product designer, cyclist, armchair urbanist

Designing with a knot in my stomach

More often than not, I design with a knot in my stomach most of the way through my projects.

There's a cloud of doubt, self-pity, and mild despair that hangs over me until I'm about 75% into the project. Then for the last 25%, the pendulum swings violently the opposite direction and I feel like my creation is incredible. By the time I send the work off, I'm right in the middle where I need to be: excited about the work, but not so enthusiastic as to be naive and blind to the possibility that it could be improved upon.

It's that first 75% that is the risky part. The knot in my stomach is powerful - if I let it, it will kill the whole idea. If I leave it alone and press through with the job, it eventually dies and the project turns out OK or even excellent.

"And just as Steve loved ideas, and loved making stuff, he treated the process of creativity with a rare and a wonderful reverence. You see, I think he better than anyone understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished." –Jonathan Ive, on Steve Jobs