74 – “Why don’t we just have three dots instead?”


There’s no toothpaste in this hotel room. I need toothpaste so bad.

“For god’s sake. Bring your own toothpaste. That’s hotel 101” Desmond texts.

“Amateur” Paul texts.

Why is that the thing.

I leave my room and go downstairs for breakfast. A woman pours me coffee. It’s black. I top it up with milk, but she already filled up most of the cup so when I pour in the milk it overflows.

I lean over to sip the coffee down a bit forgetting it’s freshly poured and burn my lips. Need toothpaste and my lips hurt.

I’m hungover and in Edinburgh.

Desmond is Canadian but based in Edinburgh. I’ve travelled up for the weekend to work on the app with him. We did some work last night and then got smashed.


Paul is on holiday with his family in New York and is coding while they sleep.

Desmond meets me in the hotel bar and is also hungover from the night before.

We get to work.

He’s coding, I’m designing. It’s productive to be in the same room for the first time. Easier for little bits of magic to happen.

For example, I’m sitting here playing about with designs. Desmond admits he has no idea about design. That’s cool. So I’m working on these three icons which make up the top navigation bar:


I like them. They’re so minimal. So inviting to tap. Friendly. Top of my game.

“Desmond. I love these icons.” I’m hungover and banging on, “They’re so… minimal. So inviting to tap. Know what I mean?”

“Why don’t we just have three dots instead?” Desmond says. “Three dots and instead of tapping between screens we just swipe? I dunno, I don’t know about design… but yeah whatever you think.”

I think he’s onto something.

I delete the icons and do three dots instead.



Suddenly, the original design is clumsy, overbearing, and ugly. And Desmond’s idea is so simple and clean. Of course that’s how it should be. Magic.

He jokes that if we carry on taking stuff away there won’t be any design left. But that’s exactly what great deisgn is. I love it.


I sit on the train back to London thinking about what we’re building. I’ve got Red Eyes by War on Drugs on repeat. The sun is shining, the sea’s next to me. I’m smiling.

Our small app idea, when we first came up with it, I didn’t think much of it. More a fun tech demo to show off our talent than anything proper.

But the more we plan it and talk about it… I don’t know… there’s something in it.

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