Hephaistos: “Is it weird that I’m fangirling really hard on the person who invented Squatty Potty?”

Thenea: “Yah, Heffe, that’s pretty weird.”

Hephaistos: “But think about it. They were sitting there, thinking about the machinery of the human gut, and the machinery of the toilet, and suddenly — bam — one small little cog, makes the two finally fit together after decades of hemerroids. I love that.”

Thenea: “Well, it certainly has improved my own toilet-related experiences.”

Hephaistos: “The tool isn’t separate from the user. That’s the take-away. Tools only exist FOR the user. And anyone can design a machine, but the measure of an engineer is how well they take the user into account. The best of us know people. Know what’s irking them about what they’ve got now. Have the insight to seize upon just the right improvement. And that’s the failing of a lot of spiritual paths — people not taking pride in their ability to provide a good user experience.

No one can force you to innovate. No one is sitting there with a gun to anyone’s head telling them to build a better mousetrap. But damn. If you build a shitty mousetrap, do you really need external voices telling you that you didn’t do right by your craft?”

Thenea: “Well, maybe some day, when I learn to read minds…”

Hephaistos: “Talk about practice. Hear disgruntled people, rather than refuting their complaints. If there is one thing you can count on humans for, it’s complaining. But that’s the inventor’s manual. Design tools, not excuses, to answer complaints. Excuses have never in the history of the world improved user experience.”