Seeking impact, now.

By far, the most effective way I have found to summon useful action is using an impact question. For example: Right now, what can I do that will have the greatest impact on ________________  ( Team / Trust / Quality / …) Right now, what can we stop doing that will have the greatest impact … Read more

Stress or Creative Intensity

“If I am not stressed, I must not be working hard enough.” FALSE. Nobody ever thought me this toxic rule—not directly. But I picked it up early. Maybe you did too. In my case, I was conditioned during my young professional life to feel that if I was not overwhelmed, I was lazy or slacking … Read more

Catching Beautiful Ideas

Right now, I am designing a quite difficult and important user interaction for an application. When I get in this mode, I like to use paper, pencil, and different color pens. It feels like kindergarten again. Pieces of paper spread around my desk and others are taped to the whiteboard and wall. During this creative … Read more

Slowing down is good business

In the software industry we proudly assert that we thrive on change and agility and speed. But I am afraid that — too easily — speed and agility can become a disadvantage. An excuse to be boring and cheap. We can build a McDonald’s in 43 days. A medieval cathedral was often built over 100 … Read more

Fast or accurate?

I remind myself of this quote when I feel pressure (from myself or others) to just ‘go faster’. Fast is fine,but accuracy is final. – Wyatt Earp Wyatt Earp (1848 – 1929) was a true character of the American Old West and reputed to be an expert with the revolver. He was among other things … Read more

2 steps to solve anything

This well-known meme always makes me smile. But wait! There is more! It contains a marvelous piece of wisdom. When stuck, simply break down attacking the problem into two steps. Step 1. A next trivial step. Step 2. Everything else. Then, repeat. Stuck “drawing an owl”? Draw two circles. Done. Then, draw two more circles, … Read more

To-do list nonsense

“I do not do to-do lists anymore … they only accumulate an infinite amount of items and that adds stress …” Manton Reece – Founder of I agree. I think to-do lists can create a false sense of security, or stress, or both.  Yes, writing things down is a necessary step to keep a … Read more

I cannot forget… or the Zeigarnik effect.

When I was a young teenager, I was quite engrossed with a sci-fi book. I was comfortable on the couch reading that book when my dad ‘summoned’ me to come with him to visit some distant acquaintance on the other side of town. I agreed with a good dose of teenager begrudging. I consoled myself … Read more

Invest in the last 10%

Does this sound like nitpicking? Details matter! Simple, visible details that are regularly overlooked create a sort of background “cognitive grinding”. And be sure, this builds up a negative (often subconscious) emotional response from your customer towards your product. Once a customer told me: “if it does not look good on the outside, how can … Read more