Ten Rules of Success

This was originally from a talk that Adam Savage gave at Boing Boing: Ingenuity over the weekend, it was being passed around the office as something that we have been striving for here at MAKE recently. Wanted to share, as a reminder of what I should be striving for.

  1. Get good at something

    Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things.

  2. Getting good at stuff takes practice.

    Lots and lots of practice.

  3. Get OBSESSED.

    Everyone at the top of their field is obsessed with what they’re doing.

  4. Doing something well and thoroughly is its OWN reward.

  5. Show and Tell.

    If you do something well and you’re happy with it, for FSM’s sake, tell EVERYONE.

  6. If you want something, ASK.

    If something piques your interest, tell someone. If you want to learn something, ask someone, like your BOSS. As an employer, I can tell you, people who want to learn new skills are people I want to keep employed.

  7. Have GOALS.

    Make up goals. Set goals. Regularly assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of them. This is a kind of prayer that works, and works well. Allow for the fact that things will NEVER turn out like you think they will, and you must be prepared to end up miles from where you intended.

  8. Be nice. To EVERYONE.

    Life is way too short to be an asshole. If you are an asshole, apologize.

  9. FAIL.

    You will fail. It’s one of our jobs in life. Keep failing. When you fail, admit it. When you don’t, don’t get cocky. ‘Cause you’re just about to fail again.

  10. WORK YOUR ASS OFF.

    Work like your life depends on it…

via Adam Savage’s Ten Rules for Success

Butterick’s Practical Typography

If that’s im­pos­si­ble, you can still make good ty­pog­ra­phy with sys­tem fonts. But choose wise­ly. And nev­er choose Times New Roman or Arial, as those fonts are fa­vored only by the ap­a­thet­ic and slop­py. Not by ty­pog­ra­phers. Not by you.

Delightful site with the promise that, (a)s you put these five rules to work, you’ll no­tice your doc­u­ments start­ing to look more like pro­fes­sion­al­ly pub­lished material.

via Butterick’s Practical Typography.

Mastering the Craft

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“No, it doesn’t bother me. If the customer orders Pappy and can talk about fine whiskey, I’ll pour Pappy and talk about fine whiskey. But if the customer orders a Captain and Coke, I’ll make the best Captain and Coke I can.”

This guy is truly a master of his craft. He knows all the technical details of the domain, and is creative enough to invent fantastic drinks. But beyond all that, most importantly, he knows that barcraft is fundamentally about giving the customer what they want. My friends and I wanted to talk about high end bourbon. Brody McBroderson wanted to get hammered.

The true master obliges both.

via Ted Dziuba — Mastering the Craft.

In Head?Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

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So many good things about hiring and personnel in this article with  Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google.

Q.Other insights from the data you’ve gathered about Google employees?

A. One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation. Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything.

And on leadership/management:

On the leadership side, we’ve found that leadership is a more ambiguous and amorphous set of characteristics than the work we did on the attributes of good management, which are more of a checklist and actionable.

We found that, for leaders, it’s important that people know you are consistent and fair in how you think about making decisions and that there’s an element of predictability. If a leader is consistent, people on their teams experience tremendous freedom, because then they know that within certain parameters, they can do whatever they want. If your manager is all over the place, you’re never going to know what you can do, and you’re going to experience it as very restrictive.

Via: CORNER OFFICE: LASZLO BOCK In Head?Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

How Maker Faire is using WordPress

I gave a flash talk at the WordPress.com VIP Developer Workshop a few weeks ago about how we are using WordPress for Maker Faire. Over the last few months, we have built a fairly robust tool for generating applications, scheduling events, and managing all of the data for the Maker Faire app, all using WordPress.