This was a fun presentation to listen to and I think Merlin makes some great points throughout. I loved his comments about how nerds aren’t doing what they do for the money. To paraphrase one portion:
If you give a painter a bunch of money to not paint any more they won’t be happy because they have money. What makes them happy it to paint
This is spot on and describes well this idea that jobs that require creative thought generally can’t be done better by throwing money at it. There are other things that you can give those “creatives” that can have a bigger impact. I’m not saying that money isn’t important. What I am saying is that there is a point at which more money isn’t doing anything good. Pay enough to take the issue of money off the table.
If you can give the “creatives” autonomy and control to do what they think is best you’ll have happier developers and designers, and I guarantee happier customers to.
Merlin also talks about looking to the horizon and preparing yourself for what is coming next. He encourages “nerds” to always keep looking ahead and try to avoid getting stuck the the rut of what you think is great right now.
Here’s what I see on my horizon:
If you are a math nerd start brushing up on your statistics and big data. We’ve figured out how to collect huge sums of data, but only in the last few years have we really started understanding scalable and flexible ways to process that data out side of academia. I’ve heard this elsewhere and I’ll echo it here: Statisticians will be driving the next generation of crazy cool apps. It’s already starting especially around the twitter api, and it’s going to grow even more.