46 posts tagged work


My dad has a saying, “You get what you intend, not what you hope for.” How many things in our lives are we actually intentional about, though? In the creative (and development) world, I consistently see studios grow beyond their optimal size. Our culture rewards it, and often our internal drive is to be bigger because we’re told that bigger is better. But is it?

I haven’t been distracted by pushing a boulder up the wrong hill. I get to focus on doing really great work for excellent clients.

Like Berger & Föhr, I’ve been intentional about operating as a shop of one—I’m a bit of a design and development multi-tool. Some projects I team up with others (like Berger & Föhr) and other projects I handle by myself. I may not be this size forever, but it has been an intentional choice and a lot of rewarding things have come from it. The biggest bonus, though, is simply that I haven’t been distracted by pushing a boulder up the wrong hill. I get to focus on doing really great work for excellent clients. And, contrary to popular belief, my access to bigger and better projects has often come as a result of my practice size, not at the expense of it.

How intentional are you about the size and goals of your business?


January ends today, which I believe means that the statute of limitations on posts reflecting on the past year ends as well. I felt it would be remiss for me to not at least highlight a few things that I spent my time on last year.

2011 was a big year. As the year started, I was currently working on an as-yet unannounced, top-secret project for Threadless, alongside Good Apples.

Testimony of Mike Rowe

Most of us are lucky enough to not need to work a physical job, but that doesn’t mean the work of a physical craftsperson isn’t absolutely vital or society. I think Mike’s right. We’ve discounted this type of work too much. Why don’t we still teach Shop in high school? Why do we perpetuate the myth that vocational school and apprenticeships are somehow less worthy? The world might be more global, but the downsides of that globalization are placing a premium on local craftsmanship and local products.

Friends vs. Subscribers

I don’t know if I’ve ever explicitly stated why I run this blog, but this touches on why: I run it for myself. It’s the only way to stay interested in it. I post things because the act of posting them, making some commentary on them, etc. is good for me. It helps me remember things I value and learn new things as I construct arguments and defend them. It’s for me. If any of you out there somewhere get some benefit from it, that’s a bonus.

Back to Work #11: Johnny Heuristic

A great episode of Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin’s Back to Work this week. If you feel like your stuck trying to figure out what’s “next,” maybe give this one a listen.

Why I Run a Flat Company

Rotating management duties weekly? I like this idea.

Why work doesn’t happen at work

Jason Fried at TEDxMidwest

This is a great TEDx presentation by Jason Fried of 37signals on the office and why people don’t get much actual work done there in a traditional setting.

He asks an important question: Where do you go when you really need to get something done?

I started writing some of my own related thoughts on how I work and it turned into its own post.

Witness the birth of the SMonologue!

Sounds a little idealistic, but hell, goals that aren’t a bit idealistic are probably pretty boring and mean you weren’t trying hard enough.

The Industrial Age is Dead - Time is the New Money

I agree with my dad on this one. When we can make our world both smaller in connection (through place, use of technology, etc.), but more diverse, the potential for community growth is amazing.

Introducing Threadless Causes

Life, work, everything has been busy on my end. So much so that I can’t remember the last time I talked about something I’m actively working on here on this blog. Part of the issue is my limited free time, and part of it is the wonderful fact that I’m getting to work on some really amazing things, but we can’t spill the beans on it until they’re ready.

In this case, Alex Bogusky of CP+B fame let the cat out of the bag for us. He hosts an internet TV show under his new venture, FearLess and Jake from Threadless went on the show and talked about their new thing, Threadless Causes.

I’ve been working on the Causes site with Jake, several other fine folks at Threadless and the good guys over at Good Apples for a couple months now and we’re excited to show it off and watch people use it.

To see a short demo with some great background info, check out Jake’s episode of FearLess TV. Alex also wrote an excellent post about it.

Also, visit the splash page we whipped up and drop in your email address to know when things go live.