Why companies (and specifically startups) need to put their customers first, and stop torturing themselves by emulating Steve Jobs. Here’s an excerpt of a post I wrote last week for Medium.
“Steve Jobs is an impossible act to follow — this type of human comet only comes around every 100 years or so.”
Full disclosure, I worked at Apple for four years. I now run my own UI/UX design firm that works primarily with startups and Fortune 50 companies.
Since leaving Apple, I’ve worked with many startups. I’ve found that people who run and work for startups are generally bright and hard-working. Passionate about their companies. You can’t help but admire these folks, and I absolutely love working with most of them. But, ever since Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs came out a trend has reared its somewhat ugly head. This trend deserves a Jesus-inspired hashtag: #WhatWouldSteveDo. My thinking is not new — some of my colleagues in the design industry are on record about how the Isaacson book has made our job both easier and more difficult at the same time. Easy, in that “design first” has become a practice that many startups now follow in earnest. Difficult in that “customer first” has fallen to benchwarmer status. On the team but no longer a starter.
Building A Faster Horse
I was witness to the beginnings of #WhatWouldSteveDo. At an Apple town hall meeting, Steve, in answering an employee’s question about involving customers, uttered the following Henry Ford saying,
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”
A poster-worthy saying if nothing else. Nonetheless, that quote vibrated out to the design and business world immediately. Many companies (and especially startups) took this quote literally: see, Steve Jobs doesn’t follow his customers, so we’re going to go with our guts as well, and MVP the hell out of our products. However, if I were ever asked by a startup founder what I thought about the “Faster Horse” quote, I would lead with a slight jab,
But didn’t Ford also manufacture the Edsel — the worst car failure ever?
To read the full article, go here…
On her blog, Cycles Lady, Alena Chendler captures the ultra-chic bike-riding ladies of Moscow. I just want to see what these stylish women wear in the harsh winter. Hat tip to Cycle Love.
“There are more and more beautiful bicycles in Moscow, and the girls who ride them are more daring in their outfit. They’re not scared of wearing heels, skirts or dresses. The bicycle is a perfect, beautiful form of transport for the city.”
– alena chendler
View more pictures from Moscow’s Bicycle Riding Fashionistas after the jump below…
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Not a big deal, if you’re not into Tumblr and its millions of blogs. But to have a post make the Tumblr Radar…well let’s just say we’re kinda of a big deal here. Best of all…this post is Bay Area related: new eastern span of the Bay Bridge just opened yesterday after 12 years of construction, and at a cost of $6.4 billion.
“I’d like to thank the Academy, all my Tumblr followers, my agent, my first wife, my dealer, half-naked Michael Jordan, full-on-naked Jane Fonda…”
Besides the amazing builders and craftsman I get to cover here on a daily basis, I have learned to have the utmost respect for photographers. They make this site infinitely better than it could ever be on its own. I can’t thank you all enough.
In the arena of speed and sport, photographers are the workhorses who sweat every detail to capture those perfect, and imperfect slices of time. I’ve finally gotten around to building a user-friendly page for everyone to find these pros – and you should.
Visit the new photography page…
Some of the of photographers we’ve been fortunate to work with in the past…
Michael Alan Ross
True Bike Spirit
Good news! Ezra got himself a splint from the NYHQ. Very nice!
The nice folks at NYHQ made me not one, but two gutter splints yesterday (I turned down a third.. no joke).
One for full support, and one for playing pool and cooking.
They were wonderfully accommodating. All my gratitude.
Now. Off to play some pool, and see how well it works.
(getting that cast off is like getting out of jail.. man oh man.)
This is heartbreaking – bike builder Ezra Caldwell (whose story we’ve told here) is in stage IV metastatic rectal cancer. Tragically he broke his arm (along with separating his shoulder) on a bike ride last weekend. He needs an orthopedic surgeon who is willing to plate his ulna. If you are a bike-loving orthopedic surgeon, living in the New York area, please contact Ezra as soon as possible.
From Ezra: So here’s the deal. I’m having real trouble finding the humor in this. The discomfort is a non issue compared to the lack of function. Right now, the things that bring me pleasure in life are riding mountain bikes, playing pool, making things, and cooking in the evening for my little family. These are the things that keep me from going off the rails. They are the things that make it seem to me that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Without those things, and none of them are things that I can do with a long arm cast, I’m afraid that the days are going to start feeling pretty long. I was awake for a good portion of the night last night. All I came up with was playing darts.
I’m not looking for suggestions. In fact, please don’t make any.
What I AM looking for is an orthopedic surgeon who is willing to plate my ulna so that I can loose the cast, and even if I am not able to do any weight bearing I WILL at least be able to cook and play pool.
An extraordinary rally that’s been a tradition for nine years. This year’s Going To The Sun Rally will be held in the Napa of the North. Rally director Patrick Bryson sits down with Chet Parsons to go over the details of this special event.
Photography by Will Brewster
A primary component of what makes the automobile such a passionate pursuit is the experience of a great drive. A great drive has become something of a rarity, though, especially if one wishes to drive something vintage, and perhaps worth quite a bit of money. It would be a rare sight to see a restored Jaguar E-Type mixing it up in rush hour traffic. While it may be less uncommon to see such a car cruising up Highway 1 from Carmel to Monterey, would that truly constitute a great drive?
What about cruising through the Northern Rocky Mountains from Montana into central Canada on scenic mountain roads with little or no traffic? Sounds like a perfect place to exercise your vintage car in a way that might otherwise be highly improbable.
If you have an appropriate vintage car, manufactured prior to 1973, and think this sounds like a perfect way to spend six days in September, let me introduce you to my friend Patrick Bryson and the Going To The Sun Rally. Now in its ninth year, the Going To The Sun Rally is similar to other vintage rallies held across the country, but offers the wide-open roads and spectacular scenery of Montana, its neighboring states, and Canada. It was organized as a non-profit, and has donated over $400,000 to local Montana charities. Patrick has served as rally director, and currently assists in the planning and running of the event. He was kind enough to sit down with me and share what makes this event so special.
“In past years, the rally has seen everything from a Citroen DS Convertible to Ferrari Daytonas and Lamborghini Miuras. Plenty of Porsches, some American muscle cars, and more will round out the forty-car group, meaning a diverse group of drivers and passengers with whom to share the experience.”
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We started out with nothing in mind except a love of speed, sport and design, and wanting to tell the story of those who shared our obsession. We just opened our online store – showcasing artists, designers and craftsman whose work has stopped us dead in our tracks.
One of the artists we’ll be featuring is Alberto Hernandez. Alberto is one of the creatives we knew we had to have in our store. A master of his craft – Alberto has worked with an impressive line-up, including Moal Coachbuilders, Arlen Ness, So-Cal Speed Shop and The Petersen Automotive Museum.
“Every time I visit Alberto’s studio I come away learning something. His knowledge of of design is encyclopedic. His passion undeniable. He’s a designer’s designer, and we’re really excited that he’ll be showcasing and selling his work here at our store for the very first time anywhere. ”
Other artists and objects that we will be showcasing.
For Robert Carter’s photos, we’ll be working with local printing craftsman Brad Boca of Candela Fine Art Printing. Using a high-quality process: Piezography. The results are like nothing I’ve ever seen. And we think it’s a perfect match for Robert’s iconic photos.
Piezography is a unique process that uses 7 shades of inks (ranging from black to very light gray) instead of standard Epson or Canon black and white printing solutions (which typically use 3-4 shades of ink).
Piezography prints offer the highest resolution and most subtle tonal range of any black and white process. We use a custom blend of warm and selenium toned inks for a beautiful, subtle split-toned look. Piezography gloss prints are the best replacement for the discontinued darkroom papers of the 1970s. For matte printing on cotton rag papers, Piezography resembles the platinum/palladium process, with softer blacks and highlights than fiber prints.
1970 Alpha Romeo Montreal – 1/18 Diecast Model
Saniglass Aviator Goggles
Vintage Breitling Pupitre Chrono
Fender 3:08 PM :: Megadeluxe Editions
Vintage Meister Anker Chronograph
“Megadeluxe started with the mission of covering speed and the sporting life. To shine a light on the artists and craftsman who bring the best to their work everyday. We’ll be working with these artists and craftsman to showcase their stellar work. Another focus of our store will be one-of-kind finds. Objects that have a certain tested pedigree & patina – ‘perfect imperfections’ is what we like to call it around here.”