Discover more from Uncommon sense
The next chapter...
You got this email because at some point you gave me (Josh Wayne) your email on designsmarts.co. I've moved my newsletter to Substack and named it "Uncommon sense". Keep reading to learn why.
Hi friends, it's been a while since my last email. I haven't written an article or recorded a video in what feels like forever. And there's good reason for it.
This year I found myself burned out. It's been 9 years since I started freelancing full time and despite thinking I was making all the right decisions, I found myself feeling numb and struggling to work on anything.
Something needed to change.
Every year I sit down with my wife and we talk about what we want next year to look like.
Part of that was taking a deep look at my business. What did I want my business to look like in 2023?
I've spent 16 years designing products for others. In the back of my mind, I've always wanted to create a product business of my own. But it was always something I pushed off because I was too busy, too stressed, or too distracted.
As I examined the reason for my burnout, an idea started to come into focus.
So I made the decision: I want to create my own products. Not someday. Now.
I've done enough KPIs to know it needs to be measurable. I set a concrete goal:
My goal is to make $200,000 selling my own products.
I’m starting today with $0.
I started Design Smarts as a way to share what I learned about product design. And while I enjoy teaching product design, I felt locked into that topic when there's so much I want to share. Ideas like...
Why my business plan is to not plan
How I overcame my fear of writing…anything
What product designers (and entrepreneurs) get wrong about motivation
I'm naming it Uncommon sense with the goal to share an uncommon take to designing products, entrepreneurship, and personal growth. Each week you'll get a short email with revenue updates, mistakes made, and lessons learned. I’ll share what it’s like to build something I own, not consulting from the sidelines. Time to have skin in the game.
So what’s my plan?
I don't have one. Not having a plan is part of my strategy.
That’s something I’ll talk about more next week. Stay tuned.
🧠 Psychology Patterns
A concept or idea from psychology to improve your designs.
We tend to look at what other people are doing when making a decision.
A restaurant with a line out the door makes us think it must be good. How can we replicate this phenomenon in the digital world?
Say how many people are signed up for a beta version to get more users to opt into a beta
Put positive tweets about your product or service on your marketing site
List recognizable brands that use your product or service
Kindle books showing popular highlighted areas
🖤 Cool Things
📚 Book — Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb
Great book explaining the idea that to really understand something, you have to be doing it yourself. In other words, you gotta have skin in the game. I will warn you, Taleb writes like a rambling college professor. There’s a lot of value but you gotta stick it out through the tangents.
📚 Book — The Pathless Path by Paul Millerd
Part autobiography, part lesson on what it means to choose your own path in career and life. What makes it different than similar books is that Paul writes honestly about how long and meandering his path was when so many people make it sound like they woke up one day and decided to change everything. Real change takes time and a lot of wandering. Highly recommend this book.
📝 Article — UX and the Civilizing Process
An article I read in 2013 and reread often. Basic idea is: what if we looked at software through the lens of how humans developed civility? Is UX going through the same civilizing process? Thinking about apps being rude, kind, forgiving, clumsy, or elegant gives us more dimension than simply calling its UX good or bad.
P.S. What do you think of the new format? Just hit reply and let me know. I read every email.
Thanks for reading Uncommon sense! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.