As of now, I am no longer an employee, a C-level executive of a company that I helped to found and build. Now I am closing a book halfway, starting a different one while never knowing how the first would end.
Today I am pursuing my long-lasting ambition. Get a PHD, teach at university, educate businesses about their customer behaviour, and write about my journey. So where did this come from?
I am a strong believer in knowledge. Acquiring information and turning it into knowledge is a way how to get the desired result. It’s a way to distinguish yourself from others and provide value to the ones in need. Knowledge unlocks the doors and if not answers to all the questions then it shows how to get to them. In my universe knowledge is not a question of whether I should strive for it but how to get it all.
Starting this October I enrolled in PHD studies to research how users’ psychographic and behavioural data can be modeled to create products and solutions that fit the user’s often hidden desires. My aim is to research how modeled user data can tell stories on user personalities, their traits, and how using that product developers can gain valuable insights. I want to dig deep into what people feel, desire, value, and what are the personality traits that even they may not be aware of. With my ongoing research, I want to help businesses get to the true nature of user aware and unaware traits. To help to create meaningful, quality-driven, and long-lasting products.
It’s an ambitious goal to unify computer algorithms and the human psyche and make sense out of it. But I believe when that will happen – we would not need to rely on questionnaires, polls, and on stakeholder biased intuition. Basing decisions on logical and rational decisions would allow product developers to avoid low performing and useless solutions. By creating targeted personality trait oriented products that aligns with user values would reduce waste of effort, financial, intellectual, and earthly resources.
This is a broad and ambitious plan, but hey – there is no fun without a challenge. Researching who said what and what and why it matter is not exciting enough for me. Nor truly impactful.
I am leaving to focus on my area of interests
And this brings me to the second point of this first blog entry. To focus on my ambition I made a decision to leave my current position and the financial industry. For me changing how people deal with their finances and build simply better UX is not fulfilling my desire. It was interesting but It’s not my type of problem that I am passionate about.
The creation of UX strategies and the designs for the financial industry is an excellent specialization, but it does not work for me as I am a generalist. I tend to look at the big picture and the many dots connected in it. In fact, I look at many pictures and styles to better understand why what worked in one, and in other it simply didn’t. Instead of focusing all my energy on one specific field, I rather pick 5 different fields and connect them together by combining new types of knowledge.
Financial UX is too narrow for me despite there are many things I don’t know and there is so much to learn. Many things could be researched and designed and who even knows where the world’s financial system will be in a couple of years. But doing almost the same thing over and over again doesn’t work for me. Finances are complex and challenging to crack and that is what attracted me to this industry, but over time it lost my interest and passion.
I was always interested in human behaviour, about how and why we do what we do. I guess this is something that led me to a career in UX as it is somewhat linked to human behaviour. I was fortunate to learn UX, teach it to others, speak at conferences about it, lead workshops for smaller and larger businesses. And I still believe that experience-oriented improvements are great and recommended for any size and industry business. But simply experiencing emotions as the user gets his things done and entertaining him on a process is not enough. And that is what experience-oriented solutions are becoming recently – a fun entertainment a rollercoaster ride for the user.
For tomorrow’s customer that is not enough. Now they are aware of what happens in the world more than ever. Tomorrow’s customer buys into ideas, philosophies, and values that are similar to his inner values instead of buying yet another crap that breaks down easily. Quick entertainment and viral attention-grabbing objects get hyped fast and then they die. That is not a viable, future tended strategy for any business. The world needs more quality, longer-lasting, meaningful products, and solutions that would not be a waste of earthly, financial, and any kind of resources. Such solutions would be suited to users’ aware and unaware desires and values. And that is where user modeling comes in. Building up and modifying a conceptual understanding creating highly adaptable and personalized solutions within business philosophy is what strikes gold. That’s how I see it.
Future always is uncertain but exciting at the same time
Right now I don’t know how this is going to turn out, whether my ideas are tangible or not. I have no idea what it means to study PHD, be self-employed, and do this all in a time of great uncertainty. But what I know is that the financial industry will be just fine without me. There are plenty of smart people who will create the best banks of tomorrow without me. Shoutout to those with whom I had a blessing to work with. You are absolutely amazing, doing the right stuff for the right causes, but I got to jump on another train or plane or something else.
People, their lives, thinking, behaviour, psychology, future-oriented businesses, tons of data, and the art of giving it all a purpose is what excites me. I believe there are great things to be done.
And last but not least – this website! I always wanted to post my opinions. And now I have a purpose to do so. I will document and share my thoughts on this blog. I enjoy writing and rewriting and placing my thoughts in a written format. It helps me to clear my head and create some focus. As well as science and research have tons of knowledge and insights that need to be shared with everyone. Especially businesses – there is definitely room for someone to do that but in a human-understandable language.
- If you agree and think this sounds great – shoot me a message.
- If you think this is absolute gibberish and I should canceled, also let me know your thoughts.
- And if you think that your business needs to better understand their customers – definitely we have something to talk about.
And in the end, I’ll leave you with a truthful quote from Steve Jobs:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.