I made this shitty stool in design school. It was supposed be able to hold the weight of a person. It did not. I don't know why, or how I ended up hanging on to it for all these years. I was a bad designer and I’m not quite sure how I graduated.
But, I ended up doing ok. My career took a winding path. I got jobs selling TVs and making coffee. Then some jobs designing logos and brochures, and then eventually websites. When I got those design jobs I was aware enough to remember the important stuff I learned in school—have empathy for the people you’re designing for, talk to them, try to find out how the thing you’re designing can make their life easier, or better.
Massimo Vignelli said this:
If you can design one thing, you can design everything.
I believe in that. It's what allowed me to have a career. I’m lucky to do what I do.