As a child one of my favorite things to do on weekend was watch Kung Fu Theatre on channel 5. There were classics like the Flying Guillotine, The Five Deadly Venoms, and many others. What stood out were the original Bruce Lee movies. And to me the one that was a bit bizarre was Game of Death. Watching the original was out of place, there were people with Bruce Lee cut out masks etc. Of course, as a young teen I did not understand what was going on, nor know the story behind it. 

In 2019 on the 46th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death the film was revived using the original footage, but also answered many questions. For those of us who were fans of Bruce Lee, we saw past the movies and investigated him as a philosopher. His public letters were published in a book by John Little who also authored several books including one of my favorites the Warrior Within.  

Learning about some of the ideas behind Bruce Lee’s movies made them even better. Knowing he wanted to be Chuck Norris in The Way of the Dragon was intentional. The Game of Death also had this hidden agenda. Now people make documentaries, put their agenda front, and center, or make a movie the intentionally scares people about a topic, but Bruce was different. The meaning was deep in the story and not surfaced unless someone looked deeply. 

For those who read my blog often you know that I am in technology and manage a team. I studied User Experience (UX) even post school as it was intriguing. In producing my philosophy for building systems, I talk about there are levels of systems for the user. The first is called Data, you need to understand the data you are working with and build a system that manages the data. Once you really get good at that you can think about the tasks people do with the data. Thus, your user experience is now not about the data, but what the users are doing with it. Users like this better than data systems as it feels more natural. Lastly there is something that is called Goal oriented systems. These look beyond the data and tasks and create a system the seamlessly allows the user to accomplish the goal with the least amount of friction. I call these steps the tower of UX, and that you need to learn one to move on to the other. 

Where did I get this? The connection is simple, it was really the Game of UX vs the Game of Death. Well the Game of Death has a meaning behind the movie. The climatic scene is where Bruce Lee needs to get to the top of a tower and at each floor there is a different martial art expert that he needs to defeat.  

This is Bruce Lee’s original drawing. Now in the movie the foes have different weapons and distinctive styles of fighting, and Bruce struggles at first. He eventually learns the weakness of his opponent, changes his style, and can defeat his foe. The key here is he is learning at each level of the tower. The meaning he was teaching was that life is a series of levels. At each level we need to learn something to advance. We might struggle, and we may need to think differently than we do now, but we need to persevere and change to reach the next level.  

This notion of levels is what I talk about with building systems. It comes with all props to Bruce, and it is a philosophy I must remind myself of when I am struggling. When building a system, I ask my team what level we are at. If we do not understand the data yet, we need to start there. If we understand the data, do we understand the tasks? These are lessons we need to learn to make better and better systems for our users.  

I use this notion of the Tower and give credit to Bruce as it was his philosophy. When you are struggling, just remember you are supposed to. Learning is something you constantly need to do to get better. The lesson that comes with the current situation allows you to progress to the next level. 

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them. 

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.