Lazy Yearly Update
Hello, subscribers of one-of-the-most-inconsistent-newsletters!
Today I want to share some thoughts about my life, industry, goals, and products I adore.
Video version of this newsletter: not yet available, follow my YouTube for updates. I’m so new to video recording, give me a discount on cringe topics, confidence, sound etc. I will get used to it.
Design Lab in London
Last year my studio was incredibly succesful: we served dozens of founders and businesses, we collaborate with hundreds of contractors in new fields, we tested several business models even! This year we’re going to become more automated and mature.
The next step is to give chance to one of my old dreams: build a laboratory, where I can hire different designers, developers and artists to conceptualise future. We’re working on:
How would OS look in 2030? (modern workflows + file manager)
New algorithms for social media (Friends × Spontaneous × Desktop-first)
Hardware (desktop tools + new mobile shapes)
Right now we’re 100% remote, but I’m already looking for a workshop in London, where we can build physical prototypes. I have to make business economy better to afford it, but we’re on our way! I’m often looking for designers: fill form so I could keep you in mind. I’m also looking for a person, who can automate business, sales, client support and put the whole company on rails.
3 cents about “AI Generation”
Ok, you already heard many opinions and I took some time to form mine. Generally, I think not many things will visibly change:
Cost of intellectual labour. Many founders (including me) are hiring people to do semi-intellectual tasks — transcribe text, research tax rules, explain law, ask for consultations. With AI it will be done for 0-40$/month for unlimited amount of information, which is 8 times lower than average 1-hour financial consultation in London. So all lawyers or consultants should approach their clients with exciting, unique and highly-personalised perspective to stay relevant.
Less designers will have privilege to become senior. Going to unpaid internship is a privilege. Not many people can afford that. And economically, it rarely makes sense to “pay” for internship roles (unless everyone does it evenly in optimistic economy, which happens rarely (and usually has some negative implications, see 2022)). So the only people who can survive through AI-generation competition are those, who will be so senior, that their precision will be higher, than machine (e.g. guess correct amount of fingers on subject’s hand). So basically design will be un-democratised and given back to nepo-babies, rich families of designers, and crazy fanatics. It was a good ride, but school can’t compete with AI, and they still don’t teach students to be great designers besides basic craft.
It will be invisible in history. On a scale of 2 centuries, this decade will look invisible and many of our early-“photoshop” struggles will not be remembered. There will not be any major “anti-AI” discussion. It will be another tool in the box. The same as notification centre in your phone.
Real purpose. We will have to reconsider how much shit we generate. Because one people use text generation to create 5 paragraphs from 2 sentences, and receiver generate those 2 sentences back. I think there’s a solution here… (like send two sentences directly and avoid the foreplay).
Last year I donated all the money and savings. Right after that I was challenged with ways to help beyond the direct money help. I started to connect foreign founders with Ukrainian talents and I’m proud to say that I helped hire over 30 talents, who were located in Ukraine! This resulted in ~$2’000’000 sent to Ukraine economy in form of salaries. Some of this will be taxed, another part will be spent in local businesses. This is still not enough to win, but it helps me sleep a little bit better. Still a lot of work should be done politically and economically to stop the terror. We’re on it.
I started using Loom every day! It’s an amazing helper saved me from dozens of meetings and small talks. I’m more direct and efficient.
I’m using Detail to record my videos from my phone. Also works for calls. It’s amazing, fast and reliable. Also forces me to not look at my phone during meeting and lose BeReal notifications.
Clay helps me organise my CRM. I met 1000 new people last year and as a human, I keep forgetting about them.
I use MuseHQ to whiteboard stuff. I love how you can’t pinch to zoom and it gives real physical sense of the scale. I didn’t know I want “less” features so much!
I bought this fantastic lamp for my desk in my favourite combo (black + brass)!
I was planning to write this issued for 6 months and wrote it in 2 hours on Saturday evening instead. Should’ve done it earlier. Leave comments and reach out on Twitter!
Next issues in 4-20 business months, I guess.