Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Good Day

The other day I was working through an online tutorial and at one point, I thought, "Wow, that's cool!" In an otherwise slow and repetitious lesson was a bright flash of light, a new thought, a gem.

Maybe that's all there is to a day, a project, a job, or even life.

Maybe it's just a few sparkles of mica in a long stretch of gray sidewalk.

The next thought was about something I told to my boss years ago as a new designer, "If I can open up Photoshop every day, then it's a good day and I'm happy." Well, that's a fairly simple formula for happiness.

In the children's book A Good Day by Kevin Henkes, it's as simple as freedom, love and food.

So after some thought here's what I've discovered. It's a good day when I can help someone be happy, make something, or learn something new. It's that simple.

What makes a good day for you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter is the junk mail of the digital world

Twitter is to the digital world as junk mail to the paper world, the static of the radio world, the snow of the early TV world, the Solitaire of computer games, the annoying dinner-time telemarketer, the mass of billboards once cluttering our highways and obstructing America's vistas.

It is the just latest fad that has somehow turned noise and distraction, and lately marketing, into an art form consisting only of half conversations and a series of quips and glib one-liners, masquerading as human interaction and conversation.

Rather than strengthening relationships it is soaking up valuable time and attention better spent with living breathing humans in real meaningful dialog, or giving an honest day's worth of work to your employer, or even just keeping your eyes on the road.

Despite the current wave of publicity it will fade as other internet fads have. In the meantime, if I want to know what you're doing, I'll invite you to lunch and you can tell me in more than 140 characters. We'll enjoy a real conversation.

Tom Chi and Kevin Chang's Twatter Comic
Trouble with Twitter
Let Them Eat Tweets


There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where some companies put their marketing dollars

Oh that more companies would spend their marketing dollars as wisely.
Our philosophy...Take most of the money that we would have spent in paid marketing and instead put that into the customer experience and then let the repeat customers be the true marketing.
~Tony Hsieh of Zappos @ SXSW Conference

See YouTube video

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Every workplace should have this rule

Jerks, bullies, mean-spirited people. Name them what you will. They are people who persistently leave others feeling demeaned and de-energized; usually those who have less power and social standing than their tormentors.

Bob Sutton says that the best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

When a person is consistently warm and civilized toward people who are of unknown or lower status, it means he or she is a decent human being. Small decencies not only make you feel better about yourself, but can have a ripple effect through your team and department.

More about the concepts in this book in future posts.

Read Bob Sutton's places and people that use the rule.