Brian Ball @brianball

Coffee & Cookies. Level 1 rhyme.

Brian Ball last shared their writing To Fail better. Fail more often.
I used to think I was getting better. 

I was writing daily, I had a longish streak going, and I felt a twinge of satisfaction when I'd see my triple-digit collection grow.

But, I wasn't the best. Plenty of people had writing streaks 10x as long as mine. Then, of course,...
Brian's Pantry
🥟 3 Dumplings
🍵 5 Teas
🍺 4 Beers
🧇 1 Waffle
🍪 1 Cookie
🥃 1 Whiskey
🥚 3 Eggs
🥓 1 Bacon
🍊 2 Tangerines
🍍 2 Pineapples
🍫 1 Chocolate Bar

Capacity for Work

A friend of mine is getting older - mid 50s now - and his life as a programmer is over. Here's what happens. His coding career was almost always freelance web dev. He was never awesome, but he could piece together the full stack. He wasn't awesome, because he never...
2021-02-13 14:55:51

Beers & Business Doodles

Joe slid onto a bar stool as the masked man behind the bar met him with eye contact and raised eyebrows as a thick, paper disc slid under his forearms as if receiving his hole cards at the Omaha table.  Being a regular has privileges, but barmen welcome anyone. They're...
2021-02-12 21:31:30

Break through to Easy Streaks

Remember when streaks were hard?

Remember when you'd think - wow! How does that person get to hundreds of days of similar effort - their life must be boring af.

Here's how I broke through.

I prioritize my writing to get it done when my energy is optimal. Some days, it's coffee then...
2021-02-11 17:32:36

Show up here to put in your reps.

Who are you writing for? If you're writing for yourself, you can do it in a local document that guarantees it won't be shared or stumbled upon publicly. If you are dipping your toe into public writing, maybe a place like will work for you as you gain confidence....
2021-02-10 14:49:46

This isn't YOUR software.

Little kids and software developers both know the secret to happiness is adding more to your plate than you can comfortably eat -- just because you can.

It starts off reasonably enough.

One creative user thinks it would be great if there was a button that could do X - some work...
2021-02-09 16:19:07

Can I do the dishes later? Sure. as reply to You cook, I'll wash up

Cleaning and cooking go hand in hand. If writing were cooking then editing is cleaning. I enjoy both.

It's satisfying to be the one who can jump into action when tired and put the rice on, steam the veggies, and grill up some chicken. In less than half an hour -...
2021-02-08 16:27:08

Play is a great way to live.

It's Sunday. I haven't left the house. Nobody was awake. I was working, playing. Wait. Some of each.

I wrote headlines and drew flow charts and communicated a message and took a poll. All this while playing inside a drawing document with somebody on the other side of the world I...
2021-02-07 22:05:49

Do Not Pass Go - Do Not Collect $200.

Monopoly the multi-player, board game has a simple turn cycle. You roll the dice, move your token, and take action based on the underlying spot on a square board. This square of four sides with 40 corresponding spaces is the game loop. The loop starts at Go -and each passing...
2021-02-07 06:42:30

If at first you don't succeed...

I invited her on Slack into a shared Figma document to practice. She agreed. We'd done it once before and silently moved some shapes around the screen. We iterated on contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. The standard design crap. This time was different.

I suggested we riff on somebody else's work...
2021-02-05 16:32:23

We do things with people like us. as reply to Get a fuckin favicon

If more than a single person recommended a favicon, there's a reason. If more than one of us thinks it's important to do things in a certain way, another reason. Our values shape us. These shapes are the ultimate puzzle the product manager needs to solve.
2021-02-04 16:35:53