Good taste is a closeness between what you perceive as power vs what is power, independent of who is observing it. This understanding of the difference between real and represented is an intuition of power.
- Taste is the refined sense of judgement and finding balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole
- Good taste must exist because good artists exist
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Something I’ve noticed about building products over the years is that it always feels like I’m doing it wrong. At the same time, it’s a clue about what’s really going on and what to do about it.
Celebrity endorsements are not just getting someone well known to tell you about a thing so you trust it. They’re also a power play—this company is so important they can make high-profile celebrities say what they want. It establishes credibility in an odd second-order way.
Companies don’t really want frontend engineers or backend engineers or infrastructure engineers. If you work at an engineering as product organization, they want good product engineers solving user problems. As an industry, this is poorly understood and little is written to help people understand the principles of good product engineering.
What gets you into a creative field is having really good taste. When starting out, you’ll often be disappointed because what you create doesn’t match your taste. The gap is why people give up on creative endeavors.
Some people argue that there is no such thing as “good taste” in art. However, you can prove that it exists by trying to prove that it does not.
One of the keys to building great products is to regularly make contact with reality. Ideas rarely survive first contact with users—what we think is good might be completely useless to an actual potential customer. Regular contact with reality insulates you from the illusion of explanatory depth.