Archive of mantras used thus far. PLEASE EXERCISE UTMOST CAUTION.

Wednesday, March 5 – present

O N  M A S H U P S

On Alchemists

I believe that that sparks, insights and idea cannot be generated in the separate spheres of any field of knowledge. They can only happen in the overlap between those fields of knowledge.

This calls for a type of people that I would call ‘Alchemists.’ Alchemists are people who, by their diversity of knowledge, are able to build better things.

For example, in the field of User Experience, Alchemists are those who knew not only Ethnography, Usability, Design and Programming, but also Baseball, Viniculture, the art of writing great Emails, and all sorts of human endeavors—that are able to engineer products with not only sound logic (Fitts’ Law et al.) and beautiful architecture (code), but also social instinctiveness (graceful gestures.)

On Mashups

Most people think that geeks, designers, and generally all the citizens of the Creative class are just interested in, well, geekery, design, and other creative things. This notion is partly true. Most geeks are in tune with their gadgetry, and most designer worships [insert a mid-century designer / architect / typographer here.]

But to truly succeed, we need to diversify. We must immerse themselves in things that other ‘normal people’ do. It helps when these ‘things’ are closely interrelated—my examples above are Ethnography, Usability, Design and Programming—but it needn’t always be that way; because in diversification, almost anything and everything helps to add to your success.

The point is, if we are to succeed, we need to:

  • Understand the intimate connections between closely related fields of knowledge, and
  • Be men and women of culture, who not only dabble in the things that are related to our fields, but all sorts of human endeavors.

Thursday, January 3 – Tuesday, March 4, when I returned from my long sabbatical

On The Relationship
C R E A T I V E  G R O U P  E T H I C S
&   ‘A - L I S T’   M U S I C I A N S H I P

Eric Clapton:
Be a virtuoso all you want, as long as you know that your first job is to provide the support.

Phil Collins:
Know about what I really wanted before I say “this is what I want.”

Lionel Ritchie:
Say “that’s not our best,” even when I think that it’s already good enough for me.

Billy Preston:
Know “when to put the licks in, and when not to.”

Bob James:
“...sound different from anybody else...have that quirky, individual difference.”

And again from Mr. Ritchie:
Know that you have to to feel the other musician’s energy, not just play ‘correct’ technically. If, at the end of the day, you still have to ask “how did that sound?”, then you’ve missed it.

Wednesday, December 26 – Wednesday, January 2

C R E A T I V E ’ S
  C H R I S T M A S

May your concepts be fresh and strong
Witty remarks be so pronged
Adobe, Apple, every apps
Gives you great haste, never traps

As deadline looms and Finder crashes
O, thy night’s sleep be so precious
Strength shall come, shots of black potion
Client approvals and swift retributions

Font selection simplified
Studio’s ego glorified
More ideation, less brain farts
Next year’s Rosey be your part

Read psychographics, write killer briefs
Stories to tell, reasons to believe
Accounts, Creatives and agency cheers
Thy executions shall lead to free beers

Tuesday, December 18 – Tuesday, December 25

O N   T H E   L I N G U I S T I C S   of   C O M P U T E R   L A N G U A G E S

Confession: I love elegant sites and beautiful codes, but cannot fully comprehend nor tame the simplest of all web building blocks: CSS. This got me thinking; after all, if I could pick up Japanese, English and Bahasa, why couldn’t I pick up CSS for the life of me? After all, aren’t they all ‘language’?

Apparently not.

This is because, so far, computer languages have always been thought of as more closely resembling how-to manuals than real-world languages. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that their teaching methods contain enough lines of code to fog your eye, yet not enough principles to get you started.

People like us (ie. creatives) need to learn computer language as a language, not a how-to manual. A language is organic, subtle and even sloppy at times, a manual is stiff, technical and unforgiving. Geeks and geek publishers should stop teaching us how to read and write & start teaching us how to think and dream in code. Stop the explanation and start the ideation.

In fact, computer languages themselves need to start embracing human linguistic in their concepts and propositions. Ruby was a good start, but we need to move further.”

Saturday, November 8 – Monday, December 17

A   C A L L   for   S O C I A L   S O F T W A R E   E T H N O G R A P H Y

“Most geeks uses a rather mechanistic human-to-human communication models: IM, BBS, message boards and the likes. Problem is, geeks make things like MySpace.

This is why sites like those will ask to do socially inept and clunky things that you would never do in real life, like ‘blocking/adding so and so to your social network.’

There needs to be someone part-ethnographer & part-developer to handle this problem. It’s not called ‘social software’ for nothing.”

Sunday, November 25 – Friday, December 7

Much like design, a belief will benefit from having more critical discussions,
brutally honest dialogues & the ability to laugh and rip itself apart.”

Saturday, November 17 – Saturday, November 24

T H E   G O L D E N   R U L E   of   A D V E R T I S I N G
&   G R A P H I C A L   C O M M U N I C A T I O N

Or, at least, what I thought the Golden Rule should be

“It’s not wrong to have an intention of selling as long as you’re sincere about it.

Intention without sincerity is universally despicable. Sincerity without intention is bad practice.”

Sunday, November 11 – Friday, November 16

S O M E   N O T E S   ON   I N N O V A T I O N

(Pardon the unkerned space between ‘V’ & ‘A’)

“Innovation happens with the things that you already have in your hand. The nature of each individual building block or element of an innovation actually matters less than the relationship between them.

You don’t necessarily need to go all out proving that your innovation rocks the house. Because if it indeed rock, it’ll be good enough to be scalable and extendable.

Pick a good, manageable prototype size and work on it quickly, because you never want to lose the initial mojo/momentum/enthusiasm.”

Sunday, November 4 – Saturday, November 10

“Ruby is to web apps development like Macs were to early digital typefounding and graphic design, in that it allows laymen to put, test and present something out to the world relatively quick and inexpensively. The history of Postmodern Graphic Design is repeating itself in the field of Software Development.”

Site opening – Saturday, November 3

“A brand should deliver killer choruses with an equally beautiful opus.”

Thank you, and good night.