Why Write

How writing will make you a better designer

The great, revered designers in graphic design history created insightful, meaningful work that communicated.

Sure, it was beautiful. You can look at Lubalin’s typography work or Vignelli’s NYC subway map and marvel at the aesthetic qualities shown.

But these works aren’t famous merely because they are pretty…

Enter Madman

My business is crippled by fear.

That’s a common struggle, and I’ve written about that before. For founders, fear is a constant enemy. It gets in the way of decision making, shipping, or even quality of work.

But today I wanted to write to you about a different aspect of that fear.

Introvert or antisocial?

Introversion has become a major cultural topic. With popular books and lots of fanfare, quiet folks everywhere are feeling vindicated.

But if you lean toward introversion like I do, I have a word of warning for you.

I want to tell you a short story about how my introversion was involved in one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made running my business.

Product Chess

Chess predates modern civilization, and it’s lasted so long for a reason. Chess is the only game. Or that’s the way I see it.

Sometimes I wish that running a products business were more like chess.

In chess everything is on the board, visible. You and your opponent are equal—nothing is left to chance. I love chess because it weeds out the excuses…

Living the life

Recently, my friend Justin Jackson asked if I was working on products full time. When he learned I was, he said “Living the life, eh?”

That question completely caught me off guard, though Justin was just being friendly. I’ve never even considered that I could be “living the good life”—it’s not like I sit at the beach all day while heaps of passive income just roll in as if on the waves.

Selling Guitars

The exact guitar in the photo above sat in my closet unplayed for 5 years. Only recently did I pull it out of the closet, plug it in, and start playing again.

For 5 years I was one of those people—the ones who buy a guitar with a dream in mind and then never play it.

Teaching to start a product business is a lot like selling guitars. Both offer up a glamorous dream.