Breaking The Browser Habit

Breaking The Browser Habit

The browser vexes me. On my Mac, it’s a portal to whatever the world has to offer. It’s mostly distractions.  Things that don’t benefit me, support my goals or put me in position to be of service. I use it a lot – because I’m not a luddite: I use the Gmail App.  I compose in Google Docs. I’m writing this – right now – in WordPress. Problem is that with those of us that use shortcut keys a world…

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Politics Doesn’t Have To Be About Attacks

Politics Doesn’t Have To Be About Attacks


We live in politically interesting times.   My experience with the book 5 Easy Theses feels like a return to a different era of debate and discourse.

I haven’t talked about politics in years. It’s been discouraging and depressing. My vaguely libertarian leanings have no real outlet in politics, and what’s left isn’t an argument about ideas, but instead a fight over identities.  Things happen –…

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Focus Is A Muscle

Focus Is A Muscle

It’s hard to focus. It’s always been hard for me to sustain concentration over a long period of time. The human condition. I’m not unique, and I may even be above average. Still. It’s the biggest challenge, and mastering it creates a reward. The muscle muscle be built. Spending time in the Flow State, serving your business, serving clients, serving others.  That life. That night. The digital age.…

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Other Types Of Debt

Other Types Of Debt

For close to 6 years I’ve been running a company called Simplifilm. For four years I had a (great) partner. We’ve had some accomplishments. The creation and sale of a product. Best selling authors worked with us. More. We also pushed a bunch of stuff under the rug. Both in the “partner days” and beyond. They put our company in peril, and took some of the *joie de vivre* out of running our…

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The Client’s Guide To Giving Great Design Feedback

The Client’s Guide To Giving Great Design Feedback


I can tell when a client is going to have a great result from their video the instant that they leave their first bit of feedback.

We rely on our clients to provide honest, exact, emotional feedback.  It’s their biggest contribution to our mutual success.  When they do that quickly,

Feedback is the client’s main role in our collaborative video process.  Done right, it propels a project forward…

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Curriculum March 2016

In March, I’m committed to getting back to reading and exercise. I’ve got a big hill to climb and I’ve imperiled my company by having had so much overhead.  That lead to a place where we were behind on deliverables, and started a death spiral that (I hope) we’ve pulled out of. The idea is to return to the “flow state” that exists. Books:  THE POWER OF HABIT: This is well written, I’ll finish, but…

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Making The Worst

Many of the big problems in my life aren’t times when I made the worst of a bad situation.  I was probably more right than wrong at the outset, but…the reaction was graceless.

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6 Reasons Why Remote Teams Will Outperform Their Office-Bound Counterparts

6 Reasons Why Remote Teams Will Outperform Their Office-Bound Counterparts


In the 5 years I’ve been running Simplifilm, we’ve had a lot of successes, and our share of (normal) setbacks.

I can say – without any reservation – that the biggest (non-hiring) mistake we made was trying to move a remote team to a centralized office.

It was a total loss that put Simplifilm back a year or more.

It seemed, at the time, like a “logical next step,” or like “graduation.”  We’d done…

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Fixed Overhead

Every project that we do has some fixed overhead. It remains about the same regardless of project value.  We can’t reduce it, and ‘larger’ projects don’t generally require more:

  • Gathering assets
  • Kick Off Call (Project Planning)
  • Script writing.
  • Timelines
  • Editing Sound and Music (mostly fixed)
  • uploading a file
  • Rendering a file.

None of these take a long time, they are all things that take 1-2 hours per project.  There are about 20 of them.  For a developer it might be “creating a local environment”.  For a sound engineer it might be something else.

It’s not stuff that can currently exactly be automated.

The problem is that it eats into margins quickly. Having 20 hours of “overhead” on project acceptance means that each project must be able to support that.

Each of these touchpoints represents risk, doing them wrong means that we are risking our relationship with our client.

This is the problem with doing discounted work: there’s still a fixed cost associated with putting time and effort into a project.  Yes, often the ‘system’ can absorb this. Often it cannot.

Nobody wants to be project managing most of the time.  The solution for a boutique is, then to get the people and skills we need to be at the top of the market. That way each of the projects is 90% “output” and 10% “management.”

Tolerating the bureaucracy that comes from management is tough.