While driving to and from work over the last two weeks I’ve been listening to the unabridged audiobook of the Steve Jobs biography (by Walter Isaacson) and it’s reinvigorated my spirit a bit. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve seen some interesting behaviors – both good and bad – that I share with Steve Jobs. It’s helped to point out some of the less appealing behaviors I sometimes engage in, but also served to reinforce my belief that the best user experiences are derived from end-to-end design.
A great example of this belief can be found in the design and functionality of the iPhone. The iPhone isn’t great just because the hardware looks good and the software works well. It’s a compilation of a multitude of factors – everything from the materials used, the shape of the hardware, the arrangement of sensors and buttons, the way the homescreen is rendered with iconographic buttons that aren’t too big for small fingers or too small for big fingers. It’s the whole package that makes the device so sexy, usable, and amazing.
As I work every day at Monster to try and make our software products better, more intuitive, and better looking, I find myself looking back to the first thing I remember about Apple as an adult – the “Think Different” campaign. Until I’d heard the text of it again tonight, I had forgotten how inspirational the words were to me, and still are:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
I intend to print this out tomorrow and keep it in my field of vision at my desk at work. It’s something I need to read and remember and keep in mind every day. It is a mantra to those who care about making great things, and I intend to make great things.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
Just two full days left and I go home. It might sound trite to start a post like that, but I’m in a trite mood. I’m tired of my digestive system being unable to cope with food that isn’t 95% preservatives. I’m tired not sleeping in my own bed (as the one that I’ve got here in Prague has a spring that pokes me in the side no matter how I shift). I’m also just generally tired of being tired.
So, now that I’ve got all of the cheery stuff out of the way, it’s a Wednesday and I’m feeling particularly snarky (obviously). Started eating real food again today, which about an hour later turned into more digestive issues. Nothing on par with puking, but almost as bad. Never the less, I’m getting a lot of work accomplished (in between trips to the bathroom) and we’re about ready to do the code freeze for version 3.1. That means tonight the code is released to QA, who will promptly shit all over it and my friends in Development will have to re-write half of what they’ve done because… well… that’s just how the SDLC works around here.
I’ve noticed that Prague tends to be overcast all of the time. I think that explains the architecture. Structurally, everything is beautiful and complex, but the colors are just dull. Strange dichotomy.
The women are still beautiful, and I have to continually refrain from smiling every time I see a woman who very obviously is from a (former) Soviet Bloc state who has hair of an obviously fake color, a short skirt, dark hose, and hooker boots. In the US that would be quite an isolated event. Here in Prague, pretty much every other woman looks like that. The novelty has not, and shall not, wear off.
Tonight is the big team outing – all of Dev (plus me) is heading out “somewhere” for drinks after work. I just hope I have the intestinal fortitude to handle it.
Okay, back to trying to stay awake and not completely get sick again.
It’s an overcast Tuesday here in Prague. The Pigeons are gigantic and look like they may have eaten small children. There’s a shopping center built into an old building with amazing early 1900’s style Art Deco construction inside. It’s like looking at a movie depicting New York in the 1920’s. Positively stunning.
My appetite has returned, although my stomach still isn’t feeling great. I still have a feeling of fullness that makes no sense given that I’ve had nothing to eat in 36 hours and only 16oz of water total. Never the less, I’m having a few rice cakes now and plan to take it easy for the rest of the day. I managed to find a shop that carries Tums, though the box doesn’t visually look like any kind of antacid I’ve ever seen.
A lot of work has been completed today. A lot of the Section 508 tickets I was sent here to deal with have been resolved (closed, actually; functionality has changed a lot in the 4 years since most tickets were put in the system…), and I gave a successful presentation on what is Section 508 and how we need to integrate it into our work.
It’s about 12:30pm back at home, and 5:30pm here. I could use a nap. I look forward to getting back to my hotel tonight and watching a few episodes of The West Wing (Season 6) and finishing up the last half of Memoirs of a Geisha. After that, bed. No dinner – stomach’s just not ready yet.
Tomorrow, hopefully, some protein. Protein of the porcine variety, I hope.
Euro (Business) Trip – Day 1
Today… I am sick. I went to bed around 10pm local last night and woke up around midnight with stomach pains and… other gross issues I won’t talk about. After I woke up for work this morning at 7:30am I was feeling extremely dizzy, nauseous, and having cold sweats. Called my co-worker, Hugh, and let him know what was going on. He was kind enough to bring over some sports drinks for me (for when I felt like I could digest anything) and spent the day until 3pm in bed sleeping.
So, I’ve made it to work now, and I’m feeling a bit better but definitely extremely dehydrated and my stomach is not well. I’m not going to eat today, and might need to just stick to US branded packaged food for the rest of the trip. I think I know what caused the stomach issues (some cheese with lunch yesterday that might not have been pasteurized) but I’d rather just avoid them all together and stick to simple foods that my silly American stomach can deal with.
Also need to find antacids… badly…
I had breakfast and lunch with Hugh, a friend and coworker who is based at the Monster office here in Prague. After that I wandered around the city via Tram and by foot. Saw the Mala Strana (Little City), Charles Bridge, and (thanks to Tram #9) 45 minutes of what we’d call the suburbs.
I also discovered, thanks to Hugh, that the National Theater is a block from my hotel, and that our office is in Wencelas Square (the center of town) which is two or three blocks away.
The center of Prague is beautiful and the outskirts are very reminiscent of pictures I’ve seen of large apartments and shops in Russia from the communist era.
I’m getting a lot of exercise and sweating my balls off. I’m definitely not in great shape for a walking city, but I’m muddling through it. I’ve probably lost a few pounds already thanks to the massively unattractive amount of sweat I’m putting out. Also my pants are hanging loosely so I need to find a knife or something to cut a new notch in my belt.
It’s only 4:15 pm so the day isn’t over yet, though I’m pretty tuckered out. Might have to visit a local McDonalds for dinner. Hey, why not? I’ve always wanted to try a Royale with Cheese*.
(* bonus points for anyone who gets the reference. )
Hopefully I’ll post some pictures tomorrow. Till then, ahoj!
12 Apr, 2011
in Games, iPad, Software
Seriously, Angry Birds is an evil game. I played it for two hours tonight until 3am. I should’ve been asleep at by at the most 1:30am.
Damn you, Angry Birds.
But, uh… I love you.