posts tagged with the keyword ‘ideas’



I’ve been thinking about this triangle consisting of three elements: Knowledge, Ideas, and Skills, and how people have these three things.

Knowledge is the things that you learn. The bits of data that you collect over the years, either from reading, or experience, or just taking in the world around you.

Skills involve actually doing things. Building things, writing code, designing stuff. Going beyond theories and ideas to create.

Ideas are what you bring to the table. Your own thoughts and dreams, as it were. The spark that ignites the creation of something.

Ideally you’d want to be right in the center, and be equally strong with Knowledge, Ideas, and Skills. Though perhaps as you exist in the center your strength at each one diminishes. Perhaps there are the rare individuals who can excel at all three, but in thinking about people I know (and myself) it’s probably more likely that people hit one or two of them strongly, and a third not as much.

I used to know a guy who was a phenomenal guitar player. His technical skills were amazing, and his knowledge was up there, he knew tons of songs and could play them perfectly. Sadly, his ideas were lacking, and he wasn’t much of a songwriter. Luckily he was in a band (a team) where others could provide the ideas. This is what teams should do, right? Bring together members with different strengths to create something better than what just one person can do.

In my own work (and play) knowledge is something I’m always chasing after. I spend a lot of time reading, and occasionally I ask questions. I tend to make a lot of notes as well, which helps, because I just can’t remember everything. I figure if I can remember where I stored some bit of information, that’s good enough.

And then there’s skills… Acquiring skills takes time, and practice, and doing things over and over again, and applying the knowledge you’ve acquired to the thing you’re trying to do. Design work, using tools, manipulating materials, writing words, capturing images… they all fall under skills.

As for ideas, I have plenty of them, I’m sure some (ok, most) of them are bad, or ridiculous. Often I go with the ridiculous ideas to see where it takes me, and along the way I hone my skills and acquire more knowledge. Occasionally in doing so I create a thing, and I enjoy the process and the journey.

Maybe I should call this the KIS Principle (Knowledge, Ideas, Skills) for short.

Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to know what I’m talking about, and when I write this sort of thing it’s really just an exploration of my thoughts, typed out on the screen. Occasionally I feel like sharing these thoughts with the world.


Pixel Net

I can only assume that people who are “normal,” who follow the crowd, don’t make waves, don’t stand strong behind a set of beliefs, and have never “called bullshit” on anything, have things just a little bit easier in life…

I can only assume this because I have no idea…

Then again, the above may be a complete load of crap.



I’ve come to realize that when I think about some tool I want to build, it’s typically driven by that “scratch your own itch” idea, where a developer does something because they want to solve their own problem. You’ll most often hear this idea attributed to open source software. Often my ideas come about when I think about who controls my data, or the software that I use. I tend to work towards maintaining my own freedom.

But there’s a whole other side… There are developers who develop something, and it’s not because a client hired them to, but because they think it’s a great idea, and sometimes they do follow the “scratch your own itch” idea, but they also think there’s a great money making opportunity worth exploring. Some developers within this realm are fine with creating something, and either selling it off, or letting it die if it “doesn’t work” or doesn’t become popular.

I’m not suggesting that one idea is better or worse than the other, it’s just an observation. I’m really interested to hear what others think…


Our old E-Pal HeyGabe got appointed the T-shirt Czar, and with that he put out the call for t-shirt designs, and I have heeded the call, and the results are below.

BarCampMilwaukee4 Shirt Concept #1

This is a number 4 blasting off into space by the power of BarCamp!

BarCampMilwaukee4 Shirt Concept #2

This is a robot based on an original drawing by Madeline Prodoehl. People seem to like robots.

Keep in mind, HeyGabe is the T-shirt Czar, which, I believe, means that he has the power to choose what shirt design is selected. I mean, maybe you can influence him, but don’t quote me on that.

(Thanks to Shannon Palmer for providing a Creative Commons licensed t-shirt template for use in these mock-ups.)


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