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Cabel’s XOXO Talk

I spotted this link on Twitter earlier and it did two things for me.

  1. Made me bummed out that I wasn’t at XOXO because the videos coming out of that thing have been inspiring/creative/smart/witty/fantastic.
  2. Made me respect Cabel Sasser a great deal.

If you’ve been doing things long enough1, you’ve probably had something like this happen. If you haven’t had at least some flavor of what Sasser is talking about, it might be a good idea to ask yourself why not. Sure, it doesn’t sound pleasant but making it through it and arriving on the other side teaches you something valuable about yourself.

Here are some simple facts:

  • Making things is hard.
  • Worrying about what you made failing is sometimes harder.
  • You never get to a spot of solid ground where everything is all worked out. It just doesn’t happen.

People sometimes talk about a great creative act after it is done and say it “just came together” and it “felt effortless”. But those people rarely talk about what preceded it. Things like sleepless nights, stress, doubt, endless years of practice, decades of knowledge acquisition and life experience. The coalescing of those qualities are what made it end up being easy. You can’t cut corners on that either.

Anyway, it was a great talk and you all should watch it.


  1. “Things” here can be anything – from software to raising kids. And I view most technical acts as creative acts, for what it’s worth.