Perfectionism is extremely dangerous, and chances are you never get the job done. In fact, many of my labs demos are far from perfect, even stable, but they push the limits. They deliver awesomeness. They provide great experiences.
The hardest part about making good software that ships on time is knowing what and when to sacrifice. As programmers and designers, we often fall in love with our requirements and are unable to kill our darlings. We mistake what we said we’ll do with what must be done. It’s rarely so; you can always do less.
What stops most people from doing less is the fear of failure. The misconception that if you don’t get it all done, the rest is worth nothing at all. That without this feature or that tweak, nobody will want to use it at all. Bollocks. Most software has a tiny essence that justifies its existence, everything after that is wants and desires mistaken for needs and necessities.
The distraction machine: We need to get rid of our computers to get some work done!
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.
Age shouldn’t affect you. It’s just like the size of your shoes – they don’t determine how you live your life! You’re either marvellous or you’re boring, regardless of your age.
The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.
Rule #1: There are no rules.
Rule#2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya.
Rule #3: The production is there to serve the film.
Rule #4: Filmmaking is a collaborative process.
Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”
I acquired a central ability that was to help me through my entire career: patience. I’m serious. Patience is usually so underrated.