Gawker recently published (Oct 28, 2011) an article, “The Most Anal CEO Ever,” that’s a little bit myth-making, a little bit making fun of a man’s eccentricities, but can’t quite decide if Jobs was brilliantly sweating the small stuff or tyrannically wasting people’s time. The gist is that Jobs cared a lot about things that nobody else would ever care about. His success is left on the table as some kind of argument, and the writer gives in to the temptation of letting his behavior seem pretty crazy (like tearing off his oxygen mask because he hated the design) but doesn’t dig into why this might be a good thing sometimes. On the one hand we see him taking forever to redesign the interior of his private jet with brushed-metal buttons; on the other he sends an excited engineer back to the drawing board to enable rectangles with rounded corners in the Mac interface.
If you’re looking at this, you’re thinking how ugly it is right now, it’s because I’m in reboot purgatory.
I’ve left my website fallow for quite a while but with a book coming out this fall, I need to get it into shape. So now I’m redesigning and rewriting a web site as well as this new WordPress blog (because I’m sick of hosting my own WordPress installation and sweating through upgrade or the lack of upgrades).
I learned this lesson a long time ago: nihil formae sine substantia. Don’t design without content. But that’s exactly what I’ve started to do and now I’m in that purgatory where nothing looks good, so nothing sounds good. I can’t create the content because I don’t have the design right and vice versa. It’s time to breathe, let it be ugly, write, and do things in the right order
Update (7/3): Looking better.