Moving slowly and fixing things
Smallness has always been part of my nature, be it needing to take growth hormone when I was younger, or the fact that my name comes from the Roman family name Paulus meaning small or humble in Latin.
I never felt my short stature was an issue. In fact, it became an integral part of my identity. Perhaps this is why I’m rarely impressed by scale and disdain monopolies and large corporations.
Speed has never been one of my strengths, either. At school sports days, I often finished last (but got the loudest cheer). I’ve always been a slow eater, yet I rarely get indigestion.
I’m familiar with these personality traits, but recently I’ve come to acknowledge another1. Although design gets conflated with creation, its the act of improving what already exists – organising a room, editing a text, refining an interface, refactoring a codebase – that I enjoy the most.
While others enjoyed the potential of designing for billions, this idea made me queasy. So did the thought of working for a large organisation although I gave it a go. While others moved fast, eager to ship whatever they had built, I remained cautious, avoiding the frameworks and fads, instead doubling down on the foundational aspects of my craft.
Today, as we come to terms with the wreckage wrought by this hastiness, I find myself eager to fix things; slowly, one small piece at a time.
While I am proud of these aspects, it’s worth acknowledging these biases before approaching new work. ↩︎