March 13, 2012
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” – unknown
There’s a simple honesty inherent in that quote. It applies to 3rd graders as it applies to adults. It applies to business and the workplace as it does to sports and politics and education and seemingly everything else in life.
It’s a nugget of wisdom that has stood the test of time.
A line that many of us were taught at one point growing up, and one that many of us have forgotten along the way.
It feels wrong to give credit for what appears to be an almost universal truth — especially when giving credit goes against the spirit of the quote itself — but apparently that was said in these words by Harry S. Truman, 32nd president of the United States. But it reads better attributed to ‘unknown’, doesn’t it.
September 16, 2011
His words rocked.
“If I’d had the time, I’d have written a shorter letter.”
– Mark Twain (1835-1910)
When a good quote starts appearing again and again in your life, you got to honor it. Got to. We’ll leave it at that.
April 15, 2011
A piece of art.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust (French “essayist”, 1871-1922)
First things first. Happy Tax Day, America.
I had thrown this quote into a presentation a while back, and was reminded about it the other night when reading through Bill Buxton’s Sketching User Experiences. A fine read, about design and innovation, the technology development process, and the importance of sketching in any creative work. It’s loaded with wisdom, engaging anecdotes, and fine visuals. And a unique writing style, a rare combination of academic and grounded… cocktail party talk. Sort of like talking with a professor you think is cool but you aren’t completely sold yet… you think you like him, you’re mostly picking up what he’s putting down. And as far as non-fiction goes, it actually makes for decent beside reading.
Anyways, back to the quote. Good quote. Read it again.
January 15, 2011
“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as “users”.
— Edward Tufte (American statistician, information designer)
I finally had a chance to attend a Tufte conference (more of a “talk” really, a lecture with posters for sale) a few months back in Chicago. Great experience for anyone working in an increasingly data-driven world — not just us information/design/user-experience/technology professionals. I would’ve posted a review but was too immersed in his data visualization books during the weeks following… or something like that.
So I’ll leave it short and sweet: A good thinker. A talented presenter. A solid story-teller. Even for those who disagree with his principles, who poke fun at his stance on PowerPoint, check him out if the opportunity presents itself. Even if his views differ from your own, it’s a great way to get some perspective on presenting information and visualizing data. Think better.
November 11, 2009
“Design is where science and art break even.”
– Robin Matthew
(Not to get too spiritual on you readers.. but c’mon, it’s deep!)
July 27, 2009
See? Even when you fail, you succeed.
Sometimes I feel like the importance of persistence in creating great designs (and in life in general) is overlooked. Inspiration, genius, and creativity may be more fun to talk about, but just like Grandma said… nothing holds a torch to determination mixed with hard work. Few illustrated this better than American inventor Thomas Edison. The man once produced 50,000 failed experiments in his quest to create the nickel-iron battery.
Yes you read that correctly. Fifty. Thousand.
When asked along the way whether he had become downhearted with the lack of progress, Edison replied:
“Downhearted? We’ve made a lot of progress. At least we know 50,000 things that won’t work!”