Design the Beginning, not the End
During my conversation with Vadik one of our discussions was on the iPhone and how its current form was not directly and consciously conceived of by Jony Ive and his design team, but by the multitude of social, economic, environmental and cultural influences and decisions made throughout the process by the company, and culture as a whole.
The choices around materials, functionality, and features were the primary contributor to the phone we see today. Those choices were themselves a consideration between cost, durability, supply chain efficiencies, production volumes, and so on. In the end, the conscious aesthetic design process accounts for a fraction of the phones final form.
This reminded me of a discussion on habits with Naval and Shane on the Knowledge Project podcast and the idea of designing your habits, not your goals.
The End is inconceivable at the Beginning, and it’s a mix of hubris, ignorance, and fantasy that paints an imaginary picture of what it will look like.
Alternatively, try to design the start - and the system - that will get you there.