Geoff Teehan Interviews Sketch’s Pieter Omvlee

David & Goliath

Geoff Teehan talks to the Bohemian Coding founder on the “past, present and future of Sketch.” This was one of my favorite quotes:

In the last year we’ve spoken to a lot of people and companies and I’ve very often heard ‘Sketch is just perfect the way it is, you just need to add this one thing.’ One person mentions auto-layout, someone else mentions prototyping, someone else mentions data driven design. So often these suggestions sound easy to the speaker, but what they are saying is to take these already fundamentally very complex ideas and then if we could just add just one little thing to Sketch, then it would be perfect. Everyone suggests something else, there doesn’t seem to be any underlying parallel requests or even themes. And many of the suggestions may sound like an easy tweak, but are actually very complex to address. At some point we have to choose and understand we can’t satisfy everyone. I don’t want to make an application that is purely driven by what customers say or think they want. It’s also important to preserve your own vision with the app and not just dump things in because customers ask for them.

Sketch’s single biggest asset is Pieter Omvlee. He does three things well—the only three things that matter in building software: he defines a very clear, widely relevant vision; he builds a nimble, very talented team around it; and then they execute on that vision without distraction. That’s what’s made Sketch so successful, and that is what this quote summarizes so well.

Teehan’s interview is well worth reading in full at Though the Guillaime Courtois painting (above) that he selected as the illustration is not as clever as he thinks (smiley face!).