The immense success of companies like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb demonstrate continual improvement of the human condition. These organizations explore and exploit gaps in society which allow others to do what people do best: provide value to each other. Their successes have given rise to the incorporation of concepts such as Digital Business Platforms and Ecosystems. These approaches are moving main-stream as technology becomes ever more democratized. Leveraging these notions require organizations to consider more than technology; they require explicit consideration of the human condition. This series focuses on concepts of ecosystems, people-networks, and co-creation as a means to build value for others and contribute to the betterment of the human condition.
The Human Condition
Ethereal and esoteric, that may be what one thinks when they hear about the human condition. What do I mean when referring to the human condition? The human condition is all aspects of human being. It is everything between birth and death; ours experiences in pursuit of life. This condition is characterized by how we develop individually and among others.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs best describes the pursuit of life. He presents a theory on human motivation based upon thirteen (13) assertions of why people do-what-they-do. Maslow asserts the bedrock of human motivation is the drive for wholeness. We are driven to wholeness not only by motivation itself, but constraints on biology, situation and culture. Ultimately we progress, or regress, through six (6) stages of growth: Physiological, Safety, Belonging & Love, Esteem, & Self-Actualization. These growth-stages are determining factors in the human condition because describe the motivations for humans’ being at any given time.
Wholeness is achieved as we progress through growth phases. Progression is the path an individual takes in-order to maintain a constant and normal state. When a state is disrupted by either external forces or intrinsic curiosity, humans adopt a way of being which drives them to re-establish their previous state or a new normal. Such a process epitomizes the human condition.
Technology gives us a medium to explore and exploit approaches to wholeness. Technology at its core reduces the friction of interactions. Communications and their responses more effectively or efficiently achieved as technology is applied. Organizations like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb have demonstrated successful outcomes by promoting the human condition thorough co-creation, thus providing possibilities for individuals to achieve wholeness. Technology is core to the human condition.