The next phase of human evolution is about collaboration not competition, but the belief that our survival still depends on being the fittest is fundamentally entrenched in our language and culture. Instead of being the fittest, we should think about how each of us fits into a complex and collective human endeavor to make the world more beautiful for more people.
"Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Here’s how I think about writing in public: you have to weigh the importance of feeling safe with the importance of being known. My therapist once described writing as a way for me to gain control over how I am seen (insert joke about the “being perceived” meme). I agree with that: instead of relying on someone else to narrativize my life or offer an observation about me, I use writing as a way to assert my own narrative. It’s how I remain more subject than object, how I maintain conviction in my own agency. Writing in public is a way to get constant feedback—to prove to myself that what I’m writing is worth something to someone.
Make the announcement louder. Make the logo bigger. Yell. Call more people on the phone to sell them an extended warranty. Send more emails. Hustle harder.
None of it works.
The problem with the fountain isn’t that they didn’t make a big enough sign. The problem is that the fountain itself is poorly designed. It’s an attractive nuisance, a dangerous thing to put in the middle of a boring courtyard. The sides invite sitting and standing, and the height beckons people to walk in and around it. And the consistent cues of its design aren’t going to be undone by an ugly, intrusive sign, even one in red with ALL CAPS.
And louder and more persistent PA announcements aren’t going to help if the situation people are in has lulled them into not listening.
And a bigger logo isn’t going to get someone to care about your company if the product and your story don’t resonate with them.
Insisting on a bigger interruption is lazy. It’s lazy because if you really cared about solving the problem, you’d change the situation, not yell about it.
If you get the design right, you can whisper instead.