Soft Skills, Mild Diversions and finding inspiration | Will

camping

“It’s good work”

Over the past few years I’ve worked on many different products and projects; from the glass blowing machine that is hopefully still working away at some secret US facility, to an alarm clock I finished coding last weekend, to any number of robotics parts and mechanical installations. Whenever asked what these are like, my response has always been simple;  “It’s good work”.

I do not pretend to know for a second what good work is, or that the things that I have built have influenced the world in any significant way, however to me, anything new is good work. 

Tomorrow night I was invited to join a ton of much greater qualified and much younger people than myself for dinner. The group combined has launched 310 ventures combined out of the nearly eight hundred kids in their ranks, and somehow I found myself into this circle of elite teen businesspeople.

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They are, by all accounts, doing ‘good work’ at a level that is so unlikely for kids our age. Just a few decades ago the startup cost of running a small venture would make sure no one under the age of fifty could do what many of these kids are doing, furthermore it would be near impossible to find anyone else doing similar work. Now, all I need to do is figure out how to get parallel park in Germantown and I have found twenty others doing ‘good work’.

Later this week, I’ll be grabbing lunch with one of my two mentors for the first time. By all accounts I will have done nothing to advance the actual progress of the app- I will not have written a single line of code, nor figured out a single decomposition algorithm, however I do believe this is still good work. The success of a project is ultimately predicated not only on the strength of the product itself, but on the structure and narrative you build around it. For the past couple weeks I’ve been laying brick without scaffold, and this week is scaffold time.


 

To pivot to an unrelated note: last week I promised more about design. I have been working on an exploration of mathematically informed design- but both due to my own apparent inability to find time on top of startup work, and insufficient ways to describe my own excitement for intergral calculus in terms that do not illicit groans, that will be coming next week. In the mean time I will be sharing a favorite site of mine, Dribbble. Dribbble is user curated network of all the best design happening on the website right now and I have deep-linked many of my favorites below. If you are interested in finding more about the designer, simply click the image.

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One thought on “Soft Skills, Mild Diversions and finding inspiration | Will

  1. kevinwang11

    Your definition for “good work” is very interesting. I would totally say that any project I completed is “good work.” The unfortunate thing is when a designer is manipulated by the criticism of others, a “good work” might not be “good work” even by his or her own standards.

    I really, really appreaciate you mentioning of the Dribbble site which is extremely inspirational to me and helpful to my future works in UI design. In fact, I have been in the process of collecting high quality design resources. A good one I would highly recommend to you is The Noun Project which specializes in icon designs.

    Reply

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