1. Creative people usually fear money — because if often brings out greed, and greed inevitably leads to one’s loss of integrity. So when I visited with Paul Rand at his studio in 1995 and he advised me, Yoda-like, to … “make lots of money” — I was initially perplexed. Rand went on further to explain that his point was made not in the context of greed, but based upon his pragmatic desire to live and express freely. He had lived for 81-years and come to the conclusion that most of the work he loved to do, didn’t make any money; whereas much work that he didn’t really want to do, could make money. So he would do things he didn’t like to do, as a way to fund what he truly loved to do.
Rand’s simple wisdom speaks the truth in the life of a creative. It is a way to re-connect with one’s artistic integrity, while living realistically in a world where you may not have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
A creative loves to own the complete responsibility and accountability for their work — and thus being paid for it, or paid to do it, removes some of that ownership. Mind you, professional designers love the constraints that they are given by their clients, and execute what they can fully own as their designs and still have integrity. But such enabling clients are not always the case, and inevitably there are moments where to make ends meet you have to let go.
I’ve seen that many people look for the intersection of what they love and what they can get paid to do. That overlap certainly can happen, and when and if it does — I say go for it! But generally in life, those two circles don’t so often intersect, and you can spend your entire life trying to live at the intersection. Or you can live pragmatically, like Rand professed. One example he gave me was his beloved book Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art, printed in 4-colors — which was at the time quite costly for the publisher to invest in — so he paid for the printing himself so that the book could be presented in color. Money gave him the necessary freedom to do what he wanted to do. And to have it his way.
Rand drove an old, beat-up Toyota Corolla. So it’s important to note that the definition of “lots” of money is all relative and arbitrary. On that day, Rand gave me half a nectarine along with this little bit of wisdom about money to me. I keep the nectarine pit to remember that moment where he shared his thoughts about creative work and freedom from financial constraints by acknowledging … the financial constraints in which we live. The thought rests with me in that same sour, sweet way that nectarines do … -JM

    Creative people usually fear money — because if often brings out greed, and greed inevitably leads to one’s loss of integrity. So when I visited with Paul Rand at his studio in 1995 and he advised me, Yoda-like, to … “make lots of money” — I was initially perplexed. Rand went on further to explain that his point was made not in the context of greed, but based upon his pragmatic desire to live and express freely. He had lived for 81-years and come to the conclusion that most of the work he loved to do, didn’t make any money; whereas much work that he didn’t really want to do, could make money. So he would do things he didn’t like to do, as a way to fund what he truly loved to do.

    Rand’s simple wisdom speaks the truth in the life of a creative. It is a way to re-connect with one’s artistic integrity, while living realistically in a world where you may not have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth.

    A creative loves to own the complete responsibility and accountability for their work — and thus being paid for it, or paid to do it, removes some of that ownership. Mind you, professional designers love the constraints that they are given by their clients, and execute what they can fully own as their designs and still have integrity. But such enabling clients are not always the case, and inevitably there are moments where to make ends meet you have to let go.

    I’ve seen that many people look for the intersection of what they love and what they can get paid to do. That overlap certainly can happen, and when and if it does — I say go for it! But generally in life, those two circles don’t so often intersect, and you can spend your entire life trying to live at the intersection. Or you can live pragmatically, like Rand professed. One example he gave me was his beloved book Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art, printed in 4-colors — which was at the time quite costly for the publisher to invest in — so he paid for the printing himself so that the book could be presented in color. Money gave him the necessary freedom to do what he wanted to do. And to have it his way.

    Rand drove an old, beat-up Toyota Corolla. So it’s important to note that the definition of “lots” of money is all relative and arbitrary. On that day, Rand gave me half a nectarine along with this little bit of wisdom about money to me. I keep the nectarine pit to remember that moment where he shared his thoughts about creative work and freedom from financial constraints by acknowledging … the financial constraints in which we live. The thought rests with me in that same sour, sweet way that nectarines do … -JM

  2. Albert Lee is co-founder of MyFitnessPal which is an app (and way of life) that enables you to lose weight. That sounds a bit hard to believe — that a mobile app can help you lose a few pounds — but their data shows that people don’t just lose a few ounces, but a few pounds. In some cases tens of pounds! And having known a former colleague who lost tens of pounds just with his FitBit (and a ton of will power), I personally know that it can be done. -JM

    Albert Lee is co-founder of MyFitnessPal which is an app (and way of life) that enables you to lose weight. That sounds a bit hard to believe — that a mobile app can help you lose a few pounds — but their data shows that people don’t just lose a few ounces, but a few pounds. In some cases tens of pounds! And having known a former colleague who lost tens of pounds just with his FitBit (and a ton of will power), I personally know that it can be done. -JM

  3. Wayne Sutton is an entrepreneur and writer who brings his broad background in consumer/enterprise technologies to Silicon Valley from his native North Carolina. He regularly posts on entrepreneurship for the WSJ, with one of his most popular posts on the “Building Mindset” right here. -JM

    Wayne Sutton is an entrepreneur and writer who brings his broad background in consumer/enterprise technologies to Silicon Valley from his native North Carolina. He regularly posts on entrepreneurship for the WSJ, with one of his most popular posts on the “Building Mindset” right here. -JM

  4. We held our 10th Designer Dim Sum in San Francisco on Sunday, building off of our previous Dim Sums (here is a link to our ninth). Thanks to Kevin Hale, Wayne Sutton, Nicholas Chim, Ronald Meaux, Seth Hunter, Osandi Robinson, Patrick Barry, Peter Cho, Tiya Tiyasirichokchai, Randall Hom, George Arriola, and my KPCB partners Jackie Xu and Anjney Midha for coming out! -JM

    PS. All past dim sums can be browsed here.

  5. Matt MacQueen leads design at Coursera where I just visited last week to talk about design, technology, and higher education. Tom Willerer is certainly putting an A-list team together there — it’s nice to see design being adopted into the core of the future of how college students (of any age) might get the benefit of what a university education can do for them. -JM

    Matt MacQueen leads design at Coursera where I just visited last week to talk about design, technology, and higher education. Tom Willerer is certainly putting an A-list team together there — it’s nice to see design being adopted into the core of the future of how college students (of any age) might get the benefit of what a university education can do for them. -JM

  6. Diego Rodriguez pens the popular Metacool blog and has launched the new Kingship podcast on designing the future. He’s also a partner at IDEO, prof at the d-school, and EIR at HBS among many other roles that aggressively blur the lines between design, engineering, and business. -JM

    Diego Rodriguez pens the popular Metacool blog and has launched the new Kingship podcast on designing the future. He’s also a partner at IDEO, prof at the d-school, and EIR at HBS among many other roles that aggressively blur the lines between design, engineering, and business. -JM

  7. The designers at Party don’t really party (in contrast with their name) but as a world renowned digital media troupe based in Japan, they’ve definitely made the world felt party-ous. They’ve done everything from dance floors, show rooms, TV commercials, microsites, arrays of cameras, dancing sperms, and you name it: they’ve party-ed it. Their new NY office is certain to bring something unexpected and delightful. -JM

    The designers at Party don’t really party (in contrast with their name) but as a world renowned digital media troupe based in Japan, they’ve definitely made the world felt party-ous. They’ve done everything from dance floors, show rooms, TV commercials, microsites, arrays of cameras, dancing sperms, and you name it: they’ve party-ed it. Their new NY office is certain to bring something unexpected and delightful. -JM

  8. Jake Barton is principal and founder of NY-based Local Projects, which created the media design for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum among many, many, many other iconic site-specific works that feel literally “monumental.” Jake has shown the world how to integrate dynamic content, audience participation, and digital wizardry with an unparalleled human touch. If you ever have a chance to visit a Local Projects installation, go!! It will not disappoint. -JM

    Jake Barton is principal and founder of NY-based Local Projects, which created the media design for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum among many, many, many other iconic site-specific works that feel literally “monumental.” Jake has shown the world how to integrate dynamic content, audience participation, and digital wizardry with an unparalleled human touch. If you ever have a chance to visit a Local Projects installation, go!! It will not disappoint. -JM

  9. Kanyi Maqubela is Partner at Collaborative Fund — a seed fund based in NYC that empowers creative entrepreneurs. If you just google Collaborative Fund you can see that they’ve been terrific disruptors in the seed investment space, and have most recently made waves with their new late stage fund Alignment Holdings. It was great to meet Kanyi by chance in the Ace NY lobby … and I think I might have inadvertently pulled Kanyi out of a meeting with another person I’ve always wanted to meet — Hunter Walk — who I only know by his Twitter avatar. There are so many people to learn about in design and venture, so this all truly remains a design adventure. -JM

    Kanyi Maqubela is Partner at Collaborative Fund — a seed fund based in NYC that empowers creative entrepreneurs. If you just google Collaborative Fund you can see that they’ve been terrific disruptors in the seed investment space, and have most recently made waves with their new late stage fund Alignment Holdings. It was great to meet Kanyi by chance in the Ace NY lobby … and I think I might have inadvertently pulled Kanyi out of a meeting with another person I’ve always wanted to meet — Hunter Walk — who I only know by his Twitter avatar. There are so many people to learn about in design and venture, so this all truly remains a design adventure. -JM

  10. Albert Lee is Founder and Managing Partner of All Tomorrows in NYC — a design and technology product studio dedicated to creating tools and services that unlock human potential. He was previously the Managing Director in IDEO’s New York office, and with that experience in hand, Albert has a unique combination of design and business skills that will likely set him apart (positively) in the coming years. With the team he’s gathered at AT, Albert seeks to achieve meaningful outcomes in greater wellness for society — you really can’t argue with that as a plan. -JM

    Albert Lee is Founder and Managing Partner of All Tomorrows in NYC — a design and technology product studio dedicated to creating tools and services that unlock human potential. He was previously the Managing Director in IDEO’s New York office, and with that experience in hand, Albert has a unique combination of design and business skills that will likely set him apart (positively) in the coming years. With the team he’s gathered at AT, Albert seeks to achieve meaningful outcomes in greater wellness for society — you really can’t argue with that as a plan. -JM