AEA Boston

~ 28 March 2007 ~

Flap 'n' Snap

An Event Apart Boston has come and gone. The entire conference, at least from a speaker’s perspective, went over very smoothly. I was thrilled to share the same stage with Steve Krug, Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer and the other fine speakers, and credit for smooth operations goes to Toby Malina her production crew.


  • Having recently shifted from a one-man freelance shop to a loaded design team inside a large organization, my perspective of design process was strikingly different at this conference as I sat and listened in on other presentations. While the process and politics between a freelancer and an in-house team share some similarities, they also require a different approach in many cases. (There may be an opportunity to construct a presentation along these lines.)
  • In the segment covering solution-focused vs. problem-focused design (as part of my session, “Good vs. Great Design”), I totally spaced it and forgot to reveal the solution Anton Fokker had devised during World War I for firing an aircraft-mounted machine gun directly through the propeller. Answer can be found here (no gimmies, you’ll have to do some reading).
  • Unabashedly evangelized by the Happy Cog Philly crew in recent conferences, Flap ‘n’ Snap” is easily the most hilarious thing I’ve done over a meal in a long time. Basically you flip your head back and forth and violently as you can, as innocent onlookers snap photography whilst getting sprayed with spit (well, not quite). The outcomes can be veritably jocular. Consider me converted.
  • I shuttled several video podcasts from recent TED conferences over to my iPod before leaving, and those were golden for the flight. Recommended (iTunes required): Hans Rosling for his fantastic examples of bringing data to life through design, and Ben Saunders as he recounts his solo journey to the North Pole. Consequently, Ben and I exchanged emails some time ago, and I can say he’s a really genuine guy, despite being one of only four people (!) to ever ski solo to the North Pole.

Farewell, Boston.


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