In a few hours, we'll get yet another opportunity to watch Apple unveal their latest gadget—presumably the iPhone 5.
I love Apple events. Not just the presentations themselves, but everything that surrounds them. Nerds the world over stop working and breathlessly wait. We consume live-blogs since the video of the event isn't streamed live. Twitter lights up. It's a celebration of meticulous design, intense focus, passion, care, etc. And it's proof that we don't have to be resigned to working a stodgy, meaningless, corporate job. You can throw your whole heart into making something great, and if it makes others' lives better, you'll succeed. Even in this economy.
Of course, not everyone is celebrating. I also love Apple events because it's a great opportunity to grab some popcorn and watch the trolls. It's proof that there's always room to criticize. As the title says, it's easy to criticize. It's really difficult to produce something truly awesome. There will always be legions willing to tear down others' work, but very, very few willing to invest blood and sweat into work of their own and put it out there. Out there for others to criticize. That's the last thing the trolls want to do. Their snark and the attention it garners is more than enough to get a little high. They're not looking for the lasting satisfaction of making something great and seeing it change the world.
I was musing on this yesterday, and I came across this quote (that I reposted, obviously) by Bill Moggridge. That prompted me to tweet, "You simply must be content with making hard decisions that will be misunderstood. That, or work a job you hate and do nothing that sticks."
You see, design is all about making decisions. And a decision, no matter how small, is ultimately planting your flag in the ground and saying, This is better than that. Guess what? Some people prefer that. And they're going to hate you for choosing this instead. They'll hate you, and they'll hound you about choosing this instead.
If you're going to do anything great in this world, you'll have detractors. The more you succeed, the louder they'll get. I love watching Apple consistently produce great things, focused on what they know is best rather than being constantly at the mercy of their detractors' sour opinions. Me? I can't imagine a life of being that guy on the sidelines, constantly complaining and doing nothing of worth. I'm going to get out there and make something instead.