In 1996 Steve Jobs in an interview by Wired magazine said:
"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it “looks”. But of course if you dig deeper, it’s really how it “works”. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. To design something really well, you have to “get it”. You have to really “Grok” what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that."
I had never heard the word "grok" until my partner sent me this quote. Wikipedia defines it like this: "Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience."
We've had the opportunity to work with some incredible clients lately. The work produced is some of the best we've ever done. The weird thing is that our final wrap-up meetings have been sad. No one celebrating being done with the project, even though we're thrilled with how it has turned out.
It's because we genuinely enjoy working with these clients. And they genuinely enjoy working with us. We've truly become a part of their team...we've chewed on their brand, not just swallowed it. We've had real, honest conversations with them. We've made friends with them. We've taken the time to become part of the observed.
Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head with this one.
- Brandt Hoekenga