Sorry, Dan, But This Pinkcast Didn’t Do It for Me…

In the most recent Pinkcast, Dan Pink features David Litman, whom Dan describes as one of the premier book jacket designers.

David designed the cover for Dan’s latest book, The Power of Regret. Here’s the cover, featuring a piece of crumpled paper:

In The Power of Regret, Pink draws on research in psychology, neuroscience, economics, and biology to challenge widely-held assumptions about emotions and behavior. Using the largest sampling of American attitudes about regret ever conducted as well as his own World Regret Survey—which has collected regrets from more than 16,000 people (including yours truly) in 105 countries—he identifies the four core regrets that most people have. These four regrets, Pink argues, operate as a “photographic negative” of the good life. By understanding what people regret the most, we can understand what they value the most. And by following the simple, science-based, three-step process that he sets out, we can transform our regrets in a positive force for working smarter and living better.

I have enjoyed every one of Dan’s previous books, so I am confident this will be quite good and I plan to read it in the near future.

But back to the Pinkcast.

In the first part of the video, Dan asks David how he came up with the idea for the book cover design. Dan then asked David what he did when he would get stuck.

I don’t have a problem with David’s two suggestions:

  1. walking away from a project for some time, whether it is for just an hour, or perhaps a day or two, and then
  2. spend some time working on other projects

Doing so, as David points out, is a way to cleanse the pallet, offering a fresh perspective on the original project.

As I said, it’s solid advice.

My problem is that there’s nothing new here. Is there anybody who doesn’t know and do this?

To be honest, I viewed the video as more of a subtle sales pitch for his book, which is fine. I would hope Dan would promote his book. But I would have preferred that was all he did, and not including something else that distracts from that sales pitch.

I’ve shared many of Dan’s Pinkcasts here, and this is the first one that I felt I didn’t learn anything. If Dan’s not careful, there’s a chance his blog could end up like mine…

Here’s the video:

40 thoughts on “Sorry, Dan, But This Pinkcast Didn’t Do It for Me…

  1. I like the No Ragrets photo. I think that should be the basis of the cover for Dan’s book.

    But I don’t think Dan has any regrets for the video. Seems to me though, that you have regrets for watching it. But I like how you turned your regrets into something positive by letting them inspire this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. Especially as a graphic designer. Walking away or sleeping on it is standard practice. Even when you think it is complete, it has always been good to let it sit and go back and check it with fresh eyes. Strange that Dan would think it is novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for verifying what I was thinking; as a graphic designer, do you like the cover? It seems that once David came up with the idea of a crumpledpiece of paper, the design looked pretty easy. But as usual, coming up with the idea is usually the hardest part…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The idea can take days. Once you have an idea, the execution can sometimes be pretty quick or it can evolve through several mock ups. I actually like the cover. To convey a concept with a such a simple image is very difficult to do. I am not a fan of busy artwork and special effects because these things complicate the message. As they say less is more.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. the regret that I shared was that I did not make more of an effort to become friends with my work colleagues. As I just noted, I’ve worked at the same place for more than 30 years, and I would not consider anyone I work with to be a close friend. You know, the kind of person you would call up when you were struggling with something or someone to go grab a beer with at the last minute.

      I have tried to remedy that a bit…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is not a great cover from my perspective. A crumpled piece of paper suggests a discarded thought or idea. But there is no writing on the paper. For many, the most painful and longest lasting regrets probably stem from personal interactions or the lack thereof. I agree, the advice in this podcast could have been from a Captain Obvious show.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The simplicity of the cover does draw the eye, but I find the cast off piece of wrinkled paper does not necessarily speak of regrets to me. As for the podcast, either convey some new information that can be helpful in my own life or sell me something. But mixing the two reeks of infomercial and I get enough of those already. I have seen this happen on WP too, where hawking the latest published work becomes the theme and subject of what used to be entertaining or informative posts. I cannot blame someone for wanting to encourage people to buy their book, I would just prefer they be upfront about it. Interesting post, Jim!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also likethe simplicity of the cover, but I agree that a crumpled piece of paper does not scream regret to me. I wish Dan had just used the post to talk about his book, and not try to squeeze on some advice that was too obvious…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. interesting cover, but in keeping with his idea of coming back to something left unfinished, perhaps it could have shown something halfway through the process, with pencil down, partially written, partially built , etc.

    while i am a fan of simple covers and images, to me, the crumpled piece of paper represents a discard of a project, rather than a continuation. i know that book trailers are a selling tool, and they can be a very helpful tool, but maybe he just didn’t do this part of it well, should have walked away from it and thought about it more, before finishing it? all this being said, he has books published and sold and i do not, so he must be doing something right….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your perspective and insight on the cover; it seems like many of us have similar thoughts. But like you said, Dan is a successful author, and I am sure this book be a big seller as well…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the cover alone turns me off for the book. In my opinion it is boring. To me a crumbled sheet of paper represents anger or dissatisfaction. Maybe it represents regret by unfinished work? Or maybe I should be less shallow and not judge a book by its cover??

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “By understanding what people regret the most, we can understand what they value the most.” I’ve never ever thought of regret in this way before. It’s an interesting perspective for sure – it will change how I think about regret from now on- sort of making a note to do better in future.

    You’re right, he’s not really offering any new advice…. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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