Getting Everything You Want (Alexandria Issue #021)

A bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to bringing you the best content related to design, technology, and entrepreneurship.


Featured Article

Gram soriano

On Design

“This is what worries me about design thinking: its colossal and seductive promise. There was an earlier Anglo-American vogue for design — a love affair with industrial design, beginning in the Depression era — but it was relatively benign in its claims and its outcomes. This more recent vogue for design thinking seems more insidious because it promises so much more. It promises a creative and delightful escape from difficulty, a caper through the Post-it Notes to innovative solutions. And it promises this as a service, delivered at what is often great cost — not just to IBM and Intuit and Starbucks, but to villages and nonprofit organizations and cities like Gainesville without enormous resources to spare.”

More Amazing Reads

How Does It Feel To Get Everything You Ever Wanted?

“There are two tragedies in life, Oscar Wilde once said: not getting what you want and getting everything you want. The last, he lamented, is much worse. I wanted to be a writer. I don’t know when that dream started, but for a very long time, I craved accomplishment in this creative calling that very few are lucky enough to make a living in, let alone find success in. So how does that feel? How does it feel to have everything you ever wanted in life? To have it earlier than you ever could have realistically expected?”

Great Strategies Depend on Great Inputs — Here’s How to Find Them

“How do you come up with a good strategy for your startup? Should you study business school concepts like “the five forces” or “accumulating advantages”? Or perhaps just emulate companies like Amazon and Google? Hiten has a different idea: focus on the inputs — the facts you observe about your market and customers that get fed into strategy frameworks. But in order to understand that, we need to zoom out and first understand Hiten’s model for how strategy formulation even works. Then, we’ll learn where most founders go wrong, and hear his tactical advice for how to improve your strategy process.”

Simple Systems Have Less Downtime

“As a former naval architect and a current marketing consultant to startups, I found that the same principle that lets a 13-person crew navigate the world’s largest container ship to a port halfway around the world without breaking down also applies to startups working towards aggressive growth goals: Simple systems have less downtime.”

Designing Forms for Gender Diversity and Inclusion

“Gender diversity inclusion is work. It requires thinking, training, researching, testing, testing, testing, iterating, and keeping up with labels. But it’s worth pursuing it as gender fluidity is likely to become a more and more widely accepted concept in our society. Trans & GNC people and their allies want to see organizations take action rather than just say they’re supportive. Accommodating for people’s different choices is part of that. So making a small change like this can be beneficial to your target audience, they will appreciate your effort and desire to listen, even if the first attempt is not perfect.”

How To Design Mobile Apps For One-Hand Usage

“90% of the smartphones sold today have >5-inch displays. Bigger screen real estate presents newer challenges and opportunities for app makers and designers. Let’s look at how designing apps for one-handed usage can solve those challenges.”

Building With Friction

“I recently wrote about how important it is to make the right thing easy. The opposite is also true: it’s important to make the wrong things difficult. I did allude to it in that post a little bit, but I thought it was worth calling out explicitly. It’s important to introduce some friction in our workflow to help prevent the wrong actions.”


Tony Stark’s Screencasting App
Vidrio puts your webcam stream behind your windows. Then you share or record your screen — suddenly, your holographic screen floats between you and your audience. You gesture with your hand, and their heads follow. Vidrio makes for effortlessly engaging screencasts.

Free Illustration for Personal or Commercial Projects
A library of illustrations free for personal and commercial use.