What I’m reading: The Way to Design by Steve Vassallo. This was such a fun little book (its free! and only a little more than 100 pages) that revolves around how design can/should be integrated into projects, decision-making, and building culture.
For Vassallo, design is not merely another rung on the ladder for a product to climb before being shipped out for sale. No. Design is omnipresent across all silos and levels, from the company’s first hire to iterating the next flagship launch. Furthermore, good design incorporates systems thinking—unearthing the underlying relationships and assumptions causing specific phenomenon—to encourage more cycles of virtuous feedback or neutralize suboptimal behavior. I found that Joe Gebbia’s quote on building culture best summarizes the importance of good design: “Culture doesn’t make the people, it’s the people in your building that makes the culture. Which means spend as much time up front to get it right, to get the right people in, because it is much easier to mold concrete when it’s wet than to chip away at it when it’s dry.” It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and whirlwind of priorities but spending time during the early stages of any project to thoroughly think through the long-term consequences can pay exponential dividends down the road. Also, sorry people, there isn’t a price you can pay for consultants to “improve corporate culture”.
Podcast episode of the week: Cal Fussman’s interview with Kobe Bryant. One of the world’s most intense competitors talks about his post-basketball career—which has already yielded an Oscar nomination—conquering fear, and the virtues of life-long learning.
What I’m (going to be) watching: Super Bowl 52. Go Pats!
Favorite video of the week: Someone strapped an 8K camera to the bottom of a LearJet, flew around, and got some wonderful bird’s eye view shots of the earth. Love the fractals.
Tweet of the week:
All hype and no bite.