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Since you can’t outsource your soul, you can’t outsource your design

Earlier this week, i reblogged a Steve Jobs quote that was lighting up on Tumblr with well over 200 notes. Here’s the quote:

In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service

A very powerful sentiment and you can feel this sentiment in Apple’s products and obsession to detail. That why even things like the Smart Cover can blow people away.

Last week, I shared my thoughts about wanting to see the Vimeo of photos. From the comments and from private emails, it’s clear I’m not alone. 

I also received about a dozen emails from entrepreneurs that want or have started to build something to take on flickr. 

However, a bunch of them said, something like here’s a spec of what we are building and why it’s better than flickr and we will have a prototype done in a few months – all we need is a great UI guy. 

That last line, “all we need is a great UI guy” is jarring to me. 

It makes it sound like the veneer in Jobs-speak. It makes it sound like a commondity that you can buy off the shelf or just outsource it.

The design comes from somewhere inside or it doesn’t come at all.