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I’m a little embarrassed about this because it’s so wordy and the audio’s clipping, but there’s some good stuff in here about how I think about design, doing work, and what I was like in high school (such a great question). My thanks to Omar for the conversation.

Remember Proficiency

This is the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s live show when she toured with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, three phenomenally proficient musicians. (for a killer funky tune check out around 15:20).

Joni Mitchell’s talent is one any turd on the street could appreciate. Silky, smooth, gentle, lithe voice. Flitting, dodging and weaving lyrics driving some insightful point home. (21:20 for some examples).

Add to that Metheny’s guitar (there’s a killer solo around 3:50… a few of those quicky lines are so tasty it hurts) and Jaco’s bass (solo at 25:25 and amazing high-waisted headband grimaces throughout).

This is a stage so g’damn full of talent.

It’s easy to get people to know your name. It’s hard to be proficient.

Maybe what I mean more is: in a world of pageviews and post schedules and retweets where you’re literally rewarded for setting the bar as low as possible and speaking at the lowest common denominator to the widest possible audience, remember this stage, set your standard one notch higher, settle one bit deeper into the learner’s posture and the long term view and the awareness of true craft earnestly honed.

Or, as Wale puts it:

So fuck fame, fuck money
Fuck everything anyone can take from me
It ain’t hard to make money
We young n*ggas, we just tryna be legendary”

Daniel Lanois on creativity, inspiration, making Joshua Tree, etc…. One of the best interviews i’ve heard. Interviewer, interviewee… they found the right moment in their careers to talk to each other. As a musician and designer and buisinesser-y guy, there’s so much to draw from here. Let me know if you make it to the water part.

A Pep Talk from Kid President

Story & The Brain

Still one of my favorite things: tinkerers and hackers and even people using windows have every opportunity to start conversations and make course corrections for the whole world. See also don’t forget your roots.

Learn to code, learn to business and start tinkering.

The Focus Factor™

I recently finished a project. I worked hard on it. I’m proud of myself and my team. But the most important thing about it was surprising. Watch the video and let me explain.

I’m spending less of my time thinking about how’s and why’s these days. My mind is stuck on the what’s. I clamber and climb over all sorts of ideas. I can pick up any single one of them and do some how/why work on it for a time. But it’s clear to me: none of the how’s or why’s will be very deep so long as there’s so many of them.

Seinfeld on how to write a joke. Bic clear barrel blue.

Good design is about supplying intent… I chose to enhance this rolling experience with a simple design element. Acting with intent; it conveys authorship, that someone is driving. It’s reassuring, people are drawn to it; someone making the experience their own, covering the tragic tune with something different.”
Story is there to remind us that it’s just okay.”

Ken Burns

What is school for?”

Michael: “Because, sometimes I look back at the show and think I should have enjoyed myself more.”

Jerry: “Michael, I could say that myself; but that was not our job. Our job was not for us to enjoy it, our job was to make sure they enjoy it. And that’s what we did.”