The sale

I'm glad Dustin Curtis is back to a regular writing routine. We need more thought-provoking ideas like his, even if we end up disagreeing with them; it's important to clash with our own beliefs now and then to see if they can stand the hit.

I recently read his piece called The Best, where he tells a story about how survival led him to depend on the very best of each item he carried, and how the time it takes to find the very best of something, while unreasonable, is actually worth it. Here's Curtis quoting Sori Yanagi, a Japanese product designer:

Things that are easy to use survive, regardless of what is fashionable, and people want to use them forever. But if things are created merely for a passing vogue and not for a purpose, people soon get bored with them and throw them away. The fundamental problem is that many products are created to be sold, not used.

This is striking on so many levels, but most importantly it's a huge mantra for the work you do and who you become (and how others perceive you) by being the one who shipped that work.

It's not ok to just create something to be sold; success comes from the ones who actually use it. So that strategy or that design is not truly a success because you got the client's approval; it's a success because people started using it for a specific pre-determined objective.

And people, like products, are also not just made to be sold. We're not talking about mere commodities, but enhancers of daily life. Products because they are supposed to help us do something better, faster, cheaper. People because they we exist to make things work the way they should. Or to think of better ideas and craft better products to help us do it. It's all connected.

Focusing on just the sale is not enough because it doesn't mean you're the best. It just means you sold something. Sure, the sale is important, but it's more important to sell something worth using. Not some worthless fashionable crap.

Work your ass off and be the very best you can. Focus on easiness, not just fashion. The sale will come.