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Ideas Aren’t Cheap (Alexandria Issue #024)

Adam Sadowski
3 min readMay 17, 2020


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

Featured Article

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An Overdue Conversation: The UX Research Industry’s Achilles

“To the detriment of ourselves and those we claim to advocate for, our unwillingness to acknowledge and address privilege has created a culture within the UXR Industry that is absent of the call to do the personal work necessary to overcome our biases and acknowledge the role that our experiences play in interpreting research, both within the context of history, systemic and institutionalized realities, and society. At its best, the concept of UX is made into a cliche and at worse it becomes an extension of The Sunken Place.”

More Amazing Reads

A Round-up of Advice, Lessons, and Inspiration from Creative Women

“With creative industries (and our world) in constant flux, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of certainty or confidence. Women in creative fields face a distinct set of challenges, from questions of representation to finding the right fit for a mentorship to nuances of navigating an ever-shifting career landscape and everything in between. Below, we gathered advice and wisdom from women who have established their own roadmap in their respective fields. They shared with us guiding principles, hard-earned lessons, and turning points that have shaped their lives and supported them as they pave the way ahead.”

Ideas Aren’t Cheap

“The risk with overemphasizing “execution” is it deludes people into thinking that if they work hard enough, they can make any idea successful. It’s just not true. If you don’t believe me, browse old listings on Product Hunt. You’ll see page after page of beautifully executed products that never achieved meaningful traction. There have been thousands of ideas posted; most failed. Many folks in tech are skilled at building software but struggle to build good software businesses. The difference is in the quality of their ideas.”

How to Build a Breakthrough

“Legendary builders, therefore, must stand in the future and pull the present from the current reality to the future of their design. People living in the present usually dislike breakthrough ideas when they first hear about them. They have no context for what will be radically different in the future. So an important additional job of the builder is to persuade early like-minded people to join a new movement.”

When You Have No Idea What Happens Next

“Here’s a useful expectation: assume the world will break once or twice per decade. I don’t know where, or when, or how, who it will affect. But when you expect the world to break every once in a while you prepare for events you can’t foresee and you don’t have to rewrite your playbook when they happen. You’ll prefer big cushions and room for error. When people ask, “What are you preparing for?” you’ll say, “A world that history shows is both a growth machine and a continuous chain of unforeseen agony.” A world where we have no idea what will happen next. Nothing more specific.”

Worrying Well: How to Bring Wisdom to Your Worries

“Worry is traditionally seen as a negative emotion. But is it possible worry has a positive function, and that we just don’t tend to use it well? Physician and researcher Martin L. Rossman argues that worry is actually an adaptive function to better solve problems and imagine creative solutions. And worrying well is a skill anyone can learn.”


Capture your Mac’s screen like a pro.

“CleanShot X is the best screenshot and screen recording app for Mac with a built-in annotation tool, Cloud uploading, scrolling capture, and a lot more.”

The Psychology of Design: 101 Cognitive Biases & Principles That Affect Your UX

“A complete list of cognitive biases and design principles with tons of examples, checklists and quizzes to help you improve your user experience.”