I want to make impact, but not be known for it

Once a long time ago, I awkwardly answered the question of what I wanted to do in my life to a coworker as we walked across the street in San Francisco.

I felt embarrassed sharing it, because it felt so unrefined and unachievable. Worst of it all, it sounded so egotistical, because I don’t know if I had the ability to even do it.

What I said was some version of the following:

To change the world. To get people to think, “You know, I thought about that before.” Not to be in the spotlight of that. It can’t just be product design, but to create something that changes someone’s perspective of the world. Maybe it’s through stories or essays. Maybe it’s visual arts. Something like that. But I don’t want my name attached. I want to be behind the scenes, noticing the change. The grand change.

And I often followed up with how the work of user experience won’t be able to quite achieve that. Because people will never notice that their lives have changed with user experience. It’s just simply better and folds into all the consumer technology. There’s no gratitude. There’s just this slow burn across years of convenience.

So now days after the election, what do I do now? Have I made the right choice? Have I?

2 thoughts on “I want to make impact, but not be known for it

  1. Thousands of way to do exactly this in the digital age. Everyone can be a content creator, and publishing can be done on a shoe-string budget. The trick is recognizing you even have an audience, and then finding ways to reach them.

    Well wishes from Rochester, Minnesota. (I’m one of the Nano MLs there… but this was a weird month all around.)

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