Department of Design
Curated by Timoni West.
Primarily focused on product design, technology, cognitive psychology, and the brain. Also—pretty pictures, sometimes moving.
Why Designers Leave, Julie Zhuo.
I posted this quote not because designers need particular coddling; they don’t. The creative aspirations mentioned above are true for everyone.
I post it instead to illustrate the importance of hiring people who share your product vision. In my experience there is literally no greater deterrent to getting shit done than hiring talented people whose vision for the product does not match your own. You will disagree about features, road maps, priorities, and audiences, and if you are adamant, their resulting work will an uninspired pastiche.
My favorite anecdote from Sandberg’s Lean In. You’ll see the ‘rocket ship’ phrase repeated often on the internet, but not the preceding rationale.
As a technical woman, this is your introduction and the first thing you have to learn is how to get back up and walk right back into a situation where the likelihood of getting punished for participating is one. How you choose to react to this determines the rest of your career in technology. If it’s too painful you’ll retreat to management, if you can tough it out your career will be limited because the very tools you develop to survive have other social consequences.
…Overall it’s awesome to encounter other women because while you grow accustomed to quirks of a room full of men (the jostling, the chest beating, the pissing contests, the egos, etc.), it does get old. When another woman is thrown into that mix, you get to avoid the old script and reevaluate the dynamic so it’s more interesting. However, you and everyone else is accustomed to women in the facilitator manager role, not in the making technical decisions role. Typically your collaborative and directional contributions almost always fare better than your technical contributions. If you pay attention to those social cues, you may start to subtly pull yourself out of the rough and tumble technical decision making and retreat into the facilitation role. If you ignore the social cues, you have to assert yourself aggressively into the technical conversation and take some lumps. If you choose that aggressive path, you wil be even more alone because those likely less technical women in the room with you don’t have the expertise to back you up.
The principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Eventually they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions.
The employee’s incompetence is not necessarily a result of the higher-ranking position being more difficult — simply, that job may be crucially different from the job in which the employee previously excelled, and thus requires different work skills, which the employee may not possess.
Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”.
This person has knowledge specific to a field of work.
This person shows they have the education necessary to be an expert in the field.
This person has the qualifications required to be an expert in the field.
This person has been trained in their area of expertise.
This person is ambitious about their work in the company.
This person can assess whether a work-related situation is important or not.
This person is capable of improving themselves.
This person is charismatic.
This person can deduce things from work-related situations easily.
This person is intuitive in the job.
This person is able to judge what things are important in their job.
This person has the drive to become what they are capable of becoming in their field.
This person is self-assured.
This person has self-confidence.
This person is outgoing.
From the Wikipedia article about experts
Bill Buxton, Innovation Calls For I-Shaped People - BusinessWeek