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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I photograph places I visit.

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The secret to success

Q: Tell me the secret to success.
A: Work hard every day.
Q: No, really. Tell me the secret.
A: …

I understand the desire to find a shortcut. Hard work is, well, hard, and we would like to avoid it if possible. Nevertheless, I’m fascinated by this unquenchable desire even though the answer is in plain sight. The dialog from the top is the summary of all Q&A sessions, interviews, and self-help books I’ve heard or read over the years. Hard work is often not sufficient for success, but is a necessary component.

Fancy equipment is not necessary

From Zack Arias’s Photography Q&A:

Why am I not fearful of people who buy a nice camera and suddenly fancy themselves photographers? Because this shit I’m talking about doesn’t come in the box. The camera will never see. The camera has no vision. It’s a f*cking hammer that can’t build a house. It’s a stove that can’t cook. It’s a stupid, stupid, stupid piece of plastic with some metal bits. It’s useless as it sits there in a box. It knows nothing. It does nothing. It sees nothing. The camera is a piece of shit.

His words resonated with me despite the strong tone. I have seen people buy $1500 laptops to learn programming or top of the line archery equipment after shooting only a few arrows. You don’t need fancy equipment to be good at something, especially if you’re just starting out. You can surpass any advantage equipment provides by learning and practicing more. When your skill reaches soaring levels and starts to plateau, then the equipment could make a difference. Olympic athletes, polar explorers, and world-class artisans and professionals need it. Are you there yet?

To drive the point home even further, just look at this guy paint using popsicles.

I am also aware of the emotional side of this dilemma. Sometimes more expensive things look nicer or send a certain message. It’s the looks, right? I get that. Buy the fancy stuff if you can and want to. I am just saying that you don’t have to.

Git workshop 2016

It had been a year and a half since my last public appearance due to personal and professional turn of events. The WebCamp team from Zagreb offered me an opportunity to hold a Git workshop, the one I’ve been successfully doing and improving for the last five years.

Only when I was discussing technical intricacies of Git with twenty participants and seeing how they grasp the inner workings in such a short time, did I remember how much I love to teach.

Stop using isometric mock-ups

If you looked at online portfolios or “inspirational” websites lately, you have probably noticed isometric or skewed mock-ups. It seems they’re the hottest thing at the moment.

I didn’t want to put anyone on the spot, so I created a demo from screenshots of my website. The mock-ups or screenshots are usually skewed and then tiled next to each other.

I have been interviewing job candidates in the last year, and observed isometric mock-ups slowly creep into design portfolios. After giving it enough thought, I can think of only one benefit for presenting your work this way and many drawbacks. Read more

Brutal prioritization

The amount of time a person has in a day is finite. Although such an obvious statement is seldom worth repeating, it became my daily reminder since my son’s birth a couple of months ago.

I’ve lived through time-constrained situations before, but they were never so clear-cut as the current one. For example, if I had 20 things I wanted to do in a month—like exercising, reading, going out, or watching movies—and enough time to do only half of them, I was still able to do a lot. That created an impression that I was on top of things. I could shuffle various activities around and always remove one to make more time for another. I embraced the flexibility and in turn sacrificed some focus. Read more

These were the latest posts. If you want to read more, please explore the archive.

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