Aaron Lax

Standards: Craft Isn't Enough

It’s becoming more and more true that to become an expert in anything today, you require a wide crossover of specific skillsets. The more experience, skill, and aptitude you bring to the table, the better the chances are that the results of your work will lead to a better product, a more satisfied client, and of course, stable employment. However, at Focus Lab, we believe that Craft Isn’t Enough.

Standards Craft

There are other personal characteristics that support the makings of a great designer, a strong leader, or a veteran developer. So when we say Craft Isn’t Enough, we are talking about all those things that can be easily observed during any job interview, team meeting, or client conference call; commitment to quality, ability to work with others effectively, strong communication skills, sometimes even a good sense of humor. But we are also talking about the stuff that isn’t always worn on our sleeve during a normal work day.

The real meaning to me of Craft Isn’t Enough speaks to the aspects of an individual that fuel all those visible qualities. Patience, empathy, kindness, objectivity, tolerance, ambition, and maybe most importantly, humility. These are just a few of the traits an individual may possess that you only get to see when they are stretched to their limits, pushed to do their best, or maybe just having a really bad day.

Thanks to the nature of our work and the passion we bring to it, we all have the option to bring these traits to the table alongside our craft. To show patience and understanding with a frustrated client or peer, be open-minded and humble when an idea doesn’t make the cut, and pushing to meet what feels like an impossible deadline. This is where whatever job title you carry becomes less of a description of your skills and abilities and more of an abstraction of your own gestalt: where you are more than the sum of your parts.

Don’t wait to be pressed into showing what you have to offer past designing, writing, cleaning, coding, editing, filing, balancing, whatever. Your craft isn’t enough; the ambition to be more than what you do is.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

- Muhammad Ali

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