Hand holding cards

Why share the process? The Game and The Magician

What’s more interesting: the game or the results? Sure, you can just look at the results of basketball games, but being able to watch the games or even catch highlights makes it so much more enjoyable.

Some people might just want to see the results. Perhaps that’s all they do; they’re just interested in whether or not their team won. But the real fans—the diehard ones who actually care—they’re the ones who want to see the whole game. Through thick and thin, the real fans are always there. They hold strong through the loses and celebrate the wins.

What kind of fans do you want. Fair weather fans or real fans? Because here’s the truth, there’s no depth to results unless it’s experienced. Results without a process are results without a story, and results without a story are nothing more than magic.

Sure, magic is fun, but you then have to ask yourself the question of: Do I want to be known as a designer or a magician?

Designers have a process and that process is shared—this is the story of conceptual understanding. Magicians sparkle and amaze, but they only reveal the products and only work in secret. The sparkle of magicians eventually fades. If you want people to stick around and to actually care, then you have to engage with them and show them how you work. They will be mesmerized for the long haul rather than waiting for you to simply pull a rabbit out of a hat.

The fear most people have with this is that, if they know how I work, why would they want to stick around? Can’t they just adopt my process? If you’re ever worried about someone surpassing you then you aren’t working hard enough or allowing yourself to grow. You have to learn how to surprise and delight without becoming a full-time magician. This becomes the battle of being skilled enough to create wonder, hard working enough to create story, and smart enough to keep on the edge of your learnings so that you may always bring something new to the table.

Don’t care to share your process? That’s totally fine, plenty of designers of the past got away with being magicians, however, be wary of the fact that magic is becoming a lot less magical than it once was. People are much more interested in being a part of a team, and much less interested in being treated like children by being flashed sparkly objects. Do you want fans that’ll wake up early and tailgate in the parking lot and are invested in the process or fans that want to be tickled by a trick and soon forget about you?