There’s no future quite like the dreams of the present.

I’m kicking off daily Steve Notes with a quote from a book I read some nine years ago. It was recommended by a friend after hearing my talk at Ember Conference in 2015 where I used the metaphor of the home, and networks of streets connecting neighborhoods of homes, as a mold for interpreting how we inhabit and consider the digital spaces of today.

This quote means a lot more to me than what I had originally set out to hammer home: that we the creators of the digital realms are essentially engaged in creating a cerebral network of cubby-holes that are adopted to hold some vision of our dreams, and without expression we are determining the form in which that vision should at least be remembered. And not without imprinting some bias of our own through our intentional formation of the cubby-hole.

Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home. Late in life, with indomitable courage, we continue to say that we are going to do what we have not yet done: we are going to build a house. This dream house may be merely a dream of ownership, the embodiment of everything that is considered convenient, comfortable, healthy, sound, desirable, by other people. It must therefore satisfy both pride and reason, two irreconcilable terms. If these dreams are realized, they no longer belong in the domain of this study, but in that of the psychology of projects. However, as I have said many times, for me, a project is short-range aneurysm, and while it gives free play to the mind, the soul does not find in it its vital expression. Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts——serious, sad thoughts——and not to dreams.

My take away is that it is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality. The evolution of technology allows us to, with increased speed and fidelity, predict and envision our future. But at the same time, our house got a whole lot bigger. And while the neighborhoods are fairly packed, there are parks. Many of us will use these as opportunities to solidify a dream. Perhaps we will find it in us to persue more. The rest of us will use these to continue to dream. And pursue nothing more, because nothing more should truly be required.

The combination of both putting an achieved dream to rest and picking up the next is a challenge. As such, dreaming is the proven way to maintain a positive mindset when working in product, if you ask me. The house is expanding. We need to remember this.

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Until next time.