Quotes

  1. I’ve always thought there are a number of things that you have achieved at the end of a project. There’s the object, the actual product itself, and then there’s all that you learned. What you learned is as tangible as the product itself, but much more valuable because that’s your future.

  2. Perhaps in times when everything is remarkably similar and doesn’t really stand for anything, it’s worth striving for our product to be genuinely loved by many people for the price of being genuinely disliked by some people, rather than eliciting no feelings at all.

  3. Design has historically been considered as step in the manufacturing process or a marketing activity. It’s now a powerful instrument for product owners and executives that expands their consideration set by giving visual form to possible futures when making strategic decisions.

  4. A trend with designers I’ve noticed: speed and title inflation. What I’ve come to understand is much of it has to do with designers feeling confident about their progress as creative talent and a sense of progression in their career. This is a intriguing and concerning to me because career growth and development is non-linear and shouldn’t be perceived as such. There’s ups, downs, and gaps in design careers just like any other. It’s ok to go from being a ‘senior’ level IC to a ‘junior’ manager or some other new role. The switch alone is a good progress.

    The development of creative talent and skills over time is also non-linear. Learning is a slow process. Creative talent and learning skills is something that is best nurtured, mentored, and experienced by doing. Inflating your title isn’t going mask a lack of truth development.

    Designers are moving too fast. All of us need to slow the fuck down. I attribute much of this to Silicon Valley’s culture permeating the field of design. Fuck the FOMO of new tech and jumping from one co to the next. It’s ok to spend 2 years on the same team or problem space.

    This need to move fast and grow fast isn’t healthy nor sustainable for a long-term career in design. You lose so much in moving fast as a designer from quality to skills to durability. Speed and title inflation will not make you more attractive or respected. Earn it, over time.

  5. The leg up that designers have in the business world is that we have the abilities to let others see our POV through form-making (visual craft) and drama (temporal craft).

  6. But generalizations about millennials, like those about any other arbitrarily defined group of 75 million people, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. Contrary to the cliché, the vast majority of millennials did not go to college, do not work as baristas and cannot lean on their parents for help. Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people. And the circumstances we live in are more dire than most people realize.

  7. Erika Hall: Much of the most important design requires collaborative systems thinking, yet how we evaluate designers remains static and individualistic.

    William MacIvor: …at shopify we consider 4 key themes: craft, ownership, influence, and team.

  8. Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

  9. your best product teams are going to be autonomous and co-located. It’s a new kind of organizational idea that’s coming out in various forms. There’s kind of extremes like Holacracy, but we’re seeing it a lot more in companies like Spotify, TransferWise in the UK also does a great job of this. Having highly autonomous teams that are aligned by direction – obviously you don’t want complete chaos and everyone pulling in every different direction. So there’s still a big role for the founders and the product leaders in the organization to make sure that there’s a unified direction, a unified strategy. But then they give those teams the autonomy to execute within that plan and contribute to the goal.

  10. A key premise for the next decade: it’s easier for software to enter other industries than for other industries to hire software people.

  11. Projects usually start by listing out the team’s assumptions. However, they aren’t always labeled as ‘assumptions.’ Instead, they are often labeled as ‘requirements.’

    Even worse, these ‘requirements’ aren’t ever questioned or tested. Validation is considered harmful to the project.

  12. Innovative designs don’t happen because of a single smart person who drives everything the team does. Innovation happens when the team creates an environment where small, powerful ideas can float to the top.

  13. In terms of boring conversations that have the potential to be interesting, Mass Indie is like talking about the dream you had last night, whereas Normcore is like talking about the weather.

  14. You’re so special nobody knows what you’re talking about.

    It’s the potluck where the guests have so many dietary restrictions, that everyone can only eat what they brought. It’s the party that’s so exclusive that no one even shows up. This is some Tower of Babel shit.

  15. The consistency of normalcy improves the experience of living with the objects, because the longer we spend in contact with the products of design, the more their willful attempts at individualism irritate us.

  16. There are better ways to design than putting a lot of effort into making something look special. Special is generally less useful than normal, and less rewarding in the long term. Special things demand attention for the wrong reasons, interrupting potentially good atmosphere with their awkward presence.

  17. As a founder you have to be kinda delusional because you can be talked out of anything. At a certain point, you have to believe.