It’s been over 15 months since John Lynch and I started work on developing out startup business, Climbing Fish. In that time, we have run a full pilot in Bath, UK – and spent a lot of time working out what our business is about. In recent times, our focus has been on who are our customers? What do they look like? What are their needs?

We’re pleased to say, that we’ve come up with a precise definition of our target members. They are Social Actualizers (the ‘z’ is there – because our launch will be in New York, not the UK).

So, “Who are Social Actualizers?”, I hear you ask.

Self Actualizer - Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsWell, if you have heard of Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs – then you might have an inkling. Sixty years ago, Maslow noted that the basic needs of humans must be met (e.g. food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belongingness etc.) before a person can achieve self-actualization — the need to be good, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life. Research shows that when people live their lives that are different from their true nature and capabilities, they are less likely to be happy than those whose goals and lives match. For example, someone who has inherent potential to be a great artist or teacher may never realize his/her talents if their energy is focused on attaining the basic needs of humans.

Fast forward to today, and we think you are starting to see a different sort of person. Social ActualizerPeople who care more about the world than themselves, who want to make social change. Who want to bring people along with them to make change. This is who we are calling Social Actualizers. They are at the top of the pyramid – but want to give others a hand up.

Would love to say that the term Social Actualization was first used by us – but that honour goes to Chip Conley in a Huffington Post article at the end of last year.

We’re looking for these folk in New York for our May launch. Are you one? Please email me at phil@climbingfish.com – would love to chat with you to help refine our service before we launch.