Converting Brilliance

This quote is from In The Plex by Steven Levy (via Sci-Fi Hi-Fi via Daring Fireball)

Google products are machine-driven. They’re created by machines. And that is what makes us powerful. That’s what makes our products great.

This kind of quote is to be expected from a company run by engineers. The problem isn’t that Google’s products are made by machines. Everyone’s products are made by machines. But it is’t why you should be proud of your products. And it’s not what makes your products great.
What engineers and companies run by engineers need to get past is thinking the general public cares about the same things they do. Like how (supposedly) open their platform is. Or how precise their algorithms are. Or how fast their processors are.
Engineers are very gifted individuals. I know, because my father is one.
Engineers have the uncanny ability to talk to machines. Write code. Fix car engines. Rewire houses. Help their son install a stereo into their car, explaining which wire is connected to the ignition, which one is connected to the battery and which one is grounded (I believe the black wire is ground). Oh yeah, and check to see if your speakers are in phase.
Where engineers need help is converting their brilliance into something a regular person can use and enjoy.
Designers convert brilliance. They connect dots.
This doesn’t make designers better than engineers.
They need each other to create anything meaningful or useful.