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Starting the Design – Freud…What?

I want to throw some Freud at you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

We as humans have the Id, Ego and Super-ego. We should consider this when developing a business as well. Businesses are living breathing entities with a life of their own. We need to understand and utilize that to our benefits.


Now to use these, I am going to oversimplify them and define them as such:

ID: instinctual drive for basic needs (food, water, shelter, etc).
EGO: balances between ID and the real world.
Super-ego: socialization and what we learn from others (parents, teachers, etc).

Last week I posted on looking inward and building the business around who you are (Starting the Design – Know Thy Self). This is another way to dig into how you want your business to run.

·        ID: How will you provide for basic needs?
o   Revenue for survival
o   Employee’s basic needs (pay, encouragement, development, insurance)
·         Ego: How will you balance what you want with what is realistic?
o   Rare versions of common items (i.e. Coffee) vs. Willingness to pay
o   Talent vs. Wages
·         Super-ego: How do you satisfy your principals while meeting your basic needs?
o   100% Eco-friendly vs. Cost
o   Charity vs. Margin

There are conflicts within us that cannot be ignored. If you provide 100% for the ID, your Super-ego will be in conflict with your decisions. An example of this would be a company that cares about money more than anything else. No one likes them. They are petty and cruel. However, if you satisfy the Super-ego 100%, then your basic needs will be sacrificed. That company gives so much to charity they forget they have to pay the bills.

The reality is that we cannot provide for everything and everyone. What we need is balance. You can still drive a business forward while remaining balanced. You do not have to sacrifice your Ego and Super-ego to get your start-up off the ground. We all know that once you start down a road, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to change paths.


Look deep into who you are and what you want and how you want to get there. Then balance it all. You may have to do things you don’t want to do, or cut things you do want. Keep those on the board for the future, but always remained balanced and healthy. 

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