Written on Monday,
March 19th, 2012
It’s somewhat common to write up a synopsis (aka “review” aka “opinion piece” aka “to do list”) of one’s experience after attending some group event with like-minded individuals. While I’d like to say I’m more original than that, I’m not.
A few days ago I arrived in beautiful Greenville (locally pronounced “Greenval” or also “Grnnvl” for those with brevity issues) to attend a small and motivated groups of designers, developers and creator of things for Greenville Grok. For the 99% of you who probably don’t know what a grok is, here’s a definition:
“To grok is to intimately and completely share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity.”
A small group of around 100 of us gathered in groups (which were broken into 4 smaller, randomized groups) where each of us where encouraged (and sometimes coerced) into sharing thoughts and ideas, participating in discussions and broadly finding the pulse of our tidy industry. It was quite unlike any conference (it was really more a rumpus) that I had been to, as it’s not about panels or talks or speeches or having some expert unload his knowledge on you; but instead an active exploration of community thought and encouragement toward the goal of doing something good with what we do.
So, without babbling too much more, here is a list of random and ramblings thoughts and observations I curated from the two days of talking and sharing and communing:
- A group of designers is like a bag of marbles — if let loose you never know where we’ll roll.
- I’m not as afraid of heights as I thought; though at 200ft, on a platform, with 10 other people, swaying in the wind, I’ve never loved hugging a tree more.
- There is an app for that. Always.
- Cleveland is a suck hole for delayed planes.
- A designer is always working on something else — which isn’t to say we aren’t working on what we should. See also, ADD.
- Many designer will dabble with going independent (notice I didn’t use the “F” word that I hate so dearly). After 5 months, 80% will realize it involves a lot more than just design and look for “stable” work.
- The “superstars” in your career aren’t the only one’s with valuable insights. In fact, they barely scratch the surface of knowledge that is attainable through honest conservation.
- The designers effort to find polish can hinder momentum.
- If you’re going to leave your very expensive camera in a restaurant (forget about it until the next morning, and not be able to get it till the next day) then Greenville is the town to do it in.
- We all naturally congregate toward those who are like us. Or better than us.
- I find I have things to say, I’m just not sure it’s worth saying.
- If you’re wondering if you should work on an new idea, you’ve already started.
- Great design doesn’t mean a great idea.
- I regret not exploring a photography career more rigorously. And now I don’t.
- I’m blessed beyond belief to do something, though not without it’s exhaustions and stress and tiresome tasks, I absolutely adore.
- We can’t all be great. We can only strive to do our best.
- Don’t let your insecurity get in the way of growth.
- Everyone has a story. Stop and listen.