“Trump never intended to be the candidate.”

Stephanie Cegielski was Trump’s top strategist but is now a defector.

She’s written an open letter explaining things:

I’ll say it again: Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.

You can give Trump the biggest gift possible if you are a Trump supporter: stop supporting him.

He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.

The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.

My gut always said Trump didn’t truly want to be president. Being president is a shitty job with a lot of stress. POTUS doesn’t seem like a very Trump-y job.


I no longer felt that he was the leader the country was looking for, and I found myself longing — aching, really — for policy substance that went beyond building a wall and making Mexico pay for it. What were once bold — although controversial — statements now seemed to be attempts to please the crowds, not direction to lead this country to a better place. I began to realize his arrogance and isolation had taken over and were now controlling his message.

And here’s what he tapped into: the unprecedented, unbelievable anger.

Because we are all angry — and we all have a right to be. But Trump is not our champion. He would stab any one of his supporters in the back if it earned him a cent more in his pocket.

On one hand I appreciate Cegielski leaving the Trump campaign, but the fact that something inside her told her it was a good idea to support Trump in the first place makes me question how sound her judgement is.

Cegielski is an idiot, but the the problem is she thinks she’s merely a smart person who did a dumb thing.



You’re Only As Diverse as What You Choose to Look At

Morgane Santos sees (and feels) the unbearable homogeneity of design:

Here’s a random sampling of the top posts on Dribbble at the time of this writing. We have lots of illustrations done in the exact same style: evenly weighted lines, flat, minimal, geometric, symmetric. A few samples of mobile design that were carefully edited to look slick and show the best possible state. Lots of blue: a nice, safe color.

At some point, any one of these work samples would have been revolutionary. At this point, not a single one of them is. And yet! This is what we think of as “good design”.

Hold up.

I’m with Sacha Greif:

In that screenshot I see an awesome circular badge with great composition, an illustration inspired by church stained glass, a 50s-style illustration with a great color scheme, some kind of blackletter-inspired logo, a very weird illustration that looks to be animated, a set of vintage-style badges, and an amazing psychedelic drawing.

I’d also like to add that popular design runs the risk of looking homogeneous because it’s just that: popular. This is the same reason popular (pop) music sounds all the same and one reason (of many) I haven’t listened to FM radio in a very, very long time.

Finding culture—music, art, design—that isn’t homogenous takes effort. You literally (or metaphorically) need to dig through crates of records to find the good shit. If you’re lazy you check out the news aggregators that compile the popular stuff. I find the great influences of my favorite artists are long dead, but I make the effort to dig up their work because more often than not it’s worth it. I don’t necessarily look for or expect great design to always be happening right now.

I think Morgane Santos is giving Dribbble too much credit. For me, Dribbble is but one of many sources of design news. The same goes for design trends. Trends are trends. Don’t try and eliminate them, because new ones will always pop up like wack-a-moles.

Basic Economy

America’s airlines are introducing a class below economy:

Airlines have long seen profitability in investing heavily in first- and business-class while degrading the flying experience in coach to cut costs. But why stop there? Coach, they have discovered, can itself be subdivided, and then subdivided again. First there was the creation of premium economy, which charges passengers extra for what used to be a standard amount of legroom, and for the exit-row seats that were previously the dominion of in-the-know flyers. Now there is a new class, a cut below standard economy. Please welcome “basic economy”, known to some as “last class”.

Trump doesn’t have to worry about making America great again.

The airlines are doing it for him.

“Treat chat like a sauna — stay a while but then get out.”

Last week Basecamp CEO Jason Fried published a great piece on all the ways group chat applications like Slack are bad.

The whole piece is a must-read, but here’s one nugget:

Many chat platforms put a little green dot next to people telling you they are online/available. That’s called presence, and it’s worse than you might expect. It’s professional pressure to stay logged into chat. It’s saying “if you aren’t green, you aren’t at work”. Quitting chat suggests you aren’t part of the group. And that pressure forces you to keep a chat room open all day. Which forces you to absorb the blows of all-day distractions while you’re trying to actually get the work done you’re supposed to be doing. It’s just a modern version of the outdated butts in seats. Sure you can say do not disturb, but the true version of do not disturb is quitting the app.

In the world of technology, I believe there are very view examples of ‘the good old days’. Computers were always slower and monitors were always lower resolution than they are now. Always. I should know because I’ve been on computers since 1981.

There’s one example that bucks this trend: instant messaging. I miss the days of AIM, aka AOL Instant Messenger. What I miss about AIM is explicitly signing on and signing off. In fact, that was an explicit declaration I used to make with my friends and coworkers when were were mid-chat and ready to sign off, “OK, Mark. I’m out. Late.”

This world doesn’t exist anymore. We’re always online and always available. Apple’s Messages app even gives you the ability to send read confirmations on iMessages you’ve received and opened. I turned this option off years ago.

It’s important for a company to have a strong culture defined so employees clearly understand the rules around instant messaging and the environment such rules aim to establish.

Shit, do I have to spell it out for these people?

Yes. Yes you do.

The fact that Jason Fried wrote the piece mentioned above and he’s the CEO of his company makes a world of difference than if he were just a designer or project manager. Company culture is established at the top, and communicated to the rest of the company. It never happens the other way around.

Just Wait

Michael Bierut reacts to the reactions to the new logo for The Met by providing an analogy to how it took time to appreciate the genius of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew:

But I can pinpoint the moment my mind was changed about what music was and what music could be. It was when I heard the first song, disc one, side one, on Bitches Brew. “Pharaoh’s Dance” didn’t sound anything like Chicago. It didn’t sound like anything. It didn’t seem to have any structure, no verses, no bridges. I hated it. But I listened to it again, and then again. I started absorbing its dense, subterranean patterns. And I realized, for the first time but not the last, that something truly new takes time to appreciate and understand.

As Beirut says, the social media we use to consume and create content encourages snap judgements.

This one of the reasons I choose to react to things on this site. I gives me time to sit with my thoughts and decide on the most accurate words to explain myself. This is also why I never use the comments section below articles I’ve read.

Sit with your thoughts. Let them marinate. Sometimes they’ll go sour like milk, and other times they’ll age like wine.

Link Drop – 09 Mar 2016