The internet kills all middlemen.

Ben Pieratt, designer and founder of Svpply:

The market is handing you steak and you’re choosing the gristle. The market is handing you gold bullion and you’re taking the nickel.

As a designer, you enjoy building things for other people’s use. Your value is determined by the degree to which you can empathize with groups of people around a given topic. Historically, this relationship has required a large(r) company to act as mediator for the emotional mass-transaction. Companies provide you with an audience inasmuch as they have customers, and that’s enough for you because you just want to design stuff that solves stuff.

The internet kills all middlemen.

You now have direct access to the raw vein of popular attention. The pixels you’re pushing have a higher exchange rate than you’re giving yourself credit for*. No hounding client payroll, no selling other people’s stuff, no building other people’s wealth, no nephew’s cousins stepping in with the authority to change everything you’ve been working on.

There has never been a greater opportunity for designers, makers and doers.  Well said!

(via jonathanmoore)

Designers Are The New Drivers Of American Entrepreneurialism

This growing desire among designers to bring their user focus, strategic vision, iterative methodologies, and propositional thinking to the still-geeky, tech/engineering-centric world of startups promises to be transformative and explosive.

This is exactly why I left the ad agency world and ditched all clients after an amazing 11 year run.  The future is incredibly bright.

Empathy is the Root of Creativity

“The greatest thing we can do and offer is to be great listeners and have to have empathy for your culture to understand what is the truth.”
— John Jay, global executive creative director at W+K 

One of the most important skills of a designer or creator is empathy. Without it you’ll fail to connect with users and clients in a meaningful way.

The Validation Generation

We are the Validation Generation. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Dribbble and endless other sites are powered by intoxicating feedback loops. We don’t lack for confidence, but it’s a shallow confidence built on the shifting sands of social approval, a temporary high. The pursuit of ego gratification is addictive, but unsatisfying. I know this from experience, from counting comments and checking my site traffic over the years to comparing Twitter followers.

Constantly looking for validation and approval through likes, tweets and feedback will stifle your ability to create and explore new ideas.  You should fight the urge for validation just like you would procrastination or fear.

Well said Brian Bailey.

It’s easy to “design” when you’re unencumbered by things like metrics, creative direction, business acumen, sales experience, actual functionality, enterprise scale, or any thought about how a site with millions of page views and users has to function.

Joshua Blankenship, from his post Creating Controversy for its own Sake (and How Humility is a Rare Bird Indeed on the Web These Days)