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653: School Mottos and Failure

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Some schools are setting kids up for failure.

Today I drove by a school sign that said, “We will not tire, falter or fail.”

It sounds good. Determined. Resolute. Able to overcome obstacles. But those who reject these things can’t succeed.

To tire is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on made me tired at one point or another. You press on through it some times, you get some rest others. But the only way to not tire is to never do hard things.

To falter is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has been peppered with mistakes. Or they’ve experienced moments where I’ve sat back and thought, “Is this worth it?” It’s these moments that remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. To avoid such realizations is to work without a why.

To fail is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has had failures in and around it. The ideas that don’t work out teach you and lead you toward the ones that do. The features you build that aren’t needed point you toward where those in your care want to go. To avoid failure is to avoid progress.

If it sounds good as a school motto, beware. The reality of meaningful work is far less glamorous, but far more fulfilling.


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946: The Design For The Job

If we design something so cool and simple that nobody can use it because the intended audience uses it so often that options are buried frustratingly deep – instead of letting them learn faster ways of doing things – is it really all that cool? Products for editing complex video, for instance, should give videographers power, not coolness.
Sometimes simple is better than power.

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945: The Way Tools Feel

It’s why you use the computer you do. Or the phone you have. Or the car you drive, or the brand of shoes you wear. Few of those things were bought purely for functionality and price.
What do you value? How can you reveal that in your work, so that those like you can find you and buy as an expression of their shared belief?

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943: Better Than Passion

By exploring and refining craft, we often experience more passion for that craft as we progress. Passion isn’t the point, though: craftsmanship is the point.
Instead of “Do work you’re passionate about”, we should become advocates of “Refine your craft and try new things” – the results could be more fulfilling than you know.

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941: Avoid Opinion Neutrality

People don’t just buy your products. They buy why they exist. They buy as an expression of a shared belief.
If you’re opinion neutral, there’s no reason to buy beyond the need for an essential, marginalized commodity.
Are you opinion neutral? How can you be a little more yourself, for the benefit of your work and for those you wish to serve?

You are creating what matters.

How can we help you sell it better and make more impact?

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Marketing Isn't About You

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Sharing our journey to discover how to create & quantify the most impactful, long-lasting websites in the world.