–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Stay optimistic – refrain from Connecting 07

According to about 5 different plenary speakers at the recent Connecting conference in San Francisco, optimism is a requirement for good design. Consider me a “design culture” newbie, but I had never heard this before. There was no explanation why this was the case, but it did explain the “left leaning” tendencies of designers.

I think the desire to want to create something new requires a feeling of hopefulness which in turn implies a sense of optimism.

Though I’m constantly waiting for my mortality to demonstrate itself, I generally think of myself as a hopeful and optimistic person. I do see how being optimistic is definitely a requirement for being a progressive person politically. I mean, you have to hope for the best in people.

I can also see how being optimistic is required for creativity as well. Or why someone who harnesses their creativity would want to do so with an optimistic view of the world. I mean who wants to design the next Bilbao if you though that Armageddon was approaching, right?

I thin though that in the software design community that works under the thumb of engineering oriented folks, we are loosing our optimism. We trudge through our work putting a lot of energy forward mostly tilting at the windmills that surround us, only to discover quite often that these are indeed just windmills and we have been deterred yet again.

I’m not saying that other mediums and disciplines of design don’t face compromises or even very sad endings to their hard work. It just seems that our plight as software designers has led us towards the hole of despair and it is starting to have some consequences.

So, I just wanted to put out this opportunity to tell people to stay optimistic and hopeful and keep trying and keep creating and designing. You are doing great things indeed!

— dave

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