Perpetual Motion

Deciding when design is and is not a one-and-done game.

July 9, 2020

If you plan on having an element of your brand identity for a long time, say your name or your logo, it's imperative to research and make sure it will stand the test of time. Reason being that you want names and logos to be around for a while. You shouldn't push out these elements unless you're prepared to have them stick around for years.

However, when it comes to items that can (and should) adapt, your goal is to move fast, do good work, and change as needed. Pretty much everything your customer comes into contact with like your website, collateral, software, etc is going to adapt with technology and alongside user testing. In this case, make good stuff, test, and iterate.

More you say?

Obi-Wan

Because your company is not the hero.

3.10.2020

Luke Skywalker is the greatest example of the "hero" archetype. He has humble beginnings and does not understand his full potential. At least, not until he is called to adventure after the murder of his Aunt, Uncle, and the desperate call of Princess Leia. Facing down this behemoth of a journey, you gotta wonder what was going on in his head at the time.

"I have no skills beyond moisture farming and I'm a decent pilot, but taking on the Empire? I need help."

That's where Obi-Wan Kenobi comes into play. The old wizard who sees the greatness within Luke and helps him to overcome his own, self-imposed limits. Despite the fact that Luke is lost without him, Obi-Wan never lets it be known. He's not focused on his own success, he's focused on the success of Luke. If Luke succeeds, that is his victory. Granted, he does all he can offering mentorship (guidance and knowledge of the Force), tools (lightsaber), instruction and feedback, and, most importantly, honest encouragement.

Here's the thing:

Most companies see themselves as Luke.They think they are the hero, that saving the world depends on them. They are wrong and their self-interest will not inspire others to be better. To quote Marty Neumeier "the best brand builders see greatness in their customers, and figure out ways to enable it."

Unleash your inner Obi-Wan, you rebel.

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Users are Heroes

Your software is only a tool for them.

1.18.2020

Donald Miller's Building a Story Brand detailed the idea that all of life is like a story. There is a hero, there is a villain, there is a problem, and there is a guide who helps the hero defeat the villain and solve the problem. Can you guess which one your software product is?

That's right. The guide. You are a trusted advisor who has found a way to something better. Now you offer resources, knowledge, and tools to help your user (the hero) achieve the same.

Think Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf, Alfred Pennyworth. These folks have abilities and offer support emotionally and with resources. People love them because they give and share the best parts of themselves with the world so that others can be better.

Your software must do the same. Guide your heroes to be better.

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