“Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.”

The Shaker Design Philosophy

The art of making lies not just in creation but in weaving necessity, utility, and beauty together. In a sea of creations, what stands out are the ones that not only meet a need but also serve their purpose elegantly, wrapped in an aura of beauty. Ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” If yes, then consider its usefulness. If it’s a yes again, don’t hesitate to imbue it with beauty. Beauty isn’t superficial—it’s an ode to the user, a testament to your respect for their experience.

Creating is an exercise in balance—necessary, useful, and beautiful. This is the triumvirate your creation needs to adhere to. This delicate balance takes your work from being just another product or service to something that enriches lives. The world isn’t just in need of more stuff—it craves meaningful things that delight. So, if it’s necessary and useful, go ahead and make it beautiful. It’s not vanity—it’s value.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.