How fixing what's broke is not about knowing what to do

In this issue: the law of incubation, simplicity, maximizing vs optimizing, and your options when things don't go as planned


If you want to be more creative, give your ideas time to hatch.

A common mistake I see my students make is giving up too soon.

Try this next time you’re stuck:

  • go for a walk in silence

  • take a coffee break

  • let your subconscious bake your ideas!

This is the Law of Incubation.


Clear, Not Clever

When designing a visual metaphor, one of the most important elements to nail down is the labels you use.

Labels are words, arrows, even punctuation that communicate what the metaphor is.

And the key to using effective labels is clarity. Clarity is step 1 of my 3-Step framework to making a visual.

What’s critical to remember—clarity is about removing as much friction as possible between you and your audience to get your message across.

(And that means you can’t hide behind fancy words if your message is unclear to begin with)

When you write in a fancy way to impress people, you make them do extra work just so you can seem cool

Paul Graham

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Maximizing your day vs Optimizing your day

(this is coffee by the way 😆 — I didn’t realize how the holiday season might make this look like hot chocolate…but then again…maybe it still works…what do you think?)


“Be big enough to admit mistakes,
smart enough to profit from them,
strong enough to correct them.”
-John C. Maxwell

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