July 1, 2011

Doc Harvard Design

Making Stuffs Pretty



Let me explain what a designer is. No, it will take to long; let me sum up.

A designer is the special kind of crazy that that looks at something and shouts to the world “I can make that pile of crap beautiful!” O.K., maybe most designers aren’t that crazy [yet]; but, we are a special blend of artist, social engineer, advocate, technocrat, project manager and persuasive skills many politicians and cult leaders wish they had.

To horribly miss quote Yoda “Designers matter not do they? Look at me. Judge me by my design, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should. For my allies are skill and talent, and powerful allies are they. Life creates designers, makes them grow. A designer’s energy surrounds you and binds you to what they have created. Luminous beings are designers, not this crude matter. You must feel the design around you; here, between you, me, the web, the computer, the TV, everywhere, yes.”

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November 28, 2011

Enough is Enough – Rant About Ignorant Marketing

Enough is EnoughFrankly I’m getting tired of seeing ignorant marketers slamming the success of G+ and the touting its eminent demise. I call them ignorant because they are evaluating based primarily on two factors.

The first factor

…is a data comparison between Google+ and FaceBook. Sometimes they show real data and sometimes it anecdotal. Either way the comparison is based on current FB data and current G+ data. This may seem O.K. but in fact it is erroneous. If a true comparison is to be made then these so called marketing experts should be comparing age based data. Not age of the people using them but the age of services. If an age data comparison is made I would think these experts would change their rather vocal ignorant arguments.
Continue reading

November 21, 2011

Taking Time for the Details

GorillaSo I’ve been having electrical problems with my car. Nothing to stop it from going after it’s been started but it’s been hell on the battery. Went through all of these different things trying to fix it myself, consulted with folks more knowledgeable than I about cars, and spent a good chunk of change.

Well from a very simple suggestion, check the battery clamps, came the solution to the problem. I had already visually checked them but hadn’t actually tried to just simply pull them off. Come to find out that the ground cable was snug enough to look like it was seated correctly but still loose enough not to make a solid connection. Translation, ground not connected battery doesn’t charge.

End result, $3 for a decent batter clamp, some time to get it on and reconnected and what appears to be no more battery issue. – oh, and a good set of emergency roadside equipment now.
Now a bring this up not to astound you with my glorious mechanical skills, because they aren’t, but to point out something I think we all forget to do from time to time. – _Focus on the details_.

If I had of just taken 30 seconds longer to tug the cables instead of doing a visual inspection I would of saved myself a lot of time, effort and money.

So how does this translate into content creation, design, comics, publishing, epublishing, well anything actually? Take that extra 30 seconds to get your hands on it instead of just looking at it. You may find that you missed something that will not only make your life better but your fellow readers, viewers, what have you, as well.

November 14, 2011

Google Plus Pages – The Way I See It

Google Plus PagesI recently had the opportunity to visit Google at Ann Arbor Michigan to speak with Kristoffer Sorensen about many great and powerful Google secrets – ok, there really wasn’t any secrets; but, it was still informative and entertaining. We did talk about several things; but, the one I’d like to talk about is Google+ Pages.

Disclaimer: I wanted to name them Fluffy Samurai Bunnies of BBQ Death but they said that FSBBBBQD wasn’t sexy enough.

By now most everyone who is involved with Google+ has either seen or owns a Google Plus Page. Have you thought about what you could really do with it though? Have you sat down with your Teddy Chipper Wood Chipper and sliced apart these pages into happy little bits? Probably not since at first glance they do seem kind of boring at face value. Since you haven’t tossed Google+ Pages into the ole creative wood chipper and turned them into mulch for your latest brand identity project then open your minds and prepare to have some creamy nougatty goodness poured directly into them.

For the purposes of illustration I’m going to make up a fictional product owned by 42wd Publishing.

The Morning Meeting Continue reading

October 31, 2011

Procrastination – It’s Your Death

ProcrastinationSo I noticed that all the red flags I had amassed on my emails as I tried to clear things out for Halloween fun tonight. It seems I have prioritized myself into a corner. O.K., the reality is that I procrastinated myself into a corner. Frankly, I forgot to follow my own Zombie Zen advice.

So procrastination has been the death of me and now I will be risen from the dead and go back to practicing my Zombie Zen and clear out some of these red flags and get on the ball for creating new blogs, responding to emails, advancing projects, and well pretty much the other stuff I kept pushing off to get the quick hits that weren’t of enough value done.

Will you remember to do the Zombie Zen or just procrastinate to death?

Check out the image creators work.

October 13, 2011

Overheard on the Subway – Good Start Up Advice

by: Mike Alwill
commentary / formatting by: Doc Harvard

Doc Harvard: It’s not often in the start up world that you get clean, straight forward and non-snake oil advice but I believe that Mike Alwill from Google has hit on something solid here. Normally I have a picture with my blogs but for this one I will forgo it to bring more focus on what is being said.

Take it away Mike –

What We Hear When We Listen

I have a tendency to overhear other people’s conversations without even trying. While at a bar, walking down the street or riding home on the subway, the words just find their way to me and all of a sudden I’m an audience member to someone else’s discussion.

Last night on my ride home I overheard three guys (a white dude, a black dude and an asian dude) discussing hiring strategy for startups. From their speech and clothing, I could tell they: A) had been drinking and B) were business students at NYU (they specifically mentioned the school several times).

The white dude also seemed to have his own startup (of 10 people) and was imparting his past experiences on the other two guys. Some of the topics included:

  1. Joint-hosting a party of several startups that required each attendee to bring two people who were not in a startup but who would be good for one
  2. The need to drink with a candidate to get their honest stance on particular issues
  3. Making sure you find out that a candidate would “go to happy hour with you at 3pm on a Tuesday but stay at work until midnight on Wednesday”
  4. Difficulty during salary negotiations such as “offering someone $33k but not knowing how to react if they ask for more OR the worry that if they do accept, maybe you could’ve offered them even less”
  5. How startups don’t make formal offers but instead are likely to make an offer while out drinking with a friend or candidate

The general theme seemed to be about assessing candidates and making sure you figure out how to get at their inner selves so you know if you’re getting someone of quality which from what I could infer seemed to be someone who drinks, doesn’t take a high salary and follows whatever work schedule you want them to.

Not once did these guys mention selling or proving themselves to the candidate as a justification for why a candidate would want to devote themselves to their startups.

This is why I can’t stand the majority of entrepreneurs: Continue reading