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The Badge

An email notification wakes me up, it seems that I have a new order in my mailbox. It’s from a technology magazine I’ve worked with before, the subject says “Badge design 2024”. But I never open emails before coffee, it would be too wild for me. So I let the mail marinate in my mailbox while I prepare it. I grind the grains without heating them too much so as not to change the flavor and I press the ground grain hard so that the water has a hard time stealing its essence. All the good things in this world take hard work. My mug is perfect, its bright white reflecting the light of my iPad on which I calmly open the email:

Dear Sven,

Like every year, this 2024 we will be giving mentions to the best software development companies for the USA. We need you to help us create a 2024 version of the badge that we will award to the winning companies.

Could you send us the design this week?
We can handle the usual rate.


I really like working with this magazine. They are serious, they pay on time and the coffee doesn’t pay for itself. So the first order of business will be to create their badge. As I draw each line I ask myself what moves my arm on the Wacom tablet. I know that my brain sends signals to my expert hand, and that my brain is guided by the email I just received. But, what is there before that email? what have all those companies that deserve the award done? how many problems did they have to solve for how long before finally, this 2024, the magazine decided to give them this mention? how many and what words did they say? how many smiles they sketched out? How many tears they shed?

The new badge begins to materialize on the retina monitor of my neat and perfect iMac. It is a simple and elegant badge, a token that represents years of work for whoever wears it. I wonder what will those who receive it will think. Just as my brain and hand are now guided by their past actions, I am guiding their future actions. Will they react with joy? Will they react with indifference? Will they remember what brought them there? I don’t know.

With each stroke of my design I imagine directing the future of the companies that will receive it. My dream was to be a film director. As a child I made cameras with toilet paper rolls and leaves, I did castings among the stuffed animals in my room and I even gave them scripts for rehearsals. But growing up is abandoning your dreams. I don’t dislike being a designer, influenced by my father, although I stopped complaining to him years ago, all parents ruin their children and that’s why we are all crazy. Enough daydreaming, I must focus on finishing this job. This iMac’s installments don’t pay for themselves either.

After a few hours I finish and send the result.

Hi Matt
Thanks a lot for trusting in my work. Attached you will find the badge for this year. You can send the payment to my venmo.
- Sven

A few months later I woke up to an email notification on my cell phone. The subject reads: “Press conference: The best software developers in the USA 2024

But you know how it goes, I never open emails before a coffee. With the cup steaming I see the list of companies that received the mention that goes with the badge I designed and one of them catches my attention: “Inflexion Software” I think it is a good name for a company whose industry is always changing. They have many articles on their blog and it seems that they have written a new one to announce the magazine mention. It’s called “The Badge.” The title catches me and I’m ready to read it.

I hope it’s interesting.

Software Engineer and psychologist, founder and CEO of Inflexion Software.

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