SYNTAX: 12 years of producing junk (and some good design :-)

SYNTAX design junk
Behold: 12 years of junk.

We founded SYNTAX in 1998. The year the first iMac (and my first son) was born. We’ve been in our Wadi Saqra office since 2000. A decade already.

When we moved in, we barely had the money to put in partitions. We always said, we’re too busy with client work to finish the interior design of our office. And what do you know? Ten yeas pass just like that and we’re still talking about ‘doing something about the office’.

But recently, something else has been happening. I would ask our admin people and the rest team to ‘tidy up’ ten times, but stuff would just be laying around here or there.

On one hand, we’ve been happy with lots of stuff hanging on our walls. But my feeling. recently, was: we’re drowning in junk.

I had enough.

Even before finding a storage place, I gave orders to start aggressively moving junk out of the office. The ‘finding storage space’ problem which has been on our to do list for 5 months, suddenly solved itself.

As old Macs, PCs, posters, files, papers, boxes, and plastic bags started moving our of the office and as I started removing yellowing posters from my walls, I felt that it was not just the physical junk that was weighing us down, but also the mental junk of running a small business for the last 12 yeas.

For those of us who have been around for a long time, mental junk has been increasingly occupying too much of our our brains. Too many experiences. Too many old stories. Loose ends. Persistent issues. Too many layers of ideas around every issue.

Some of it might be called ‘wisdom’. But a lot of it is just junk.

Like physical junk, you get used to living with your mental junk. You come to the office in the morning. You see the same old posters and printouts behind your desk. You go through the same mental cycle.

There is also another form of ‘junking’ that apparently happens to small businesses. I find it amazing that there are some things that we used to do in a neater way in the early days than we do now. Our fax form looked better in 1998 than today. Hmmm.

A company of 3 people is very different than a company of 25, of course. We can do more. We have more depth. Bigger clients. But that’s no excuse for carrying our junk with us.

We’re still too busy to do a full revamp of our office. But spring is here. Time for a physical and mental spring cleaning. Out with the junk.

Restartup.

3 thoughts on “SYNTAX: 12 years of producing junk (and some good design :-)

  1. Pingback: On physical junk, mental junk and the joys spring cleaning - 360east | design, media, technology

  2. Ameen

    You might be surprised of the amount of junk a single independent designer can accumulate over the years too 🙂

    But Yes. I concur, sir! The mental junk is the worst. You have just inspired me to give it a try. Have a nice day.

  3. zayd

    Mental Junk! Im afraid you’re correct my friend. We suffer all too much from it. Good luck with all the cleaning..

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