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What makes a great presentation

A talk is something that should inspire someone to go away and do something.

That’s my friend and colleague Matt Wiebe on what makes a great presentation and the kind of presentation I love to see. If a talk is better presented as, and easier to consume as, a How-To blog post it’s not going to be a great talk. I’d rather be inspired.

(I’m liveblogging a meeting I’m in with Matt right now.)

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The difference between design and research

The difference between design and research seems to be a question of new versus good. Design doesn’t have to be new, but it has to be good. Research doesn’t have to be good, but it has to be new. I think these two paths converge at the top: the best design surpasses its predecessors by using new ideas, and the best research solves problems that are not only new, but actually worth solving. So ultimately we’re aiming for the same destination, just approaching it from different directions.

From the opening of Paul Graham’s essay on Design and Research.

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Legends of Andor

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My 10-year old son and I spent the afternoon at one of Winnipeg’s newest board game cafes, Across the Board. First of all, I love it there. Great food, coffee, atmosphere — I would eat there even if they didn’t have a library of 700+ board games. We spent the afternoon playing Legends of Andor. It looks like it’s a Dungeons and Dragons role-playing thing but that’s just surface detail. Beautifully illustrated surface detail. Really it’s a cooperative puzzle game where you work together to solve a puzzle that plays out over 14 rounds. Sometimes you have to do things in the game — like fight monsters! I admit that’s an attractive part of the game :) — that move you farther along the 14 round track and make it harder to figure out the puzzle. Tons of fun and pretty easy to learn. We totally want to go back to the game and play through the other “Legends”, or scenarios.

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