The Second Worst Thing That Can Happen

…failure, though painful, is better than frustrated longing.

Earl Denman

I give a lot of talks. One of my motivations is that it gives me a way to test ideas that I am working on. In a way, talks are the preliminary sketches for what I eventually write.

In 2003 I tried out some of the material intended for this book. The talk was at a usability conference. I thought that it went pretty well, and this was reinforced by the audience reaction as well as the comments that I received afterward.

That is, until the next day. Someone came up to me; after expressing how much he enjoyed the talk, he went on to tell me how lucky I was. Now, although I do consider myself quite lucky, I couldn’t help but ask why, ...

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