I’m with this turtle life
Some creative writing I did for SUSAN HAMILTON’S TECHNOLOGY CONCERN, some months ago.
Let’s say you’re reading this at night. You’ve poured yourself into the warm folds of your old couch for a decidedly langorious night of Netflix binging Master of None.
Aziz is around for 5 minutes before –
You lift yourself up to answer it. The effort is Herculean. You’ll tell your grandkids about it someday.
“Hi, it’s UPS.”
You hold the
Open button for a moment, let go and turn back to –
“Actually, I need you to come down and sign for this.”
Hesistating over the talk button, you eventually reply, “Okay.”
You get dressed and slump downstairs, where you’re greeted by an anxious looking woman with little resemblance and no relation to Susan Hamilton.
“Hi”, she sounds mousier than she did over the intercom. You notice the brown leather handbag over her shoulder, but no package.
“Hi, You’ve got a package or something for me?”
Some time passes.
“Sorry, I lied to get you down here.”
“I’m here to take you to Night-Time Only Cereal”
“Huh?”, you’re understandably confused and annoyed. “Listen, I’m not really buying anything, so yeah… I’m… gonna go now. Cya.”
“Just a second!”, she exclaims as she grabs your hand. This is pretty awkward. “This is my job so just go with it. I know it’s awkward, but stuff like this always is.”
“Stuff like what?”, you move to pull your arm away, but you’re wrenched in place. Despite being in no way related to Susan Hamilton, she’s surprisingly strong.
“Your name is on my list.” She lets go of your hand. “So I’d like you to come with me. By the way, do you know what the best thing about cereal is?”
“Cereal? Like the breakfast food?” She nods. “I dunno, it tastes good? or something?” You need to wrap this up and get out of here.
With a smirk she replies, “Everyone says that, but no one thinks about the things that happen around you when you’re eating it. Cereal is innocence. Saturday morning cartoons, the breakfast table, getting ready for school, sunlight pouring in over your glass of OJ. Back then everything was okay. You were okay.”
“Sure, I’m okay now thanks.”
“Come on.”, She turns, gently opens the front door and glides through it. Her heels click smartly with each step away from you. The door stays mostly open behind her.
Do you go with her?
Continued in part 2, or not.
|Selling albums||Selling versions|
|Selling albums||Selling versions|
|Record shops||Computer stores|
|Artists and producers||Engineers and designers|
|Releasing singles||Releasing features|
|Streaming||Web apps, app stores|
|Spotify, Apple||Web, iOS, Android|
Art and Engineering get closer everyday. Subscriptions push constant iterative improvements. Platforms help us discover new stuff, but as the the relationship between creators and their fans becomes more personal, the best stuff is just between us.
In software, like with art and fashion, sometimes what’s old is new again. When it comes to playful creative software, Kid Pix is a kind of software product we don’t see much anymore.
In 1989, Craig Hickman released Kid Pix for his infant son who enjoyed Mac Paint on the original Macintosh, but because he wasn’t able to read yet, struggled with the menus and traditional art tool (brushes, paints, pens) based UI metaphors. Kid Pix is charming and engaging in a way that’s aged remarkably well.
The first time I used Kid Pix it had color and I was a wee tyke in grade 4. It definitely made an impact, probably for no other reason than because it was fun, and had wacky sound effects. Kids are easy that way.
Looking back on it, Hickman was the rarest of people who type things for a living. Both a talented programmer and an ace designer who used empathy and observation to build a creation tool with a real sense of fun, whimsy and imagination.
According to his handy retrospective, Hickman designed Kid Pix around some interesting principles:
I’ve learned in the last couple months how important laying-out and describing your product principles upfront can be. It’s work that pays for itself over and over again – especially when you add teammates.
Good principles force you to make tough, sometimes moral, choices upfront based on what personally feels right. They may not be perfect from the start, but just like life, changing as you grow and learn new things is totally cool.
In grade 4, Kid Pix was simply a good time with colors.
20 or so years later, it still is. But now it’s obvious how good Hickman really was. His process was timeless, so was the result.