Designing a Message: User > Need > Insight

In the very first content workshop for Unreasonable at Sea, we heard from Inc Magazine’s most creative person in education, George Kembel about how to truly design your message, and get back to the core purpose of  your company’.

George described a three-part process:

1. USER:

The target of your business activity that must be reframed as a PERSON, not a demographic. They must be addressed as human being through emotional connection and empathy.

“The end user isn’t always the person we tend to call end user, it’s the person who is absolutely delighted that your product exists.” – GEORGE KEMBEL

Lesson 1: Think about the user in terms of a human being facing a challenge, a person with fears, hopes, and a lack of options at their immediate disposal.

2. NEED:

 Too often we believe we are discussing the need, when in fact we are talking about the solution. For example, when a girl wants to pick an apple from a tree, we would say that she NEEDs a ladder. But the ladder is actually the solution. The NEED is for the apple because she is hungry. Or for height in order to reach food.


It is only in the last stage of the process that we finally gain insight to a solution. And even this solution should be what George calls an “agnostic solution.” Because once you realize that the need is separate from the single solution you’ve developed, when things don’t work out, when you need to pivot or completely revamp your entire product, you still have the same core basis for existence and the flexibility to go back to the drawing board to choose a new solution.

While these of course are extremely valuable lessons in business, perhaps most impressive is how much this thought process can change the way we live our lives in all spheres.

If we dig deep enough to understand  (1) that we are human beings, imperfect and in need and (2) what the need actually is, we can continue to develop solutions, test their resilience, and revert back to the drawing board in a process of continual growth. Solutions need no longer be permanent, but rather a process of rapid ideation.

As Herbert Otto famously states,

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.

As long as your core WHY, your personhood and your need are clarified, the rest becomes a creative pathway  leading you to continuous personal growth.

Until Next Time,


A now sea-fairing ShiraBee

Categories: ALL Entries, Social Entrepreneurship, Unreasonable At Sea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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