Episode 124 – Design Thinking with Anthony Rotolo

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Design impacts every area of our lives – from the way we experience coming into the world, to our cars and homes, leisure activities, education, and how we do our work.

It was a pleasure to sit down to have a conversation with a colleague that has had a significant impact on how I view design.

Anthony Rotolo comes to this conversation with vast experience and expertise in graphic design, book publishing, podcasting, instructional design, video production (including documentaries), and online course development.

He’s always been willing to share insights, books, and ideas with me whether it was the basement cube farm, an actual watercooler, or through virtual collaborations.

Anthony is a true nudger – pushing us to think differently, stretch our capabilities, and offer up our best design ideas as we work and live.

I hope you take time to listen to his thoughts in this episode. We’ll have him on again to share more about his personal podcasting and publishing projects.

Note – this episode is also re-purposed as an episode on The Learning Circle podcast, produced by Anthony on behalf of the Defense Acquisition University.

#moveyourdesk #design #designthinking #workperformance

Episode 124 Show Notes

Episode 124 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark Episode 124. Design thinking with Anthony Bartolo. Yeah. Mhm Yeah. This podcast is for anyone that knows, they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Yeah. Mm, mm hmm. Yeah. Hello friends. This is Rebecca. I have a cold so I apologize for my voice but I am excited that I finally got to interview someone I’ve talked about on the podcast several times. His name is Anthony Rotello and he has heavily influenced my thoughts about design and learning and learning technologies over the years and we had a chance to talk together this past week and he was able to put the discussion on a different podcast that he produces called the Learning Circle and I am reproducing it on my podcast as well and it’s fairly long but I hope you sit through it. There’s so much interesting information that Anthony always shares and if you are someone that loves all things training and development, professional development, learning learning technologies, education design, that kind of thing. We cover those topics in this episode. I hope to interview him again where only he gets to talk because I inserted a lot of information into this episode as well. But please take an hour or so of your time to listen to this episode. There’s some great nuggets in it and on that note here’s the recording. I’m excited today to have a guest on the show. It’s been a while and this guest is someone I’ve mentioned in some of my prior podcast episodes because he’s influenced many of my ideas around design and being an advocate for design, whether it’s in product development or in our life or in our work, he’s been a great influence on me. So I wanted to bring on Anthony Rotello today to talk about some of the implications of design in our world and he’s such a design advocate that I thought it would be the perfect conversation and just so you know, we’re going to be kind of talking about learning work performance, technology innovation all wrapped up in this design concept. And the reason we can do this is because Anthony has an extensive background in design and though he didn’t necessarily start his career in design, he ended up in media production where he was able to design graphics and videos, movies, lead teams that were creating these products. And then of course he got into music and self publishing and podcasting and all kinds of things. But I will let him share just a little bit more. I tried to share some of it in a nutshell, but welcome to the show, Anthony, I’m excited to have you here after planning on having you for over a year. I’m so happy to be with you Rebecca. It’s always fun to talk and hopefully like, you know, the the talks where there’s no microphone recording, it’s always uh we range and rove and we go to interesting places. So it’ll be fun to see what happens today. Yes. And was there anything I mean, I know I left out a lot about you just now, but was there anything you’d like to just add that you are interested in doing or some of your skills and experiences before we move forward into our store. So if I can give a quick sketch of the other parts of my resume, I became interested in design. I began my career actually began in the investment world, which was wonderful experience because the through line to my career is having clients trying to understand their needs and pair them up with a solution and that really is in the heart of it that is designed. That’s what we do. We solve problems. And so that gave me some skills again in an accidental way, in an unforeseen way that I carried over when I began helping clients with design matters. And this led me into traditional graphic design and print oriented work than with the rise of multimedia and web. I found myself in everything from web design to motion design, video. I do a lot of corporate shoots and video based things, audio work. A lot of interview based media, whether it’s a true distributed podcast or some other form of conversation capture. So all that stuff really, it’s all stuff that we create. It all comes under the umbrella of design. So kind of that’s where I’m at. And I try to draw from all those experiences even when I’m in a very focused context, which is to create learning products, well that’s what I think is so amazing really, is because when you come to each of these new media or these new steps in your career, when you give feedback to people on design and options, you are coming from a place where you have been experiencing it in many different settings and using many different tools and meeting different customer needs and that kind of experience is so important and valuable going forward in whatever you do because you’re not just coming to it with fresh eyes, you’re also coming with experienced eyes I guess, which that’s a tough balance sometimes too, combine your past experience plus look at it in a new way and yet you do like you, you’re the person, I tell people you’re the person that introduced me to Seth garden, you were the person that would be willing to stop design meetings and say, wait, we need to think about this differently. We’re kind of defaulting right now. Right? Let’s think about the user experience. Let’s think about how others are actually going to use this and create something that’s valuable. Yeah, yeah. Design. I think design when you you really are, when you have the principles inside you. Design becomes a good safeguard where everything is in the approach. So if you find yourself, let’s say in a meeting and you’re kind of sensing that something is ill conceived or won’t work, it helps you to spot that earlier. So you can say, hey, let time out guys, let’s um let’s talk about this a bit more, you know, because you have to, you have to, you know, if you can pre visualize what you’re going to do and extrapolate the outcome, it’s like Stephen Covey, begin with the end in mind. And I think designers and particularly visual designers have a great advantage and that they train themselves to to really see the outcome before they begin. And if there, I think it becomes a natural thing, the more experience you have your like, all right, how am I going to actually get from A to Z? Because I see some problems at J. K. So it’s that type of thing that happens. Well, one of the things that came to mind when you were talking as a book that I had read a few years ago from Daniel Pink and it was the whole new mind and he talks about how the future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind. And that kind of mind is the artists, the innovators, the storytellers and creative people. And when you’re talking about beginning with the end of mind realizing that sometimes we aren’t thinking through the end in mind, right? We’re especially in work environments going okay, we’re supposed to get this deliverable out and you think, oh of course the end in mind is the deliverable, but really what we’re trying to do is spend a certain amount of money within a certain amount of time just to get something out to someone. And sometimes the design kind of slips by the wayside because it’s easier to default to what’s always been done and that checks the box quickly. But at the end of the day, is it really meeting someone’s need? Is it really thoughtful? And is it something that people would want to come back for more because it’s helping them perform or helping them have an emotion that’s helping create something that they’re happy about in their life or in their work. And so I really, I’m interested in talking about some of these ideas with you around design because I think a lot of us in the world have started to recognize, oh wow, it’s no longer about getting cheaper faster to more people necessarily. A lot of us are seeking to no kidding make choices that make our life more enjoyable, that make our work more enjoyable so that we can offer up our best work. And in order to do that, we have to thoughtfully think about design. And recently I read a book by it was edited by tom logic and he’s done a lot of ted talks, but he’s also a big part of auto desk AutoCAd products and so he’s in that world of innovation and technology and creativity and design, you know that you are in just from a different angle, right? Creating something that helps engineers and architects build better things. But he’s gotten into quite a few different multidisciplinary areas which we’ll be talking about, right, because design brings together so many parts of our world and what I loved about this book, imagine design create. Is there some key questions that he puts forward? And then shows examples as he explains why we should ask these questions and some of the different insights from those questions. So I thought we’d use those questions as a basis for our discussion knowing that as we answer one question we may answer some of the others. And the first question that he brought up is why is designed important, Why does it matter what’s the impact of design? And before I ask you what you think about that, I just wanted to share a very simple work example and because I talk a lot about moving your desk, I wanted it to be about a desk. So in the past a lot of us, We’ve always had a desk all through school and in our work, most of us have a desk. And in the last 10 or 15 years it was kind of this big change in what kind of desk we use. And I know I remember having a desk where there were you sit down and there were drawers on both sides and often there’d be a drawer right above your lap. And this was terrible for me because I’m tall. And then you just have all these little drawers and you’re focused on trying to get comfortable instead of doing the work that you’re trying to do at your desk. But along came standing desks and it was amazing to me. I thought this is wonderful we get to stand up and do our work. But then a lot of them you could push the levers and move them down but still it wasn’t quite right. And I remember that we worked together during this time period where our organization got standing desks and they were great. So there were some problems they plugged in and sometimes they didn’t work correctly. And it would like be lopsided when you move the desk up and down. And for me even at the tallest setting it wasn’t tall enough. So still one of the cube mates Paula brought in some plastic things to put under the legs so that it would make mine taller. And that did the job that I could adjust it to exactly what I needed for the desk was a non issue. And then a couple years later I got into a different office where there was a truly amazing standing desk that absolutely fit my need didn’t plug into the wall. You could just a simple lever pull it up and down to the right height for whatever you wanted. And that became something. It was so important to me that even when I was offered a better office, I said if I have to give up this desk, I’d rather have this desk than to have the better office because the design of that met my needs. It made me feel like I could do my work better and then I didn’t have to focus on it, right, I could just focus on doing the good work. And that for me was an example of why does design matter? It mattered to have this simple slap of wood that it was at the right height for me where I could think about the actual work I wanted to do. I bring that up because that was important to me. But at the same time I bring that up, I am reflecting on some experiences I had with you in meetings where you would stop us in a meeting and say it matters how you design it, what it conveys and in online courseware, how do you stop the meeting and say, wait a second, think about this. Think about what we’re actually trying to convey to the learners. And so you kind of would halt us and say wait, let’s stop and talk about why the design matters. So, I wanted to give you a chance to say why do you think design matters? Well, design is, it’s really in the approach to everything that you do and there’s different definitions of design and depending on the kind of design that you’re in, mine is mostly informed by typographic or graphic design. Where what is at stake is an objective typographic message. You’re not doing art, we are not fine artists. This is not a subjective endeavor where someone can look at a painting that was made or someone can say, oh you know, two plus two equals three because it turns me on to think so, you know, two plus two must equal four when you’re communicating an objective message. So when you’re designing in in most senses like the products that were doing or I don’t remember the particular example you’re referring to, but maybe I felt in that instance that we weren’t communicating accurately, so I might have been timing us out to kind of go back to that. But to your question why does design matter? It matters for the reasons that you said a few minutes back when you’re talking about how we start a project and we we kind of jump in very quickly. And the reason we do that is it’s that old phrase about the tyranny of the urgent, you know, the starter pistol has gone off, it might have been some program manager and there’s deadlines and we’re already under pressure to produce and in our world we have something, we have a design process that it’s the universal design process but we call it addy, it’s an acronym A D D. E. It’s consisting of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. And the dirty little secret in our world is that a lot of the time we give short shrift to the A. And the D. The analysis and design, which is really in short, it’s the thinking portion of the project. It’s the approach. It’s how we set our approach, how we vet our ideas and and test them before we really get down deep into development and turn this into a factory, a whole production endeavor. And so I kind of joke, you know, you take A and D off of that acronym and what do you have left? You have di you know, uh the project begins to die because you’re just, you know, you’re off the rails at the requirement stage. You have not successfully translated someone’s requirement into a solution. And that translation process is designed. So that is why it’s important. And because everything is in the approach this, you know, we’re on a podcast right now right? And remember us talking about podcasts and I probably told you, like I tell others is to really get it right in the approach, you have to have a very good sense that there is an audience for what you’re doing. Your, you know, your show could be very arcane very esoteric, you could be about medieval folk dancing. But if you’re going to do it, you know, make sure there’s an audience for it and really design it for them and put your all into it and make sure that you’re creating something that will appeal to that audience. So that really is it. Um, there’s other definitions of design, you know, where we’re taking, you know, classic textbook stuff is, you know, design is the taking of disparate elements and turning them into a cohesive unit. Design. Is it’s that other definition about communicating something objective? It varies depending on the discipline a little bit, but in all cases it ensures that we have the right approach, you know, as you’re talking and I love how you pointed out with the ati acronym, when you take out the A and the D it becomes die. Because for some reason, in that conversation, when you brought up factory, it reminds me that an actual project plans for Training products that we created over 10 years ago, maybe 15, it would actually refer to the process as the courseware factory process. And I even think in one person, they had a little picture of a factory and I think it’s important for purposes of this conversation is to remember that an image of a factory in your head because you realize that, oh, that’s so interesting, once you take a process or a framework that’s supposed to help you and you kind of six sigma it so much that it is producing widgets, you do start to default in some ways because it’s easier, faster, cheaper. And kind of get stuck with design and not using it anymore. Not thinking through it and not realizing that maybe something’s changed. Maybe they’re losing part of the spirit of design. And that’s kind of interesting. It kind of ties into the next question. How does design inspire? How does that spark us? You know, how does it bring up emotions that help us in our lives? Because I know that’s something I talked a lot about a lot in the podcast that it’s so important for us to have the right emotions in our life, because that means we take all of our action in our work and our life from our emotions and our emotions come from our way of thinking. And so how does design inspire us if we’re turning everything into a factory approach, we get so good at processes that we stopped that analysis. And we stopped really thinking about design. We’re kind of taking that emotion out of something. And I really love this quote from Tim Brown. He’s the ceo of video. And he says good design successfully manages tensions. Uh and when he talks about the tensions, he’s talking about the user needs the technical feasibility, the viability, the functional performance, but also the emotional performance and I don’t know why. But the first thing I thought of when I read this question and this quote from Tim Brown about good design successfully managing tensions. I was reminded of a purchase I made when I was in college and it was a shirt, a polo shirt from a very famous brand. So I thought, right, but the minute I got the shirt and I felt the fabric In an instant, I was like, Wait A. 2nd. This is not the real brand, this is a knockoff. It was, it was kind of like that Malcolm Gladwell, I think in his book blank how he says, experts can tell in an instant whether something is the fraud or it’s the original. Yeah, it’s like the old, if you want to spot counterfeit money, study real money. Yeah, right. And this was a ralph, it was supposed to be a ralph Lauren. But in an instant I knew it was not and to notice my emotions how they changed some like this is not as cool as I thought and I didn’t know it until I touched the fabric. And then when I saw it that way, I saw it completely differently. The shirt was not the same as the other shirts that I had? It felt different when I had it on, There were so many things and it was so subtle, but that’s the first thing I thought of and I’m like, how does design inspire? Well, for some reason that brand had a certain meaning to me and I was used to a certain fabric and cut and it wasn’t that it was off and so it did evoke an emotion from me that I wasn’t expecting. So I wanted to find out from you. You know, we’ve talked all you know why it matters. But do you have moments that you remember in design that have really inspired you, whether it’s work or a physical item or just a thought, a design thought that you’ve had that truly inspired you in some way or change something that you chose to do. So let me go back a couple of beets because there was so much there. It’s funny that you mentioned six sigma, which some have called codifying mediocrity. Uh it’s one of these, you know, we always have this phenomenon happen where there’s this new thing where everyone has to learn it and become certified and all the smart kids know something now that’s very, very pejorative. Obviously it’s really, really important if you’re Boeing and the, I don’t know what they call it, but the, the mills or whatever it is uh of a, you know, sheet of aircraft metal has to be just the right thinness or thickness. That’s something that is so tightly codified, right? But in another endeavor, it could just beat the spirit out of what you’re doing. I think of like a director like to do a compare and contrast a film director like a Stanley kubrick who will make Shelley Duvall do 150 takes in in the movie the shining until she’s having a nervous breakdown versus someone like Clint Eastwood who’s more, he’s a jazz musician and he takes a jazz approach to filmmaking where like, hey, let’s try this, will do a take her to, and he usually calls it good after a couple of takes. I don’t even know if he rehearses and he comes in on time or or ahead of schedule and under budget and the studios love him and uh you know, instead of having this overly planned approach, it’s really rather organic. Another analog to that would be in the writing realm. You’ve got, like to top authors, you’ve got James Patterson who was an outline of the outlines to death before he renders the scenes by, by actually sitting down to write the scenes versus a Stephen King who is a seat of the pants, er as we call it in writing, he doesn’t know where he’s going to go, he’s got a vague idea, but he just starts writing very, very interesting, just radically different approaches. All of them are designed based, all of them take a different process approach and who’s to say which one is right or wrong. There are pros and cons and as the artist or designer or developer, you’ve got to figure out what works for you. So anyway, I just wanted to kind of hit those notes because I thought it was, it was interesting and and because you you hit on something that spoke to how you can kind of really lose the soul of design or this the inspiration behind it. But to your immediate question, when I was beginning to really steep myself in design, I found it’s just the way I’m put together, I really in this realm, I really had to understand how it worked. I was not content with just being an intuitive designer. There are some very wonderful intuitive designers, they have no idea about, they don’t know much about design rules and there are a lot of rules of design that are very objective. They have been so in, let’s say graphic design, they have a lot to do with things like alignment and proximity and the way you group things and the way you create visual hierarchies and many, many other concepts and principles and so for me it I needed to understand how it worked and as I absorbed the principles, I found that that inspired me and it encouraged me, I knew that what I was doing worked and I understood why it worked. The other thing that inspired me were examples, it’s good to have heroes. Um I discovered a mentor in someone who sadly he passed away very young but a designer named hillman Curtis who came on the scene just at the advent of the web revolution with some of the technologies that were allowing for motion design and there was a whole renaissance in that and he helped open the door for me to look back to old examples, a lot of them film, film and corporate identity examples in figures like Saul Bass soul bash, you may not know the name, but you’ve probably seen his work in the opening of many an Alfred Hitchcock film or Otto Preminger or many other things. But you know, Saul Bass is work in things like the A T and T logo. He also produced the Girl Scouts logo. Many many things. So from people like him or other luminaries that designers know about paul rand by the way, not to be confused with rand paul, that’s a politician, I’m talking about paul rand. So it’s a flip flop of the names who in addition to being a great designer, he kind of changed the process the way designers and art directors get joined at the hip to work with each other Milton Glaser, many, many heroes who showed and we’re exemplars of the approach to design the elegance of design, how the best solutions used the least elements to yield the most effect. All of those were very, very important to me. And I found that design is it’s a, it’s, you know, how deep does the rabbit hole go? It’s it’s um very intellectually challenging and it very quickly shows you the limits of your, your talent. It’s very, very humbling. Uh I know I’m very maybe skilled or talented in some areas and I feel like a miserable failure in other areas because it’s a, it’s a domain with sub domains and you can’t be great at everything and we’re not all saul bass is, but the final thing that inspired me were just the examples all around us. The one thing that all designers have to cultivate is the skill of absorption. You want to have your eyes open all the time, You want to look for good examples of design in the world around you when you’re walking down the street or leafing through a magazine to people read magazines anymore. We used to have these things made of ground paper, pulp or you know, watching television commercials and just be kind of uh assimilate er and bring it in, digest it, look at it sort of the way a car mechanic puts your vehicle up on the lift and you sort of see how things work or he looks in the hood, uh you want to understand what is operating in it and what makes it a good design, what makes it work. So it’s a combination of all the above the best examples what the better designers do. It’s a lot of learning, learning, learning all of that, at least for me and my path all of those together were the things that got me really kind of like high, you know, in terms of inspiration and motivation and sort of that euphoria that you have when you’re kind of in the zone and doing your best work, you know, as you were speaking, I was reminded of a moment that I actually learned from you a few years ago where you were talking about the importance of font and I never had really thought about it before, but you know, as you’re talking, I’m remembering, yes, like there’s certain simple small details like the font that’s selected that evokes a certain emotion of inspiration or not right? Like I can think of times when I’ve looked at something and have realised, oh that does not resonate with me, that’s too crafty or that’s too flowing of a font, right? The words flow together so much, I can’t even read what the word is and to realize how even though so much of design seems subjective, there is like you were mentioning these very objective underlying elements that must be thought through because they do impact how we view certain products or the world, that kind of thing. Yeah, I’m going to be annoyingly priggish and correct you that it’s uh I prefer the word typeface to font font sir, that you know the common word, but the reason why I like typeface is because it has the word face in it and faces our personalities and I think what you’re driving at is it’s just another, it’s a you can make a good or poor design decision, let’s say you are a company that wants to look clean and spartan and you know, all those kinds of often corporate type of things, you’re you’re probably not going to choose comic sands or some calla graphic or you know uh german black letter type of typeface or you know, just be the wrong visual language, right, You’re going to be looking for the Helvetica is of the world or things like that. So yeah, totally. I think about it in terms of the way playwrights or people putting on a something theatrical, they think of orchestration and that’s the idea of how different elements combine and so every single choice is important. So in this case a typeface it’s got to work with all your other messaging, right? Because if they’re in conflict you really spotted that’s why we watch some movies and you’re like man, was that person miscast and it was really to the detriment of the production or or sometimes like you know they were good in it but sometimes it’s obvious things this person is like the wrong age for that role or you know, and then you sometimes you learn behind the scenes, you know if you’re like a turner classic movies buff, you know sometimes like they couldn’t get the person they wanted and this is their last choice. And so that that explains why it was suboptimal casting. But yeah, so I think what you’re speaking to carries a lot all the choices matter and then in combination you can, you’ve got chemistry and then what’s really working well, you’ve got alchemy where it’s just really magical how everything works together well. And that kind of brings you back to another point you brought up in your answer that how we make design was the next question I was going to ask, right what the processes and you kind of touched upon this and shared examples from different directors and writers and screenwriters or you know the right words for these things. I don’t but to show that some are very process driven, followed this outline and perfected it while someone else like Stephen King just does the shoot from the hip and he gets started because as he gets started, he gets the inspiration. He needs to get to an end point. And if we ask the question, how do we make design? What the process is? Some of us with our background might say okay, you use the instructional design process but to kind of realize through that experience of going through a process and then learning another process. Perhaps like an agile process or waterfall or these different processes that are out there for systems design or instructional design, these kinds of things that you learn to choose or perhaps have wisdom along the way to know when to stick to the process and when to break free of the process and allow it to be a little bit messy because maybe in the Mezey you’ll get some new ideas are a new way to approach a problem. One of the things that I enjoyed in this book about design is that someone named Hugh Doubly, he has a design firm mentioned how one of the gaps in following the design process is the feedback loop. There’s feedback loops and a lot of other disciplines. But often there isn’t a formal feedback loop when it comes to design and unless you purposely decide to get feedback toward improving the design, you are going to just keep out putting the same things. I think people like steve jobs and some of these other designers are good examples of this, right? They want to get it out there, they want you have this great experience. But they also want to take the feedback and do something with it and keep refining and keep improving something and not just incremental improvements. Sometimes sometimes it’s a complete change of how people use an object, right? Like when you hear about how we all used cassette tapes and then the guy I wish I had his name handy but he was on the airplane and he brought his whole cassette recorder like onto the plane and he’s like wait a second. There’s gotta be an easier way. And from that came a whole different idea of Walkman and then how steve jobs kind of took it a step further to go wait a second. We want more than the cassettes of the cds we carry, we want access to music we love and like completely changing it up in another way. And so they went kind of outside of a process a little bit, but also were persistent at getting feedback from real users. Yeah, it’s a lot in what you said. I’m going to interrupt real quick cause I’m like digesting famously steve jobs is attributed with saying that real artists ship meaning because I think you said that about getting it out there so you have an audience in a marketplace that can push and pull on it. He begins someone like steve jobs does begin with taking something and looking at it from odd angles and new ways and completely rethinking the music, the music industry for example, was about selling pieces of plastic, right, whether they were vinyl records, you know, uh the old licorice pizza as the DJs called it or then we had the Cds, but we were selling physical product and yet we lived in an age where you could listen to music in, you know, the digital ether, you didn’t need physicality. And this led to other considerations like, well, you know, if it doesn’t have a physical aspect of it, this causes you to rethink what you’re selling and the distribution implications and all these different things that lead to being able to just buy your favorite song instead of an album that has, you know, a lot of filler songs on it. And it was very, very disruptive. And some musicians are still looking their wounds from it. Other people adapt, Other people find other sources of revenue, like actually performing in front of audiences. And so yeah, I just love the reinvention of a steve jobs and him getting something out there. So it’s also not entirely in a vacuum, there is going to be kind of this marketplace participation that informs the next version of something. I hope I didn’t get you off track, but that heart that you said triggered that whole thing to me. Well, actually, this leads beautifully into the next question, I think because it’s how does tech changed design and you touched upon this? You know, using the music industry going into a different business, then sending physical objects, you can you really get to focus on music and what you’re offering and it’s it’s getting to the people in a different way. And I think right now we’re experiencing a huge shift for a lot of the population as we’ve gone through this pandemic where thank goodness for technology, but at the same time, those of us who have been in the training and development world for a long time. No, that online learning is old and we were real experience with creating it and delivering it. And yet the rest of the world suddenly had to jump into it. And it really exposed how technology can change design because I know a lot of teachers that I’m connected to on facebook and in different parts of life were complaining and saying it was so hard and some parents are saying that online learning is terrible, like this is the worst thing ever. We must be in the classroom and to be able to have conversations with them and go listen, technology doesn’t solve problems necessarily in and of itself. It’s how you use the technology, it’s how you design the use of the technology to fit your need. And so in the cases of people all of a sudden going to online schooling that we’re not familiar with it, they were trying to take perhaps a classroom experience and plop it into the technology and those of us that are in the actual online training and development world, go hold on, it’s not a physical classroom, this is a different experience. We still want you to learn, obviously you still want to have some of the similar learning outcomes, but we need to design this differently to meet the need. And I pulled another quote, I like pulling these little quotes from smart people, right? But from autodesk, Ceo Carl bass, he said the problem of the computer is it’s the systemic generation of useless alternatives. And I think both of us have experienced that on the job, right? Like there is this need to always find the latest and greatest technology not realizing that just because we purchased a system or a technology tool. Our problem wasn’t necessarily going to be solved unless we figured out how to leverage that technology in a way that actually helped us perform better or met some kind of need. And so I think that’s something that you’ve brought up in prior conversations to that with technology, there comes a change to design, but it also puts that every man, a publisher concept out there, right? Like now that we all have technology, what are we going to do with it? In fact, that reminds me of another quote from Dean Kammen now that we can do anything, what should we do? So when I mentioned every man of publisher, I was kind of thinking, oh, Anthony’s got some thoughts about this because you are someone that has published so much. You’ve used the tools you’ve decided which tools to use for, which designed for your books, your podcasts, movies, even your music, that kind of thing. So can you talk to us a little bit about this idea that every man is a publisher and what you’ve done in that arena? So this goes to the democratization of tools, people have access to the means of production. And so the big liberating concept that has been expressed, you mentioned Seth Godin earlier, He’s been a good advocate of this for many years is the idea of stop asking permission, just give yourself permission and and do it. You don’t really need to seek validation from publishers necessarily. It’s not, I mean if you want to go through a publisher that’s fine, there is a validating thing about that when some third party says, hey, this is objectively good and we want to publish it and have our brand behind it. On the other hand, you know, it’s an exercise in saying Mother May I and it’s playing the game of maybe just, you know, ending up on someone slush pile when your thing really does have merit, but there aren’t the eyes to see that merit and you do know, you may know you have an audience for what you’re doing, so just do it and cut out the all the middlemen. So every man, a publisher really means cut out the middleman, stop saying Mother May I and start doing what comes with that though is you know, responsibility and and self drive and kind of the grit and determination to bust through obstacles to do it. I imagine when you began your podcast you had to overcome hurdles, some of them were probably, I don’t know, I’ll ask you, I’m gonna ask you a question back, did you have psychological hurdles and technical hurdles when you were approaching this whole enterprise of starting a podcast? Yeah, I think it’s, I’m glad you brought up the mental hurdles. I think that was the biggest hurdle like who am I to be doing this and oh, it’s so hard and even though I knew you and maybe a couple other people, but you were in my mind as someone who had done podcasts and you go, okay, well they’ve done it, but they’re really good at this stuff. So maybe there’s a rocket science, you know, component to this that I haven’t discovered. But once I decided, I think I made a deadline one day we’re like, just knock it out Rebecca just do it. This week I went to Youtube, learned how to use Audacity because I hadn’t used it in years. I got onto a site and chose some music, A very specific process right narrowed down to 20 songs then to 1095 and one or 2 tested that music with my voice instead of choosing to produce one episode that week I ended up doing five because I was like, wait, I figured out the process. I’m just gonna keep doing it. I see the thing with you. I just want to forgive me for interrupting, but I want to stop you there because you said the phrase, who am I to do this? There’s this self doubt that you have to overcome. Will people look at me as like a naked emperor trying to do this thing and there is that concern and you, you certainly, you know, it’s the basic public speaking advice that you know, the best public speaking advice of all is to have a command of your subject matter because and that really allays 90% of your fears. Your not so much worried about people looking at you or what you look like, you’re in command of your material and you can state it with a measure of authority and that authority only builds the more and better you become at expressing it. It does, it does help to have some credentials and, and things like that. But in certain realms, you know, we do fake it until we make it, it could be starting a new job and you know, you start somewhere when you know, as a very junior employee, it’s an act of becoming and overcoming those fears and that kind of translates into this realm where you, you pick up the tools and you say, hey, I think, I think I can write a book or I think I can produce a podcast or fill in the blank. Now I would say this, the one caveat and this is not popular necessarily for those who ascribe to participation trophies and all that kind of stuff. There is a factor called talent. Not everyone is either talented in an area or they’re just not comfortable in a certain medium. So they may have aspirations, but they’re not gonna make it, it’s like the harshest, cruelest gang show version of this is uh well there’s, there’s, there’s the gong show, but there’s also like those american idol auditions where sometimes the people who are, you know, the tone deaf ones that they don’t really realize that they don’t have the, the talent for it, Hopefully like self aware people will come to a realization like this isn’t really my thing, they’ll try it and somewhere to name another Seth Gooden book sticking or quitting. Um you know, you got to try things and then you, you got to decide whether you stick or you quit, right and that could be for a variety of reasons. One of them, maybe this is not playing to my strengths, I have different strengths and then you discover it by expending energy that kind of went down the rat hole for you, we’re the opposite effect, you know, so those are just some other things to think about when you, you know, you’re trying something new, am I comfortable in the medium? Am I good at it and really ask yourself those questions? Well this brings up so many different thoughts about design and so for example when you were talking about how it’s democratized, everybody has access to the technology in all parts of the world now and you know, that increases the opportunity for a lot of junk to get out there because like you’re saying it’s just not a strength of everyone to design particular things, but it also means that in that process it becomes something that’s not a solo act, if you really want to get good at designing things that evoke emotion that help meet needs that help people perform better solve real problems, the team is so important and the ability to ask for feedback. And so when you use an example from something like american idol, where someone gets on there whose tone deaf you start to look at that and go, okay, is this someone who has a lot of confidence? They know their tone death and they just use this as a chance to get into the limelight? Or is this someone that didn’t bother to listen to people’s feedback or did not solicit people’s feedback? And then you kind of question what kind of people were they around, where they around people like the naked emperor that you mentioned, the naked emperor had tons of people around him, but none of them are willing to tell them the truth until someone was and when they finally find out the truth there in the worst possible situation to Children saying, hey, that emperor is naked and he’s out there in front of his whole country or whatever it is in the story, right? He could have been told this by his manager inside the castle or whatever. He could have resolved this long before he got to the point where I was out in the world. And so there’s so many great principles to draw from this, right? The importance of soliciting feedback. The importance of getting real helpful, insightful, honest feedback from people toward improving the design. Like let go of the ego and go, we’re really here to improve the design, let’s b you need to surround yourself with good friends and good friends will hurt you. You know, to quote the proverbs, um, the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. Right, Right. And that’s why people actually should read books that endure and stand the test of time. There’s a lot of wisdom there and they will protect you from worse things. Like if you find yourself to be the naked emperor in some setting, pretty horrible. I was just talking to someone the other day about Elvis, you know, he had this uh they called it the Memphis mafia. He had all these friends around him and yet he was just self destructing. And I don’t know to what degree he had the really, really good friends to uh, stop that implosion where, you know, he’s dead at 42 you know, I’m a Elvis oh file. So that came to mind. But yeah, surrounding yourself with good friends, but more to the point. So like, I remember telling you, like, hey, um, like I wanted to encourage you to try the podcasting thing. I know I probably said to you, hey, why don’t you just make stuff for your ears only, it takes a lot of pressure off and you can just listen to it and say, is it good enough doesn’t have to be perfect and I can start a little bit raw and get better as I go, there’s, you know, there’s editing chops that you’re developing, there’s uh the writing and if their scripting involved, there’s all kinds of components that’s depending on what your show is like. But do that. You might have other people listen to it and give you feedback, but you want the friends that are willing to hurt you to help you, right? Yes, you got to be cruel to be kind. Right, well, and that’s reminding me, well, this is such a great conversation, right? It just brings up so many different thoughts. But there was this quote that I are this phrase that I read in this book that I keep referencing and its institutional acupuncture to figure out where business logic is congested and not flowing properly. And I love the quote because I immediately took it personally, right? Like being willing to take a look at yourself and know where do I need to think through this differently? Where do I need to ask for feedback? Where do I need to give feedback in order for the outcome to be something that’s actually useful and valuable to those involved. And part of this conversation I think is once everybody has access to technology and to be able to design something that they have in their mind. I think for those of us that are in the design world and some shape or form could start to think possibly, oh no, where it is, my role go and to realize that there’s always a role for someone as long as we’re taking that hard, look at ourselves, right? Performing that acupuncture, getting unstuck and going, okay, my role as a designer may look different going forward, but doesn’t mean that all of my experience and expertise aren’t still needed and it kind of plays to some of the changes in the past, right? You’re a movie buff and to note that you know what the theaters were going through when VHS and CDS and DVDS and all these things were introduced, people thought theaters may go away. Well they didn’t, there’s still a role for them even though we still had access to things in a different way and to understand that as the designer, this could be an opportunity to use the expertise to teach other people about how to design and how to make decisions and that kind of thing. That you may not be the person always giving that input, but you can help inform this broad audience that now has the tools on how they can use the tools to perform the design function, wondering what your thoughts are on that. Yeah, there’s a lot there. Well, I’m, you know, I’m thinking about the theaters, I’m thinking about shopping malls and thinking about creative destruction where um, and we were just talking a little earlier about music and what happened to music and so sometimes, you know, these tools are, we’re in an age of disruption, the tools change and we’re gonna have to find new and creative uses for things like shopping malls which may turn into, you know, the composition may be different. There may be a lot of professional offices and doctor’s offices, there may not be all the anchor stores like Sears, right? There certainly isn’t a Sears Roebuck catalog and there certainly isn’t an outhouse to use it in. Sorry, I had to fit that in. But I think it all goes the creative destruction and how the thing that transcends all this is design and you can take the principles and the tools and apply it to things that are either changing or dying or have to be reinvented rethought. So I know if I’m answering your question or triggering any new thoughts, but that’s kind of where I was going based on what you were just saying. Yeah, I think that it’s an interesting thing to take a look at. And especially as moving forward, the discipline of design isn’t just for example taking design classes right to realize we’re in a world now where we’re looking at whole system design where I know if you look at an example of like a building, you’re wanting to look at all the parts of architecture and engineering and the cost of it and all that, but you also want to see where the building is in relation to the environment, right? So you could look at this Zillow is a perfect example, right? You look at this beautiful home on Zillow and then you go look at it in person to realize all the pictures were beautiful but they didn’t show what was right next to the house. They conveniently shared certain things and now I see where it’s located and I’m thinking no way, doesn’t matter how beautiful it is, it’s right next to a factory, the railroad track, whatever like and to see that when we think we have to think holistically about the design and the context of the broader world and to really pay attention to a lot more than we would in the past. I know something you had touched upon this, but all the different things that go into thinking through design and how, you know, we were talking about technology and the changes take place with that. But also being aware of psychology and communications theory and economics and social sciences. Someone also brought up the idea of reflection, making reflection more a part of our work and our life so that we can actually open up the mind up to these different design ideas. Yeah, especially in an educational context. To kind of bring it home to some of our audience. Uh, this conversation will be heard on your show but also on the learning circle which is the show I produce about learning and design and learning context. But yeah room for reflection. I think we’re learning that I think we are always knew it but this idea of going to a class and drinking from the firehose of lecture for eight hours a day and then there is that forgetting curve which is obvious you’re not going to retain at all and learning how to redesign that thankfully our industry has been catching up to that and finding new ways. Part of its how technology has made it easier and more configurable to mete out the pieces of if it’s knowledge acquisition, you know even you know just your operating low on bloom’s taxonomy where it’s sort of the knowledge recall stuff and you know being careful about how you put that out there so that it can be retained and digested. It can be performed, it can be practiced, it can be recalled. I had a great conversation with Dr Karl Kopp who is famous for Gamification and then more recently with micro learning and he tells like a great story about just how it was just a tweak to the design of the learning. They were creating a course that was, it was meant to give micro learning pieces to diabetics and there was kind of a compare and contrast and it had to do with I believe texts that were sent over time after some initial training and there were either reminders or questions or something that caused them to engage more and to remind them more and just the retention was much much better and it’s you know sometimes it’s just a little act of design a retweet. It doesn’t have to be as big and heavy as what you’re describing. A few moments back about the whole, like the context. I mean we do want to be aware of the context. Like you began with the real estate example of where you know, obviously location and other factors are what account for house just sitting forever on the listings and not moving. And um thankfully we operate for a while where most of the context has been figured out by smarter people and we’re kind of working within a paradigm and our task is smaller as to how do we create this particular widget within that this new paradigm that the smart people figured out for us whether that was having a podcast ecosystem or creating e books and things like that. But yeah, to your earlier point, we do want to understand context and I liked what you said, just kind of latching back to that thing you said about designers teaching other designers. That’s very, very important. I think that, you know, we things are changing so much that we’re not just, we’re not working from a static playbook anymore. So if you’re learning something new, let’s say it’s mentioned e books earlier, Uh it might take someone who’s a little smarter about the whole purpose and benefit of e books to tell someone who’s about to design one to say for example, hey, you know, this is not a physical book, keep that in mind and you’re not being paid by the pound doesn’t have to take up physical shelf space in a store if you’re only doing an e book. So why don’t you just write the 50 page business book and charged to 99 Instead of justifying your existence by doing the bloated business book where every principle becomes a whole chapter with stories and stories and stories or the diet book where half of it as a cookbook just to bloat it and hit the 250 page count and then do the hardback edition. That is an example of where things are changing and we have to talk to each other a lot because I think to get the most out of all these media that were kind of accosted with and it’s hard enough to learn how to do it, let alone do it strategically. We, we need a lot of help from each other. So I like what you said uh we we kind of need kind of mutual mentorship happening. Especially now just things are moving too quickly as you were talking about this. I I’m thinking about a very obvious example going on in my life right now after having worked for corporations and the government for so many years and stepping out on my own uh in different circles of people. Right? So like as we’re talking about it matters who you surround yourself with friends that are honest, open and shared with you the ideation process or whatever and design and in the different circle of people, I am around a lot of entrepreneurs and to see the different place that they operate from. When they designed something right? They have fewer constraints most of the time. Or they perceive themselves as having fewer constraints. Maybe that’s what it is. Because when you’re in a corporation or in the government there’s I don’t know how to describe it except that there’s a lot of information. It is also what I’m thinking, I’m forgive me for interrupting. It is too many middlemen. Again, it’s it’s too much mother May I and when it’s a bureaucracy of one, it’s not a bureaucracy and you’re empowered and you can just execute on your ideas. The only thing holding you back is what we talked about before are the psychological hurdles the self management. So yeah, it’s very different paradigm. That’s why I think it’s important to learn how to function that way very sort of autonomously as much as you can, even in a corporate setting. And that means having to bust some norms, get out of the meetings, get out of these things that suck your energy and destroy focus because it’s also all about focus if you can’t hold a magnifying glass under the sun for a sustained enough amount of time. Nothing is going to catch fire. Mm, you know, that’s a great example because you know, it’s amazing to see and interact with people have really like you said, there’s no middleman and so they start to think everything is possible. They try things. I know I had a family member moved from New Jersey out west and they said, everybody has a side gig out here, whether it’s building an extra room on the garage to have, you know, to cut hair or chickens where you sell the eggs to your neighbors or you even in the online world so many people I’m connected to, they create a very simple little product so they extract all this extra information that makes us feel smart, but it actually doesn’t help us perform better. And they say, okay, I’m going to teach you in three steps, how to, like you said, that do an e book, I’m going to show you in five steps how to create this marketing campaign or whatever. And it’s very simple, straightforward technology. Their operating costs are probably a couple 100 bucks a month yet. They’re bringing in a lot of money because they’ve designed something that meets people’s needs simply. I mean, this is kind of like the, how to youtube videos, right? The 10 minutes. You don’t care if the quality of the actual recording is high, you care about. Hey, they gave me the five steps I need to take to change the tire or to replace this wall or to create this document, right? They get down to the essential. In fact, we’ve talked about this before. I write the constant stripping away and reducing the design to what is actually needed to help the person do whatever it is they need to do. And it’s been very enlightening to be as part of this. And at the same time also consulting with clients that are in organizations in the government where you can tell from the thinking and the thought processes that oh, there’s so much information they’re getting overwhelmed by how can I help simplifies that for them. And that becomes a design solution in and of itself, right? To help people in their work, just get down to the core of what’s needed for them to do all this? I like this. There’s a lot in there kind of breaking back in, forgive me but there’s a lot in there. You’re supposed to interrupt me by the way. Okay. It’s my job to interrupt you. Um You know what it is? It’s before you drop so many big heady concepts that I don’t know what to tackle because there’s every one thing leads to another. I need to design this. You say no, no, no. Well I like what you said about how you need those people to demystify and d junk processes where they’re like, you know what? It’s like three things you need to remember listening to. I’m forgetting the name of the guy. He was very popular about 20 years ago when we needed him on the internet scene and he was good at, like he was very experimental and was one of the pioneers of, of blogging and doing daily videos and things like that. And he remembered him saying at first it was an affront to my professional pride because I knew the depths of certain tools, but he said, listen, Photoshop is just a cropping tool, you know? And uh and I’m thinking to myself, well, he’s got a lot of nerve. I worked really hard to learn how to do curves, adjustments and levels and and all the, the really like, you know, deep technical things in, in Photoshop and uh, you know, color separation and things like that for printing and all these different things. And, and uh he’s just calling it a cropping tool. But his point was, you need to demystify things quickly and kind of jump in. And the truth in that is that as complicated as Photoshop is and can be, most people have a finite number of things that they do with it. And even though you’re presented with eight ways to do it, you’re going to probably take two or maybe just one way one pathway to get it done in the tool. So it’s very important to just find the path, find the shortcuts and it’s better to do and fix later than to sit in analysis, paralysis and get nothing done. Yeah, that’s that’s suck. I know that um you know there is that professional pride, is that what you call it? Professional pride and that’s that’s part of this discussion and I’m hoping that comes out to show that now we are in a world of constant change, constant opportunity, constant opportunity to learn if we so choose and monitor and adjust ourselves. And some of us are choosing to go through this process of growth and encourage anyone listening to constantly go through that self assessment and desire to grow because you never know, like the thing that you do best might still be in the process of being invented and I think some of us wish that what we know now about learning and technology and design was available to us while we were in college or before then because then we would have figured out what we wanted to do with our lives a little bit earlier perhaps, but if only if only I know I wish I had a head start it, there’s a whole lot, I wish I had had a head start on at the same time, all the experiences lend itself to helping you be a better designer and offering up better things. One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about and it’s kind of tied to this discussion, we talked about, you know, listening to others inputs and being part of a team and influencing is this idea that as we go forward with design, making sure that we do interact with people that are interested in design, interested in making changes and seeing what’s out there. Like there’s a wealth of design options that still haven’t been discovered or put together in different ways. And how sometimes when we look to perhaps find new work or business or step into making more money or that kind of thing, we can often make decisions to make the quick buck or to get the quick title or whatever and to realize that going, if we want to truly move forward and get solutions to things, were not going to be approaching things from that kind of mindset where we want to quickly get to a resolution or quickly get that pay raise or big idea. So for example, recently I’ve helped a few people go after business with the government, so they’re responding to these proposals really quickly and they’re trying to get out as many of these responses as possible, hoping that somebody picks them so to speak, right. And it’s very painful to be part of because you look at it and go, this isn’t where you’re strong, this is not one of your true care capabilities, but you’re going after it just because there’s some money available that you want to have and instead if they rolled back and said, wait, what are we truly good at? Where can we help people or organizations have better solutions. We could take a step back thoughtfully create something for them or propose an approach that would really help them. And it may be small, but it could grow because we are approaching it from the right mindset. We’re approaching it from our current capabilities and we are going to seek to work with clients that have that same kind of mindset. And as I was going through this experience, I was reading how going forward in the world of design, you wouldn’t just be speaking money or a certain project. You would be seeking to leverage certain clients, clients that already think the way that you do as far as wanting to be innovative and creative and they’re wanting to make radical change and they’re curious and they’re smart and open to innovation. So I think that’s an interesting part of this conversation, especially in the world of learning and growth and performing at work like to recognize, oh, as we move forward, we may accept different opportunities than we would have in the past because we’re seeking different things. We’re not where we were at before, we’re going to be in a different place in the future. There’s other concepts that came up in what you were saying, picking the right clients. Um I think what I heard you touching on is making sure you’re picking the right clients also not getting into projects or things that don’t play to your strengths. I love the book by al re salaries famous for his books on advertising, you wrote the book, positioning. My favorite book by him though is called focus on the future of your company, depends upon it. And it’s just filled with examples you almost like and just kind of like read the first couple of chapters and put it down. But it’s a it’s a good book to be sought out because it’s just filled with cautionary tales about companies who They start expanding product lines for no good reason or when we had that whole trend back and I think it was the 80s was all portfolio and diversifying companies were getting into businesses that they had no business being in and what it did was diffuse them, diffuse their energies and they wind up, you know, selling the thing off at a loss some years later, it’s the same thing that can happen as a solo preneurs are, it’s the same thing that can happen in, you know, teams and things like that. You have to identify your strengths and play to them. And so, you know, focus is very, very important. So I guess related to that is also just staying focused on the work that you set out to do, that you wanted to do, that plays to your strengths. And if it does have anything to do with design, you’re bringing your best thoughts and ideas and energies to it. So your focus is very, very important. You know, I love that having gone through this, my choice in the last couple of years, right deciding to switch it up and it’s very interesting to go through the process. Once you make a choice to focus, offer up your best work and move forward, you take a lot of risks and you have to think about things differently than you did before. Right? Coming from an environment that you, you’re still in this environment, I’m assuming where there’s lots of meetings, there’s lots of decisions that must nominate every day. You make those decisions based upon the external and internal politics of an organization, the money, the timeframes, you base it upon like design, right? You decide which parts of design you’re gonna keep, which you aren’t based upon the level of effort that’s involved and the maintenance involved in these kinds of things and you’re very used to a certain title, being known for certain expertise and then you leave that and make a choice to combine your skills and your strengths in different ways. And there’s a drastic shift in your mindset as you are very vulnerable and don’t have the same measures of success perhaps to look at and you get to experiment if you choose and go, oh, I want to try this and then you try it. You know, it doesn’t resonate quite in the same way. It used to maybe I need to try this and I know I was going to step away from a lot of learning and development and some of the instructional design stuff, but realized I just needed a temporary break to explore different things and now I get to come back to it with more information, write more understanding of different ways things work and to come back to it with a fresh viewpoint where all of the past skills and experiences are honored at the same time, figuring out how to focus in on her own and on. No kidding what is the best use of my time? What is the most value that I offer? And that is, it’s actually something I offer to clients I work with, write like, how do you design your life and your work so that you are in a position to offer up the best to whatever you contribute to, and that is a design process all in and of itself to design that. Yes, it really is true and what you said brings us sort of full circle back to something we said in the beginning about how you took a break from learning for a while, but you got to drink from other wells or do other things or be able to inform the work of fresh when you come back to it because now you have new experiences, new perspectives, you’ve acquired new knowledge or training, it’s very, very important to do that. One of the people who models that very well. I’ve had her on the show a few times is julie Dirksen, She’s the author of design for how people learn and the reason why I was very much gravitated toward her approach is that she’s just um you know, she’s a lover of the L and the world, but at the same time not satisfied with it. So she goes out to other disciplines and finds what’s missing and fills in the gaps and writes great books that bring in. You know, whether it’s things on brain science which he’s very interested in or other things for for me, I was always someone to kind of go out to other realms. Like, like I was never happy with the excuse in the learning and development world for our products, we have this term called, oh, it’s just a page turner. Um These products are page turners, it’s a pejorative term, it’s a it’s a negative assessment of our products. The other boring page turners refer to the typical form that online learning is taken, where it’s a book metaphor and your you have pretty pictures and texts and you turn pages and you know, the the irony of it all is that the vast, overwhelming use of the term page turner is a compliment you when you go buy a book, an actual book, not a book metaphor in the learning. If you’re reading a review from Kirkus reviews saying this book is taught gripping a page turner? You know that it’s a great book, Why can’t our products be page turners, why are we making excuses for our bad writing? Why why is it that we can’t engage learners with text? Why are we tricking out our products with all the ornaments and gimmickry of multimedia and video and Gamification? And guess what? A lot of learners are still bored, there’s something wrong. And so that’s why we have to get out of our closed systems and go to new wells, get the bad air out, bring the heretics into the temple and you know, sort of shake things up. So very very very important, especially with design because there’s a lot of orthodoxy it’s all dressed up as in academia ease and it’s supposed to be you know, doctrine and dogma but it’s a bunch of hogwash and it doesn’t work and uh that’s why people are bored with the products. So I think um I think we’re learning and correcting some of this. But boy, it takes a long time. Well I love that you’ve shared that story because as you were talking, I was back sitting in a meeting hearing you say that right? You I remember you sharing the page turner example Over 10 years ago and as you were sharing it just now I thought you know, isn’t it wonderful you had to be the person that shared that right? Someone sitting in the room that had whatever career choice there an instructional designer maybe and looked at the world from their view, as we all do. Might have said a comment like that, but the way you said it came from experience of being a writer of being a publisher of being someone who loves to bring books into the world from the genres that you chose, right? Like the ones that you have your other podcasts about and everything. You will be able to make that comment from a space of knowing that the world loves these books and there’s no graphics in them. So a lot of people are creating wonderfully engaging content and they don’t happen to be in the world to be learning, but we can learn a lot from them and you were able to bring that knowledge to the table in that I wanted to share a quick thought as we wrap this up and I and I want you to follow up with any design thoughts Anthony that you want to. But I wanted to just share at the end of this interview that I remember when we were recruiting production managers and we were recruiting a couple and your resume came across. I was a hiring manager and I was like, oh, this is interesting. This guy has a lot of video background and some educational videos, some graphics and oh wow, like he’s created his own podcast, he’s the design guy. You know, he’s he’s like sharing design principles and very simple ways and I went out and I listened to your podcast and I could tell by the dates on the podcast and everything that you had really put a lot of effort into it over a couple of months that it wasn’t something that you’d had out for like a year and you gradually did that, it’s something you put out there very quickly and I thought you know, maybe he’s done this as part of his job search, right? He’s got his this out there as a portfolio and I remember thinking, you know, I don’t know that our organization is ready yet for podcasting. I don’t know that you will be able to do some of the things that he did, but we need someone that has this background and thinks this way to help us with our products and maybe at some point we will be ready for him to show us about podcasting and do more podcasting and so from the outside, now looking in, it’s amazing to me to see how all of your past experiences have led to this point where now you are the producer of multiple podcasts and you bring your design thinking to it, you bring your technology to it, you bring your experience now in the acquisition world and production management to it and it kind of brings something that I say a lot now, it’s that no past experience is wasted unless of course you waste it, write it all adds to what you offer the world. And so it’s interesting to see looking back how you are now fully engaged in bringing all of those disciplines together toward designing something that is powerful and useful for a wide range of people. And a lot of that designing is coming through the medium of podcasting and video. Yeah, I appreciate that. You know, and I hope that’s an encouragement to people like a lot of us, we’ve had to do different things in our career. We’ve had to reinvent a lot in an age of disruption so we feel like we’ve got these contradictory things on our resume. But you know, it’s interesting, it all forms a compliment. It’s kind of this tossed salad if you will of things that can all work together and if you can, you often we have a through line in our career, the one I’ve identified is really working with clients to understand their needs, whether that was me selling a variable annuity in boston or Manhattan about 20 years ago or whether it was figuring out that we shouldn’t be creating an e learning thing, we should create a documentary or you know, or just how to solve this one little widget, you know, for somebody. Um it’s all about clients and requirements. So that was my through line. So I would encourage people to just see uh maybe step back and see the forest for the trees and how you can kind of design your career and and everything you did counts. Everything builds upon one another and you can really use it all So good Anthony. In fact, as I have been listening to your responses and sharing in this interview, I’m wishing that we could get on again and talk just about one specific area, because I kind of threw a lot of questions and a lot of information and areas of design out there. But I think you’re a great example of someone that cares very deeply about design and wants to make sure that we keep it very forefront in our lives and our work in solving problems and in all of the things. So I’m glad that you came on today and spoke about that um with us because there’s so many pieces and parts of design to think about, to rethink to be open to hearing from others about, and it’s just it’s a never ending supply of information and thoughts to discuss. Well, thank you for having me on. I’m really excited to have the opportunity. I hope some of this helps. I love free ranging and roving stuff and I hope what we did is actually something that people will follow with interest, because it, you know, it’s like one of those things where, you know, it all interconnects in the end somehow and but it was sure a lot of fun getting to this place. So thank you for having me on and doing this today. Thank you so much. Good luck with all of your endeavors, and I will talk with you soon. Alrighty. Thank you. Mhm. Mhm. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com.

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