What I figured out after Meditating in the Mountains!

Sorry friends. It has been a while since I made contact with anyone via this blog. It was partly due to the fact that I got pretty sick and sadly I still am. It’s one ailment after another in never ending vicious cycle. I cannot seem to shake it off completely. I must be a germ magnet!
Fortunately during my sick leave, I had the opportunity to do some serious thinking and reflection. In particular, what I wanted to do with this blog and it’s role in my life.
Early in January this year, I announced the launch of Design Sojourn Version 4.0. It was a good revamp of the site and as well as refocusing its content. Particularly important was that I shared a new blog description and focus which was “How to master the business of strategic industrial design”.
However at the back of my mind I still could not decide what I wanted to get out of this blog. As it is now 6 months since the last update, I thought it might be a good time to share with you how I see my blog going forward.
I have this bad habit. My attention to things get somewhat shorten due to my very wide and diverse interests. Luckily this blog has prevailed as it is not like the 95% of the other blogs out there that have not been updated in the last 120 days. So I decided to focus my activities to keep things simple and in perspective.
I made a list of in all the things that I did or things that were important to me. I then reorganized a few things and painfully “deleted” the others. In particular, I searched out for synergies in my interests, activities and personal goals. As part of this analysis, I had to asked myself again: Why do I blog?
I felt in many instances that this blog was drifting aimlessly. What I realized was that while this blog had a focus, it did not have a purpose or an end goal. While some bloggers may be happy with this, as in blogging when they feel like it, this lack of purpose did not sit too well with me.
I learned early on that as I have so many things to do, I need to be selective in what I end up doing. Therefore, I needed to be clear why I would invest the time to write and maintain this blog. Life is too short to waste doing pointless or senseless things.
Thus I have decided to evolve this blog into a conversation platform that will lead towards my writing a book called “The Art of Design Leadership” or something close to that.
I find a lot of comfort in this decision, and making it was a lot easier then I expected. I have been blogging for almost 4 years and this blog has more than 500 posts of rich Strategic Design content. Compiling all this time an effort into a book just makes sense to me.
Going forward, my posts will still be a journey in Strategic Design, but it will now have a higher purpose and over arcing structure towards the creation of the different chapters in my book. Finally, in true Web 2.0 fashion, you will be able to interact, feedback, and comment on the book’s content as I develop it.
So with this new purpose in mind, I have spent the last couple of weeks cleaning up my blog with the focus on readability and navigation. I removed “chicklets” that were redundant, reformatted the site to improve logical flow and reduced the amount of ads you would see.
However the biggest change is in simplifying my categories to reflect this new blog direction. Here they are with quick descriptions.
About Design Sojourn: What’s new at the Design Sojourn Blog or what I am up to in my adventures in design. A place to put the more general and non-design administrative stuff like this post!
Design Articles: Pillar and foundation articles on Strategic Industrial Design and Design Leadership that define what Design Sojourn is all about.
Design Leadership: Short reads about Design Strategy and Managing the Business of Design. This new category combines these two old topics in a logical manner that also reflects this blog’s new direction.
Designer Lifehack: Quick tips, hints, random musings and activities that could help make you a better designer. Majority of this content was written during in this blog’s first 3 years, much of which are still relevant today.
Entrepreneurship: Thoughts on my experiences being a design entrepreneur. More legacy content that can still be an interesting read.
Industrial Design: Multi-disciplinary Industrial Design related discussions and critiques. I used to have to have another category called Meta Design, but as Industrial Design has evolved into more than what it used to be, I felt comfortable to use this as a general description for both categories.
So what do you think? Does this make a lot more sense to you? I am looking forward to reading all your awesome feedback. Thanks in advance and do stay tuned, as regular programming will resume shortly!

  • DT

    July 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm Reply

    @Joon Yan: Thanks for the feedback and kind words. To answer your question requires a lot more words than this humble comment section. But I would say, keep following this blog and it will be clear soon! Please keep in touch.
    @WaiKit: You will definitely be one of the first with a copy or sure! Thanks for stopping by.
    @gah: Thanks!
    @Mowgli: Thanks for taking the time to leave comment, I look forward to reading more from you.

  • Mowgli

    July 6, 2009 at 5:21 am Reply

    Tripped across your blog and have been knocked out by it. There’s a lot to take in, so knowing that you’ll be focussing your musings into categories is good news.
    Gah, see what you’re saying but going out wide enables one to zoom back in with more accuracy, relevance and meaning – eagle vision, helicopter vision, design vision, call it what you will – it’s healthy, you see the wider picture and only then can you distill down to the core.
    Keep it coming!

  • gah

    July 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm Reply

    seems to me that you are reflecting on areas wider than your blog. take care

  • Waikit Chung

    July 2, 2009 at 10:25 am Reply

    First of all, wish you a speedy recovery of your health.
    You have already done a great thing here with your blog. It is really good that you have thought about what you want to achieve with this blog, as there are more important things to spend time on. It makes totally sense that you use the content here to create a book, which I believe would become a unique and valuable book. Fortunately, most people still like to have a book in their hands.
    I hope you are feeling better after reading these encouraging feedback 😉

  • Joon Yan

    July 1, 2009 at 2:11 pm Reply

    hi DT,
    Firstly, its great that this blog has found a new direction. Though I only found out about this blog rather late, it has provided me and I’m sure many others, with valuable advice and as a student entering into industrial design this year, it could not be more useful.
    You have helped raised the profile of design in Singapore and helped raised awareness of Singaporean designers and I find it heartening that we are making strides in getting more people to appreciate design and the value it can bring to all our societies, not only Singapore.
    Lastly, I would like to ask what does the strategic in strategic industrial design actually mean. Please continue the great work and I hope to see your book soon!

  • RAJ

    June 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm Reply

    Dear DT,
    More refinement is an awesome thought. Since, design itself is iterative, so should your blog be. My best wishes are always with you. Great work!!! keep it going.

    • DT

      June 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm Reply

      Hey Raj and Vero, thank you very much for your kind comments and support. Please keep in touch!

  • vero

    June 30, 2009 at 4:13 am Reply

    I have to said that im really really happy that you decided continue with this blog, im student of industrial desing and product development, thanks fot all the advices i have been learning a lot, excuse my english, its a pity that i can express so extend as i want to explain how i value your work and your blog, because a different of other design blogs here didnt show you objects, infact show what is inside and behind the objets, the philosophy of design.

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