I h*te you

Retrieved from the Wayback Machine from sometime in 2006:

I was at a party a few months ago, and sat down to eat a nice little dinner with some people I knew, and some people that I didn’t know. When introduced to the stranger next to me, this stranger said, “John Maeda? I know you. I hate you.”

This, of course, isn’t a great way to start an otherwise tasty dinner, I guarantee you.

He continued, “I can’t stand what you stand for.”

Of course I am thinking to myself, “What do I stand for?” Even I don’t know what I stand for.

I’m just busy thinking and doing, thinking and doing, and preferably each time thinking and doing something completely new. So how does this person understand me so well, when I never claimed that I understood myself?

I wish I were as smart as this stranger I met. I often tell my team that there is nothing better than being unknown. Because when you are unknown, nobody cares at all about what you do. They don’t have a single opinion about what you do—because they don’t know what you do of course.

At the same time, I do tell them that if nobody eventually knows what you do, you’re going to disappear. And that’s not good. So at some time in your life you have to step out into the sunlight, no matter how hot it can tend to get out here.

But before that happens, I tell them to enjoy and create as much as possible while they have time to do so. Time to create, in an uninterrupted state of mind … is too precious to pass up. Don’t waste it!!! Indulge yourself while you can!

👉 For the 2019 Design in Tech Report

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