DO NOT take pride in your work

For the design community, it is common knowledge that the ego has no place in collaborative output. For those outside of the design community, it may come as a shock to read the title of this article.

Aaron Cecchini-Butler
5 min readJan 8, 2019


So let me explain…

Your First Idea is Rarely the Best One

It’s important to understand that our brain takes up an absurd amount of energy relative to its size in our body. Because of this, our brain, in order to save energy, tricks us. When we have our first idea, our brain encompasses it with positive chemicals to prevent us from using more energy coming up with alternatives.

There is a more scientific way to explain this, and if you’re interested, check it out here!

Taking pride in our work (or being told to), encourages us to trust this false sense of worth. Pushing through this stage and forcing yourself to keep having more ideas will almost always result in a better final idea.

(This concept is also mentioned in a terrific book, “Designing Your Life,” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.)

Ideate, Ideate, Ideate

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

I’m going to reword my title here:

You can take temporary pride in your work IF… you’ve put in the right kind of work.

Any good designer knows that it’s important to ideate. Logo designers will often make 50 versions of a logo before starting to look critically at their work.

A common concept in the musical world is that there must be two versions of oneself.

There must be the creative — a completely non-judgemental version of oneself who just creates material.

There must be the editor — a very judgemental version of oneself who creates no material and makes analytical decisions about the creative’s work.

It is important to allow each of these versions of oneself to have designated time to exist and not allow them to come out at the wrong time.

Ideation is a process that belongs…



Aaron Cecchini-Butler

Senior Systems Designer at Grubhub working on Cookbook (our design system) — as well as contributing to product design work.