This was a note I sent to Bill before he passed … it summed it up for me. I attempted some levity and optimism, no closure here —his gifts and wisdom live on.
Hi Bill (and Karin),
I hear you are in quite a fight. I’m glad you are back in our adopted sunny California. In fact, I was talking to a young designer today, reminiscing, and I found myself telling him about how your phone call back in the summer of 1987 is the reason I am out here. Then, how fate would take it from there — now, finding myself with a beautiful family and a nifty way of making a living from home … yeah, I did say “nifty” :-)
I also told him about your advice to ‘disconnect’ as a problem solver, and about how generous you were in the creative process — both have helped me to be better over the years. You also always managed to find a skill or trait to hail in people. I enjoyed being called on by you, even just for some nice sketches.
Then, upon leaving IDEO, when I was seeking my less ambitious path, you had some encouraging words: “a balanced life is its own reward” … which is practically my motto now. (Well that, and … “never waste a good opportunity to nap”.)
Thinking of you.
Your loyal employee and friend,