“Design as if you will never iterate again, iterate as if you will never design again”
This is what makes design great. Sprint max effort and then walk away for a while.
This is what makes design great. Sprint max effort and then walk away for a while.
I’m asked what I am feeling now that I’m turning 30. It feels somewhat like this:
30 feels like you’re maybe one-year closer to death. Youth feels fleeting from my fingertips and it’s an experience; you can see it, feel it and it occurs in tiny and unexpected ways nearly everyday but it’s OK because it’s a brilliant feeling to age since it reminds us of time. My patience in how I spend my time nearly dictates everything I do now. And all things can be better prioritized by ruthlessly thinking about time. A simple example runs in my mind: How do I spend it on the things I enjoy and the things that make me better. At my work, at my physical being and at my soul.
I want to own less things, I want to see more of the people who want to see me, I want to get rid of all the inefficiencies that hinder us from doing what we truly want to do. If entire industries are springing up from nothing to make entire economies of industries simpler, why can’t we structure our lives to do something similar? Faster. Better. Stronger. Simpler. And be brilliantly efficient.
This is how I’ll try to do it:
Great example of when Malcolm Gladwell is full of utter shit.
For a new business pitch (giant ad-agency pitching giant brand, blah blah blah), I was asked for the three things that matter in mobile. This is what I believe:
Ignore any of these and you will fail.
Purpose. Whether for a mobile operating system, a game, marketing program, service or website, there must be a clear and distinct purpose. With the proliferation of apps and the plethora of services available to the growing array of mobile devices, a purpose has never been more crucial than ever. Purpose also provides a laser beam of focus to whittle away the clutter and feature creep.
Beauty. The world’s greatest tech firms (Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft) are relentlessly scouring the globe for talent and ideas to create the most beautiful and innovative interactive experiences (iOS7, Metro, Google Maps, Instagram) on mobile devices. Why would a brand settle for anything less? After Apple’s rise, tech firms know full well that beautiful things can become incredibly purposeful things. Brands seem to be less enlightened about this paradigm shift.
Speed. Access to email. Seeing your kid’s photos. Ordering lunch. Hailing a private car. Mobile has accelerated access to do things we’ve done everyday like nothing before in history. If it’s on mobile it has to be fast. Interface. Network. Availability. Simply put, if it’s not faster to do on mobile, it’s probably not worth doing.
The business people, the startup people, the media talk about disruption but Jay-Z has been doing it better than anyone for more than two decades. From selling CDs out of his car since he couldn’t get a record deal to pre-selling a million records for $5M, #newrules needs to be a mantra.
This is North Korea. It’s not about a nuclear armament or Dennis Rodman, it’s simply about millions of people starving to death because a dictator does nothing and the world lets it continue. This is spreading the truth and demanding the world take action.
If you hate your iPhone/Android data plan, you should read this WSJ profile on Masayoshi Son, the dude who just bought Sprint, and cross your fingers.
I can’t come up with a good comparison for Masayoshi Son and maybe it’s just since he might be entirely in his own league so he certainly makes it easy to root for him. Just look at what you’re paying for text messages and you have to imagine he’s thinking it’s a huge opportunity.
Regardless of how you feel about Samsung’s products vs. Apple’s, Samsung’s ability to pull out of a multi-horse race and make it Samsung vs. Apple is a staggering achievement.
It’s unclear how much longer this status quo will hold but right now, it’s all eyes on Apple and Samsung. Also, Samsung’s all out advertising assault currently dominating every medium easily eclipses the first Droid Does campaign and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Have you seen anyone unaware of a Galaxy S3?
Last week, I resigned to go co-found a startup that tackles local search. We believe that it’s done badly and we intend to do better. We will bootstrap, live on savings for a bit and build prototypes that hopefully can attract angel investors while treading above a real and striking possibility that we will fail.
About a year and half ago, I was asked to lead two things at Hill Holliday; the mobile practice and the emerging media practice in gaming. Last week, we won Adweek’s 2012 Media Plan of the Year for Branded Entertainment (a social gaming integration) and it spectacularly complemented our win last year for Adweek’s 2011 Media Plan of the Year for Mobile. While winning one national award is tough, the same team winning back-to-back across different categories is unprecedented.
But despite winning a second Media Plan of the Year, I also couldn’t get promoted and I now realize that even if I did, it wouldn’t have changed anything. I wouldn’t be richer, or smarter or better off, I just would have continued the same course for another round.
We are in the middle of a revolution with how we work, how we think, how we communicate and in a few years, what we did in the past will be unrecognizable. Like what the first telephone or the first television set meant to society; social media, the iPad, cloud computing, big-data and smartphones are all just the beginning. I am wildly optimistic about this future and I have always believed that the future was filled with opportunities to do things that might have seemed impossible in the past.
Our time is limited and my bitter disappointment has been a moment of clairvoyance that I have the best opportunity to escape from the known possibilities like the next promotion, the bigger office and more awards for something infinite and unknown. Jumping straight into the unforeseen let’s you dream that not only anything is potentially possible but literally you believe in your soul that anything can be possible. At this point you start sprinting into the unknown because it’s all you want to taste, breathe and smell and nothing you’ve ever been familiar with in your life feels important at all.
I do not know whether I will succeed or fail but I intend on obsessing on never settling since the possibilities are spectacularly unlimited. If you’re reading this and you feel unsettled with your finite possibilities, I suggest shaking things up.
It was not my intention to get press for what I wrote (BI, MediaPost) nor was it my intention to embarrass anyone. I write things here to clarify my thoughts and express with conviction for the things I personally believe in. When I share my personal disappointments here, it’s because I think being candid is helpful and maybe someone in a similar situation can do better.
— When I meant I was leading the mobile practice & emerging media practice in gaming at Hill Holliday and that it was unprecedented for a team to win back to back, I left out that I was a team of one. I was fortunate to work across lots of talented different groups within the agency but my equation was based on national prestige in proportion to resources. Without a doubt, it was an incredibly entrepreneurial experience.
— I’m thrilled Business Insider, the proud publication behind 50 sexiest ad-execs (I’m not on this list?!), could put together a story using the very best of what I’ve published on social media over the years. I am reminded that I have not had any Hello Kitty candy in years.
— After I resigned & gave my two week notice, and well before I had written anything that the press could even read, I was immediately cut off. This has compounded my disappointment but I know now exactly what kind of culture matters to build a great & interesting company.
— I’ve gotten dozens and dozens of incredibly supportive and inspiring emails, tweets, calls, messages, txts and more. I’ll say it again, if you feel like you’re dying a little everyday then you have a responsibility to yourself to shake it up. Hit me up anytime and I’ll convince you. Or be docile with your happiness and let me know how that goes.