16 posts tagged doing it wrong


We’re training young designers to get noticed, rather than to excel at their craft

So very true. I’d counter this, though, with the unfortunate observation that, as an industry, we reward this behavior.

Dribbble, while one of my favorite sites on the Internet, is most-often a popularity contest that is getting a lot of designers who make very pretty (but very untested) things a lot of attention. No problem, except for the confusing message it sends to these young designers.

Design blogs like The Dieline (and perhaps, even this very blog) are beautiful, but a lot of the work tends to be student work, that has never met mettle or gone through the ringer of a client that’s not entirely sold on the design.

…you’re young and inexperienced; now do things to get attention.

I’m not trying to pass judgement on these types of online establishments, I just think that we’re communicating a double-message to young designers: you’re young and inexperienced; now do things to get attention. Because of this, we’re cultivating a crop of designers who play this game really, really well, but may be completely lost or out-of-sorts when it comes to actual client work.

After Back to Work 013

(emphasis mine)

Yup. Guilty as charged. I seem to have a knack for hanging onto fear—and worse, often fear that doesn’t look like fear—and using it to prevent myself from moving something in my life forward. That bit that says, “You’re not allowed to do ‘x’ because…”? The ending is often different: “you need to feel bad about ‘y’” or “‘y’ is more important because it’s what people expect of you” or “you don’t deserve to do ‘x’” etc., but the result is the same. You can’t make good things happen from a place of fear. It’s immobilizing.

We Are All Talk Radio Hosts

As humans, we have such a desire to be right about our convictions, but we seem to leave so little room to be wrong or learn something counter to those currently-held convictions. It makes sense as a survival technique, but it’s kind of scary when you also realize how prone we are to groupthink.

Thoughts on Conviction, Confidence, and Authority

Let the weight of that sink in. Our culture literally punishes people who take a stand about an issues while revering the person who makes absolutely no commitment to any side of an issue. I’m not suggesting that we should all always have our minds made up, but shouldn’t we respect someone willing to defend a position more than someone who takes no position at all?

When is a music critic not a critic?

“…indie music is like a dog whistle…” is one of my new favorite lines (and I like indie music).

Dear Adobe, You Suck.

Yours kindly, Dave.

Currently my favorite video on the internets. But, in all seriousness, it shouldn’t be this hard. It reminds me of the “good old days” when I had to deal with Quark’s customer service in the desktop publishing world for software activation. Wait, what? You don’t remember who Quark is? Huh. I’m sure their downfall had nothing to do with their lousy customer service… and that certainly won’t hurt Adobe either, in the long-run… Nah…

The Trouble With RFPs

Andy nails it (yet again). If you’re used to using RFPs in other areas of your business, he puts forth some good reasons to not do so when contracting for professional work.

BONUS: “Treat any professional as a commodity and you will have effectively destroyed any chance for success.”


A quick realization I had this morning: for better, or for worse, I have zero overtly positive feelings for pretty much all of the large corporations I do business with in my personal or professional life.

What do I mean? Basically this: most of the large entities I do business with exist as road blocks to getting to where I want to go. I don’t get excited about paying my Comcast bill every month. Nor at&t. I feel like the utility office in my hometown (Boulder) wishes I actually wouldn’t buy any water from them. I get the distinct impression my bank and all of my credit card companies would be better off without me as a customer. Same goes with the company that built my car (VW), the one that services it (Gebhardt Auto), It goes on…

Like I said, I’m not sure if this is bad, or if it just is. But for some of the smaller companies, who’s services I use, and who’s people I can actually have non-bureaucratic conversations with, for those companies? I actually look forward to paying them. I want to see them succeed alongside me.

Is it possible for a large company to have this kind of relationship with me, as a customer? Or is that just the price you pay at a certain size?