Origins or: Where Did This All Start?
The first time I heard about this idea of “Flow” was in this box right below what you are reading.
Feel free to watch the whole video, but the idea of Flow is to work yourself towards a level of productivity where your skill level is in perfect harmony with the task at hand. Exercising enough to break a sweat while not making you pass out? That’s Flow. Losing enough weight to feel like you made progress without feeling lethargic? That’s Flow too. Flow actually applies to much more than diet and exercise, but no matter the task, the idea of Flow is fundamentally a balancing act—your productivity at cruising altitude; the Goldilocks zone of performance. To be in this Goldilocks zone is to be in what is called a flow state.
I saw that video sometime last summer, but didn’t hear much more about Flow until months later, when my friend Albert Bernales brought it up to me one day. I actually liked this idea of Flow, but in all honesty, I thought it was nothing more than a fad idea, a life-hack you’d encounter on some self-help blog. It turns out I couldn’t be further from the truth. He showed me that Flow was a much more substantiative idea, a really substantiative idea. It even has a Wikipedia page to prove it. In fact, it’s a psychological concept in its own right, formulated by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The man even wrote a book on this stuff. Hey, like I said, it’s substantiative.
Anyways, Albert knew much more about Flow than I did. More importantly, he wanted to build a product out of this idea. Being the product designer that I am, I naturally offered to work with him on this. He accepted, and from then on we teamed up on this project to build a product which would allow people to harness the power of Flow, and channel this power into their own lives. We call this product Flo. We’re sure there’s a cooler name out there, but for now, Flo makes for a nice placeholder.
Part two of this series is about our first dive into Flo. We go more in depth about the science behind Flow, our research, and finally, the very first fruits of our labor. Stay tuned!