In Search Of Wild Tangents And Sudden Epiphanies

I wanted to be an explorer. As a kid, hiking through the mountains of Taiwan, my dream was to discover new lands. Unfortunately for me, we were entering the era of Google Maps. My dream would never come to literal fruition, but its essence lives on. Today, an insatiable curiosity drives everything that I do.

Brutalist architecture. Harmonic mixing. Brand archetypes. Moral psychology. Road biking. Typographic pairing. Nomadic travel. Nutritional science. Aerial photography. Minimalist design. Blues guitar.

It’s a beautiful mess, my interests. And this is only a sample of my more recent endeavors. Thanks to the Internet, my desire to discover new lands has been possible, just in an abstract sense. New worlds, perspectives, and ideas are all now at my fingertips. The freedom to chase curiosities is like never before; the only limit is not having time to explore it all.

Many look down on a wandering mind. Getting lost on wild tangents is seen as a waste of time, just unproductive. Little do they know (and lucky for me), we’ve entered an economy where the generalist, or master of many, is becoming more a blessing than a curse. While the old world was about lifelong specialization and harnessing of raw materials, the new world is about discovering and combining disparate ideas to unlock new realities. In this world, the wanderer wins, because as author Steven Johnson puts it, “chance favors the connected mind.” And the connected mind is one that wanders.

Pursuing wonder is a journey that is rewarding in and of itself, but the ultimate prize is the sudden epiphany, that eureka moment. It’s the collision of two or more once disconnected thoughts to create an entirely new one. Hunting for that moment is my mission today, just as it was when I was a kid. This curiosity is what has helped me excel in my career, but it’s also what makes me much more than any single occupation. It’s the one constant, the thread that ties the beautiful mess together.

Now, hopefully, you have a little more context for who I am and what drives me as a person. Continue to browse around this site and you’ll see my thought process come to life in several forms, from rough notes with fresh intrigue to growing hunches and more fully realized theories. On my Projects page, you’ll see how curiosities evolve into real tangible types of output, for work and play. And finally, to learn about how I’ve applied the search for sudden epiphanies in business, read Part 2 of this Feature Series, “Next Practices: Designing The Future Of Brand Experience.”