Instant coffee & how it ruined design

Instant coffee was invented by Satori Kato, a Japanese scientist working in Chicago, and debuted in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition. No one bought it, apparently, because Nescafé introduced it's instant coffee in Switzerland on April 1, 1938 - yes, on April Fools. Along with other inventions of convenience during World War II, such as Minute Maid, Nescafé fell into a gold mine.

Instant coffee is the worst invention ever.

The invention, and subsequent disaster of, instant coffee has had far reaching effects on our society not unlike a super-bug that has become immune to antibiotics. Some how we've been drinking the Kool-Aid all these years, being told to that convenience, speed, and accuracy are all attainable in the time it takes to make a cup of instant-Joe. And we've believed it. We've become - impatient.

The other day I was having a conversation with someone about how design, good design, takes time to come up with a concept, let the idea percolate and brew, then move ahead with a final product. The problem in this conversation was that the person on the other end couldn't understand that design takes time, they wanted it fast and didn't want to pay. Aside from the obvious problem that there wasn't money to push their plan to the top of the pile, I was completely overwhelmed with a sense of stupidity. I realized that, thru all this ability of instant connections, of convenience cooking, text messaging, email replies within five minutes, and voice mail redundancy, I realized that I was the problem. I somehow, some way, set up the expectations that this conversation was indeed happening and the person was being so flippant and arrogant that I was completely bedazzled, like Mario Lopez was suddenly standing in-front of me and talking to me, ME of all people. Aside from the amazing abs and mediocre acting talent that Mario may or may not have, this conversation lacked substance and context because the person on the other end was a cookie-cutter-make-it-happen-now kinda person.

Yeah, I didn't get the project, but I learned that aside from being the worst invention ever, instant anything has engrained in us that expectations and patience are lost on a whole lot of people these days. It's our job, not to be instant with the product, but to be instant with the expectations with the product and be clear on the time good design takes to create - from thin air, out of nothing, with no budget, or inspiration, and like, yesterday .

But I'm not bitter.