Part 1: More human. Product lessons from a new parent.
Fourth trimester. The first 3 months of a baby’s life is commonly known as the fourth trimester. They are born completely helpless. The first 3 months is a period of great change, growth and learning. At three months they are still pretty helpless. But slightly less than before.
A baby goes through a series of leaps. A leap represents some major development(s) over a relatively short period. Coordination. Rolling. Crawling.
Leaps can be characterised by changes in personality as well as irritability and changes in sleep patterns. They are no picnic.
Humans go through turbulence and significant development leaps in their early years. So do products.
Consider the first few months of a new product as the fourth trimester. The early years composed of a series of leaps.
As a product (team) the initial focus is on learning from your new environment. A harsh reality compared to the warmth and security that comes before birth.
Baby’s do not neatly move from one leap to the next. They jerk. They fumble. They are finding their way. Through experimentation and adaptation. To learn. Just as we should with our products.
The pace of maturation varies greatly between different babies. Even those in the same family mature differently. This keeps parents on their toes but is not something to fear. Every baby is unique. That is part of the fun.
As parents we feel it is our duty to keep them from harm. But by doing so we may inadvertently hold back their learning. It’s ok for a baby to fall (not that far of course). But falling and picking themselves up is part of their growth.
Baby books. And product books. Would have you believe there is a magic formula for success. The truth is that parents learn at their own pace too. And define their own way of parenting using different inputs.
So what can we learn?
- The first few months will be hard. For everyone
- Your product will mature at a rapid pace. If you let it
- Maturing comes from learning from your environment
- The environment is sometimes a harsh one
- Every baby is unique. There is no single way to parent
Finally. Products, like babies, need to be nurtured in order to thrive. In future parts of the More human series the examination of human and product development will continue.