In this episode Scott and I talk to two developers who created something phenomenal: they hit a Homerun if you will. In the first story, I talk to David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, partner at 37Signals, and author of Rework about the inspiration and shepherding of Ruby on Rails. In the second story, Scott talks to Dan Bricklin, who in the late 70s and early 80s helped to usher in the computer age, as well as a new industry. Dan is the creator of Visicalc - the first spreadsheet program.
Freud popularised the term, “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, to describe how adjacent villages—identical for all practical purposes—would struggle to amplify their tiniest distinctions in order to justify how much they despised one other. So you have to guess how much he would have enjoyed design mailing lists. And, Perl.
Truth is, to the untrained (un-washed, un-nuanced, un-Paul-Rand’d, and un-Helvetica’d) outsider, discourse in the design community can sometimes look a lot like a cluster of tightly-wound Freudian villages.
So, how is the role of design perceived by the people who are using the stuff you make? What role (if any) should users expect in the process of how their world is made and remade? What contexts might be useful in helping us turn all of our obsessions into useful and beautiful work?
Can an Aeron chair ever be truly ‘Black’? Will there ever be a way to get Marketing people to stop calling typefaces ‘fonts’? And, when, at last, will the international community finally speak as one regarding the overuse of Mistral and stock photos of foreshortened Asian women?
By leveraging his uniquely unqualified understanding of design, Merlin will propose some promising patterns for fording the gap between end-users and the unhappy-looking people in costly European eyeglasses who are designing their world.
Is there hope? Come to Brighton, pull up a flawlessly-executed mid-century-Modern seating affordance, and we’ll see what we can figure out together. One village to another.
Merlin Mann is best known as the creator of 43folders.com, a popular American website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.
Lifetrepreneur and author of the best-selling book, The 14-Second Work Year, Jim Fairness, expands on the principals of “personality jacking.”
Merlin Mann shared his thoughts on creativity and producing creative work in a very popular talk at last year’s MaxFunCon.
Maybe you couldn’t make it in 2009. Well, luckily enough for you, Merlin will be joining us again this year. In anticipation of next week’s podcast, in which Jesse will be talking to him about his upcoming book, we’re sharing the advice he gave at MaxFunCon 2009.
Merlin is great at breaking down the process of making art, or writing, or however you choose to be awesome and helping you think clearly about how you can stop stalling and just get started. So what are you waiting for?
In our first “Workflows” episode we talk with Merlin Mann, or as David calls him, the “Hero of Nerds.” Merlin discussed how he uses his Mac for his work and the applications he uses to be more productive. This extra long episode is packed with geeky goodness.
Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s the creator of 43 Folders, the co-host of You Look Nice Today, a regular guest on MacBreak Weekly, and the author of an upcoming book entitled Inbox Zero.
We discuss figuring out and focusing on your values, a new perspective on productivity, ignoring the lizard brain, doing what you like, rejecting novelty, serving the right audience, Picaso, cognition, action, self-discovery, mindfulness, buddhism, and the new book.