4. Love Your Experiments

Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.


This is at the heart of Design Making, a program I helped launch at Capital One several years ago. This is #2 on my list, second to #3 on the manifesto.

Joy is the engine of growth. I can’t help but think back on Forget About Good. Mau mentions that “growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.” He’s right. Joy is infectious. It’s inspiring, motivating and rewarding. It makes growth easy and fun. You grow without even realizing it.

Through Design Making, we use creative play and creative exercises to solve problems. But at it’s core, we encourage people to get off their electronics, do something that’s uncomfortable and create for the sake of creating. Exploiting the liberty of creative experimentation. It is at this juncture that we hope to facilitate innovation in others.

I conduct a monthly exercise with designers. They each are given a puzzle piece and 15 minutes to create something that represents themselves. It’s funny how I can immediately pick out who either didn’t care or didn’t buy into the idea. It says a lot about the kind of creative they are and the work I have on my hands.

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