Working at Google.

I’ve been contracting at Google for over 6 months now and I’ve learned so much about being an entrepreneur. The projects I’m working on are not anything new to what I’ve been doing the last 6 years, but the process in creation is something I have found useful. Many times the ideas come from a simple discussion or a hallway conversation that starts with “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I could…”. This may sound like a loose way of formulating a concept, but I think it’s actually more conducive to shaping one.

Gone are the days in advertising and marketing that you are requested by a client to come up with a concept to solve a problem. In these meetings you spend a few hours between a few “key creatives” then come out of it with a few concepts. Those concepts are then fleshed out and finally presented to the client. I’ve always thought that that was too “inside the box” thinking.

The more organic an idea is created the more complete it can be. Why not have a discussion about it with a variety of participants outside of “the creative team”. I think that creativity is many times not only visual. The most successful creative executions I have seen come from a strong, core, simple emotion – something that can’t be easily explained. The hardest part is to first come up with a relatable feeling then visually enveloping it into something digestible. That’s why brainstorming with a variety of different types of people adds to the final experience.

Once there is a direction, then the next phase is fast prototyping. There are a few ways this can happen. Think of it in terms of broadcast network television where in creating the prototype is the pilot. It is by no means ready for prime time, the script may be completely straight forward with sprinkle of unique characters but no matter what the approach, the gist of the show’s theme is conveyed and able to be sold through to execs where they want to see more. This phase I have found extremely hard for various agencies and vendors to grasp. Coming from the agency side I understand why this is the case where clients throw money at you asking you to “quickly come up with something” and launch it ASAP. This is when the agency starts with the “brainstorming” phase I mentioned earlier and eventually come up with something and in the end launch with a half baked idea only to make that deadline.

With prototyping, the goal is to quickly come up with something with the sole purpose of conveying an idea not polishing a final product. Many times this phase goes no where because the findings require more thought which you would then start from scratch. This phase is important where one finds that there are better ways to attain the same goal while not changing the concept. It’s the process that is different not the idea. When all is said and done and finally yields a successful prototype, that is the start of something great.

Spring creeping in on New York.

Today was not the first day of spring but it sure felt like it! The last few days we had crazy rain that flooded the Hudson and today it was a lovely, sunny, dry mid-50s degree weather. Another reason why being a New Yorker is great is you never know what tomorrow will bring.

I’ve been very busy the last few weeks running around the city but I must say, I’ve really enjoyed this off time alone to myself and my dog. Strangely the tension and tightness around my shoulders have not come back since I left my freelance job. I was definitely overworked and under appreciated.

Hooray for spring and new changes!

Late night thoughts.

One of the reasons I live in New York is because I love the craziness during the day and the calm, quiet at night. I come alive at around midnight and my thoughts get the better of me. I’ve had some time to think about my personal and career goals and sometimes feel like I’ve been trapped by my own impossible expectations. I currently have a few things on my mind. Here are some that I can share with you.

Recently, I have been in search of the perfect job. It’s extremely tough. It’s a choice between amazing, short-term work that I may never, ever get to work on again or something long-term that I know well since I’ve been doing it for the past 5 years. In the end, I just love a challenge and absolutely nothing frightens me. I’m excited what the next few weeks may bring. I can’t wait to see.

I’ve also been working on a non-fiction book for the past few years. It’s about my experiences in the digital advertising industry as a producer/project manager. There are funny stories, insight into different kinds of agencies and valuable lessons that I’ve learned. It’s been a bit rough completing the book because I’m clearly not a writer. There’s so much competition out there in the publishing world so I’m trying to figure out what is my best strategy for being heard. My next step is to write proposals and send them out in hopes of finding the right publisher and editor to help me wrap this baby up. I know it can be a huge success but my gut is telling me it’s not ready yet. Maybe I am not ready yet.

The last thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is art and creativity. Being an only child, I had to entertain myself and dream up of new things everyday. I had to balance a structured life that my mother wanted me to have versus the innate urge to break free from everything mundane around me and explore life. I attribute most of my creative, wild side to my father. He taught me that loving film, art, music and food is all we really need to be happy. My parents are the 2 most fascinating people on the planet to me. They are so different but compliment each other so well. Of course, it was not always easy between them, but now I know that they’re made for each other. I think my dad really encouraged me to be unique and not take life too seriously. My mom definitely taught me to be a perfectionist and strive for the best in everything I do.

So that’s a little insight into where my head is at these days. There is a lot more going on but if I told you everything then you wouldn’t be intrigued to learn more about me. Come back soon for the next installment.