While catching up on postings from the various blogs I read regularly, I came across an entry by Seth Godin about the cycles through which business and industry move. He used Singer Sewing Machines as an example reminding his readers of the success Singer Co. formerly enjoyed and the relative decline of the company’s significance in the national economy. The rise and fall of economic and corporate significance for the company effectively mapped its cycle. He ended his post with the following statement: “The best marketing strategy is to destroy your industry before your competition does.”
A fascinating point worth further reflection. One that reminded me of something one of my colleagues in grad school said when in a group critique session. There was often an air of discomfort during these crit sessions as forward assertions about another’s work appeared to be culturally controversial; students seemed to feel that we were all emotionally attached to our work so to critique a colleague’s work was to critique the colleague. The notion of constructive criticism to catalyze design development seemed beyond my peers so these sessions often seemed futile. But one spring afternoon, one of the more outspoken students said he felt it was important to learn to “kill your darlings.” He continued by explaining that one must become emotionally disengaged from their work, enough to carry it through an ever moving evolutionary process. He continued by reminding us that it was important not to become too attached to a single idea or iteration and to allow the design process to flow.
Both important points about a theme – do not get too attached to an idea, product, iteration or state of being. Leave room for growth, learning, change and evolution.