📖 The Storyteller

📖 The Storyteller

In the end, we'll all become stories. What we did, why we did them, and more importantly, how we made people feel. There's power in leaving stories behind that make people feel happy. Funny stories, sad stories, scary stories, or happy stories. We tell them over and over again to friends, family, colleagues, or coworkers. I hope to fill up my life with enough stories to pass along to others I meet.

✍️ Quote of the week:

Transformation happens when you’re not in control.

🎶 Song of the week:

The Life - Felix Cartal

📖 What I’m reading:

The Courage to be Disliked - by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi

🧠 Top 2 learnings:

😠 The Courage to be Disliked - Society bounds us into this box of how to act and how to look. I once read that the quickest way to be hated by everyone is to try and be liked by everyone. People that follow their own style, music, and looks, are far more free than those that try and fit into a social construct where outsiders tell them what’s cool and what’s hip.

You can see this in pop culture too:

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Rob Siltanon, was used by Apple with their “Think Differently” Campaign.

For me, the second part of my life began when I stopped worrying about what others thought of me. I admire that passion when I see others do it too. I love when a person has a huge anime collection, or Disney obsession, or a love for a certain band or sports team (even if it differs from my own taste). It’s something that they love even when others don’t understand it.

📖 Storytelling - Steve Jobs once said that the most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. You’re being told a story all the time from everywhere. Whether it’s for a better world from a politician, a better lifestyle from a product or service, or a sci-fi alien romantic comedy from the newest streaming platform. When I worked at Apple this was ingrained into me. They didn’t tell us how to use the products, they showed us via stories of people using the product.

Apple doesn’t tell you that their watches have fall detection, they show you a 911 call from an elderly person that lives alone. Puma doesn’t tell you their shoes make you faster, they instead show you Usain Bolt crushing running records left and right.

When I worked at Disney we followed a script that all designers would use to pitch new ideas. It went like this:

Once upon a time, there was ______. Every day, _______. One day, _______. Because of that, ________. Because of that, ________. Until finally, ________.

This helped us craft problem statements, features, solutions, and guest profiles. Here’s how I used it in practice:

  1. Create a hero - you want a character the audience will root for.
  2. Create a clear structure and storyline - you want your audience to focus on the story. Don't deviate.
  3. Create a villain - you want this to be the problem to fix. Something to create tension.
  4. Appeal to emotion - what do you want your audience to feel?
  5. Layer on the drama - when things don’t feel like they can get worse, make it worse.
  6. Climax - what's the tipping point?
  7. Finish with a strong call to action - Nike, just do it.

This was the secret sauce. I would give these a score from 1 to 5. Maybe the hero would be a 5 and the villain was a 2. Designers that scored a perfect 5 on all 6 would get a round of applause.

🖍 Designer thoughts:

Trends - Designers please don’t follow trends. Those are the marketers’ jobs. Design trends come and go. Remember skeuomorphism? What about neumorphism? “Let’s do flat design”. Or how about “isometric illustrations”.  Instead, think about building long-term design systems and visual components that scale with your overall vision. You can build a timeless design that stands the test of time when you start thinking about how your design reflects the brand, mission, and vision, not what’s cool right now.

👴 Dad thoughts

I see my daughter's patience is the same as mine. She’ll try and figure out something and get angry when she doesn’t figure it out. And god help me if I try and help her. You see, my daughter likes to tinker. Meaning she doesn’t want to be shown how to do things, instead she wants to figure it out herself without help from others. This makes for some interesting ways to teach her how to do things like pour her own glass, use a camera, and tie her shoes. The best thing I can do is be by her side and help out when needed. Because that’s what I wanted when I was a kid with that personality.

Have a great week!

📬 PS: Please do reply to this email if you have anything to add / any questions. I quite enjoy replying to comments/emails as a source of procrastination from revision.

📬 PPS: Please hit the <reply> button and let me know what you thought of this email if you have a spare few seconds. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what was useful about it and what could be changed. Thanks <3