Our Time is Limited

June 2, 2016 Ramy Nassar

About a week ago, I heard that my personal rock 'n' roll idol was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Gord Downie’s music, poetry, and most importantly, attitude, all had a dramatic influence on me over the past 20 years, and after hours of reflection and listening to his albums on repeat, rather than dwelling on his illness, I began to think about the upcoming ‘Goodbye’ Tour this summer. One last trip across Canada, doing what he loves more than anything in the world. What an incredible state of mind to aspire to be in; to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and make the choice to live out his last days doing what he loves.

As I tried to imagine what it would feel like to receive news like this, one important question kept coming up… why do I choose to work at Architech?

Spoiler Alert: it’s not the free Raisin Bran.

What began with conversation over a cup of coffee led to me joining the team, and just about two years later, most days I still wake up excited to come into work and collaborate with some of the smartest and most creative people that I’ve ever worked with. For a while, I thought that this was the answer to my question, and while it’s certainly a part of the answer, there’s more to it than that.

When I step back from the day-to-day meetings, emails and projects, I actually see a different kind of organization. I see an organization that wants to use the power of design and technology to change the way businesses operate, change lives of ordinary people, and change the world. With a goal of positively impacting one billion lives over the next 14 years, to borrow from Steve Jobs, we’re on a journey to put a dent in the universe.

It’s easy to get lost in the task-based existence of our overloaded calendars and never-ending client calls, and it took some hard news to reflect back and ask myself why I’m here. But in doing so, I’ve realized that it was just what I needed to gain context.

I’ll be the first to admit - not every line of code we write, design we create, or post-it note we stick onto a whiteboard is going to change the world. In fact, those moments will be few and far between. But, hidden in the cracks, between retrospectives and journey-mapping sessions, we find those moments. As I’ve opened myself up to recognizing these moments, I realize they’re not as uncommon as I thought. In fact, most of those moments come out of the choices that we make, each and every day.

I work at Architech because I’m surrounded by people who choose not to settle for adequate code or mediocre designs, but instead strive to create something great.  I work at Architech because I see professionals who want to challenge the status quo and understand the potential of technology to change the world for the better. And together, we’re going to put our own dent in the universe.

At the end of my time, whenever that day comes, I hope I can look back at where I invested my time, energy and passion, and do so without a shred of regret. So if you get a chance in the next couple of days or weeks or months, I encourage you to ask yourself the same question. Why do you choose to work where you do?

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

- Chuck Palahniuk

Ramy Nassar is Managing Director, Strategy and Design at Architech.


About the Author

Ramy Nassar

As Managing Director, Ramy focuses on promoting Service Design -- working with internal teams and clients to create innovative and differentiated customer experiences. Operating at the intersection of Service Design and the Internet of Things, Ramy pushes the boundaries of how technology can integrate with everyday experiences.

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