TL;DR: The Bob Walton Story

Hi everybody, I’m Bob. This is my obligatory first blog post. Just a few words about me and why I’m doing this. If my blog were a hardcover book, this would be the disposable jacket flap.

The creator of svbtle, Dustin Curtis, offered me a seat on his [kickass blogging platform](#), after I shared with him a critique of my then-employer, Adobe. It was called Why Adobe Din’t Make Instagram: A Comprehensive Guide.

It detailed the internal practices that produce the buggy, confusing Adobe experiences we all hate, and fail to produce simple and beautiful creative products like Paper or Instagram. I offered an explanation of why small companies are so well suited to make great products and large companies can seem incapable of it, despite ample resources.

That was more than two years ago.

I almost published it, but I felt like it was friendly fire. It seemed passive-aggressive to air all of Adobe’s dirtly laundry. Laundry that they were trying to clean, to the extent that they could see it in the hamper. Laundry that was soiled by, uh, Acrobat Updater and Flash and… okay I’m done with this metaphor.

Instead of publishing the post, I decided to quit my job.

It felt like the best resolution available to me: seek out an environment free of bureaucratic complacency and excessive process1 rather than complain about it. The next morning, I sent a draft of the post to my boss, explained to him why I was leaving, and braced for a tepid, “Bummer man. Well, good luck.” and an unceremonious departure.

To my surprise, I had a meeting scheduled with the CTO the next morning. Instead of resigning, I spent a year working for him as a strategic advisor. I’ll probably write about that eventually.

A few weeks before my one year anniversary of working for Kevin Lynch, he broke the news that he was moving to Apple.2 Shortly after that, my best pals (and creators of Adobe Reflow) Tara Feener and Aaron Shekey both left in rapid succession to work in new companies, on new products. I decided to do the same thing.

Now I work at Pixate. Less than ten people. Awesome product. Fucking love it. I’ll probably write about that too.

So I’ve had this empty blog for two years. I’ve slowly filled it with drafts of horrible, horrible posts. I’ve never hit Publish. Here’s why:

I want to write about design, technology, and making products. I know this stuff better than I know most things, and surely have some insight to contribute.

My problem has been that this pursuit seems immensely redundant. There are a million billion people already writing about this stuff, and it’s unclear to me that the world needs a million billion and one.

But today I’m going for it. I finally understand that this blog is, at a minimum, necessary to me. I need to write about this stuff. I’m dying to write about this stuff. If nobody reads this, that’s fine, but I’m gonna write these shitty little articles anyway.

I hope you like them.

 Footnotes:

  1. That’s Adobe’s problem, more or less. Though they’ve turned the corner in some really important ways. Also, did you see that fucking PEN?! It’s gonna be cool, trust me.
  2. Sorry. No idea what Kevin is working on. My guess is a birdfeeder, or ski boots.
 
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