Quotes

  1. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

  2. If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to yearn for the endless immensity of the sea.

  3. A good philosopher will say: “Know thyself.” A good shopkeeper will say: “Know thy customer.” A good designer will say: “Know both.”

  4. Dogs are barking, but the train keeps going. [in response to social media comments]

  5. I try not to take in too much information. If I get too much stimulus I can’t find the subtlety and that’s what I’m trying to find. And when I do, I’m very happy. I’m just like a kid.

  6. So you have to ask yourself: Do you think human creativity matters? Well, hmm. Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about poetry. Right? They have a life to live, and they’re not really that concerned with Allen Ginsberg’s poems or anybody’s poems, until their father dies, they go to a funeral, you lose a child, somebody breaks your heart, they don’t love you anymore, and all of a sudden, you’re desperate for making sense out of this life, and, “Has anybody ever felt this bad before? How did they come out of this cloud?”

    Or the inverse — something great. You meet somebody and your heart explodes. You love them so much, you can’t even see straight. You know, you’re dizzy. “Did anybody feel like this before? What is happening to me?” And that’s when art’s not a luxury, it’s actually sustenance. We need it.

    1. Capture as much as possible. Capture without judgment: your thoughts are more valuable than paper. Externalize what you learn. Once an idea is captured in a tangible form you can begin surveying and manipulating it.
    2. Organize only after you capture. Filter, but don’t delete irrelevant information. Computers are big enough to search and store everything. Make them manage it.
    3. Synthesize into new meaning. Re-contextualize what you learn. This is the creative act. Experience becomes art, notes become a novel.
  7. What ends up happening is you end up locating your joy in the outcome of your energies and efforts. Not the presence in your energies and efforts. The reward is that you get to live this life.

  8. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

  9. What I’ve always believed is that humanity has the capacity to be kinder, more just, more fair, more rational, more reasonable, more tolerant. It is not inevitable. History does not move in a straight line. But if you have enough people of goodwill who are willing to work on behalf of those values, then things can get better.

  10. By the time the data supports more aggressive action, it will be too late to protect our healthcare organizations and the health of our citizens. The economy will fully recover; the deceased and many of the ill will not.

  11. When the ideas that you start off with are then comprehended by an audience at large out there, that’s ultimately what redeems the process for you. The Swahili storytellers have this quote: “The story has been told. If it was bad, it was my fault, because I am the storyteller. But if it was good, it belongs to everybody.” And that feeling of the story belonging to everybody is really the reward.

  12. When someone is directing a film, they’re thinking about it every waking hour, and even processing it in their dreams. The problem is, if you’re a studio executive, you tend to think about it for 10 minutes on a Wednesday.

  13. Since design is subordinate to business, the power asymmetry is such that a ‘human centred’ choice has virtually always less weight that a ‘profit centred’ one. This is why we have endless examples of products and experiences that are very well designed, yet not ultimately created in the best interest of the user.

  14. At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, the author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have… Enough.