Artists don’t start with a canvas.

Founders don’t start with a product. I proudly acknowledge my CRUSH development took 2.5 years from concept to prelaunch, well beyond the year or less I expected it to take. There is a story here not unlike Michelangelo being commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel having never before painted frescos. Completed after four years, his draped, exhausted self-portrait being restrained by Saint Bartholomew from a final decent is a document of his mental state. I would never depict myself in that form or share the same sentiments after delivering a product. Conversely, I’m energized partly because I answer exclusively to myself rather than to an ambitious Pope.

Everyone is always trying to figure it out just a little bit more.

An artist never begins a journey on a canvas. An inexperienced person sees a painted canvas, decorated in a manner which is simply labeled as “expression”, ready for judgement. However, “expression” is a souless term designed as a safe “end point” identifying where one can be relieved of being required to care more. Queue Ellsworth Kelly.

Consider entering an opulent home, walking into the foyer, getting the “let me show you around” tour, and leaving without seeing the smallish library off to the side too incongruent with the rest of the house to be offered to view. The “end point” is the door to the library. Do you ask what’s behind the striking, carved, heavy oak pocket doors? Do you knock? Do you go right in or continue your wide-eyed tour?

Beyond the library doors are the plans, ideas, desires, the conflicts, the pains, joys, and personal solitude. Between those old and new books are hopes, fears, wrongs, and rights. Desk scratches and rings of discoloration from glassware condensation hidden under scribbled notes on Staples notepads. A Polaroid propped up by an oxidized book of Atlas Shrugged next to an award next to a set of very old architectural plans bound with a brittle red elastic. The DNA, the conspiring, the masks. The air in this room is rich. It smells mysterious. This isn’t expression; it’s being. Being is art, and we all have our own library ranging from simple to complex. It’s not usually part of the tour.

Don’t knock. Go into the library.

Ellsworth Kelly painted some of the most easily reproducible art. Do you think his library was spartan? I don’t. When I see another developer’s product, I think first about their interesting library. “Hey, I have that same book.”

CRUSH was never an epiphany. It is the result of me building my library for decades, exploring how to live better. While developing CRUSH I figured out life a little more. Exploiting the value took more investment and more time. It has revolutionized my busy life, and with hope CRUSH will remove unproductive stress from your life freeing you to just think without the anxiety of trying to remember.