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Content machines; Endless uncertainty; Bad decisions

Milk, No Sugar
📖 Issue #327

I was a guest on a YouTube series for early career designers this week (will share the video when I have it) and one question I was asked has stuck in my head.
It was about the difference between large and small companies, how your work changes and how the enjoyment at each differs.
Having now worked at both (previously only worked at <30 people startups, and now find myself at one that’s >700 people), I can feel a very strong difference.
Smaller places attract those that prefer to do a lot of different things, a generalist if you will. It’s perfect for someone like me who jumps around doing 100 things every day, but can feel quite intimidating to those that prefer a clear list of things to do.
If you’re the kind of person who loves uncertainty and treating each day like a clean slate, a small startup might just be for you. If you prefer order, ritual, and consistency, maybe it’s the larger one.
Each one sells itself very well, but honestly isn’t suitable for everyone. So if you’re consider jumping into either something small, or something large, bear this in mind.
Does that mean I’m not happy in my job? Nope, I’m having a great time. Luckily, the European side of Figma allows us to be as scrappy and “startupy” as we need to. Big companies can be small companies too.
📷 Look
Carmel, California
Carmel, California
📖 Read
❶ We’re all content machines now
Do you remember when that picture of an egg went viral? Or when “clickbait” wasn’t just…the norm? In this post, they speak with an author who describes that everything we create now is a “race to the bottom”, rather than striving for editorial excellence. Our strive for shorter, faster, and more to the point is ensuring that the TikToks will win, for sure!
❷ Endless uncertainty
This article focusses on two mental models - complacency, optimism, and predictability vs well, the opposite. They state that the more comfortable people become with the present, the more blind they are to uncertain events in the future i.e. a global economic collapse. I’d encourage you to read this purely for the President Clinton speech snippet from January 2000, to see how fast optimism can swing.
A few bad decisions
You are all well drilled enough now to know how much I love content about decision making, and guess what? We have one riiiight here. This article explores a concept called “negativa”, which encourages us to seek out and prevent errors, rather than trying to strive for brilliance. E.g. checking off your small to-dos every day rather than aiming for one massive win. Makes sense when you think about it, right?
Bonus round
  • If you’re into illustration, London’s Victoria and Albert museum has published the entries for the 2022 illustration awards. Get doodlin’.
🎧 Listen
Building a vaccine, with Moderna’s CEO
This is part 1 of 2, where they interview the CEO of Moderna about how wild the race was back in 2020 to create and distribute a COVID vaccine. Amazingly, he said that through technology, they actually created the vaccine in 10 minutes without having seen the virus, it was the testing that forced a release months later. How about that!
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Milk, No Sugar
Milk, No Sugar @disco_lu

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