Now that’s a company vision.
It’s easy to get caught up on buildings careers, moving forward, adding more money to the bank account, but the additional money isn’t what makes us happy. When I left my job to start working for myself, my salary went down significantly in that first year on my own, but I was a lot happier. Now, as I’m older and my business is more established, I’m starting to take a critical look at how I use money. After all, it’s just a tool. We often use it as a barometer of success, but I think my day-to-day happiness is usually a better barometer of whether or not I’m headed in the right direction, professionally and personally.
There’s so much brokenness in our existing patent system. I’ve never understood why anyone would think we can fix it.
My dad has a saying, “You get what you intend, not what you hope for.” How many things in our lives are we actually intentional about, though? In the creative (and development) world, I consistently see studios grow beyond their optimal size. Our culture rewards it, and often our internal drive is to be bigger because we’re told that bigger is better. But is it?
I haven’t been distracted by pushing a boulder up the wrong hill. I get to focus on doing really great work for excellent clients.
Like Berger & Föhr, I’ve been intentional about operating as a shop of one—I’m a bit of a design and development multi-tool. Some projects I team up with others (like Berger & Föhr) and other projects I handle by myself. I may not be this size forever, but it has been an intentional choice and a lot of rewarding things have come from it. The biggest bonus, though, is simply that I haven’t been distracted by pushing a boulder up the wrong hill. I get to focus on doing really great work for excellent clients. And, contrary to popular belief, my access to bigger and better projects has often come as a result of my practice size, not at the expense of it.
How intentional are you about the size and goals of your business?
Yes, it takes longer—the term “slow money” is brought up later in the article—but can you think of a better way of investing money than in things “we can touch and/or impact and understand”? Money is just money, but this type of investment strategy can’t help but be rewarding on many other levels.
A heartfelt take on doping in sports from a former professional cyclist and admitted doper.
For whatever reason, cycling was (still is) the only professional sport I’ve cared to follow. It’s the only sport I’ve ever participated in, actually felt like I belonged, and even had a brief modicum of success in. I never aspired to be a professional and never was faced with the choice between doping or dropping my dream. But I’ve had other dreams in my life that I’ve pursued with similar stubbornness and, while I’d like to think I’d make the hard choice and walk away clean, I worry that I wouldn’t have.
I love this sport, and I hate the argument that doping is just a part of it—something to be accepted—because it makes me think of the few times in my life that I’ve felt pressed into holding secrets or living lies, and I don’t want young athletes in the sport to be faced with that choice for something they love.
My dad really nails it from time-to-time.
People dream about the future, but their concerns are usually in the present.
Last night I attended Boulder’s annual TEDx Event. The very first speaker, Brady Robinson spoke about this phenomenon as it relates to the environmental and conversation movements. The average supporter of an organization like The Nature Conservancy is in their 60s. Part of the reason we don’t see younger people donating/supporting the conservation movement is because the movement has done such an excellent job of communicating to outdoor sports enthusiasts that they not only harmful to the environment, but in direct opposition to the efforts of these organizations.
If I’m a mountain biker in my 20s or 30s, I want to ride my bike today. If I’ve been told I can’t be a part of the solution for tomorrow because of my love for mountain biking, I’ve got no reason to support conservation efforts.
We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected…
I’m not sure I’m as optimistic about the voting public, as a whole, but I do agree that—outside of dogma—the average, informed citizen is thinking further down the road than the average politician. And that saddens me. Our system essentially necessitates it. We’ve turned politics into a career, which means it’s a career focused on getting re-elected (short-term) rather than doing hard, good things for the country (long-term).
Frontend coding is a waste of time.
Something I’ve said privately for awhile, but I guess I haven’t been brave enough to post publicly: frontend coding is a waste of time. I know, audacious, right? But it’s true. I’m a designer who can code (full stack no-less, not only frontend) and while I highly value writing good frontend code, and often go to painstaking lengths to do so, it’s the most base level part of my process, and most in need of a replacement or alternative.
Let me explain
With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop.
I have a background in print design. In print, as I’m designing, I’m also creating/producing. With few exceptions, a finished design in InDesign or Illustrator is ready for the press. This is not true of a finished web design in Photoshop. I’ve started achieving the same parity in my web work, but only by designing in the browser, with live or prototype code. This process is quicker than the normal Photoshop > Frontend Code route, but it’s still a far cry from the direct creativity-to-production efficiency a print designer is able to achieve.
The web is also becoming more complex. Do you really envision hand-coding complex CSS animation, with gradients, and 3d transforms, and other whizz-bang features in a production setting? Sure, it’s fun to experiment, but when it’s your clients dime for the amount of time you spend on a project, with deadlines staring you in the face, you’ll end up simplifying the pitch—likely before you even talk to the client, let alone at their behest. Is that a good reason to constrain ourselves from using some of the amazing new features we have in our toolbox?
I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work.
The web is young. Someday we’ll look back on this period in the web’s history and realize how little control we had over design, how underpowered our rendering engines were, how rudimentary hand-coding was, and how much work it took to get from idea to clickable execution. It won’t happen overnight, but the tools will continue to evolve. While the end result may not look exactly like InDesign for the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re among the last of a generation of web designers who hand-codes all or most of our design work. After all, I’m sure somebody hand-coded some of the first postscript to ever make it’s way through the first digital plate-maker and onto a press.