Five years ago I was living in a small town in Niedersachsen working for a German audio company writing installers and automated test suites for an audio conferencing system. Not the most glamorous work, but I had great colleagues and during my time there I developed a knowledge of sausage that would rival even the most astute charcutier. If you asked me then what I’d be doing in five years, it most certainly wouldn’t have been founding a startup of 20+ people working on tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, raising venture capital, and dealing with the ups and downs of startup life.
But somehow, that’s where I am. In June of 2012 I co-founded Flux with three amazing colleagues from Google X. We started with four people, grew to seven, dropped to three within six months of starting out, and now have surpassed the 20 person mark. We hope to be 30 people by the end of 2014. We’ve raised two rounds of venture capital from top tier firms totalling over $10M, and are working hard to change how people think about and construct the built environment.
“An indicator has value when it’s indicating something. But if it’s not indicating something it shouldn’t be there, it’s one of those funny things, you spend so much more time to make it less conspicuous… And if you think about it, so many of the products we’re surrounded by, they want you to be very aware of just how clever the solution was. When the indicator comes on, I wouldn’t expect anyone to point to that as a feature, but at some level I think you’re aware of a calm and considered solution that speaks about how you’re going to use it, and not the terrible struggles that we as designers and engineers had in trying to solve some of the problems.”—Jonathan Ives
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.”—Annie Dillard
“There’s something in the way time moves through and around a novel, and through us and around us when we are reading it, that is singular to books, that is transcendent, that causes us to rise above the highway, to contemplate time’s passage and its meaning, and to feel its wistful power and wrenching distortions. I think this is truer and more pronounced with novels than with any other form.”—Jess Walters, author of Beautiful Ruins
“An increasingly mechanistic, fragmented, decontextualised world, marked by unwarranted optimism mixed with paranoia and a feeling of emptiness, has come about, reﬂecting, I believe, the unopposed action of a dysfunctional left [brain] hemisphere.”—Iain McGilchrist
“In the early 1950s, the Betty Crocker Company introduced a cake mix so that people could readily make excellent tasting cakes at home. No muss, no fuss: just add water, mix, and bake. The product failed. “The cake mix was a little too simple. The consumer felt no sense of accomplishment, no involvement with the product. It made her feel useless.” Betty Crocker solved the problem by requiring the cook to add an egg to the mix, thereby putting pride back into the activity. Adding the egg gave the act of baking a sense of accomplishment, whereas just mixing water into the cake mix seemed too little, too artificial.”—
Donald A. Norman, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
“I’m super-fascinated by how texting and modern technology have made the early stages of our romantic interactions frustrating—that roller coaster of emotions you go through when you text some girl you are into, asking about dinner. You don’t hear back for hours, and you are going crazy . Then you look on Instagram, and she’s, like, posting a photo of her dog and you’re like, What the fuck? Why are you Instagramming photos of your puppy, you rude piece of shit? Respond to my text!”—Aziz Ansari interviews Aziz Ansari [via annie]. (via librarysciences)
“We reinvent a fake history for ourselves that doesn’t deal with the complexities. That kind of self congratulatory history that passes for heritage keeps us from seeing ourselves and doing better.”—Paraphrased from Little War on the Prairie | This American Life