Saturday, April 21, 2012

What I'm Reading: Design Is a Job

stack of books - Design is a Job

Mike Monteiro's book isn't about organizing. Rather, it's “a guide to making a living as a designer.” But given the topics covered — including getting clients, creating good contracts, and getting paid — the book can easily have appeal beyond the design community.

And organizing wisdom can be found many places — including this book. Let's start with a three choice comments that Mike makes regarding projects:
The success of every project is the hundreds of little commitments made along the way.

The minute a deadline is in jeopardy notify the other party. There are many reasons for missing a deadline, but there is only one for not notifying the other party.

Nothing derails a project faster than waffling over decisions, whether it's taking too long to make a decision, or revisiting decisions that have already been acted upon.
And I also liked this note about (lack of) organization:
Most late payments are a matter of disorganization. ... Until you have evidence to the contrary, assume your missed payment is a matter of disorganization. That's the most likely possibility, and easiest to fix.
On a personal note, though, what I most appreciated wasn't the organizing-related advice, but this:
Carefully choose the projects you take on. Choose to leave the world better than you found it. Improve things for people. ...

We have limited resources, whether natural, financial, or cognitive. Don't contribute to people wasting them on crap.
And this:
The clients you choose to take on define you.


runningwaterdesign said...

Jeri -
As usual great advice! Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. This post is full of wisdom, as are all your posts. Keep writing. I'll certainly be reading!

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia and Anonymous: Thank you both! It's always nice to hear that people are enjoying my posts.

Patricia Westerfield said...


Your blog just keeps better and better and reaching people at deeper and deeper levels!

Thank you.


Rachel said...

Hi Jeri,
My sister just started an interior design biz. Would you recommend this as a read for her?
Thanks, and hope all is well!

Jeri Dansky said...

Patricia, thanks so much for the kind words.

Rachel: Yes, I would. Even though it's directed to web designers, there's certainly stuff that would apply to your sister's business, too. For example, there are these chapters: Getting Clients, Choosing the Right Clients, and Working with Contracts.

And I think it does us good to read books from those outside our specific line of work, to bring in a different sensibility and some fresh ideas.

trendoffice said...

"Carefully choose the projects you take on. Choose to leave the world better than you found it. Improve things for people. ..." - very well said! That is the essence of our work as designers