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Total Eclipse of the Art

The emotional process of creating anything

with Stephen Martell @sajmartell

There is an emotional journey when you’re trying to create something amazing

  • Creating anything is really, really, really, really fucking hard
  • In the beginning: Honeymoon phase. Everyone is on board!
    • The team feels invincible!
  • And then the dip approaches - things are starting to feel difficult
    • Acknowledge that it’s going to be tough
    • Keep sharing progress. Show people it’s going to be difficult.
    • Fail fast
    • Keep prototyping. Iterate!
  • Then the bug starts to come - this is not what I planned!
    • Bugs are rolling in
    • People start to distance themselves, bail out, blame outhers
    • Don’t get angry yet! This isn’t rock bottom yet!
    • Reiterate the goal. Revisit the product’s goal and context.
  • The Dip - Your confidence escapes you
    • Remember you’re not alone in this project.
    • You may have to relinquish control and accept help.
    • And it now feels like hell
      • “If people weren’t involved. This would be easy.” - STOP THIS. Chart a path, motivate people, align expectations (it doesn’t mean sacrifice the outcome)
      • Persist! Find humour in the situation.
  • You now have a product but it’s prickly
    • It’s working; but full of issues.
    • The sting of getting hurt takes a while to dissipate
    • Earn trust through action
    • Avoid the temptation to end the project here. Fight project fatigue!
    • Prop up those who stuck it out - Getting through the shit together makes you stronger.
    • Think on your feet to add value
  • Later on, progress seeps in (and you feel it). And then success.
    • Remember you work with people
    • When things are tough, revert to the objectives than machine talk
    • None of us is as smart as all of us
    • Creativity conquers all!