Let’s discuss money and design

Design, money and happiness are at the core of any creative professional’s pursuit. Yet one that is the least understood of these three is MONEY. And this what I’m digging into this year.

Starting March 1st, I’m sharing 30 insights and challenges on money, wealth, impact, and work. These prompts are based on conversations, learnings, and observations from developing my business over this past year with colleagues, entrepreneur communities, reading, and lots of personal practice.

Click the link below to receive the emails, sent to your inbox daily for one month.

>  http://www.designaffects.com/design-money-happiness

This project is starting as email only and I may change the format depending on responses I receive along the way.

Also, if you subscribe but find it’s not your cup of tea, you can simply unsubscribe—no hard feelings! (Although I will ask for a bit of feedback to help me improve.)

Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Earlier this week, I wrote about the concept of “fail fast” and how it is being championed in organizations around the world. If you’re not familiar with it, fail fast is about making small mistakes and responding quickly with new iterations and changes while working towards a bigger goal. It’s the antithesis of holing up to create something in isolation and then present it to the world expecting everything to go well.

Companies that create products, like Dyson vacuums, to those that provide consulting, like PwC, use this method with success. By instilling it within the culture of their organization, it allows employees to practice and learn along the way, and in turn produce positive results for their customers and clients.

But what happens when, despite your best efforts and intentions, you still fail big?

How do you recover and overcome a huge mistake? For many of us, our loved ones and confidants receive the brunt of our crushing blows. They stand beside us, helping us through the agony. They create a safe place where we learn to retell the story in a “constructive” way.

Here’s a challenge to that: what if you just said, “I fucked up?”

And, to take it one step further, what if you told this to colleagues, peers, and even complete strangers?

Five well-known designers just did this.

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Facing failure squarely in the face

“Fail fast” has become the motto of modern business practice. We’re told this is the way to design and build a successful project or business rather than planning every intricate detail and then implementing the plan. But putting this into practice is not as easy as the two-word motto makes it out to be.

So let me use a short example to illustrate this concept.

James Dyson, the chairman and chief engineer of his namesake vacuum cleaner company, has used failure to drive the realization of all his products. In the book Black Box Thinking, Dyson recalls the number of prototypes it took him to create the technology for his first bagless vacuum cleaner: a mere 5,127.

Think about that for a second.Continue Reading

Knowledge just isn’t cutting it

Books, articles, publications, podcasts, and lectures are a huge source of inspiration and insight into the field. They provide the stories, the trials, and the tribulations.

Sometimes you even get a glimpse of your ideal life. The moment when you say, “Wow, that could be me someday.”

But knowledge has its limitations.

You can see where you want to be but there’s a whole lot of darkness in between where you currently stand and that light at the end of the tunnel. “How do I get there?” you probably have asked too many times to count. “How can I create my own version of what they’re doing?”

And this is for good reason.

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Ready for More Impactful Work? A Free Course for You

The end of November is a unique time to connect with family and friends and reflect on what matters most. Taking time to cook with loved ones, share a big Thanksgiving meal, and verbally recognize why you’re grateful is a grounding experience. It’s a 180-degree shift from days filled with emailing, commuting, cleaning, and checking Instagram.

This year we hosted Thanksgiving for a group of expats and Brits at our flat in East London. Being surrounded by old and new friends from a variety of backgrounds made me appreciate all that we as humans have in common.

We each took a moment to share what we were grateful for this year, and mine was time dedicated to exploring two new areas of life: becoming a parent and working on this new phase of Design Affects.

A resounding “yes!” for the new course

The same day we gathered together with friends for a Thanksgiving meal, I shared an idea for a course with you. In this post, I asked if you were interested and what you wanted to work on.Continue Reading