Which of the apps we use and love today will be around in a year from now. 5 years? 10 years?

As designers, engineers and entrepreneurs, who spend most of our time crafting digital products, how often do we pause and reflect to ask this about our work?

Now that I have a few years of work behind me, I have started thinking about this stuff a lot more. How many of the things I worked on when I had just started designing for a living are still around? Not a lot of them. And that’s sad.

Sad not because they were a thing of beauty and should have stayed longer or because I had spent so much time working on them. But sad because it means that besides self-improvement and learning, the value that I hoped to add to the world by working on them never truly materialized. Nothing. Zilch.

As craftsmen, we have a responsibility to control and shape what we bring into this world. As users we have a right to wish and hope that a service we are using to share our thoughts stays around long enough. Stays around so that we can come back to it, look back at it and cherish it. Maybe smile while doing so. Digital is a toxic environment for nostalgia to exist in. Can we do something about it?

Craft to last.

The next time we work on something, how about we ask ourselves how long in the future do we wish for it to exist. It will change the way we view our work and how we work on the things that we do. Sometimes even what we work on.

Originally written on Medium