A Convergence of Convergences (sample above)
McSweeney’s collects convergences, “an unlikely, striking pair of images, along with a paragraph or three exploring the deeper resonances.”
How to become happier
“Happiness is not the shallow state of feeling pleased and chipper all the time. Happiness is the state of a human being that has achieved cross-level coherence within herself, and between herself and the people, challenges, and institutions around her. Happiness comes from between.”
Interview with book cover designer Peter Mendelsund
“One of the things that I find most people misunderstand about cover design on ‘the outside’ is that so much of what happens is determined editorially, or in a marketing meeting. You try your best, but at the end of the day, most things are not going to turn out the way you liked. That’s why it behooves one to do a high volume of work. The law of averages suggests that you’ll end up with something to be proud of amongst the dreck at the end of the day.” [via JK]
Paul Graham: Six principles for making new things
“I like to find (a) simple solutions (b) to overlooked problems© that actually need to be solved, and (d) deliver them as informally as possible, (e) starting with a very crude version 1, then (f) iterating rapidly.”
A bad business plan will trump good design
“I just think it’s odd — and slightly disingenuous — of the champions of design strategy to fall silent when it comes to the failure of a company that’s very good at practicing it. Surely, if the roles were upended here, if it was Yahoo who was the dominant player, we would be regularly extolling the virtues of Yahoo’s design expertise. Perhaps we can’t expect design to save failing companies, but if not then perhaps we should be more judicious in talking up how design can make companies successful, too.”
Let the code speak for itself
“It’s hard to restrain metadata addiction once it begins creeping into a project, a team, or an organization…I think we can learn some lessons from code-commenting: don’t try to model everything! You need to step back and let the code speak for itself.”
Don’t make me talk
“If your pricing requires a call from a sales rep, it’s too expensive for me right now. And I don’t mean whatever your monthly/yearly subscription fees are, or the licensing cost. What I mean is that I don’t run my business using the telephone. For now, if we need to talk on the phone, I’m not the right customer for you.”
SmugBlog on the S3 outage
“Amazon’s communication about this has been terrible. It took far too long to acknowledge the problem. Fixing a major problem can take forever, which is understandable, but communicating with your customers should happen very rapidly. Amazon’s culture, internally, is very customer focused, so this is a strange anomaly. I will definitely lean on them some about it, and everyone who was affected should rightfully howl too.”
FancyZoom 1.1 (used on the new Backpack marketing site)
“This much-requested chunk of Javascript to zoom images inline, originally written for this blog but later rolled out to the Panic website and used for screenshots, is now polished up, bug-fixed, available for you to use on your website! Designed to view full-size photos and images inline without requiring a separate web page load, FancyZoom’s raison d’être (French for “raisin-determination”) is providing a smooth, clean, truly Mac-like effect, almost like it’s a function of Safari itself.”
The evolution of tech company logos
“You’ve seen these tech logos everywhere, but have you ever wondered how they came to be? Did you know that Apple’s original logo was Isaac Newton under an apple tree? Or that Nokia’s original logo was a fish? Let’s take a look at the origin of tech companies’ logos and how they evolved over time.”