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Weekly Inspirations: January 6th, 2017

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Slack’s $2.8 Billion Dollar Secret Sauce

Why ask me about Slack? I run a design agency called MetaLab. You may not have heard of us — we usually work behind the scenes — but I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve used something that we designed. In late 2013, Slack hired us to help them turn their early prototype into a polished product. We did the logo, the marketing site, and the web and mobile apps, all in just six weeks from start to finish. Apart from a few tweaks here and there, much of the product remains unchanged since the day we handed our designs off to the team at Slack.
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What is design operations and why should you care?

There are several ways to parse design operations (DesOps), but probably the most important one is as a way of mapping design work against the mindset and goals of developer operations (DevOps). As one person recently put it to me recently, DevOps was created as a way to remove QA and SysAdmin from the operations equation. Developers owned their own QA as well as given means and authority to deploy their code directly through to the delivery system(s).
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Be Bold. Be Brave. Design.

Just seeing the word causes you to experience a reaction. It may be anxiety, or visions of a horror movie, or instant access to a memory or sensation from a time when you felt terrified. It’s just one word, but it can cause any and all of those reactions within the span of less than 1 second. Fear is one of the most crippling blocks of creative energy. What do we fear? We fear rejection. We fear bad reviews that could spread into negative brand image. We fear client fallout. We fear negative press.
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Should you hire for culture fit?

When you’re putting together a team of people, you should always hire clones of yourself. I’m completely kidding. That’s a terrible idea. If you hire people who are identical to yourself, you’ll wind up with the most boring product ever created, that will likely have a limited reach appeal because it’s catering to one type of person. When you’re putting together a design team, you need to look for a diverse group of problem solvers.
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Design Guidelines.

Design languages (also known as design systems, style guides, visual identities and many more) are documents that help companies build better user experiences and a stronger brand. By collecting them under one umbrella, I wanted to show people how organisations think about design problems and build digital products hence Design Guidelines was born.
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10 Success lessons from Ed Catmull – “Pixar Founder, Disney Legend” for entrepreneurs

Ed Catmull is arguably one of the most talented creative geniuses alive today. He co-founded Pixar (along with Steve Jobs) and when Pixar was acquired by Disney, he became the head of both companies; forever changing and improving Disney’s already incredible animation domination. He is also the author of Creativity Inc. Ed Catmull is well known for his expertise in leadership, particularly when it comes to creative teams.
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BEING LIKED VS. BEING EFFECTIVE

Everyone wants to be liked. Given the choice between being liked or disliked, very few (sane) people would choose the latter. However, where does being liked rank on your list of priorities For some people, it’s at the top of their list. They wouldn’t admit it, but their actions prove otherwise. Keeping the peace, being on the “inside” of a selective peer group, or being considered “a nice person” is of the utmost importance. They avoid any form of conflict, fail to speak truth, and generally blend in with the majority crowd. However, they often do so at the expense of contribution. They are less effective than they’re capable of being simply because they crave perception over progress.
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ALEXA: AMAZON’S OPERATING SYSTEM

The concept of an operating system is pretty straightforward: it is a piece of software that manages a computer, making said computer’s hardware resources accessible to software through a consistent set of interfaces. he end result was one of the most perfect business models ever: commoditized hardware vendors competed to make Windows computers faster and cheaper, while software developers simultaneously made those same Windows computers more capable and harder to leave. And, all along, Microsoft collected a licensing fee that was basically pure profit.
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“Cut out the bullshit” + 5 more innovation support principles

Through designing and delivering different innovation support programs for diverse clients, we summarise some of our learnings from 2 perspectives – what intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs really want/need and what innovation managers should do more of. 6 design principles of good innovation support: “cut out the bullshit”, design an innovation support funnel, escape “idea politics”, provide support at the point of need, create a community of more cocreators and fewer mentors, and write down explicit permissions to play.
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I THOUGHT I HAD A CONFIDENCE PROBLEM. TURNS OUT, I WAS JUST SELFISH.

It was a Tuesday afternoon at work, and I was sitting in a small, dimly lit conference room and across the table from the company’s head of management training. Fidgeting with my pen and swiveling back and forth in my chair somewhat anxiously, I was ready to spill my emotions. What was typically a casual one-on-one meeting soon turned into a soul-searching session. It was a time in my career when I needed some much-needed direction and perspective. I was bumming out over my recent performance and began to lay out an honest (and harsh) self-assessment. “I feel stuck,” I told him. “I’m not feeling particularly awesome at my job. And I’m not progressing as quickly as I want to be. Something is holding me back, but I’m not sure what.” At times during one’s career, it’s common to feel stuck in a rut. But in this case, I felt as if I was swallowed by a sink hole with no way out.
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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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 Nice collaboration between @joeiurato and @rubin415 at @wellingcourtmuralproject #wellingtoncourtmurals #wellingtoncourtmuralproject #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart  Kraken mural from @beaustanton at @thebushwickcollective #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart #thebushwickcollective #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  You can't miss the color and patterns of @davidjunelouf #bushwickcollective #bushwickstreetart #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart  I need to start collecting @findac because I LOVE his work every time I see it. #bushwickstreetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc #streetart #findac #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  One more flashback to the @dface_official egg original hiding spot in the Lower East Side #dface #bigegghunt #bigegghuntny #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc
 Love this piece from Kaffeine at @thebushwickcollective #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart #thebushwickcollective #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  Colorful piece from @joeiurato #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective #thebushwickcollective #joeiurato  Also loved the work I found from @li_hill #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  Spent the morning @thebushwickcollective seeing what was new and good. The massive @dface_official was an easy place to start. #dface #streerart #streetartist #streetartnyc #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  Flashback to the @dface_official #bigegghunt egg on display at Rockefeller Center in NYC. #dface #bigegghuntny #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc #easter #easteregg
 One more part of the Kraken mural from @beaustanton at @thebushwickcollective #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart #thebushwickcollective #bushwickstreetart #bushwickcollective  Also went to Queens today to check out the @wellingcourtmuralproject which is small but has some great work from artists like @eelcovirus #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc #wellingtoncourtmuralproject #wellingtoncourtmurals  One of my two favorite new artists I saw today was @owendippie with his 'Radiant Madonna' with the Virgin Mary holding holding a Keith Haring child suggesting Hering is god. #bushwickcollective #streetartnyc #streetartofficial #streetartist #streetart #owendippie #owendippieart  Thanks to @invaderwashere for the postcard set from his show at @museeenherbe - I think this was literally the only thing I didn't have from the show. #invader #invaderwalls #spaceinvader #spaceinvaderparis #streerart #streetartist #streetartofficial  Happy Easter with our @dface_official egg from the NYC #bigegghunt - it's always great to see all the posts and love this piece gets today. #dface #streetart #streetartist #streetartofficial #streetartnyc #easter #easteregg #bigegghuntnyc #bigegghuntny

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