I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different.
September 15, 2023
When you’re uncertain which knot is securing your body to the face of a mountain, it’s best not to start undoing any of them willy-nilly.
July 7, 2023
In time, we all end up in a folder somewhere, if we’re lucky.
June 15, 2023
Nobody does a product design sprint on how their app should behave in the event that it unexpectedly no longer exists.
April 7, 2023
Baseball has become one of those things you need to only check on twice a year, like an HVAC, or an aunt.
March 23, 2023
There is no more profound human bias than the expectation that tomorrow will be like today. It is a powerful heuristic tool because it is almost always correct.
March 12, 2023
Why do we do the complicated work and in-depth analysis when the easier thing—just some basic reporting—is also the more valuable thing?
March 7, 2023
Baseball is the most statistically obsessed of all human pursuits.
March 6, 2023
For a few hours Tuesday night, I felt a strange new emotion — a foreboding feeling that A.I. had crossed a threshold, and that the world would never be the same.
February 16, 2023
The kind of things that you learn in this experience are more like what you learn by running a marathon or moving to a new city: you can talk about them, but it doesn’t really impart the knowledge.
January 28, 2023
We set up the clichés and reversed the audience’s expectation of the outcome. That’s all it is. … That worked 30 years ago, it’ll work today and it’ll work 30 years from now.
January 27, 2023
The moment you find out exactly where the robot falls short of the human, it becomes entirely uninteresting.
December 7, 2022
Just because rules are dumb and you are smart, that doesn't always mean that you get to take advantage of them.
October 20, 2022
The past is a map, and it got us here.
October 10, 2022
If you had a magically weighted coin that came up heads 60% of the time, it would take quite a while for your friends to realize your relatively unambitious chicanery.
October 10, 2022
When a dream fails, nothing changes, except that the world becomes gray, without the potential for color shift.
October 3, 2022
Poor design meets one need while creating a dozen others.
September 25, 2022
When you hire someone to run your hot-dog stand and he starts telling the customers that hot dogs are bad for them, that relationship won’t endure. Even if he’s right about the hot dogs.
September 2, 2022
Isn’t that what baseball is about? At some romantic, idealized and admittedly naïve level, it’s about a sport that binds communities.
August 7, 2022
There is a single steadfast rule for being alive right now, and it is: Do not bet against the dumbest possible outcome.
April 25, 2022
Trauma often manifests when adrenaline fades & people exhale.
April 15, 2022
I often trick myself into thinking that the road to less stuff might be paved with more stuff.
January 11, 2022
Souls are as scarce as microchips these days. The supply chain seems to be snarled.
September 20, 2021
Rare events are common at scale.
September 20, 2021
Before you grasp, you have to reach.
June 30, 2021
If a gazelle stops for a snack 60 feet, six inches away from a lion, you can’t give the lion the take sign.
June 4, 2021
Gut instinct doesn't scale.
May 18, 2021
I’ve spent enough time covering the internet to be reflexively anxious about wholly dismissing things just because they’re stupid.
May 11, 2021
I've never seen any life transformation that didn't begin with the person in question finally getting sick of their own bullshit.
February 23, 2021
Optimism shouldn’t be seen as opposed to pessimism, but in conversation with it.
February 4, 2021
A near-miss, interpreted correctly, is a great teacher.
January 31, 2021
The universe is divided into two types of people: “I had to go through it, so you should too” and “I had to go through it, so I will work and change it to make sure you don’t.” You choose.
January 22, 2021
Ignoring near misses is how people and societies get in real trouble the next time.
December 7, 2020
Do your best to find folks doing work you aspire to, and ‘smoosh your nose against their studio window’.
November 9, 2020
Rules are a good start, then break them
November 9, 2020
Sports is and always will be a metaphor for society.
October 28, 2020
We’re driving faster and faster into the future, trying to steer by using only the rear-view mirror.
September 28, 2020
Whether our graves are the cold and shadowy depths of the ocean or a potter’s field stacked with plague victims, the grave awaits us all, and always has. Your efforts matter as much as they always did, which is to say not one little tiny bit, except that they are the most precious of things — they are your heart.
September 2, 2020
Let go or be dragged.
August 24, 2020
Fluidity of memory and a capacity to forget is perhaps the most haunting trait of our species.
August 6, 2020
If you paint stripes on a horse, it doesn’t become a zebra.
June 30, 2020
Takeoffs are optional but landings are mandatory
June 29, 2020
Well begun is half done
June 17, 2020
When someone tells you something is wrong, they’re almost always right. When someone tells you how to fix it, they’re almost always wrong.
June 17, 2020
Charli: “The main thing that bothers me about Morse Code…” (laughter ensues for 10 minutes). There is more than 1 thing?
May 24, 2020
If whatever happened before the first episode were so interesting, the story would’ve started there instead.
April 22, 2020
Focus groups would have thrown chairs at the two-way glass if asked about removing headphone jacks.
April 21, 2020
Who’s paying your bills kind of pushes you in a certain direction.
February 14, 2020
I sort of swore off deadlines because they seemed so hazardous to health. But in many ways, they’re helpful to mental health because you can be done with something.
February 14, 2020
The best time to start a blog is 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.
November 11, 2019
Scientists who study gravity still fall down
September 4, 2019
After every finish line, there is a starting line.
May 25, 2019
Design is a lot like physical fitness: everyone wants the outcome, no one wants to do the work.
May 15, 2019
It's one thing to buy a ticket, plop down in a box seat and take out your frustrations on some bum who hacks weakly at a curveball, but it's a wholly different thing to repeatedly kick a man when he's down.
April 23, 2019
I am afraid of dying, sure, but so far, it hasn’t been an issue.
April 3, 2019
Lying is not my favorite, but when it’s called for the only thing to do is jump in with both feet.
April 3, 2019
They didn’t have a guinea pig mirror at the pet shop. I suggested maybe they have one for dogs or cats that would work, and Madi says “dogs don’t need mirrors — they already know they’re all that”
March 4, 2019
At dinner, Madi keeps finding little bones in her salmon, and is getting frustrated/concerned. Charli chimes in: “You know what they say… ‘Fish got bones!’”
January 15, 2019
People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.
December 15, 2018
It looks and feels wrong in a great way, in a way that a more technically accomplished director could never hope to achieve
December 7, 2018
Case went to John, the bartender, and said, “I don’t understand. There are only two ingredients in a martini. What’s special about yours?” John said, “Oh. You have to make it with love.”
November 29, 2018
I wouldn’t have taken a million dollars not to have known him. But I’d give a million not to know another one like him.
November 26, 2018
Is there a way to celebrate a place without the possibility of destroying it? Or is this just what we are now -- a horde with a checklist and a camera phone, intent on self-producing the destruction of anything left that feels real, one Instagram story at a time?
November 16, 2018
Talking at the dinner table about chow mein noodles which were labeled as “improved taste”. Ashley: they don’t really have a taste, they’re just crunchy. Charli: Yes, they do have taste. Oh my god, do they have taste.
November 7, 2018
Your words carry a lot of weight. But your testimony speaks so much louder when you struggle.
October 24, 2018
But timing always matters. And you can’t do anything about it. It’s almost like the trick is hanging around long enough that your time is right.
October 17, 2018
I guess there came a time, and I missed it, when revealing everything started to be considered art. I’d always learned that concealing everything was art.
September 26, 2018
Scene: Sunday night, Fallon family car. Been out all day, everyone is hungry, still need to make a trip to the grocery store. Madi: “What’s a good dinner cereal?”
August 27, 2018
“I told him I was in a storage room, and it was loud because there was a band downstairs,” he says. “He said, ‘They’re playing a Pearl Jam song.’ I told him, ‘That IS Pearl Jam.’ ”
August 6, 2018
The camera crew listened patiently to his rambling story, silently recognizing the inconsequential details found in stories told by liars.
July 31, 2018
In fact, as I wrote this article I realized just how far the iMac’s design legacy has gone. My family owns a bright blue first-generation Nissan Leaf. I realize now that for the last year I’ve been driving around an iMac G3.
May 6, 2018
If I have a pie, and I fill it with dirt and put a slice of apple in it, it does not make it an apple pie
November 18, 2017
Nowadays, companies hang flat screen TVs hanging on the walls, all them running 24/7 to display a variety of charts. Most everyone ignores them. The spirit is right, to be transparent all the time, but the understanding of human nature is not. We ignore things that are shown to us all the time.
November 15, 2017
We have built a world which operates at scale, where human oversight is simply impossible, and no manner of inhuman oversight will counter most of the examples I’ve used in this essay.
November 7, 2017
Our culture might be a corpse, and everything you see in it and confuse for life might just be the nails and hair of the corpse still expanding after death.
August 26, 2017
Am I the man who falls out of a skyscraper, and as he passes the second storey, says, ‘So far, so good?’
July 28, 2017
There wasn’t really time to kick your feet back on the desk and say, ‘This is going to be really fucking awesome one day.’ It was like, ‘Holy fuck, we’re fucked.’
June 15, 2017
Now, I’m no fan of death. I don't like the time commitment, or the permanence. A number of people I love are dead and it has strained our relationship.
June 5, 2017
Tech culture prefers to solve harder, more abstract problems that haven't been sullied by contact with reality. So they worry about how to give Mars an earth-like climate, rather than how to give Earth an earth-like climate
June 5, 2017
The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are assholes.
April 20, 2017
I said, “Harry, pretty soon I’m not going to have a job. I’m retiring. But everything will be the same.” And he said, “Will I still get to watch the Cartoon Network?” That was his concern about my retirement.
March 6, 2017
Grandma Melinda: “Whoa Charli, you’re really into those oranges.” Charli: “Somebody’s not gettin’ scurvy!”
March 5, 2017
A survey commissioned by National Geographic found that forty per cent of Americans believed that stocking up on supplies or building a bomb shelter was a wiser investment than a 401(k).
January 30, 2017
Of course his shirt’s top couple buttons were undone and his tie was askew and his whole just general appearance made it look like he’d been rolled down a hill, because Stan Van Gundy always looks like he’s just been rolled down a hill
January 19, 2017
Diversity is insurance of the mind.
January 5, 2017
For the bullshitter, it doesn’t really matter if he is right or wrong. What matters is that you’re paying attention.
December 30, 2016
On a scale of 1 to 10, the attention to detail on an average job is about an 8. For Apple it was 100, just off-the-charts, unprecedented attention to detail. Should the sleeves be rolled up twice or three times? Should the jeans come in at the bottom just a half-an-inch? Are those shoelaces off-putting?
December 14, 2016
Steve's one of those guys that can argue both sides of the same argument in the same paragraph and convince you twice.
December 14, 2016
Me: “Is it Ur-anus or Ura-nus?” Charli: “Either, but Ur-anus is more embarrassing.”
December 11, 2016
But this is prizefighting, where every concussive blow a boxer lands on his opponent can be seen as a brief lesson in moral relativity.
November 18, 2016
An ark is useless until it has a place to make landfall.
November 14, 2016
The same brutal, merciless ingenuity that we bring to ruining the world is the exact same ingenuity applied by the scientists working at the Frozen Zoo and elsewhere, poised at the horizon of existence, willfully pulling our animal brethren back from the edge
November 14, 2016
So the very things that appeal to people about him are the opposite of most sports TV does. It's like we can't get enough of this, and we can't stop doing the exact opposite.
September 28, 2016
But just as modern street lighting has slowly blotted the stars from the visible skies, so too have cars and planes and factories and flickering digital screens combined to rob us of a silence that was previously regarded as integral to the health of the human imagination.
September 21, 2016
Yes, online and automated life is more efficient, it makes more economic sense, it ends monotony and “wasted” time in the achievement of practical goals. But it denies us the deep satisfaction and pride of workmanship that comes with accomplishing daily tasks well, a denial perhaps felt most acutely by those for whom such tasks are also a livelihood — and an identity.
September 21, 2016
A/B testing is a lifetime subscription to Humble Pie Magazine.
September 20, 2016
You can get better, no matter how good you are, if you do the work — tirelessly, relentlessly and with a profound and abiding belief that what you are doing matters.
September 19, 2016
Is it possible that parkour, with its emphasis on agility and creativity instead of bulk and brute force, is really the tightest link we have in sports to our evolutionary past?
August 19, 2016
Charli: “I don’t like Peanut M&Ms. I like peanuts, and M&Ms.”
August 10, 2016
The more a designer understands how the business works, the more valuable they will be to employers.
July 22, 2016
If you want to put your trust in people who want something from you, go ahead. But don’t act shocked when you get bullshit in return.
July 15, 2016
We should not listen to people who promise to make Mars safe for human habitation, until we have seen them make Oakland safe for human habitation.
July 4, 2016
The dust-gathering 3D printers, soon to be joined by dust-gathering VR headsets, are symbolic.
May 23, 2016
The way technology works is that by default, it stands still, and it moves forward only when something pushes it forward.
March 27, 2016
From way out here, it hits you that we’re living in a phase—a sad little window that an intelligent species inevitably passes through, when they’re advanced enough to understand their own mortality, but still too primitive to save themselves from it
March 24, 2016
Do you think we’re headed toward a future where we’re only going to be talking about weird, very hard to forecast events, precisely because we get good at avoiding a lot of problems and mistakes?
February 23, 2016
I think a lot of people have one or two really good insights, and if you’re very lucky that can take you a long way.
February 23, 2016
Trying to decide what we want for dinner and Charli says: “I feel like Italian – home of the carb”
November 27, 2015
A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.
November 13, 2015
To be emotional is to attach yourself to something you value supremely but don’t fully control. To be passionate is to put yourself in danger
October 31, 2015
Setting up the Roomba, trying to decide on a name for it. Charli: “Is it a boy or a girl?” Madi: “I dunno, did you look?”
August 16, 2015
The light at the end of the tunnel is just the world on fire.
August 10, 2015
You make people happier not by giving them more options but by stripping them away.
July 18, 2015
When everything works, the reader flashes green and emits a pleasing tone; if something goes wrong, it glows blue—never red. Red lights are forbidden at Disney, as they imply something bad happened. Nothing bad can happen at Disney World.
July 18, 2015
Overheard in Venice: “It’s the world, bro – people lie.”
June 12, 2015
I like tasks that are on the cusp of being achievable.
August 20, 2014
Me: “Free Birds got an 18% on rotten tomatoes”. Madi: “I knew it was gonna be bad… too many fart jokes in the trailer”.
March 15, 2014
Sometimes it’s no good to be too humble. Sometimes it’s no good to be too egocentric. So what has happened is, I took him down, he pulled me up, and we met in the middle. That is Siegfried & Roy.
October 21, 2013
Charli: “Ooooh, a “tripod”? What is that, 3 iPods?”
September 29, 2013
Charli’s favorite saying lately: “I’m not arguing, I’m just making points”
August 13, 2013
Part of a conversation Madi and Charli actually had: “Don’t ever ask a woman how old she is. You could ask a female dog, though”
June 6, 2013
Charli-ism (replying to the statement “ah, that’s nothin”): “It’s something… but it’s not nothing”
June 6, 2013
Charli-ism: “There’s only two ways to find out”
June 6, 2013
If the seams have been covered, you can’t admire how things connect.
March 14, 2013
Charli: “5 is my unlucky number. It just doesn’t look smart.”
February 12, 2013
Charli: “I love dominoes, they’re so clappy”
January 31, 2013
Me: “I bet by the time you’re old enough to vote you’ll be able to vote on the internet.” Madi: “Yeah, or just hand my vote to a robot”
November 6, 2012
Charli: “Dad, did you know that baseball is interesting to me for 5 minutes?”
October 14, 2012
I’d say every designer should design a clock at some point.
July 20, 2012
Charli: “Dad, have you played Monopoly before?” Me: “Yes.” Charli: “Then how come you have no money?”
July 12, 2012
RT @PearlJam: “The only person that I have met, that I have ever been in awe of, is Eddie Vedder.” - Pete Sampras
June 28, 2012
Talking about Guy Fieri w/ Madi – “Wait, that's his real name?” I say yes & she says “Really? Like, when he was born his mom named him Guy?”
March 26, 2012
Madi, as we drive by a retirement home: “it's kind of like an orphanage for old people”
March 10, 2012
Happiness is the most important metric in personal technology. If it improves lives, it is important.
January 28, 2012
Madi: why can't I see the lint on your shirt now? Me: a black light made it show up before Madi: what? that would just be a light turned off
January 2, 2012
Madi: “Why don't restaurants have clocks in them? That's my biggest issue.”
December 10, 2011
Madi: “Dogs make you happy. Cats make you... Eh.”
November 11, 2011
I think that you can wait forever for the muse to sit on your shoulder, but most of the time you know what has to be done and inspiration is not going to help you.
October 6, 2011
Stop. Pull everything together into a single stack, take a breath, and enjoy the work. We’re not tarring roofs in 100° heat. We get to build for the web, and life is wonderful.
September 20, 2011
The DirecTV screensaver just bounced off the corner of the screen PERFECTLY. No better way to punctuate a great vacation.
August 15, 2011
Me: “I wonder what cell phones will be like when you're a teenager.” Madi: “I bet they'll be awesome, like 'Phineas & Ferb' awesome.”
July 2, 2011
We make in the hope that what we produce can carry us somewhere better, to a place more satisfactory. If we can do this for ourselves, we are lucky. When we are able to do so for others, we are tending towards glory.
June 20, 2011
Charli: “Dad, did you know that work is fun?”
May 29, 2011
My 5 year old daughter informed me the male seahorse carries the eggs, and I had to pretend I didn't already learn that from @JimGaffigan
May 18, 2011
Madi: “Dad, did Mom make dinner or did you make dinner?” Me: “Mom.” Madi: “Good.”
May 9, 2011
In every kind of creative endeavor – and great technology is indeed a form of creative expression – there’s a difference between real art and mere technical competence. It’s impossible to quantify but which everybody can intuit it almost instantly.
March 15, 2011
Charli: “Here's the thing. If someone is mean to you, be nice to them. That's what I tell people at school.”
January 13, 2011
Madi, looking at a caramel coffee poster: “Look at that caramel, they're like cubes of happiness.”
November 16, 2010
Eating Cocoa Puffs, designing a web page, and listening to Willie Nelson. Am I 10, 30, or 60 years old?
October 7, 2010
Ashley: “Wait, is Spiderman a spider or does he fight spiders?”
September 28, 2010
Charli noticed me on the iPad and said, “Hey Dad, it's your big phone”.
September 18, 2010
Ashley (trying to get Charli to do a paint spin art thing): “Come on, try it — it's fun.” Charli: “I'll tell you what's fun — movies.”
June 23, 2010
Sometimes a design isn’t working because you think you can’t change the one element that needs to be changed.
May 31, 2010
Madi, watching Brian Boitano: “Why are they cheering? Do they think this is his first time ice skating?”
December 30, 2009
According to Madi, the opposite of Rickey Henderson is Ducky Benderson.
July 25, 2009