Jason Lengstorf is a developer, designer, speaker, and friendly bear emoji at Gatsby, a company whose mission is “to make building websites fun” and create tools that increase the performance of the web. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, we talk about how he found his voice, the power of stories to highlight experiences and emphasize context, moving from screwing up publicly to embracing public feedback, and his big idea of pushing the world forward by improving web performance in the developing world.

Several quotes from this episode:

  • “I don’t offer advice, I tell stories.”
  • “I’ve shied very much away from trying to create doctrine and instead I try to teach by just talking about the ways that I’ve screwed up or made my life hard.”
  • “I have always learned best when somebody just shares their experience.”
  • “The bigger the distance is between when the thing happened and when the thing was written about, the more revision there will be in that history.”
  • “The experience of being bad at programming never goes away. Whether you are a beginner and you’re having to look up every single thing or whether you’ve been doing this for 15 years and you just have to look up the particularly weird stuff, you’re always going to suck at certain things.”
  • “You can be an expert and simultaneously suck at this job.”
  • “Each little thing that I did was a decision point: I can either be okay doing this or I can stop here.”
  • “Having an idea is the easy part. The hard part is getting people to adopt it. The hard part is explaining it in a way that you’re actually transferring that information, that context, from your brain into someone else’s in a way they can repeat it without you.”
  • “Make the right thing the easy thing.”

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