On logo design

Surprising to many, the subject matter of a logo is of relatively little importance, and even appropriateness of content does not always play a significant role.

This does not imply that appropriateness is undesirable. It merely indicates that a one-to-one relationship between a symbol and what it symbolized is very often impossible to achieve and, under certain conditions, objectionable. Ultimately, the only mandate in the design of logos, it seems, is that they be distinctive, memorable, and clear.

— Paul Rand

A fragile democracy

Speaking with my US friends, I never detect any hint of fear for the current situation of the democratic system. There seem to be some kind of assurance that no matter how dysfunctional this country becomes, it could never backslide or change radically and become, let’s say, Putin’s Russia.

I am deeply worried that’s not the case, and that the constant dysfunction, our lack of attention to basic infrastructure, worker’s rights, human rights and respect for the will of the people (gerrymandering and secret money buying elections) are putting this country at a great danger, the greatest since the War of Independence.

Now worrisome things are happening, things George Washington warned us about:

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension…serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

What can we do to preserve the American democracy?

Why clean data never stays clean

“Many companies implement large ERP systems only to find that the employees have drifted away from the software and back onto spreadsheets. As a result, investment in ERP software, process re-engineering, and training is lost within two years. ERP becomes a huge burden instead of the solution. The system must be configured and the processes need to be reengineered so that they match. If this is done properly, then the ERP system can be used to run the business. It is vital to provide training to employees and to enforce discipline to keep the staff using the software, preventing personnel from reverting back to spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are not integrated and data is not shared or visible to the rest of the company.”

Demers & Sathyanarayanan, 2003; Penn State University SCM 860, 2009

Cargo cultism and design

Cargo cult is defined as a religious movement that exhibit belief in the imminence of a new age of blessing, to be initiated by the arrival of a special “cargo” of goods from supernatural sources—based on the observation by local residents of the delivery of supplies to colonial officials.

If the cargo is expected by ship or plane, symbolic wharves or landing strips and warehouses are sometimes built in preparation, and traditional material resources are abandoned—gardening ceases, and pigs and food stocks are destroyed.

It’s pretty clear to me that in the ridiculous “design gold rush” of late, people from all walks of life with no real understanding of how design is really done expect salvific effects from the hollow repetition of design rituals they maybe have heard about once or twice (usually in an article about Steve Jobs).

I’m concerned about this situation, I’ve seen this kind of attitude before and it never ends well for the category under the spotlight. Failure to deliver miracles is always severely punished in cargo cults.
When is our punishment coming?

The Big Redesign In The Sky

Disclaimer

This article was originally posted by one of the single smartest people in software development known as Uncle Bob on . Sadly his blog seems unreachable and has been for a long time, so I’m reposting the original content in its entirety as a public service. I make no claim I have anything to do with the creation of this article, I’m just preserving it for everybody to read. If you’re not ok with it, please let me know and I’ll take it down. Without further ado, here goes the original article.

The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging.

Many software developers take this to mean that if you have a huge legacy mess in your software you should stop working on it and rewrite it from the ground up.

Continue reading The Big Redesign In The Sky

Focus on Now, forget Later and burn Never

Web startups have to overcome incredible challenges to become successful, the biggest of which is probably figuring out a way to prioritize a seemingly endless list of things you would like to do.

How do you prioritize effectively, balancing the business objectives, consumer expectations and your ability to deliver (resources)? Continue reading Focus on Now, forget Later and burn Never