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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.

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Find your purpose

My work matters,” you think to yourself. In a small studio, shop, or a startup, everything you do is significant. You can see your contributions pushing the business forward every day. You feel good about yourself.

If you’re 1 of 3 people in a company, you’re almost a superhero. If you’re 1 of 30, you might still feel you’re contributing. But if you’re 1 of 3000, can you recognize your impact on the whole business every day? If you leave for three months, you’ll find the company somehow survived without you. Shocking, right? Read more

Write down everything

To be more specific, write down everything important. Early in my corporate career, I asked an experienced designer what had helped him make the transition from a small agency to a big company. He suggested that I should keep a permanent track of what’s happening for myself. Projects change and people come and go so it’s hard to keep everything in memory. Read more

Choose teams over projects

People often ask me, “How do you like working in a big company?” and I always answer, “I like working with my current team.” The look I get back reveals that people think I’m hiding something. I’m not. It’s just that I’m not comfortable projecting relationships and attitudes of my closest twenty colleagues to tens of thousands other employees across the world. Read more

Presenting to senior leaders

Many people are passionate about their craft. They spend most of their working time in deep focus fretting about perfection. At times they need to present their work to senior leaders who think more about long-term strategy. I’ve sat through many meetings and witnessed a complete mismatch between those two worlds. Craftswomen and craftsmen often dive into technical details because they want to show complexity or how they’ve elegantly solved a problem. However, those things are not relevant to senior leaders who usually get lost in minutiae. Read more

Lessons from the corporate world

You need to have an opinion.”

It wasn’t the thing I wanted to hear, but there it was. My experienced colleague was explaining the subtleties of working in a big company and this came up as something you need to do if you have or want a leadership position. The thinking goes that the more “up” you go, people will look up to you and ask, “what to do”, “what do you think about this move”, or “how will this affect us”. You can always say “I don’t know” or just stay silent in a crowded meeting where other people will jump in. However, if you want to be seen as a leader, you have to have an informed opinion. People don’t follow individuals who don’t communicate where they’re heading. Read more

If you want to read more, check out the archive.

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