Title Goes Here

The best designers understand when and where they can affect change, and when to close their eyes, take a deep breath, and know everything will be ok.

It was on May 27, 2017 where I got an opportunity to share the colourful tale of designing for a startup and some of my experiences that has taken my life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven my multiple reincarnations as a designer.

Crux

Startup designers are usually expected to take too many avatars and most of the time we wear multiple hats, designers don’t have a title as such and that’s the reason why I named the presentation as ‘Title Goes Here’.

We’re occupied with too many things. Need illustrations for a blog post? You got it. Wait — those illustrations need to be animated now? Coming right up. Need marketing collateral? Leave it to us. Need print material for our merchants? Done!. Need interior design advice? Startup Designer can handle it! You get the idea.

Working In Startup Is An Art

Yes, it’s purely a democratic platform where everyone contributes to an idea. Most of the time you will end up picking a worst idea, the actual challenge is make the worst idea the better idea.

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

Question Everything. Learn Something. Answer Nothing.
Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation. It could be the dumbest question but never stop asking questions, sometimes the dumbest questions could be a great solution.

Forget Being Perfect
Does the pressure of perfection weigh you down?
Trying to deliver a pixel-perfect design takes time and satisfying everyone is quite impossible. It cannot be done and when we try, it is inevitable to disappoint others at some point.

“Don’t be a people-pleaser, you’re not running a massage parlour and you’re not responsible for others happiness.”

Steps To Become A Startup Designer

The most important ingredients to create a successful design journey is to start with good people, to make something solving peoples problem, and to spend as little more time as possible.

#1 Preparation: 
The first phase which most of the people call work. The key is not the will to achieve good results, Everybody has that but If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail. So roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty by getting in to the creative playground.

#2 Incubation:
After prepping up, your conscious and subconscious minds starts working on the idea. Your mind may generate too many ideas but it takes a skill to filter and channelize those idea into a better form. You have to pick carefully. As Steve Jobs once said:

“Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

#3 Illumination:
This is the eureka moment that many of us spend our days questing after.
I could visualise why Archimedes got all excited. It is not easy to convey, unless one has experienced it, the dramatic feeling of sudden enlightenment that floods the mind when the right idea finally falls into place. Yet before, everything was in a fog.

#4 Musterbation:
It’s not a typo, you read it right. I got acquainted to this term from a motivational speaker called Scott Smith. Musterbation means the ability to get things done, it’s the behaviour of a person who wants to accomplish what they’ve been working on.

It always seems impossible until its done, once you start cultivating a habit of completing things, you to tend feel satisfied.

Pressure Is Good For You

But not at the cost of your health, The true character is revealed when you’re under pressure — the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation.
Nobody works better under pressure.

They just work faster. If you can handle it, be real and embrace that you have weakness and start working on it. Because everyone does.

Sometimes you have to set things free, having said that I’m no good in that. I still try to get better to work with a smile on my face.

Being direct helps addressing uncomfortable situations, be right to the point.
When you explain something which can’t be done in given time period, be specific on why you say so. The goal is not to procrastinate. Even if you want say NO, say it clearly but don’t hesitate.

Talking to people honestly and with respect creates mutually rewarding relationships, even when conversations are difficult.

Nothing is more important than your health. Be wise and healthy.

You Deliver What You Consume

Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. Actually that’s a good quality to have. You are not a super human, you can only deliver what you see, read and observe and nothing beyond that. Everyone has a limitation and you must understand that the creativity is not a competition.

If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror.

Eat Well, Travel Often

It’s easy to get busy in the day-to-day work and completely forget to take care of your hygiene. It’s important not to get lost in your work. The work can wait.

Remember you also have an incredible opportunity to shape the future.
You can go as far as your mind lets you. I made a promise to myself to travel often. The amazing perks of travelling can truly be the best gift you ever give yourself. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, meet amazing people, immerse yourself in the local culture, and get acquainted with the most genuine parts of yourself.

Believe me it could be your life-changing experience.

Know more on how I escaped and headed to a beautiful place called Sri Lanka! http://blog.adidhotre.com/ceylon/

Last But Not Least

Be Part Of Design Community: Community of like-minded people is one of the most essential components to enhance your skills. Stretch yourself beyond your network of colleagues to connect with other diverse creatives who will inspire you. Be active in seeking out a community where you can share best practices.

I must admit that whatever I’m today is because of the people whom I’ve interacted with, It has given me the experience and new mentors to help solve the tough problems and take advantage of the opportunities.

Madrasters is a renowned designers community in India.
What began as an informal meet between a couple of curious design enthusiasts has become one the most active design communities in Chennai.
We feel that it is our duty to contribute back to the design society. As part of that, we have been conducting meetups and workshops for the past 7 years. This opens an avenue to Learn and Share. It’s open for all, you can join us anytime. http://madrasters.com/

One of the major qualities that I’ve developed being in a community is: 
If I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I might regret if I don’t try new things.

Conclusion

At the stage of huge crisis the must have attitude for startup designers is to understand when and where they can affect change, and when to close their eyes, take a deep breath, and know everything will be ok.

If you enjoyed this story, then please hit the little 💚 green heart down there to help others find it. I invite your comments 💬 . Thank you for reading 🙏 .


Aditya Dhotre is a self-taught designer who specialises in visual design, He is fuelled by curiosity and passion for design, technology and life.

When he is not busy breaking down design, he works on pet projects and short films.

Adi always believed that the “Creative” arena will be his best playground.

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