How to price a project
“I’ll say, ‘we worked on a project similar to yours and the final cost was [blank]’ I’ve had clients reply ‘that is [blank] times more than it would cost to do [blank]!’ The final blank often being some completely unrelated product relevant only to their business and impossible to compare other than on a pure cost basis. While other clients have said, ‘I don’t think you understand my project, because you are estimating far less than [blank].’ While this is very awkward part of the discussion it is almost always followed by candor. It’s as if once someone starts telling the truth, it opens a door that can’t be closed.”
Is there a secret that sets Stradivarius violins apart from the best instruments made today?
“Science has not provided any convincing evidence for the existence or otherwise of any measurable property that would set the Cremonese instruments apart from the finest violins made by skilled craftsman today. Indeed, some leading soloists do occasionally play on modern instruments. However, the really top soloists – and, not surprisingly, violin dealers, who have a vested interest in maintaining the Cremonese legend of intrinsic superiority – remain utterly unconvinced.”
John Lane: We have lost contact with the beautiful and our society is suffering as a result
“Why is so much modern architecture so nerve-janglingly awful, or just plain dull? What effect does this have on us? We live lives surrounded by functional objects bereft of beauty – when did you last see a house built by a mainstream construction company that was so beautiful that it took your breath away? Have you ever seen a mobile phone so exquisite that you will always treasure it? We have lost our way, and the effects of this separation are all too clear.”
Photos of breast-clouds (SFW)
“Mammatus Clouds, or ‘breast-clouds’, are fascinating formations in the sky, made mostly from the cumulus cloud base. Although they are not a sign that a tornado is about to form, they often accompany tornado-producing storms, or even may be direct byproduct of tornado activity – an aftermath of severe thunderstorms.”
Tim Gunn compares academia to working at Liz Claiborne
“I’ve been living in a rarefied bubble, really, for a total of 29 years. Because we were dealing with theory, we could write our own scenarios, where nothing ever fails and nothing is ever lost in the shipping process. It’s a very different universe.”
Simplicity: “The Ultimate Sophistication”
“Instead of focusing on adding features, design teams should focus on helping users find out what they really need before they purchase. When design teams understand that buyers want to avoid trade-offs, they can use this insight to their advantage…simplicity goes beyond the interface of the product to the decision process surrounding it. We want simple decisions as much as simple products.”
A much shorter code of conduct
The whole thing: “Say everything as if speaking to everyone (because you are). If you must be a jerk, don’t be an anonymous one (because that’s cowardly). Encourage others to abide by this code (because it’s neighborly, plus recursive rules are fun). When others don’t care to abide, ignore them (because they’re not worthy of your time).”
A stream of book covers
“Covers is dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design.”
Impressive recruiting pitch to prospective hires by Red 5
“The fifth opens like a book or a box of software and inside was an iPod Shuffle with my name engraved on it!” [via KH]
Gyre visual debugger
“There are many excellent components in the Rails developer toolchain: Ruby, RubyGems, Rails, Mongrel, Cerberus. But one thing that is missing is a visual debugger. Gyre is an attempt to fill that gap.”
Ryan McMinn speaks about how Unspace works
McMinn discusses why it’s better to hire developers who are musicians, how they give projects space by only working on them three days a week, and more.
Keynote address by Chad Fowler
From MountainWest Ruby Conference 2007. Re: McMinn’s point, Fowler used to be a classical composer.
Buskin’ Bruce Springsteen performs “The River” on a street in Copenhagen