CO-FOUNDER OF THOUGHTFORM INC
ThoughtForm Inc. is a communication planning and design firm.
Don Moyer is one of the founders of the Pittsburgh-based communication planning and design firm known as ThoughtForm Inc.
In his 35-year career at ThoughtForm, Don led countless projects for Deloitte, McDonald’s, Steelcase, and other corporations. He specialized in developing visual explanations called Foglifters®. Don also wrote and designed the monthly column, Panel Discussion, for Harvard Business Review for six years. MFA, Graphic Design, Yale University . BFA, Graphic Design, University of the Arts. Silver Star Alumni Award, University of the Arts, 2006. AIGA Fellow Award.
Now retired, Don has veered off in a new direction. Here’s how he describes his venture. I now focus on self-inflicted projects and have accidentally built a little business with products based on my drawings.
I try to draw every day and post my sketches on Flickr. The drawings I like best make me laugh. When I started posting a series of drawings of traditional Willow-pattern plates with the additional mischief of dinosaurs, pirates, and giant robots, fans of my Flickr page suggested that I add my drawings to real plates. I launched my first Kickstarter project to see what would happen. I described a plate with the added menace of flying monkeys and managed to get enough supporters to make it real in porcelain. Five more plate designs followed.
That led to more projects that were not plates. My tenth Kickstarter project will close on July 31, 2015.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/159974695/things-could-be-worse-mugs
After a successful Kickstarter project closes, the products based on my drawings are available atCalamityware.com.
How will you stay the best?
Everyone gets better by having new experiences and thinking about them—unpacking experiences to see what lessons they contain. We can learn vicariously by studying the experiences of others in conversations, books, and movies. And we can learn by going places and doing things ourselves.
I’ve always been a big fan of self-inflicted projects. Defining some project and them wading in to see what will happen always teaches something. It’s a great way to learn about technology, processes, and people. And you usually get the benefit of reusing what you learned.
But often, the most valuable benefit will be unexpected. For example, my self-inflicted project might be to launch a new product using Kickstarter, but the surprising benefit is that along the way I build a cherished relationship with a new ally. That kind of unanticipated reward happens all the time. But only if you get out of bed and start some kind of project.
What fascinates you?
Fallible human beings.