Tips of the Trade


What Esther Perel Teaches Us About Human Behavior Will Change The Way You Design

SXSW is in town March 9-18! We’re shining a spotlight on four speakers and their work that revolutionized our world.

Esther Perel is a couples therapist unlike any other.

First of all, you can eavesdrop on her sessions via her podcast Where Should We Begin (and you absolutely must).

Second, she offers more enlightening, challenging perspectives on modern relationships than anyone out there. Anyone.

Her first book Mating in Captivity questioned everything we thought we knew about successful long-term romantic relationships. We want security in our marriage, but also intimacy, and eroticism, passion and desire. But the safety, security and intimacy of marriage are often exactly why we don’t experience passion and desire. How to maintain erotic tension over decades of togetherness, child-rearing, and mundanity?

Her second book, The State of Affairs, examines infidelity with the same scrutiny, her advice and her insight completely unconventional.

The thing about Esther Perel is that she is a master of her work. Listening to her podcast, you witness the expert skill she has honed over decades and thousands of hours of sessions. You see the self-examination she must have done to get to a place of such penetrating discernment. In listening to her, you understand yourself better, and how you fit in the world around you.

In web design, we aim to create beautiful websites that are easy to navigate. Our aim is to offer clarity, to make it easy to get to your goal in the site, whether that’s reading a blog, buying a product, or finding contact information. This is a weird analogy, I know, but Esther Perel is a master designer. She knows how to get you from A to B to C efficiently but also humanely. Spending time with her teaches you about your own design.

Her parents are Holocaust survivors. She observed that there were survivors who survived–who simply did not die–and there were survivors, like her parents, who came back to life. Vitality informs her understanding of relationships, and the individuals in them. Of relationships, she says, When you pick a partner, you pick a story. And that story becomes the life you live and the parts of you that become expressed.

It doesn’t seem like a speaker like this has any place on a blog about business, technology, and entrepreneurship, but just the opposite is true. The people we serve, the very individuals we’re catering to, are human and therefore her words are deeply relevant to our work. Better understanding means better design.

But even more than that, we can learn from her way of thinking. She observes the world closely, makes connections and associations and examines her assumptions and experiences. She is constantly improving her craft, studying, teaching, talking, writing, listening to couples and other therapists and experts. She is a master and that makes her an invaluable teacher. Learning from her work will make you better at your own.

See Esther Perel March 9 @ 2:00 PM