how they use Lean Start Up at the company one of the Peerby (web)designers walked by. He shared a sentence or two about his experience with the lean process and those sentences were enough for me to find that word that I was looking for as a designer. He said that he needed to learn to be humble as a designer needs to let go a part of his/her ego within the lean start up process where working with mvp’s (minimum viable products) and using customer feedback is more guiding for the designer.

Being educated as product designer where your own authenticity or that of the clients was always in the center of it all, being humble is a challenge when you want to work in co-design, social design and use human centered design. For me it’s finding that balance between staying close to my own values, knowledge and skills as a designer and serving the people and todays challenges that really need solutions to bring their lives, neighborhoods, environment etc. forward.

I think I find that humbleness in the caring person I am, which really is family value I guess. My interest in people besides my self-interest really helps me to empathize with others. Being humble will always be a challenge for me but at the end of the day I like challenges.

Author: Jeroen
Featured image: Dennis Cup

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