Archive for December, 2014

Being a Man And Solving Problems

It’s strange how the end of things brings us to contemplation. Here we are again. 2014 is setting over the edge of an old year at a rate faster than the year before. What felt like a week a year ago, feels like days 2 years later. Time flies.

I don’t know how it works, but it does.

The older I get, the faster the swoosh seems to feel. The lines that connect time become blurry beyond recognition. I got married 9 months ago and started a new job not long after that. The rest is a vague and distant memory recalled only by turning back the pages of my journal and blog.

Two themes started to crystalise as I rolled back in time: 1.Manhood and 2.Solving problems.

13 of the 30 posts I wrote about in 2014 were either directly or indirectly related to solving problems as a designer. And numerous journal entries on manhood, strength, perseverance and leadership were inked down in bolded words.

It’s an understatement to say that manhood and problem solving are essential parts of designing products people will use. If I don’t want to solve problems, I shouldn’t be a designer and if I don’t want to be strong, I shouldn’t be a man.

Being a man and solving problems are the quintessential makeup of who I am.

As this year rolls over to another, it dawns on me that the coming one will be too short to dissipate on the uncertain eventuality of the “7 trends that will change the future forever!” Perhaps wearables will be the next big thing or perhaps Plus size phones will cannibalise the tablet. Perhaps. I don’t know.

What I do know is that as 2014 rolls over, I will clench my fists and fight to strengthen these 2 themes in my life. I will learn how to be a wiser problem solver and how to be a stronger man to my wife and colleagues.

Those are the things I believe will withstand the brevity of time. And those are the things I’m willing to break my skin for.

What will you fight for in 2015…

Uber – Growing Up Like a Teenager

In his article “How to get away with Uber”, Bobbie Johnson makes quite a dismantling concluding statement about human behaviour and how Uber challenges that behaviour:

And that, in the end, is the real reason so many people hate Uber: Because whatever we do, we can’t stop ourselves from making it bigger and more successful and more terrifying and more necessary. Uber makes everything so easy, which means it shows us who, and what, we really are. It shows us how, whatever objections we might say we hold, we don’t actually care very much at all. We have our beliefs, our morals, our instincts. We have our dislike of douchebags, our mistrust of bad behavior. We have all that. But in the end, it turns out that if something’s 10 percent cheaper and 5 percent faster, we’ll give it all up quicker than we can order a sandwich.

I struggle to believe that this is true. I believe that we are more than reactors to what is handed to us. Uber is flourishing not because people would trade their morals and convictions to get a cheaper taxi but partly because they have done an exceptional job creating a great product. Sadly they have done so biting and bullying their way to the top.

Uber is still a teenager and teenagers do childish and immature things. Time will tell, but they will either learn from their misbehaviour and grow up to become an example to others or, they will stay a spoiled brat and maybe dropout.

I hope for the former…