For Makers

By João FerreiraOn December 10, 2014

There's only so much you can do in life. Your time is limited, as well as your focus and your energy.

As a designer, it's my job to study, understand and work out the best possible solution for any particular problem.

Now, I have two options: I can spend my life designing meaningless websites for copy-cat companies, focused solely on the next 'buck', and that will have no real impact in the world and our daily lives, or I can dedicate my time to design innovative and disruptive products, that intend to leave a footprint in the world.

This premiss stands true for designers, developers and anyone else who aches to create products that aim to empower users and step away from meaningless projects.

It's understandably challenging to feel motivated on working on an app that aims to replace Instagram or Facebook (how many of these were there? I totally lost count). You feel like you're wasting your precious time and energy on something that will never pay off intellectually, will never inspire people and doesn't even attempt to. It's dull and pointless.

You should aim higher. You should expect more than financial income from your work, more than a promotion and a pat on the back. You should feel inspired by what you make, by what you put out in the world.

Your time is limited.

###What can you do?

Think deeply about what excites you. What tingles your curiosity and gets you going when you're discussing it with your friends. Think of the things out there in the world right now, that perform poorly and neglect people's lives, directly or otherwise. It can be something massive, like education, health, world hunger, or something cultural but tangible, that somehow touches people, like music or literature. It can be something cool that you wish existed.

There's probably a ton of things that come through your mind that you'd like to improve, that you have ideas for. You just need to focus on one that you care deeply about.

###Where should you start?

If you can't afford to work on these kind of projects on your company, you can start on your own free time. If you don't have the full skill set needed to develop it, you can always seek help from people that relate to your idea.

Sites like CollabFinder or [Meeet] ( are a great place to search for collaborators or even to look for some interesting projects that might grab your attention and require your skills.

There's plenty of people working around mediocrity already and they're very successful at it. They don't need your help for that. Start something new, break some stuff. No one will notice you until you stretch out of your comfort zone.

###When is the right time?

You know those people who say 'It's never too late'? - They're wrong.

Do it now, while there's still time. While you've got the energy, the will and the determination to do it. Work on something that makes you proud, that makes you feel useful. The weight of responsibility will rest on your shoulders, it will use up your energy and drive your focus but... wasn't that the exact same feeling that led you to do what you do in the first place?

P.S. If you're looking for a change of pace and want to work with people that are passionate about making great digital products, you should know that we're hiring one designer and one developer. Also, if you're still new to the web but you're eager to learn and love a good challenge, you should check out our Apprenticeship Program.