Outshine, Supplant and Steal

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*Reproduced from Communication Arts.com February 11. 2009

If you have a degree in what field is it? 
Aside from the odd man out among us who has an advanced degree in marketing, our degrees are in the two mainstays of design and communication expertise: molecular biology and philosophy.

What’s the best site you’ve seen lately? What’s so great about it? 
Netflix. Strong brand, simple interface. You choose the movies and darned if they don’t magically show up in your mailbox every time! And with the Watch Instantly library growing steadily, they’re well-positioned for a future of sticking it to the late-charging profiteers down at the corner of… Well, you know who we mean.

If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? 
Our three picks: home refurbisher, teacher/tutor and novelist. All are professions where we’d take things (new homes, young minds, fictional worlds) and mold them. And we’d develop the mental and physical callouses to remind us of that feeling of accomplishment every day.

Design or technology? Which is more important? Why? 
Left ventricle or right? Which is more important? Why? For us, they live together as different words for the same process of figuring out how to pump the message across.

From where do your best ideas originate? 
Anywhere. If you look in the same place twice and expect to find something new, you’ve lost. Still, just to be safe, we always check in the bathroom.

How do you overcome a creative block? 
Take a focused tour of our most favored “nations”: rumination and, more importantly, caffeination; and, make war on the rogue states of procrastination and stagnation.

In one word describe how you feel when beginning a new project? 
What well-known site is most desperately in need of a redesign? 
Yahoo! It now looks so unworthy of its exclamatory name. And, also, ANY big banking site; they have functionality, but lack the user-oriented grace that makes for an intuitive and enjoyable experience. How they’ve managed to make money seem so boring is beyond our comprehension.

Do you have creative outlets other than Web design? 
Aikido, child-rearing and all things having to do with ninjas and Fantasy Football.

What music are you listening to right now? 
We can’t know, because we are in the middle of an infinite networked iTunes shuffle.

What product/gadget can you not live without? 
Moleskine notebooks and zippers.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve bought online? 

What’s your favorite quote? 
It’s a toss-up between “FINE. Be that way!” and “Try making UNcommon sense.”

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? 
You have much to learn from folks who have been in this business for awhile; don’t try to supplant them, outshine them or steal their clients.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? 
Don’t be afraid to outshine and supplant folks who’ve been in this business for awhile. And while you’re at it, it’s okay to steal their clients if your ideas and efforts are superior.

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