Catching Up

Catching Up

I’ve been very bad about writing new articles for the blog. Here’s an omnibus catch-up post!


It’s possible I’m a little burned out from the large amount of social and business networking I’ve been doing. I’ve turned some kind of corner and am now enjoying meeting people. This is due, largely, to having a much better idea of what it is that I’m doing, and how I relate to people personally.


I also have been doing some interesting work. One that’s just getting started is some technical graphics consulting for a Holocaust museum interactive, working with my friends at Inquirium once again. They’re a company that specialized in design for education. I may get a chance to work with some sweet real-time graphics technology. I did my first real print piece for a game studio out in Aliso Viejo, nothing fancy, mind you. However, the experience of using InDesign to lay out a book got me interested in


On the Printable CEO front, I’ve been working with my buddy Scott to price out some likely printing scenarios for a first run of bew Emergent Task Planner sheets. What I may do is put up a preorder form to just get an idea of who wants how many, and then we’ll price out the print run so we cover the cost of printing plus some profit.

I also have a few articles stewing in the back of my mind, and it’s related to my new business focus around three key ideas that I’ve been developing over the past couple of years.

  • Practice Investigative Design — I recently realized that I think more like an investigative journalist or detective. I enjoy getting behind surface facts to find out the real truths and motivations. My design process is heavy on questions and background digging, mapping the relationships between individuals and their motivations, and then coming up with a design concept that works with all of them. This is what I love doing.

  • Apply The Scientific Creative Method — I’m not a naturally-expressive artist, and in the past used to wonder what was wrong with me. It turns out that I’m just expressive when I’m applying a process based my “scientific creative method”. In essence, it’s using my analytical brain to design and build things that, ultimately, are judged based on how they make me feel.

  • Use Storytelling as a Design Tool — I’m convinced that physical environments shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions far more quickly than abstract ideas. I also am convinced that the vast majority of people understand themselves in context to the world through stories and storytelling. If you combine storytelling techniques with the physical world, you can create very powerful tools for behavioral change. Interacting with physical props, scenes, and characters in day-to-day life is much more compelling than passively reading a book. I am thinking of storytelling and design is a very broad sense, including different ways of presenting stories (film, theater) and of creating the elements that support the presentation (set building, cinematography, sound, prop-making).


p>These are three approaches that I can get really excited about, and I could write and explain these all day long. Which leads me to the next step: fixing the website so people can find this content, and see what it is I do. I’ve been looking at Expression Engine, on and off, to figure out how to transition things over.


It seems that a number of my conscientious female friends, either on the verge of getting married or crazed by the summer heat, have spontaneously decided that I needed to be pushed in the area of romance before I rot away on the vine. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what a RELATIONSHIP is, what LOVE is, what I am LOOKING for, who might be looking for ME, and of course where to FIND it. I think I am doing an admirable job of displacing my unease with this process by over-analyzing everything—it’s a topic that’s closely related to identity, purpose, and fulfillment, which isn’t that much of a leap from productivity, right?

Um, right?

It suddenly occurs to me that statements like this may be a factor in why I’m perennially single :-)


I have been actually hitting a pretty good rhythm the past couple weeks as far as work and social life is concerned, but this has been at the expense of blogging and working on the website. Plus, this is the week that I’m going to start a new habit to go to the gym. This week I’ll be trying to resolve the whole “blogging versus business versus fitness versus social networking” thing.

So that’s what’s been going on. I’ll try to maintain a regular posting schedule this week.


  1. Scott 15 years ago

    Hey Dave,

    As a long time friend of yours and someone who respects you tremendously, I think this posting was a good example of how a person’s life can get real busy and sneak up on them…. It happens to all of us… too much lately for me, but once again, you clearly articulated and summarized what many of us face in life—a three-way pull between Work, Personal and Relationships.

    Many people I think falsely identify only two things that pull at them—Work and Personal stuff. Under those categories many things can be stacked, but the Relationships in our lives is the glue that binds these two things together, and thus becomes a key component in the quest for Balance. I did find it interesting that you broke out Business separate from Work. I thought that little detail was interesting. I have to think about that more. I tend to lump Work and Business into one.

    I think the practice of going the gym is a GREAT idea for you (and an idea I am going to put into practice very soon). I think for people who tend to live in the head and process many things above the neck (including me), they need to balance out the high degree of mental energy output with physical energy exertion. Going to the gym will be a good venue to get out of your head for a bit and jump into the physical energy that needs to be let out. I have also discovered from experience that a regular output of physical energy ( or just basically moving your body in a exerting way to freaken sweat), can and often does lead to better thinking and unclogging any thought drains that seem to be clogged with STUFF! So, good for you for realizing that the other relationship in your life is the one between your mental and physical energy.


  2. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    Scott: That’s a good observation…life is really busy at the moment, and there’s a tug of war going on. Thanks for pointing that out.

    On splitting out work from business: For me, work is the stuff I’m doing that I like for other people, and business is the stuff related to building up the product line and my direction. They’re not mutually exclusive or even non-overlapping, but they’re different mindsets. What I’m calling Business is probably more accurately called Business Development, laying future foundation for growth. What I’m calling Work is the stuff I’m doing for right now: design work, etc.

  3. Ben 15 years ago


    Why not an iPhone version so you don’t waste dead trees?

  4. Jamie 15 years ago

    Your last post was very articulate.  I think that a woman would be very lucky to be in your presence.

  5. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    Ben: That would be cool, if I had an iPhone! I should look into dev kits though…maybe I don’t need an iPhone to develop for it.

    Jamie: Thanks for the encouragement! I tend to have a lot of women friends, actually, and I’m very fortunate. Still looking for that extra-special friend, though, though I suspect I don’t know what I’m actually looking for until I actually stumble into it!

  6. Melanie Phung 15 years ago

    It suddenly occurs to me that statements like this may be a factor in why I’m perennially single :-)

    Dave, embrace the geek within you. It’s quite attractive to a lot of women, you know.

  7. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    Melanie: Thanks! That is a good reminder…I often forget this. The general principle is, I think, to embrace yourself, and not to be shy about it.

  8. Senia 15 years ago

    Hi Dave,

    You know how the brain is good at thinking about only a few things at a time?

    You wrote, “This week I’ll be trying to resolve the whole “blogging versus business versus fitness versus social networking” thing.”

    What if you decided your few GOOD constraints and just stuck to them each day?  Then wrote them out three-five times and posted them all around your home – at least for the first week!?!  :)

    For example, GOOD Daily Constraints:
    1) I go to the gym at least three times per week, and I aim for 3-5.
    2) I do like Gina Trapani of Lifehacker and Leo of ZenHabits say: MIT – the Most Important Thing for business – I do that first thing at my computer in the morning.
    3) I make sure to connect with one non-work person per day.
    4) I post two new blog posts per week.

    I agree with what Scott wrote too – a lot of things just can sneak up! These are all good things!!!

  9. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    Senia: I love the idea of good constraints! Liked your article on them too, very powerful. The PCEO CGT is actually a form of good constraints, systemized, now that I think about it.

    I just realized something else today, that there’s an underlying desire for some kind of resolution. I think this desire comes up from time to time, stemming from a dissatisfaction with one thing or the other (maybe subconsciously, too).

    To be able to embark on the Good Constraints program, one must shift from “goal-centered future thinking” to “moment-by-moment mindful future-building action”, and trust in that. At moments like this, when I see a clear roadmap in front of me, it’s more difficult to switch.

    That said, I can see good constraints applied. For example, for me it would be more tactical: spend an hour working on an item on my roadmap. spend four billable hours. The rest will tend to take care of itself, I think.

  10. Gordon 15 years ago

    You mention in a previous post dislike for the description of your storytelling theme.

    What about Design by Storytelling, or Realisation by Storytelling, or Creation by Storytelling?

  11. Dave Seah 15 years ago

    Gordon: Those are close…realization by storytelling is on the mark. I guess none of them quite have that ZING OF RECOGNITION that would really strike home. The qualities I want to capture are the motivational power of storytelling and how that can be used as the scaffold for reforming the environment and people around us to support the story, so it unfolds in the way that we’d like. It’s sort of a weird idea, but thanks for putting this forward. Just writing the above for me was helpful!