Before entering the cleanroom in D1D, as Intel calls its 17 million-cubic-foot microprocessor factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, it’s a good idea to carefully wash your hands and face. You should probably also empty your bladder. There are no bathrooms in the cleanroom. Makeup, perfume, and cosmetics are forbidden. Writing instruments are allowed, as long as they’re special sterile pens; paper, which sheds microscopic particles, is absolutely banned. If you want to write on something, you’ll have to use what is known in the industry as “high-performance documentation material,” a paperlike product that doesn’t release fibers.
After you put on a hairnet, your next stop is the gowning station, inside a pressurized room that sits between the outside world and the cleanroom itself. A hard breeze, sent by a cleaning system that takes up the equivalent of four and a half football fields, hits you as you walk in, removing stray matter—dust, lint, dog hairs, bacteria. You put on pre-gown gloves, then a white bodysuit with a hood and surgical-style mouth cover, followed by a second pair of gloves, a second pair of shoe covers, and safety glasses. None of these measures are for your safety; they protect the chips from you.
The whole piece is fascinating.
A must read. Once you are done, make a wall calender of the following.
“So, have you settled only for decision quality, or are you mindful of decision velocity too? Are the world’s trends tailwinds for you? Are you falling prey to proxies, or do they serve you? And most important of all, are you delighting customers? We can have the scope and capabilities of a large company and the spirit and heart of a small one. But we have to choose it.”
P.S. The letter is not in readable format. Saving it to Instapaper did the trick for me.
“I basically broke the rules. I was told point-blank that I couldn’t change the canvas or do anything to it. And I got fed up with doing what I thought would please the head of communications. I got tired of playing by the rules. And I thought, The only time I’ve ever made a difference, and the only time anything ever changes, is really when you’re respectful and disrespectful at the same time.”—Marc Jacobs
Couldn’t agree more with this.
“Long before I make my way to Photoshop or Sketch, my process begins with an articulation of the problem in written form. I have to assign meaning to the problem and understand its implications before I can begin to imagine a solution. Design is a language that is greater than the sum of its visual parts.
Design begins with words.”
“And that disease—I’ve seen other people get it too—it’s the disease of thinking that really great idea is 90% of the work.
And that if you just tell all these other people, you know, “Here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is, is that there is just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.
And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows.
It never comes out like it starts, because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it and you also find there is tremendous trade-offs that you have to make.”
From Michael Bierut on DesignObserver:
“In response, Loewy had developed a reliable formula. If something was familiar, make it surprising. If something was surprising, make it familiar.”