Creative Selection

A small group of people built a work culture based on applying the seven essential elements through an ongoing process of creative selection.

The demo is the self-selecting process (32 to 37).

  • Demo often and open your work to open, honest, and specific feedback.
  • Brainstorming is overrated and usually a waste of time.

“Signing in the Rain”: what Richard did with the Konqueror code from KDE (60 to 66).

  • Maximize impact and minimize distractions by identifying the important - passable - ignorable.
  • Understand what’s important and double down on those.
  • Then spent no time or altogether “fake” the details that won’t add value at the end.

1% inspiration, 99% perspiration (83 to 87).

  • Ideas are nothing without the hard work to make them real.
  • Once something works, we take it for granted. Take the web browser or the lightbulb.

The Page Load Test (4: One Simple Rule).

  • Focus on a single KPI and improve it on each iteration.
  • No feature would merge if it decreased the PLT — no exceptions.
  • Turn this routine into a culture.

Lift as you climb (5: The Hardest Problem).

  • People matter more than programming, or anything else.
  • Manage through example and involvement with the product’s team.
  • Think of Rush drivers’ room when Hunt won over the situation through peer support.

Taste is developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole (183).

  • Developing taste: to go beyond the simple “I like it”, you must develop the judgment of a “refined-like” response. Evaluating actively and finding the self-confidence to form opinions with your gut that you can also justify with your head.
  • Finding balance: search for equilibrium, making the correct choices. On one side, the refined-like response is often a local determination made early in the design process. A single decision made in isolation. Then, once these granular decisions have been incorporated into the whole larger system, they no longer stand-alone. The small-scale contributions must also contribute to a scheme larger than themselves — attempting to create a pleasant and integrated whole.
  • This entire cycle removed the arbitrariness from the taste. It gave taste a purpose, a rationale beyond self-indulgence, an empathetic end.

The intersection between technology and liberal arts.

  • Creative selection: two sides of the same coin — make use of recurrent demos to balance out heuristics (subjective) and algorithms (objective).
  • The seven essential of the Apple development approach:
    • Inspiration: thinking big ideas and imagining what might be possible.
    • Collaboration: working together with other people and seeking to combine complementary skills.
    • Craft: applying skills to achieve high-quality results and always striving to do better.
    • Diligence: enduring the hard work and never resorting to shortcuts.
    • Decisiveness: making tough decisions and refusing to delay or procrastinate.
    • Taste: developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole.
    • Empathy: see the world from other people’s perspectives.
First published on May 01, 2021