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Feb 2009

A (small) philosophy lesson on a (snowy) Friday

Bill Buxton (my main guru in the design world), has committed a very fine and somewhat provocative list of recommendations on how to keep innovating in a world that’s fund of excellence, but rarely can achieve it. I completely agree with theses thoughts and thought I would share those with you.

What he does say in substance is: Be passionate, and change your passions once in a while. It’s not very good for innovation that you keep digging the same hole all of your life. Put yourself in danger sometimes, design will profit from what you’ll learn… kind of.

In summary:

  • Always be bad at something that you are passionate about
  • You can be everything in your life – just not all at once
  • When you get good at one skill, drop another in which you have achieved competence in order to make room for a new passion at which you are – yet again – bad.
  • (My favourite!) Life is too short to waste on bad teachers and inefficient skills.
  • Remember, you can learn from anyone.

See the full article in BusinessWeek

Not only Bill Buxton is a Canadian (!), but he is Principal Scientist at Microsoft Research and the author of Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, a marvellous book.

Previously, he was a researcher at Xerox PARC and a professor at the University of Toronto. One of our great thinkers about design.

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