This New Yorker cartoon celebrates the benefits of constraints and limitations (even ordinary ones): those things that define a problem, that you have to work with in order to find a solution. We learned to LOVE them because they’ve usually led to our most creative explorations, as well as ordinary but useful solutions. We found some fine advice about constraints at 37 Signals’
(now called Basecamp) Getting Real, a free pdf “the smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application” which applies to MANY creative endeavors.

Let limitations guide you to creative solutions There’s never enough to go around. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough people. That’s a good thing. Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.

It’s a practice. More here. (Here’s an example of the useful stuff Get Real covers.)

37 Signals Get Real

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One thought on “37 Signals on the Value of Constraints

  1. Check out Phil Hansen’s TED talk on constraints. It’s called “Embrace the Shake”

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