Capturing, Sequencing, and Scheming

Capturing, Sequencing, and Scheming

This has been one of those gear grinding weeks in which nothing planned seemed to get done. Seemingly dozens of ideas and opportunities whizzed by me as I cursed and shook my fist like an old man. Toward the middle of the week I decided to stop fighting it and take some time to figure out what was going on.

Stuff On My Mind

It’s been a tough week in the blogosphere, with many good people going through some tough times. I started to write something about it, but then came to the conclusion that I was not writing for any reason other than to engage in commentary…so I stopped. I have a weird principle about not doing or saying anything if it doesn’t actually help in an immediate and tangible way, and while commentary is very interesting…it just didn’t feel right. Maybe in a few weeks.

I’ve also been feeling a little stuck. I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with people over the past few weeks, and I feel like I’m ready to shift into high gear…but I’m dragging something. It feels like the parking brake is stuck on, or that there’s a flat tire, or maybe there’s water in the gas tank, or maybe I’m trying to tow too much stuff at the same time, or that maybe I should make sure I have someone in the car with me before embarking on a long trip, or…well, you get the idea. I’m ready, but I’m not ready.

TV to the Rescue

A few days ago I saw an episode of The Unit, a TV show about members of an elite special forces unit. It’s a strangely compelling mix of downbeat military action and women’s drama program; I’ve found that it provides food for thought. Anyway, one of the characters is helping another through a difficult moral dilemma who doesn’t know what to do, and asks for some help. “Here’s what the boss tells me,” he says. “If you knew the answer, what would it be?” So the other character, after a moment of doubt, writes everything down and is immensely relieved. It’s a good trick.

The Master Plan

I actually came across this tip after I had done something similar on Wednesday. Fed up with not knowing what to do, I went to the coffee shop with a pad of 11×17″ graph paper and starting drawing my master plan. At the right side I filled in an arbitrary goal ($100,000 a year) and then imagined what I could do to somehow achieve that. I didn’t care if it was particularly realistic or not, but I figured that starting anywhere would be a good place to start. I once took a math course called “Numerical Methods” that used a similar approach; when you don’t know how to solve certain kinds of functions, you take several guesses and use that data to choose new guesses, until you “converge on the solution”. I remember this used to drive me nuts, because at the time it seemed that the whole point of math was to not have to guess at all. Oh, how naive I was. Anyway, I don’t remember anything from that course except that the idea of starting anywhere and finding your way is actually not a bad strategy. My first master plan is just that: a guess.

Here it is:

Master Plan 1.0 I started from the goal, and started filling things in to the left, ending with the YOU ARE HERE thing in the upper left, which describes what I’m doing right now. I should mention this image has been edited in Photoshop to be a little cleaner than the original drawing; I was going to redraw the whole thing so it looked cooler, but I ended up fixing my computer for two days straight after it started acting up (new motherboard, more RAM, 4x faster, oh yeah :-)

The Master Plan breaks down into four categories of endeavor, which I’ve arbitrarily decided would each provide 25% of my source income or take 25% of my energy.

1. MAKE BOOKS

I’ve wanted to make a book for the longest time, since I love the way books feel and smell. One of my Groundhog Day Resolutions has been to create some kind of product, and some kind of book is probably the easiest thing to make from existing content. Companies like Lulu.com and Blurb.com are out there now, making it very easy to handle both printing and fulfillment at a decent level of quality. Of course, writing a good and marketable book is the hurdle.

I wrote down some of the calculations from the SXSW panel on turning your blog into a book, where a “standard advance” of $7500 translates to selling 5000 books. That works out to $1.50 per book. To make $25,000 at this rate, that would mean selling 16,668 books through traditional channels, which might or might not happen. On the other hand, selling an e-book for, say, $9.99 cuts down the number to 2500 units sold, but the value is somewhat questionable. And I have no idea what people are willing to pay $9.99 for.

Applying the “if I knew the answer what would it be” approach, I’d pay $9.99 for a book that laid out something clearly and insightfully that would help me get my own stuff done more effectively, paying for itself in a few hours of time saved. I’d want to see great charts and handy reference lists, and be drawn into the story of someone like me who’s making things happen. It would be part of a key that opened a broader awareness and community to me, and for the cost of a medium pizza I could have that forever. Wow, that advice from the TV DOES work!

2. MAKE PRODUCTS

Next on the list is the creation of some product, something that’s more of an object or tool than a book. Again, the easiest thing to put together is something based on my own work like The Printable CEO. The two immediate things that I could produce are pads of Emergent Task Planner and Emergent Task Timer, write a distilled mini-booklet for them describing how they work, and pushing them out there to see if anyone buys ’em. It’s not much of a plan, I know, but I gotta start somewhere. The printing costs are more up-front here, and there’s the unknowns of packaging and fulfillment. If these pay for themselves and get the word out there without costing me money, I would consider that a win. I would probably learn something about marketing first-hand.

A next step would be to start creating the “productivity systems” that have been languishing on the back shelf. A simple system would leverage off custom Circa or Rollabind notebook systems, and the goal would be to create a nice system that felt good to the hand. The profit vector is not clear to me, so perhaps this is something more worth prototyping. DIYing it here might be a happy medium: selling kits made of pre-punched PCEO or related custom forms with off-the-shelf notebook systems? The kit approach might be a lot of fun; I liked what the Make people were doing with their kits at the SXSW Tradeshow this year. Kits are awesome!

3. PROJECT WORK

I’m currently doing a lot of HTML and Actionscript development, though I’m starting to shift more into what might be called “strategy”. I have never been entirely satisfied by doing straight production and design work, finding it far more interesting to get into the what and why of the project in the greater context. I thought in the past that this was merely a necessary part of the design process, because I can’t make a dot unless I have a clear image of the greater purpose of my work; some have found it rather tedious to deal with. On the other hand, I’m starting to embrace the idea that this is useful work, and that it’s my favorite part of any project. Secondly, I’ve come to the conclusion that my work must always deal with individuals as individuals, not as abstractions. Otherwise, I just lose interest. I can wield a pretty broad array of digital media tools, but I don’t find joy in them unless they’re used to benefit an individual I can communicate with directly. That individual could be an end user or a specific person in the audience that I know. This is pretty important to me.

I’ve thought of a couple approaches to try defining my approach in a way that goes beyond generic labels like “strategy”, “information architecture”, and “experience design”. These are all fine fields, but they don’t quite connect with me because they lack a certain goofy enthusiasm. The two phrases I’ve thought of are related to the storytelling and game design threads that I keep stumbling upon during my periods of identity crisis. The first is Strategic Storytelling and Design, which has very light traction in the Googleverse and is therefore adoptable, and the second is Video Game Design applied to Organizational Process. I’ll write about these later, since creating a web presence that adequately explains and demonstrates the power of these techniques is part of attracting the people who might want to use these services. It’s another way of framing the creative process, the culmination of a 5 year effort to define what it is that I do. As it turns out, I always knew, but had never really had the courage to just define it for myself. I suspect that my incessantly-positive and insightful friend Senia might have planted the seeds of this in my head over the years, and I’m pretty sure rereading Jory’s Living without a Net series of posts helped realign my thinking after SXSW, which itself was a huge inspiration.

But I digress…the gist behind both of these new labels is that games can create life in the real world. Usually people think it’s the other way around, but I really believe that one can apply the same principles that drive great storytelling and game design in real-world scenarios. I try to do this all the time already, trying to create a spark that jumps between environment, artifact, passion, and desire. It’s the basis for how I teach and explain things. It’s the reason I love being alive in the world, and it’s an incredibly large field to play in. I’m a game designer, and I like to tell stories, and I know a thing or two about technology, design, and human desire. Surely there is a need for that somewhere, if I have to create the need myself through my writing and design work.

4. COLLABORATION

Ah, but I can’t do it all alone. I’ve been holding off on seeking true collaborators because, frankly, I’ve been afraid that it would not work out and I’d be left holding the bag. I’ve been burned a few times before, and this has made me a little gun-shy when it comes to pulling the trigger. But NO MORE. It’s time to create some group energy that benefits everything.

With my newfound focus on design and game-driven process, I may be able to contribute a certain “vision” in certain kinds of development projects. I’m also a good listener, if somewhat scattered. I think there are five hurdles to overcome:

  1. My most immediate need is a way to maintain continuity on a wide variety of disparate projects; this may mean working with interns or figuring out a way of establishing lightweight project management; a dip into some of the agile methodologies could provide some clues. However, this presumes that maintaining continuity is my responsibility. Now, continuity is very important in getting anything done, but equally important is direction. Continuity management takes up huge parts of my mental energy, because I tend to be obsessively detail-oriented when it comes to this stuff. However, I don’t particularly enjoy doing it. An equally valuable contribution might be just one or two hours of my time listening and contributing to the development of various pieces of software and design. I may provide some writing, clarification, and design work as needed, but my responsibility would largely be writing the story we live through the application of real time narrative. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it as technical or creative direction.

  2. What about ownership? With multiple people contributing work that’s difficult to assess for “equality of effort”, how do you avoid arguments? Frankly, I don’t want to worry about it, so I am thinking that everyone who contributes gets nonexclusive rights to the source assets and concepts, with which to do what they please. An example might be if I’m contributing design to a project, then I also get access to source code. The programmer would get access to my source design files. This might be a good way to rapidly build up my development skills by leveraging the work of more experienced developers.

  3. Then there’s coordination. I’m thinking that it would be cool to be involved in 3 or 4 projects at once, with many people, so how do you keep track of it all? This is a tough one. Email sucks. A wiki might work, though I really hate wikis because they’re so ugly, and a lot of the open source collaboration tools don’t do a good job of showing continuity (there’s that word again…I guess I’m still hung up on it). At the very minimum, there needs to be a way for me and others to write the story of what’s going on, providing a clear vision of what’s happened and what might happen next. Then, there needs to be working areas for sharing files, source control, live documentation, and issue tracking. And for me to want to use it, it has to look nice. Any ideas on what that system might be? I know I’m being super picky, so feel free to tell me to get over it and just use X.

  4. What of accountability and control? This has tended to burn me up in real project work, both for myself as a perfectionist and as a source of worry when responsible for the quality of others. Maybe the solution is to just let go and be happy if anything happens at all. Instead of a development timetable, we could take a unit approach to measuring contribution. That’s just another way of saying “I’m into it” or “I’m not”; make that clear up front that people will commit when they’re interested, and that they’ll commit to a limited engagement to push to the next step taking no more than X hours, where X is less than 4 hours. Each of these micro contributions will be integrated into the next build or release, and the contributors who took it to that next stage each get all the assets they used to build up to that point.

  5. Finally, there’s qualification. Can just anyone jump in as a contributor? Is there a need for screening, or should everyone be able to join? What happens when there’s a mismatch of skill levels? The solution I have in mind is to have a skill show and tell, where everyone who wants to contribute needs to bring a few examples of their work. If you’re a coder, you need to provide a snippet of actual source code you’re willing to share, WARTS AND ALL, and be ready to talk about it. If you’re an application developer (a higher level of coder), then you need to show off your working app, with some snippet of code that you’re particularly proud of. If you’re a designer, then let’s see some design examples of something you really like, and have some source files you’re willing to put up. I think there’s a few good things that will come out of this. First, people will have to have real examplesof what they can do, and these become the means through which people can select who they want to team up with. Let the person who sees the potential in someone’s work be the one to make the call by seeing and asking questions. Secondly, the samples themselves becomes conversation pieces that help people start to learn about each other and the work they do. Thirdly, since people will be providing samples and chatting about their work, this is a good way for noobs (me included) to see what the bar is and know what I might need to bone up on. Say you’re a designer just getting started with Photoshop, and you’d like to get in on this group collaboration thing. So you put together your photoshop sample file of “cool art” you’ve done, and you upload it. You also get to see how other photoshop artists are doing things, because you’ll be able to download their files and read a bit about what they thought was particularly cool about it. You probably will learn something.

In the Meantime, I need to Regroup

So I have a ton of ideas that I want to launch this year. It’s almost April 4th too, which is the second Groundhog’s Day Resolution Review day of the year. On top of this I have a lot of outstanding projects and project work that I have not been moving quickly enough on. A significant backlog has started to build up, and I haven’t come up with a good system of projecting and booking the work so there are no conflicts. GTD is a system that probably would work well for me, but I am a little stuck on the capture and list-making side of things because I am (against the rules of GTD, I should note) prioritizing tasks and doing things out of order. I’m not sure if it’s just me being unfocused (quite possible) or if I actually do have more on my plate that I’m capable of handling. Probably both :-) There’s two positive things though I have today that I didn’t have last week: I have some sense of what I want to do with regards to the Master Plan, and I’ve also resolved, for the moment, the nature of my identity as a creative practitioner. These two things have bothered me for years, and now that they’ve been newly resolved I feel I can relax a bit more. I was thinking today about another productivity thing that I’ve read somewhere about the various altitudes one can use to assess goals. I think this was in GTD, and I’m sure others have written about it as well: there’s the “1000 foot” view, the “10,000 foot view”, the “20,000 foot view”, etc., of your goals and life. The closer you are, the more your experience and focus is dominated by detail that obscures the overall shape of things; have you ever noticed how much bigger a city block is when you have to walk through it? And how much stuff is there? It’s really cool…but again I digress. The basic idea is that if you want to see where you’re going, you need the “macro view” to help guide your actions in the “micro view”. This is a fundamental principle of any kind of analysis or application of effective action. The strategic picture dominates in the big picture view, and tactical execution dominates where the rubber hits the road. The same principle applies to Longer Term versus Short Term planning, and I decided to create a set of text files that reflected this. Short term planning can be realized in much higher resolution and surety than long term plans. Long term plans help prioritize and guide the selection of tools used in the short term. Here’s the list I made in a TextPad workspace: A Silly Idea A TextPad workspace is just a bunch of text files that are loaded all at once. Here’s the files I’ve created, which are numbered to enforce a sort-order from short-term to long-term plans:

  • 00 To Do — daily task continuity
  • 10 Week Queued — planned task list to be done for the immediate week(s)
  • 20 Project Scheduling — high level project planning
  • 25 Side Projects — high level personal project planning
  • 30 Project Inquiries — project pipeline, to be scheduled in 20 when ready to go
  • 40 Project Possibilities — possible projects, need to be finalized and signed
  • 50 Long Term Goals — my long terms goals, which are another form of project
  • 60 Recent Contact — people I’ve talked to recently, notes on what we talked about
  • 70 Contacts — people contact information
  • 80 Good Ideas — random ideas and observations, with no direction
  • 90 Bad Ideas — things that I’ve thought that I probably won’t do, but who knows?
  • Scratchpad — a place for random jottings
The lower-numbered files are more immediate and concrete than the higher numbered files. As I come across tasks and items that I need to remember or do, I enter them in the appropriate text file. The general idea is that I have a continuum of micro- and macro-level tasks that are important to me, and that I can easily scan them. The reason I have contacts and ideas listed is that these are “ticklers”; who knows what the collision of a “bad idea” coupled with a “recent contact” will bring? It could become a good ideaor possible opportunity. The screenshot also shows a few optimizations I’ve made to my Windows setup:
  • The menu in the lower right is my “quick launch” toolbar. It is a simple folder named _jump with some shortcuts on it, located on my Data drive so I don’t lose it if I reinstall the operating system. I find this menu is easier for me to use that the bloated Windows Start menu. To add your own, create a folder somewhere with the shortcuts you want, and then right click the Windows toolbar choosing the TOOLBARS -> NEW TOOLBAR from the menu. You’ll be prompted to choose a folder. You may also want to unlock the toolbar so you can resize the folder name in case it gets mucked up (if you double click it, it will expand to the width of the toolbar, and it’s a pain in the ass).

  • I’m using a text editor called TextPad, which in addition to providing Workspace Files (shown in my jump menu as ^ProjectToDo.tws, has syntax highlighting. TextPad is a straight text editor, which is nice because it’s not bloated and it’s fast. I created a new file type, the .dtk file as shown here (it stands for “dave tracking”, if you must know). They’re just regular text files that I’ve associated with the TextPad application as a custom type. And because they’re custom types, I can define a custom coloring syntax file, dtk.syn, which highlights key words and symbols in the manner I want. Here I’ve chosen to make the default text color a lighter gray, so that the headers (the ## symbol in column 1, which happens to coincide with the Markdown syntax I use in my blog posts) and keywords like IMPORTANT, TODO and CALL jump out. This is so I can write descriptions in my text files that are just a little easier to scan for the useful bits of information if I’m in a hurry.

So That’s What I’ve Been Doing

<

p>I’m going to start looking for collaborators soon, and if there’s anyone out there who knows of a place where this is already going on, has suggestions, or is interested in figuring this out, leave a comment and let’s start a discussion.

In the meantime, I have a lot of client work to finish, and some new work to book. If you’re an HTML jockey, Flash expert, Graphic Designer, business person, project manager, writer, designer, or whatever, shoot me a resume and a sample of your work. I think it would be cool to make a freelance directory that follows some of the principles I’m putting out there, maybe as a simple Wiki or something.

15 Comments

  1. Grzegorz Kędzierski 8 years ago

    I would suggest using either FogBugz (for bugs and features tracking) or Basecamp (for general project management). They’re great tools, very powerful but also intuitive and easy to use.

    TextPad is a nice application, I use it instead of Notepad but in your case I would rather use the one I recommend on my blog – TreePad. It works better with workspaces and you can keep your documents in a tree hierarchy. The only disadvantage is the lack of syntax highlighting but it’s not so important in that kind of documents.

    I like your todo lists but I don’t get the difference between Project Scheduling and Side Projects. Could you explain that?

  2. Michael Vanderdonk 8 years ago

    My thoughts, as I feel like a voyeur reading this post…
    1. Create your book! You have an audience. You have more than enough to write about.
    2. Get your existing products printed already! It’s only 1 phone call away. Alternatively, you call a promotions company that produces ‘sample bags’ for corporate events – have them do all the work for you! (and that’s just two of many options you have for the outstanding products you already have!)
    3. Play hard. Play to win. And above all, play for the fun of it!
    4. All of these issues have already been hammered out through years of open source development. Stop thinking like a developer and start thinking like a manager/boss.

    Enjoy,

  3. Jon 8 years ago

    Dave, get your printing done now! I am certain these would sell – they are simple and work very well, and as Michael says above, you have an audience!
    Good luck!

  4. Dave Seah 8 years ago

    Grzegorz: I like FogBugz, but the per-user licensing is probably a little steep for me. I’ve been using BaseCamp for about a year, and while I generally like it, it’s focused largely on making it easy to shift between different modes of handling well-defined clerical tasks. It does not such a good job at showing the big picture (then again, I can’t think of any software that does). TreePad sounds cool…I’ll have to check it out!

    Project Scheduling = Work for Clients

    Side Projects = Work for Me that isn’t directly on my goal path (like, taking macro pictures of different kinds of corn flakes, because I think it would be cool).

    Michael: Thanks for the encouragement and ideas about the promotions company! And thanks for feeling voyeuristic :-) I thought about how much to post, and thought that if I want to attract people who have similar dreams, I need to just open up the entire process. Even if people don’t contact me, they may get a good idea or two, and feel that maybe their own dreams are within their grasp. Your point about not thinking like a developer is a good one. I’ve been keeping one foot there, though I know there’s a big difference in attitudes. So…must break away! Free! Free! :-)

    Jon: Thanks for the encouragement! So now I need to get off my ass and make the packages, price them out, and go.

    I really want to track this all in the open somewhere, so maybe I will install another open bulletin board system and just use that to post updates.

  5. Grzegorz Kędzierski 8 years ago

    Maybe you should try any open-source bug tracking app, like Bugzilla (I haven’t used but heard maaany good opinions) or Mantis? You can also try MS Project but this one was much too complicated for me, I got lost in task dependencies… ;)

    Thanks for your explanation of Project Scheduling and Side Projects! But I also try to figure out the difference between Project Inquiries and Possibilities. Are tasks in Possibilities just a bit farther from realization?

  6. Dave Seah 8 years ago

    Grzegorz: Yep, possibilities are projects that MIGHT come to some kind of working arrangement, but nothing specific has been set. Inquiries are directly about some kind of work, that I’ve had to defer for one reason or another.

    I think what I’ll do is just informally track things in some kind of BBS/Wiki and see what happens. Open BBS for tracking discussions, Wiki for documentation, maybe buy an individual license of FogBugz for my own stuff. But first, I need to finish my other projects.

  7. Lynn O'Connor 8 years ago

    Dave, that is one great post! you are always saying something(s) so close to what I am aiming for, thinking about, that I run out and imitate you as fast as I can (not as a designer, as you know, or coder, or anything in those areas of specialization, but as a psychologist, scientist, writer. Lets say I translate from one medium to another, and it usually fits. Inspriation, you are a class A provider of inspriation, put that onto your list of self-definitions.

    You have got to get your book out, and all the workbooks that should go with your book. Look, I am always printing out (over and over) your prior posts, where for example, you explain how you use a particular form that I happened to just decide to use. I go back and find where you first wrote about it, and there I am printing again, adding to my “stuff” new piles that having reread, I’ll lay down somewhere, not file, blah blah. If you had a book out I would just pull out the book, and there it would be. You’d be saving me time which I always need more of, you’d be saving me reams of paper (money). What more could I want. And a pad, notepads, or notebooks (workbooks) would supply the pages I am constantly printing out, putting the three holes in, and putting in whatever “Today” notebook I’m using. My “today notebook” means a three ring note book containing 1) a few days of Emergent Task Planner, 2) the current GTD type lists of contexts/next actions, or projects/next actions, 3) a printed version of my GCalendar for the week, 4) lists from BackPack, etc., 4)  whatever I’m writing that falls into the category of efforts at intentioning, stuff I would NOT put on line, though I should.  I don’t have your courage, hope I can get some by following you.

    This morning I dared to write (on my blog) about the work I’m doing at the moment. I kept feeling worried (ashamed? with negative thoughts like “Who would want to read the technical details about how I’m going about coding narratives from an experimental internet-based study on survivor guilt or “life in the office” as the study is called (survivor guilt after someone gets laid off while the main person in the “story” is promoted).  I’m finally analyzing the data from this project for presentation at the end of April. So I think, who would want to read these details?” I answered myself with “Hey Seah writes technical stuff sometimes,” deriving courage as I said. See, I get all of the above (way above, I’m too wordy) that you could help me be even more efficient with by putting your blogs in a book and all the forms in an accompanying workbook, but in addition I get the comfort of knowing someone else has a great interest in the technical details of their work and furthermore, has the courage to put it out in public.

    I love reading about SYSTEMS of thought, of work process, systems of thinking about details, and you make it so easy, you give us the maps, the pictures, the details.

    Please get your book out, or better yet, hire someone to do it for you, put a workbook together that goes with it and that gives people permission to copy the forms. Maybe include a CD with the forms on it, you know in the back of the workbook. And while someone else can do all that for you, you can go on writing about your process for the rest of us, who are already using your products. Believe me we would all buy anything you put out, and you have a lot of readers. Keep the $100,000 in mind but that is way too low a figure, that goes fast and the IRS takes quite a bit of it, so you need to make more than that.  And have others go to work for you putting the book and workbook together, while you take care of us followers.

    I’m a writer, psychologist/researcher, I want on your team!  Get a sample of my work on http://www.eparg.org, and at oconnornotes.blogspot.com. The hard work, you know, publications etc., is at eparg. I told you months ago you’re a political leader, the kind that I and I imagine the rest of your readers out in the world, want. Oh, so add that to your list of self-definitions. Maybe its the same as what Michael was saying, think of yourself as boss, manager of a great crew of imperfect but highly earnest workers.

    Lynn

  8. Matt 8 years ago

    I really like your ideas on collaboration. It would be great to be a part of something like that. It sounds like it would create an environment that is conducive to creativity and openness.

    I also like the levels of scope that you created in your to do list. I think the reason that different to do list methods haven’t worked out for me is because I have been to focused on the immediate and concrete. You’ve inspired me to take another try at organizing my tasks with the thought of stepping several levels back to see the whole of things.

  9. Yorkali 8 years ago

    I needed to read this…As I read this I am re-intalling OS X after a bad crash. Funny how a time like this can help you re-calibrate ad re-focus. This post came at exactly the right time. I am definitely giong to do the Masterplan approach. I’ll also be sending my resume with links to my portfolio.

  10. Corrie 8 years ago

    I think other form-type-books I’ve seen are more in the $20-$30 range, but maybe those include more text/explanation as well (wedding planners are one type of organizational tool that come to mind). I think $10 is a “no-brainer” price—so low that someone would be crazy NOT to buy it!

  11. Joe Flood 8 years ago

    Concentrate on The Printable CEO!  It’s what makes you different and stand out from other bloggers.  It’s your “unique selling proposition”, if you will.  I think people crave simplicity in this world of endless choice and that’s exactly what the CEO form delivers.

    Having a bit of adult ADD myself, I’ve wrestled with different systems to keep myself focused.  Right now, I use a text file in my iPod listing my four (and only four) big goals that I’m striving for.  Lacking your great design skills, that’s the best I can do.  However, the little text file is useful to consult when I’m wondering what to do next.  It points me in the right direction.

    I’d gladly pay $9.99 for an e-book with the Printable CEO, instructions on how to use, your thoughts on best practices with the form, and examples of how other people have used the form.  Remember, people are paying for a solution to a major (if not the major) problem of life so $9.99 is a small price to pay.  A Lulu or Blurb book would be even better – have you seen them?  They’re both quality products.

  12. Greg 8 years ago

    I’ve been lurking your site for a few months now, and I’ve got to say you’re one impressive guy. You have a kind of persona and obviously a strong following that you can capitalize on. Maybe capitalize is the wrong word, but it seems you could help ensure a successful book by branding yourself in ‘celebrity’ lights – right there on the cover! Not hollywood style, but more Tim O’Rielly style.

    Anyways, I am very intrigued by your collaboration ideas (and ideals), and would like join in wherever I can. I had to bit the bullet and get a day job, but I am working on a little side project myself and would love your thoughts. Visit http://www.softwareodyssey.com and check out Sprouts. I will also send my resume and some snippets of my work efforts your way.

  13. Mike Hickerson 8 years ago

    Dave,
    I just want to put in another vote for someone who would gladly pay $9.99 for a Printable CEO book.  I would also pay $10 for a disposable PCEO planner.

  14. Michael Montgomery 8 years ago

    Good stuff, from another fan of The Unit.

    “If you’re an HTML jockey, Graphic Designer, business person, project manager, writer, designer, or whatever,”

    Hmm…, we’re only allowed one choice?

    “I think it would be cool to make a freelance directory”

    Likewise.

    “noobs (me included)”

    Likewise.

    Looking forward to the adventure!

  15. Stephen 8 years ago

    David, this noob thanks you for the inspiration and the kick in the a$$. I needed that.

A message from Dave:

I really believe we all benefit when we share our own perspectives on common experiences. It would be great if you added your own anecdotes and comments, even if you don't necessarily agree with the premise of the post; that's just good conversation in my book. The house rules are "treat each other with kindness and respect" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>