Archive for June, 2014

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The Long Game

Do you ever have that feeling that everyone else is more successful than you?
If you think that’s bad – try being Leonardo Da Vinci.

This is the first of a two-part series on our distorted view of creativity and success.

The Long Game Part 1: Why Leonardo DaVinci was No Genius

The Long Game Part 2: The Missing Chapter

All of history’s greatest figures achieved success in almost exactly the same way. But rather than celebrating this part of the creative process we ignore it.

This missing chapter in the story of success reveals the secret to doing meaningful work. But in the modern world, full of distraction, do we have what it takes to do great things?

This celebration of youth, coupled with technology, has distorted our perception of time — the world moves faster, and so do our expectations. Today, we want success in seventeen levels, or seventeen minutes, seventeen seconds — and when the promise of something new and better is just a click away, who wants to wait seventeen years? But that’s the thing that connects all of these great people — they played the long game.

All of us have the brain, and the talent, and the creativity to join them. But now, right when it matters, do any of us have the patience?


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James Victore

James Victore’s is an amazing artist and posters designer.

His work has been exhibited at the MoMA, and belongs to permanent collections of museums in Paris, Washington, D.C., Zürich and Amsterdam. His clients include the New York Times, TIME Magazine, Moët & Chandon, the City of New York and Esquire.

Victore speaks regularly around the globe, is a professor at the School of Visual Arts, lectures at RISD and also teaches through his own events like “The Dinner Series” and “Take This Job & Love It.”

He inspires many with his Burning Questions series on YouTube.


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Seeing Spaces


What if we designed a new kind of “maker space” — a space that isn’t just for putting pieces together, but also for seeing and understanding a project’s behavior in powerful ways?

  • seeing inside 
  • seeing across time 
  • seeing across possibilities 

“I think people need to work in a space that moves them away from the kinds of non-scientific thinking that you do when you can’t see what you’re doing — moves them away from blindly following recipes, from superstitions and rules of thumb — and moves them towards deeply understanding what they’re doing, inventing new things, discovering new things, contributing back to the global pool of human knowledge.” 

Presented at the EG conference on May 2, 2014. 

Art by David Hellman. 

Bret Victor —


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Why Cory Doctorow is sending 200 copies of “Little Brother” to a high-school in Pensacola, FL

The students at Booker T Washington High School in Pensacola, FC were assigned my novel Little Brother ( as their school-wide, One School/One Book summer read — and then they weren’t. The principal reversed the previously approved assignment including the curriculum units that the school librarian and head of English had developed, because, it seems, he disagreed with the book’s content.

However, I believe that kids will become especially interested in anything you tell them they shouldn’t read! My publisher, Tor Books, has offered TWO HUNDRED FREE COPIES of Little Brother to the students at BTHS, and I’m also going to send them a limited edition hardcover for their school charity drive, as well as nifty posters with the full text of the book to put up in the school. And I’ll still be videoconferencing in with any students who want to talk with me about the book in the fall.


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Mike Lee – Being Better

Before he was known as the Mayor of Appsterdam, legendary product engineer and world’s toughest programmer Mike Lee worked on apps for Alaska Airlines, Delicious Monster, Tapulous, United Lemur, Apple, and Nextive, producing such hits as Delicious Library, Tap Tap Revenge, Obama ’08, and Apple’s Mobile Store.

Mike lives in a 17th century canal house in Amsterdam with his partner Judy and their cats, Wiebel and Wobbel. Mike enjoys racing cars, flying airplanes, and playing guitar, but he’s also content sitting beside the canal, sharing a single-cask whisky with friends.


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All by myself

When Georgia resident Richard Dunn found himself stuck at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, he went a little nuts. He created video of himself singing ‘All By Myself’ and then got more than 1 million views on Vimeo.


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