Cooking something up

Perfect cuisineIn the creation of anything, but particularly something functional like code or design, I’ve noticed that many of the best people within those fields don’t just train themselves to produce better, more elegant products – they train themselves to produce them faster. But unfortunately, not everyone balances care with speed – thus the term “gold plater” was invented to describe those people for whom a creative task is never elegant enough, and becoming faster is not a priority. They take forever to finish, and the output includes all kinds of stuff that you don’t need. I’ve been guilty of it myself, in everything from a coding task to a client presentation.

I like to cook and do it pretty frequently, and the interesting thing about cooking is it is a very “temporary” creative process. Time is of the essence, because temperature and freshness are so important, and you can’t fall too much in love with your creations because in half an hour someone is going to eat it and you won’t be able to stand there, admire it, and tinker with it any more. The end goal is very clearly not the food itself, but how delicious the person who eats it thinks it is. At work or even at home, a chef’s mindset can bring appropriate speed and focus to the thing you’re creating.


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