Heck Yeah! …or no

Derek Sivers - Heck yeah

On May 31st I decided to stop doing large corporate UX projects for good. While I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned and the income I’ve earned from them, it’s time to move on. I want to focus on other projects and do lots more UX career coaching

I’ll continue to blog about UX/UI design as well, but as my interests evolve I’ll also be writing more about entrepreneurship, productivity and personal development. If that doesn’t resonate with you, please go ahead and click away. You should only be here if you feel it’s valuable 🙂

Heck Yeah!

From now on, if I’m going to work on something, it’s gotta be “Heck yeah!” or my default answer is no. This is a lesson I learned from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby and author of Anything You Want. I re-listened to his great book Sunday afternoon while driving home from a weekend road trip to western Massachusetts.

Like me, Derek was an independent musician in the late ’80s and early ’90s playing gigs at colleges and clubs all over the U.S. Unlike me, he made a good full-time living at it and founded CD Baby as a hobby to help his friends sell their CDs online.

Sivers sold the company for $22 million in 2008 and donated almost everything to a charitable trust. That’s someone worth listening to.

Make The Customer Happy

His business philosophy was very simple. “Make the customer happy”. That’s UX Utopia, right? We want users to have an excellent end-to-end experience with our products. If we do everything we can to surprise and delight them, they will stay with our product, tell all their friends and the business will thrive.

That’s the ideal anyway. To do it right takes careful planning and ample time to iterate through a maze of potential design solutions. Unfortunately that’s something many large corporations don’t understand. They want everything done faster with less. Less time, less money, less joy.

It’s a slippery slope that leads to cutting corners and releasing substandard products. And it’s unsustainable long-term, because those companies lose good tech talent to other, more progressive firms that recognize the value of good UX/UI design.

Do Work You Are Proud Of

At the end of the day, any good designer or developer wants and deserves to do work they are proud of. There’s no sense in meeting deadlines just to meet them or put up with lame office politics because you need the money. If you’re not saying “Heck yeah!” to the work you’re doing right now, consider saying no.

Life is too short to settle for less. What are you saying “Heck yeah!” to these days? Let me know in the comments.

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