Optimization of intuition: Lessons learned from personal growth in the Tech World

Alicia Luciani
Oct 19, 2016 · 3 min read

Being a new player in the startup world = wtf dot ios dot com!

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Everything we know how to do is tested by what we don’t know how to do. The conflict between the two creates growth and meaning.

This is a slightly modified insight from the book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks, and the the quote is moreso about creating a business, but I think it applies so deeply to the past year when I have taken on many, many new things.

Five months ago, before I started working with a Toronto tech start-up called OpenSports, I would meet with the co-founders, and they would casually throw around words like “use case” and “user persona” and “placeholder” and “populate content”, and acronyms like “CMS” “UI/UX” and I was seriously like — WTF are you talking about? Oh god oh god I don’t get it. My brain was near full explosion, and I truly almost had a complete system overload shut down at one meeting. Think: bright red, sweaty, glazed over new girl. Now that I have comfortably eased into my role, and have been so fortunate to be involved in the development and release of a new mobile app, I kind of want to write about cool shit (I once read that the thing you fear the most is probably what you are really good at. So, writing and marketing? We’ll see).

I will attempt to provide a little insider analysis of the tech world from my lens, particularly as it converges with the organization of recreational sports. Do not expect some cleverly, worldly, poised, super critical analysis of the state of things.

I truly admire really smart people and the great things they do, but I see flaws when they don’t know how OTHERS think/act. For example, I was recently at a workshop in Toronto about sport and social impact, and there was a panel discussion on how tech will help with evaluating these efforts. Basically none of the sport for development attendees (think someone like the Exec director of Right to Play) were involved in tech/app development. One of the panelists was the CEO of an app and used the tech version of the word “ecosystem” about 76 times as well as “optimization”, etc., and I was like… KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!! So, because I am both the “ignorant” audience (as dubbed by myself) AND the person trying to navigate it all, I hope to open eyes, or at least a hearts… for a chuckle!

So, if you are a tech genius reading this, you can learn more about how to dumb your (cool) shit down. Like, not everyone knows what A/B testing and user flow and wireframe is. And if you are a non tech person, like me, you can learn about what this cool shit is, as I build my own framework and understanding of it all.

Big smiles:)

p.s. Follow our startup’s journey this weekend in Kansas City at the Sport for Youth Development Hackathon. #play4tomorrow


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