Category Archives: Someone Once Said…

Have a clarify of vision but a flexibility in process

—Jon Stewart

This seems simple but I feel like I’ll take my whole life mastering this. I currently understand this to mean: focus on the end goal and don’t get tied up with the minutia of micro-managing your colleagues on any particular project. I think the prerequisite to following this advice is that your colleagues be highly skilled and great at their craft.


I like to work when the world is sleeping and share while the world is at work

—Austin Kleon, from his book Show Your Work

This is me as well. I feel most productive when I’m cranking away at a blog post, photography project or design project late on a Friday or Saturday night. ‘Share while the world is at work’ was a bit of lesson for me – as I haven’t always thought about the time of day I’m sharing via twitter, facebook, or instagram.

Training a student to be a sheep is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep

—Seth Godin, Tribes

What Seth is saying here, I think, is that our schools are great at teaching students to follow the rules, follow the manual and do what the teacher/boss says. However, they aren’t so great at growing and teaching students to be leaders. Leaders who don’t just follow the ‘manual’ out of fear of what could be if they stepped out and had a unique idea or tried to change the status quo.

It’s…about a five- or ten- or fifteen-year process where you start finding your voice, and finally you begin to realize that the safest thing you can do feels risky and the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.

—Seth Godin, Tribes

Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead…

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.

—Seth Godin, Tribes

“What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism. We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism. We hesitate to create innovative movies, launch new human resource initiatives, design a menu that makes diners take notice, or give an audacious sermon because we’re worried, deep down, that someone will hate it and call us on it.”

—Seth Godin, Tribes

I’ve got a project that I want to finish and launch, but I’ve stalled for almost a year now. Put it off for fear of criticism or that someone will hate it. It’s going to launch in the next three weeks. I just decided.

If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new.

—Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something.

—Nicholas Burroughs

Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.

—Raymond Joseph Teller (from this article)

“Seriously, I’m fundamentally against the idea of showing multiple different designs. It turns the process into a beauty contest”

Andy Budd, UX Designer

Totally agree with this. I rarely show more than one design to a client. Beyond turning the process into a beauty contest, there is usually not more than one or two correct solutions to a design problem. And…it makes the designer look unsure of themselves because they are applying the ‘spray and pray’ approach… that is…show them 5 designs and pray one of them is chosen. This encourages the Frankenstein result, where the client comes back with, “I like this from design one and that from design three – combine them and it’s approved!” BOOOOO!