Ideas Drained, Words Dried

I dread the feeling of helplessness.

The feeling of not knowing what to do, or if help will ever arrive. The sinking feeling.

I’m familiar with this feeling. It has happened many times before and I’m sure it will come again. It’s not pleasant. I detest this feeling.

It’s like going on a run after a long hiatus – your mind tells you to move forward but your legs or lungs (or both?) are unwilling. In this situation, the only way is to run more. It sucks not being able to cover the distance you used to run with ease. But that’s what you get from not doing this activity for a prolonged period of time. Your body and mind gets accustomed to this break. Getting them to resume to where they once were isn’t like a flick of the switch. Sometimes, you have to caress them and trust that things will eventually work out.

Putting one foot in front of the other, that’s how marathons get completed.

Writing one word after another. That’s what I’m doing now.

It’s really a struggle to type the opening paragraphs. It really feels like a ton of steel weighing down on my fingers as I typed. Deprived of ideas, the sense of free-flowing writing deserted me. In actual fact, they didn’t left me. I left them. I stopped writing – first daily, then weekly, and then abandoning this site altogether. Where I once have more ideas than time to write, I now can’t string two sentences together without feeling awkward. I had the entire week to me but I didn’t have any interest to write at all.

Looking at my earliest writings, I wondered if I really wrote those pieces. They won’t win any awards or get into any publications, but I felt great re-reading them. Honest, full of character and must importantly, they’re a reflection of me.

I had a voice and I was happy to share with the world.(Even if the world isn’t listening)

The two most beautiful sensations 5 years ago were running and writing. They’re still attractive, but their beauties have diminished tremendously in place of others. I seek to rediscover this feeling by running more and writing more.

Not rocket science, I know. This post serves as an accountability keepsake. So the future me will look back and say “Yes! This is the post that reignite his interest in reviving this site.” Or he could think “Man, he really should’ve given up and dig a hole and never see anyone in the eye.”

I still hold on to the belief that to write clearly is to think clearly. My head has been muddled for some time now. I felt it’s starting to clear up, ever so slightly. Maybe, I’ll have a chance to surface up for fresh air and take in new perspective.

So, Hola! It’s nice getting this out of my head and chest.

The Whimsical Chimp

For a brand that doesn’t take itself seriously, MailChimp could be in any business. They make the mundane fun, and they happen to be in the business of email automation.

They live to their values of being approachable and easy-to-use. Most importantly, MailChimp feels like a service with human touch – friendly (sometimes a little too much), and it the chimp seems like someone you’d grab a drink with (not that I would).

Misspelling or typos are not uncommon, even for a name as unique as MailChimp. The section Did You Mean is their take on what their business could be like if you misspelled their name.

And it’s not just this, most of their marketing campaigns are awesome too.

David Hieatt on Do One Thing Well

Recently, I’m obsessed with listening to talks by Hiut founder David Hieatt. When the Do Open book arrived 2 weeks back, I gobbled it down in record time.

Titbits of wisdom that are actionable. On the whole, making an awesome newsletter isn’t too different from making an awesome jeans – show that you care.

In the latest episode on Monocle, he shares the secrets of building brands that last and being involved in purpose-driven businesses.

Listen to it here: The Entrepreneurs on Monocle

Michael Bierut: How To Design a Library

Michael was asked to fill up the white space between the bookshelves and the ceiling. So, he asked his photographer wife to take pictures of kids in the school and put them up.

Result? It sets off a chain reaction from turning it into a more inclusive and human space, to how a librarian reminded herself that’s the reason why she comes to work every day.

Unintended consequences can sometimes be the best consequences.


LEGO: Imagination Knows No Boundaries

Though I never grew up playing LEGO, I’ve a soft brand for the brand. These little bricks can build a giant pyramid. The amazing things we can assemble is limited only by our imagination.

Also, I enjoy looking at people playing with them to see what they are building rather than the finished work.


iPhone: 10 Years On

In my hand is an immaculately designed iPhone that has been refined, polished, then further refined and polished over the years.

My first iPhone was a iPhone 5. I still remember the stellar first impression when I first held it. It opened up a world of possibilities and discoveries, just like it did for millions of people around the world.

In 2007, the first iPhone was launched. 10 years on, let’s reflect on the impact this nifty device has on our lives.

How the iPhone Was Born: Inside Stories of Missteps and Triumphs
The part where Scott Forstall shared how they enabled people to type with great accuracy on the software keyboard is a tremendous insight.

Perfect Ten
I still missed the showmanship of Jobs’ presentation, his single-mindedness in pursuit of perfection, his belief in simplicity, and his taste in timeless design. Looking back now, iPhone does indeed changed the world.

iPhone: The bet Steve Jobs didn’t decline
15 challenges facing Apple, and each of those is enough in its own right for Apple not to create the iPhone. But in true Apple style, the immense adversity strengthen its resolve to develop a world-changing product.

The Ubiquitous IKEA Bag

The ubiquitous IKEA bag — we’ve seen it everywhere and use it for everything.

Just the other day, our regular courier guy came over to the office to with a well-worn IKEA bag to collect our parcels.

It’s functionality and versatility at its best. Rugged and durable, it can pretty much handle anything you throw at it.

So, to give this blue bag the recognition it deserves, watch this short advertisement.

(via Co.Design)

Clean Laundry Improves Attendance Rates

To kids, how their friends see them is important. Their words carry weight.

So, to be seen as unkempt affects their self esteem and confidence — to the extend that they miss school.

To combat this, Whirlpool setup an initiative with the simple act of laundry.

Land Heritage

Land Heritage was founded just after the Second World War by Somerset farmer Hugh Flatt who was increasingly struck by how disconnected people had become from the land and from food production.

London-based Together Design created this symbol to illustrate the charity’s love of the land.

It’s not in use today, unfortunately — Land Heritage merged with the Paget Estate and the Soil Association in 2007 to form the Land Trust.

Still, a memorable, fitting idea.

(via Logo Design Love)