Week 10 - 21 December 2019

Tom Hiskey ran a follow up session to the design team retro last week. Honestly, I felt like the last one was pretty disastrous (which I’d run). And this one was much much better - by the end we felt more like a team than before.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on what derailed the first session. I think it was a combo of:

  • Unclear goal for the meeting
  • Lack of preparation on my part
  • The discussion got too abstract - more ‘what is design’ (boring) than ‘what can we do next quarter’ (interesting)
  • But most of all, I think: I was in a bad mood, and I let that infect the tone of discussion.

I’m being slightly self-flagetory, but I do think there’s something to be said for how much genuine excitement can carry things. Someone recently asked an investor that popped in what the most important skill for a founder is. Their reply was ‘being able to weave a good narrative’ - because when you’ve got that you can get the best people, investment, and the rest falls into place.

Anyway - the last session with the design team was a great note to end the year on. It coincided with my one year work anniversary, so I’ve been doing a bit of personal reflection too. I’ve managed to ship a tonne of work, which is in part why I wanted to work for a smaller company like Farewill. I’ve often been stretched thin with the quantity of work, which has led to me being better at quickly identifying small fixes for larger ux problems.

Next year I’m hoping to get better at triaging those problems, and identifying the ones that need a bit more attention. And with those problems I need to get more comfortable with working hard to find the naively obvious solution (Gentry Underwood talks well about this in this podcast). I’m always a little nervous about spending quality time with a problem - because there’s just so much to do. But it’s what separates a good experience from an exceptional one. And let’s be honest, no one is excited to write their will. So it needs to be an exceptional experience.

I found out this week that through an unlikely chain of events I’d managed to get pomelo, a fruit I’ve been repping for years, on the rider of a uk hip hop artist. I’m counting this as my achievement of the year. If you’ve never had a pomelo you should.

Happy Christmas everyone! I’m going to try not to think about work until January. Obviously you should do the same. See you next year.

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