Quit calling your things beautiful.

This may be overly ranty, but I find it particularly crass when people call their own products “beautiful” (except for parents, probably). Beauty isn’t something you can dictate to people, but something people have to decide for themselves. It’s like smearing paint on a canvas and then running around, telling people how beautiful your painting is. Most people with some amount of sense would tell you to get over yourself. The only people allowed to act like that are Kanye West and Apple, and they only get away with it because they’re already famous and people expect it from them.

Call your things “simple” if you want. You can more readily compare the simplicity of your project du jour with those of your competitors. For example, Square Cash is an arguably simpler way to send money than other currently available options. You don’t need to sign up for anything, and any device that can send and receive emails (even feature phones, I suppose) can use it. You don’t even need to know your bank account’s number or routing info.

You could call your things “well-designed” if you really need to. Maybe you put a lot of time researching your audience, developing prototypes, and performing rigorous tests on potential users. To toss out another example, Mailchimp spent a lot of time testing their site to make it as easy and intuitive as possible, and they don’t feel the need to brag about it. Rather, they let their product do the talking for them.

But please don’t call your own thing “beautiful.” You have the right to be proud of the thing that you made, but you’re probably best off keeping it to yourself.

I haven’t slept much lately and I think it’s made me snarkier than usual.

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  • Roger Kingsland