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Nothing unfamiliar (Tools I used to write a book)

My book advises designers to be intentional about the tools they choose and use to do the writing on their projects. For writing a book, a thing I’d never done before, I ran a few experiments to see if there was any good and smart tool I hadn’t tried before that would make it easier.…Continue readingNothing unfamiliar (Tools I used to write a book)

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Expert Ding-Dong

I keep seeing LinkedIn profile headlines with the word “expert” in them. Good grief. The surface-level reaction is: “Haha, look at that try-hard.” But that’s a defensive coating on the deeper response: “Oh shit, should I be doing that? I’m more of an expert on [Topic] than that guy!” I’ve built my share of expertise…Continue readingExpert Ding-Dong

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I acknowledge the absence of the sun

Just heard on the radio that it’s the cloudiest January on record here. I believe it. It’s required attention, that’s for sure. I take my Vitamin D supplement (a gummy, of course — treat yourself). I have a clinical-looking daylight lamp that kicks on automatically when sunrise is supposed to be. I try to stick…Continue readingI acknowledge the absence of the sun

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Tomato paste provenance

It’s disorienting, sometimes, the way objects slip in and out of our lives — what ever happened to that red shirt? Don’t I own more coffee mugs? Where on Earth did this book come from? I used to be very focused on momentos — my teenage bedroom had a meticulously arranged display of every chotchke…Continue readingTomato paste provenance

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Long paragraphs

“So often the long paragraphs I write in life are responses to Facebook posts, or reply letters to someone, or … I can put together a three-paragraph letter that burns the hair off of your eyebrows about almost any topic.” – John Roderick on the Road Work podcast I like this thought technology: Where do…Continue readingLong paragraphs

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Islands and icebergs

Spent all week working on something and I just trashed it. Wasn’t coming together. Hate to do it because you never know if you were almost there. Sometimes you’re hating it and hating it, and you keep sailing on, and then blam-oh! There she is! I see land, boys! But maybe you stopped just before…Continue readingIslands and icebergs

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Weaponized

A bit jarring to see one of the tools of my trade — customer journey maps — pop up in this article about the 737 Max and Boeing’s efforts to manage customer “anxiety” about their totally safe airplane that’s killed 346 men, women, and children. (So far.) I’ve been trying to imagine how it will…Continue readingWeaponized

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Painting a very long hallway

I’ve been asked a few times what writing a book was like. Sometimes people mean: “What’s it like to be someone who wrote a book?” It’s nice! Glad to have done it, glad to know I can do it, lots of new opportunities, nice to have something unambiguously mine, and so on. It’s interesting to…Continue readingPainting a very long hallway

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I don’t want your business card

I tune out as soon as the pitch starts. You can hear it coming. Who wants that? I don’t want that. I don’t want your business card. I don’t want to hear the pitch. I probably don’t even want you to have _my_ business card.Continue readingI don’t want your business card

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Sometimes the box is more fun

One of the first times I presented on ecosystem mapping, an attendee shared an image of their own map they’d been inspired to create. It was interesting, colorful, and information-rich. But also? It wasn’t what I’d call an ecosystem map. At first I worried about the quality and clarity of my presentation. But others shared…Continue readingSometimes the box is more fun