It’s not the tools

This is a broad concept, and I think we have all heard it at some point. A bad workman blames his tools.

A great workman won’t even talk about the tools; they will discuss technique and the goals for the “project”.

While scanning my feeds tonight, I slowed down on some nice fonts (I always slow for fonts) from the Web Design Ledger. Upon closer inspection I agreed with the author, those are some kick-ass fonts.

This one caught my eye:

typefaces03

It was only after looking at the original font here when I realized the craft is in what you do with a font. The font itself looks plain enough, but the real skill is matching it to the right theme and applying that difficult layer of polish.

Skills can be taught and learned. Real art takes focus, practice, attention to detail and thinking outside the (tool) box.

I’m talking about me here BTW. I have a lot of skills, I can learn new skills quickly, and can get pretty good at most new things I try, but my craft is not deep. I’ve become a ‘jack of all trades’ as a User experience developer (the job title even screams that in itself) and should at least have some deep knowledge and expertise in a certain vertical. I’m focusing my energy on User experience at the moment, but even that might be too vague as there are a lot of skills under that one title.

Pick a skill, get great at it. Real great. Proper great.

The Social Network

I’m a very easy person to inspire. I can get inspiration from a lot of sources, people I know, movies, books, blogs, ideas. Most of my inspiration comes from true stories rather than fables. Fables being ideals rather than having actually happened.

Facebook LogoThe Social Network was a good movie, and quite inspirational. Cutting it down to the basic story, Mark Zuckerberg codes the beginnings of facebook in a few weeks, and it spreads quickly through major colleges. The initial idea was simple and he executed the basics and got it out there quickly. There was no long term plan, just an idea and the drive to build and launch quickly. This is a great way to look at any personal/professional projects.

Iterate

Iterate, the first iteration being launch, then iterate continuously. Forever. Evolve the product with the user-base, and make sure it stays relevant. An idea is just that until it’s real.

Anywho, after watching videos on Lance Armstrong I get an overwhelming urge to get on my bike and ride. Coming back from the social network, I want to crack open an IDE and start coding like a boss. Most of my ideas are (probably) shit, but I’ll never know unless I launch. 2011 goal #1, launch a site. There, it’s written down now. I have to do it.

BTW, my earlier post on goals for this year (written in January), there’s a post coming to see how I’ve done with that shortly. Stay tuned.

p.s. I promise I’m back blogging more consistently from here on in. At least for the winter months.

p.p.s. The blog is now on wordpress.