Personality Connects Us All

Greg Genung • November 14,2017 • In the News • Whotype


Personality is the fabric that connects us all. 

The power of personality is pervasive in our lives. It may be the single greatest force behind every single individual experience we are having, and the force behind nearly all of our relationships. We define relationships in three parts. The one with yourself, the one on one relationships that mean the most to us, and then our social status/relationships. Since we take our personality with us everywhere we go, we wanted to build something that helped us explore our personality. We wanted to help build something that would help us see “how” we actually connect with those others by taking similar personality pattern signatures and applying them to these complex relationship dynamics.

In our own individual quests to explore self-awareness, we also wanted to build a tool that could help anyone and everyone in their self-exploration journey as they progressed at any point in their life. We needed a better tool to help us connect with our true self, our most important relationships, and then our environment and social scenarios. It is from this heritage of self-exploration, self-help, self-awareness, and most importantly self-actualization that Whotype was born.

Have you ever worked with someone or in a group function that worked so incredibly well that there was that feeling of being unstoppable, that life was conspiring with you? Have you ever been on a winning team, or a successful company… what about an amazing partner? As you look at “what made up that” Most world leaders, when pressed to the foundation of success, agree that “success is all about the people” or “success starts and ends with people.”

We wanted to build a “Personality-Driven Engine” 

When we set out 4 years ago to build the Whotype engine, ultimately the goal was to be able to take any pair (one on one dynamic analysis) or group (3 or more dynamic analysis) and to be able to understand how group dynamics were working, why people do what they do and how we can work with that vs against that. We wanted to build a tool for people to use that helps build out these personality dynamics to help make use of them. We needed something to help us visualize group dynamics, build better teams, help understand each other in order to best work and best agree. We needed something to help us discover what we call the power of personality. There were so many questions, and as the research expanded, we looked into the multiple major personality testing systems or models as well as the hundreds of self help books – but there was still the issue of having something you could always take with you, like our personalities. [Enter Whotype version 0.1. (This was basically multiple ridiculous spreadsheets)]. We had a number of questions that we wanted to answer overall, but these six stood out as the biggest questions that pervasively had our attention as market needs and problems we wanted to solve as a business – they are as follows:

  • What derives group personality and how does each person’s type drive the collective group dynamic?
  • What taps into motivations, health, needs, and behaviors and how all of this works in groups?
  • Are there certain types or combinations of personalities can best work, best perform, and best agree?
  • Why do certain people work well with some people not well with others; what brings out the best?
  • How does all of this actually work as our energy levels change from day to day; can this be integrated?
  • What types of people do I best work and best agree with given my energy levels at any given time/place?

Crediting our predecessors before us:

In searching through some of the systems out there, we found MBTI, DISC, Enneagram, and Strengthsfinder useful for determining what we ended up looking for in the ultimate vision. What we liked from each we will say and leave the rest for another time. What we can say is that we think that MBTI is like the Model T Ford of personality systems and has been highly beneficial to the industry as a whole in its ability to determine dominant traits. DISC we found helpful in aggregating people into common group learning, communication, and behavioral style reactions based on environmental conditions. With regards to the widely mis-understood Enneagram, we found it highly useful in understanding how personality energy and process flow in behavior and how mathematics can be applied to personality. Finally, as we looked deeper into Strengthsfinder we found that due to a new type of culture norm, the system of managing the human psyche by identifying combinations of talent manifestation and identification of those unique traits across any age group.

Hardcore research and explorative spreadsheets become code; an App appears

These primary questions led us on a multi-year journey brought working algorithms, a working set of alpha product tests, and about three years to fully flush out people, process, and product. Eventually we landed on an MVP that we wanted to go toward and build out. This MVP required a world-class/capable team, seeking to take understanding the power of personality in personal and professional relationships to build a tool that helps anyone  best work and best agree. We also wanted to take into account, and account for the fact that everyone is running on different versions of sleep, energy, food, health, thoughts, etc. Fast forward those three years of incubation and code development, and Whotype engine emerged. The ways in which the “old” personality systems worked we wanted to bring forward into Whotype, and the ways in which we disliked (a later blog) the other systems we wanted to make sure we also brought forward.

  1. Use personality type root motivation and pattern of behavior to accurately type; match using personality type patterns (Primary goal, based on thesis)
  2. Calculate if personally focused, partner focused, or socially focused (sub-goal 1)
  3. Calculate thought/head, feeling/heart, or intuition/instinct driven (sub-goal 2)
  4. Calculate the current energy level 0r behavioral health status (sub-goal 3)

Here’s the one formula we ended up going with in the end to drive the Whotype engine, which is based on a specific assessment at that point in time and can/does change as we change/age/grow:

Triangulating Self-Directed Motivation(s)   X   Triangulating [One on One] Motivation(s)   X   Triangulating Social Motivation(s)   =   Whotype “Pattern Signature”

Given the triangulation combination structure above, Whotype emerged as a Triangulation testing engine that uses these primary elements to derive its accuracy. Whotype then derives primary motivations, centers of self-directed energy, and the type of social focus a person has (at that time). Based on these elements Whotype produces a highly complex and accurate set of outputs for each person that derive their normal core style, their balance or best version, the stressors or worst version, and the motivated or active center of the type. This is why we say that people don’t have multiple personalities, but rather one personality that’s interactive with several different types of levels of energy.

Whotype Alpha (v1) Learnings; Systems, User, Experience testing net-nets takeaways

Well, suffice it to say that we tried our new system out on several companies and hundreds of interested users. We had many learnings that brought us back to the development table to regather and regroup. The things we learned on round 1 were as follows:

  1. User Experience:
    1. Users demand an experience
    2. Users require tech work on all devices, browsers, continents
    3. Most Users dislike long(er) forms, tests, questions, paragraphs
  2. Personality System Bias
    1. There exists a horoscope mental bias around personality related exploration on all levels
    2. Personality narratives are usually delivered as more of a “one-dimensional reading” form the individual.
    3. Most people have been buying books, going to seminars, and seeking through the different personality systems.
  3. Human Ideal Bias
    1. A large number of our users considered themselves a unique snowflake, and specially designed.
    2. There is a subset of users out there that have a fear of privacy related data collection.
    3. THere’s an even larger number of people out there that don’t know who they are and don’t really care.

Whotype (V2); pivot points will happen when your moving

Back again and ready to roll. We backed out of 50% of our product strategy (pivoted) and rebuilt the backend engine. It was needed. We took a good hard look at our MVP, our capacity and our messaging. We took a look at our own skills and where we needed help. We gathered up the cash and went into round two. Engagement had proven useful in the overall strategy. Who says you “have” to launch something? Who say’s that it’s gotta just “get out there” – and why? We decided to pull back and re-design, re-architect, re-evaluate our strategy. I believe this was also the point where we chose to get it right. We determined our culture was about accuracy, truth, transparency in that set of decisions and the product we are launching with is many folds better; so were we as a team.

In determining the product we wanted to deliver we ended up revising some things. We took out a couple of features, we started talking about user stories instead of stories of users. We made Whotype API driven and ready for integration into any other system that wants to personalize an experience around their users, that’s the big idea. The revolution will not be just televised, it will be highly personalized. The future of software interactions, the home integration, the automated car, the primary communication device (smart pad/watch) can all be built around your personality, tailored to you. The future will be highly personalized.

A Maximum Viable Product emerges; A new way to see the MVP

With the upcoming release of Whotype, and our initial public launch of the free service is intended to deliver the following MVP (maximum value product) elements for initial public launch of the Whotype social platform:

  • Whotype Free – Initial Launch, Social Version will include the following features:
  • Search entire personality database
  • Personalized and suggestive search
  • Unlimited type triangulation and self-exploration
  • Basic social network features, including chat
  • Unlimited personality actions (typing and quirks)
  • Unlimited friend connections (we call them peeps)
  • Unlimited feedback from friends
  • Basic motivational coaching for all types
  • Whotype newsfeed for social updates
  • Demographic research using Harmonizer
  • Unlimited search; anything tied to personality
  • Auto-complete personality profile
  • Auto-update My Groups in Streams
  • Auto-update My Company in Streams
  • Access to entire Whotype Library for exploration

included in this initial launch are other Whotype feature components including:


  • Unlimited Group Saves*
  • Non-existent advertisements*
  • Whotype Pairs Analyzer*
  • Friend Graph Sort*
  • Unlimited Type Retests*

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