The difference between being motivated by fear, and being afraid to act because of it, is nowhere better exemplified than in the difference between established market leaders, and startups.
Design is all about what comes next, it is an ongoing process, and it is constantly adapting to the audience, regardless of the medium. This is what sets design apart from art. Art is often about capturing a moment, or emotion and conveying that all at once. That fact that some art has enduring value, that it lives on in museums and galleries, is inconsequential. Any value you perceive, is of your own doing, it is on you as the audience that the burden is placed.
I’ve spent most of my life trying to go against the grain — trying to swim upstream. I don’t think I, or anyone else, ever consciously makes this decision, but it happens to a lot of people. It seems society collectively interprets many cases of individual success as examples of this kind of thinking, and because of it, we aspire to follow the lead of those that don’t follow the lead.
It may be harder to design a slick user experience if we expose the workings of a device, but advocating transparency is about designing a good experience for humankind, not just a single user. It demonstrates an ethical, holistic mindset that’s becoming ever more important as technology becomes central to people’s lives.
And until you realize that, that the only value you bring is the complete lack of value, you can go fuck yourself.
Ironic, but still a good read.
Programmers face a job market that’s unusually meritocratic when changing jobs. Within companies, the promotion process is just as political and bizarre as it is for any other profession, but when looking for a new job, programmers are evaluated not on their past job titles and corporate associations, but on what they actually know. This is quite a good thing overall, because it means we can get promotions and raises (often having to change corporate allegiance in order to do so, but that’s a minor cost) just by learning things, but it also makes for an environment that doesn’t allow for intellectual stagnation. Yet most of the work that software engineers have to do is not very educational and, if done for too long, that sort of work leads in the wrong direction.
When programmers say about their jobs, “I’m not learning”, what they often mean is, “The work I am getting hurts my career.” Most employees in most jobs are trained to start asking for career advancement at 18 months, and to speak softly over the first 36. Most people can afford one to three years of dues paying. Programmers can’t. Programmers, if they see a project that can help their career and that is useful to the firm, expect the right to work on it right away. That rubs a lot of managers the wrong way, but it shouldn’t, because it’s a natural reaction to a career environment that requires actual skill and knowledge. In most companies, there really isn’t a required competence for leadership positions, so seniority is the deciding factor. Engineering couldn’t be more different, and the lifetime cost of two years’ dues-paying can be several hundred thousand dollars.”
I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, and poets, and artists, and zooligists, and historians… who also happened to be the greatest computer scientists in the world. But if it hadn’t been for computer science, these people would all have been doing amazing things in life in other fields. They brought with them, we all brought to this effort, a very liberal arts air… we wanted to pull the best that we saw in these other fields, into this field, and I don’t think you get that if you’re very narrow.
I don’t think that most of the best people that I’ve worked with, have worked with computers for the sake of working with computers, they’ve worked with computers because they are the medium that is best capable of transmitting some feeling that you have, that you want to share with other people… Before they invented these things, these people would have done other things, but computers were invented and they did come along and all of these people did get interested, in school or before school and said, “hey this is the medium that I think I can say something in”.
If you have a chance, rent this interview on iTunes, it’s a rare glimpse into the mind of Steve Jobs that’s worth watching.
Business-software company Yammer Inc. agreed to sell itself to Microsoft Corp. for $1.2 billion, according a person familiar with the matter, in a sign Microsoft may be trying to plug holes in its ubiquitous Office software.
If this deal was just about “plugging holes” in Office, the price tag wouldn’t make any sense. This is about catching up, this is about competing with SalesForce. At most it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s also an admittance that the company that found success in understanding the enterprise, is now losing touch with it.
Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run.
I’ve rarely met individuals that are capable of finding day to day wins on their own. In the software world, we solve this by focusing on shipping code. If you’re not shipping daily, you will lose focus, you will lose the drive to move your product forward.
Great design needs context. Designers cannot create great work in a sandbox, too often designs are handed off to developers and the story ends.
Claire Coullon’s portfolio give’s amazing insight into the lettering process. It has quickly become a source of inspiration for me and if it fails to strike a chord with you, well… you must also be a fan of Comic Sans.