Well, so much for keeping up with posting daily at the HOW Live Design Conference. So much to do! Great sessions, great people, trying desperately to find a few minutes of down time to blog a bit, let alone to let it soak in.
After 43 hours without sleep, a few minor airport hiccups, and a long drive home, I was able to curl up in my wonderful husband's arms and fall very soundly asleep.
I'm so jazzed about what's coming, I'm busting at the seams! Needless to say, more's coming in that department.
For now, a bit more rest is in order. Thanks for reading.
p.s. Your good juju today: Get some sleep—it's not under-rated! That picture up there of me is what happens when you don't get enough. You don't want to be like that, do you?! I didn't think so. Good night!
Day three started out fine, had a huge hiccup, and ended wonderfully. So overall, I would have to say the say was good.
In the lobby of the Sheraton, drinking my coffee, I waved down Andy Epstein, one of the most positive people I know. From what I've heard, he's killing it here at HOW (like I'm surprised—not)! He introduced me to Mark McGuinness who gave two talks this year at HOW, who was a big hit, especially with his delicate English accent. A very pleasant way to start the day.
Wandered up to the sessions, and while standing in line waiting to get into the auditorium for Chip Kidd's talk, I was comparing schedules with Amy and Mel on our phones using the wonderful HOW app. Having just consumed a large Starbuck's coffee and possessing one of the world's most petite bladders, I headed off to take care of things before the session started. I ran into Lain Livingston, whom I met at last year's HOW in Denver, on the way to the loo. Then back inside, to where Amy and Mel had saved me a seat. After sitting through Chip's talk (which I'll discuss later), I noticed my phone wasn't in my bag. I retraced my steps—still no phone. I asked all my HOWies to tweet asking for good HOW juju in my phone being returned. Alas, after more than a day, my phone is lost for good. Too bad. I just got it Tuesday. It was a sweet phone.
While the loss of my phone has left a giant hole in my communications with this HOW Conference, it really opened my eyes to just how addicted I had become to the instantaneousness (is that even a word?) of social media and email. And while I've been lamenting the loss with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I've been calm and positive, not letting it affect my mood or the time I spend with my HOW buddies. I'll just have to suck it up when I get home and get a new phone.
So, onto the HOW Conference sessions. While Chip Kidd's talk was overall interesting, his opening comments turned me off of him, possibly for good. These were his words. "It's 9 a.m. Saturday morning. (pause) What the hell are you doing here? (pause) I don't want to be here. (pause) I'd rather be in bed. (pause) Blowing my boyfriend." —I am certainly NOT a prude, but I was a little stunned. — Then, the icing to this proverbial cake, he proceeds to make the gestures of doing said blowing, while trying to say good morning. This crossed the line from that-coulda-been-funny to that-is-information-I-don't-need-to-know. If I had gotten up on stage and done that, it would have been disastrous! So, he not only told his audience that he didn't want to be there in front of us, he offended a great majority of us. How he could possibly be invited back, ever, is beyond me. Even if he does draw a crowd, how can HOW allow this? I'm curious to see what they do, if anything, about that.
BTW, you'll have to ask Stefan Mumaw about the fez.
I caught the majority of David Sherwin's talk about becoming a design leader. I tell you, I could listen to that man talk all day long. Such eloquently stated, $15 sentences, packed with content, in artfully formed verbal paragraphs, loaded with information that you didn't know you didn't know. Home run there, as always. Four full pages of notes from that talk, all action items. Love it!
Sat in on Von's session—always rock solid, and always delicious graphics in his presentation. No wonder why he's got a bazillion twitter followers.
Ok, moving on to the great part of my day.
I attended Peleg Top's After Hours session called The Art and Science of Designing an Abundant Life. Little did I realize how much that would resonate with me. The triangle of Love, Gratitude, and Creativity. All three working in concert. This session deserves a post all it's own. Ooo, good plan.
Then I got to have dinner with Peleg, Mark McGuinness, Julie Goldsberry, Line Livingston, Marlin Lopez, and I went out to dinner, and had wonderful easy conversation. I really needed it.
More later. Thanks for reading.
p.s. Your Good Juju Today: Just like a dance is more than a series of poses, the HOW Conference is a wonderful flow of energy, not to be missed.
Ok, this isn't actually day two. Truthfully, I have no idea what HOW day it is. Yeah, it's that crazy around here.
I think I wrote about the ballgame already, so let's start there. Friday, since I didn't pick a studio tour, I started the day going for a walk. I discovered it's a mistake after a block. It was so hot and muggy! So I jumped in a green tour bus and enjoyed the breeze. The tour bus driver was positive and friendly (I think his name was Ron or Rob. Maybe.). When the bus got to the coast, I hopped off and bought a 90-minute harbor tour ("haaabaaah toooah" according to the locals) and again enjoyed the breeze. I took countless pictures and a few videos. Wonderful.
Had lunch at what was touted as the "oldest freestanding building in the country", the Chart House. That's the inside there on the right. Beautiful restaurant, excellent service, superb food. I wish I could get across town and hit that place up again. Five stars, according to me.
The tour bus driver headed back to the hotel was unfortunately not as pleasant. She aggressively cut people off, often taking up two lanes so people couldn't get past her. She came within a two inches of sideswiping a UPS truck. She dissed political parties, nationalities, other drivers… No wonder Boston traffic is so crazy if it contains any other drivers like her! Yikes! Maybe someday she'll realize that what she's sending out, she's getting back—in spades!
Back at the hotel, and after a quick shower, off to Sam Harrison's opening keynote. Sam is one of those wonderful, loving people who just ooze positivity, which I soak up like a sponge. The talk went great (although I'll admit, I liked last year's talk better), and HOW officially started.
The exhibit hall was a mad crush of people, as usual, vying for swag like suburban moms at a clearance sale on Black Friday. I just wanted to find the MOO booth and pick up my business cards. Which, I found out later, wasn't open that night. (*sigh*)
That's it for Friday's wrap-up. More later. Thanks for reading!
p.s. Your good juju today: You get back what you dish out. Make it good stuff!
Even though yesterday officially started the HOW Design Conference in Boston this year, I got here mid-day Thursday to kick it off properly. These things which fly so high need runway space to pick up speed properly, after all.
After a few laps around the Boston airport, I finally hooked up with my buddies Leslie, Mel, and Judith for a hot cab ride to the hotel. So great to connect with my pals! The connections you make at events like HOW can be life-changing. But you already knew that.
The wonderful (at least as wonderful as ass-sweating hot can be) baseball game at Fenway Park is ranked as my all-time favorite. Thanks to my pal Dan Regan for loaning me the duds. I had a few stares, but only from people I know, then they gave me props for representing Kansas City properly. The two layers garnered a few outright "are you crazy" comments, but it was another layer to absorb the sweat (Danny, I promise to wash it before I hand it back). We were facing west, at sunset, in 92 degree (80% humidity) weather—sweating wasn't optional. In the photo, I'm flanked by the lovely Darcy Hinrichs on the left, and the lovely Dyana Valentine on my right.
After the game, we met up with the last of the pub crawl. Again, loads of fun because of the folks we ran into, but so hot... Who knew a cold shower could feel so right. Then off to bed. The Sheraton's 3:30 a.m., 700 dB fire alarm and accompanying "please evacuate the building" message was not welcome or enjoyable. In case you were wondering.
That pretty much wraps up day one. Thanks for reading my two cents.
p.s. Your good juju today: Don't ever under-estimate the power of a good night's sleep. It's GOLD baby!
Yesterday was my 18th anniversary! It's both hard to believe, and not hard to believe that we've been together that long. We started dating in December 1991, so we've been together over 20 years…wow. And WOW!
We celebrated by taking it easy, and being creative. That pretty much sums up our life together: easy and creative. Lucky me.
(By the way, the photo was taken Halloween last year. Mark and I don't normally look like that. Usually.)
p.s. Your good juju today: A heaping helping of pure unabashed love to you. Just 'cause. =)
The best advice or pearl of wisdom, business or otherwise, I ever received is to under-promise and over-deliver. What does that mean? Under-promise what you can do, and over-deliver what you've promised. Every. Single. Time.
I've worked with people who understand the basic principle, and agree with me when I bring it up. But they FAIL completely when it comes to putting the concept into practice. They say their work on a project will be completed in a week, and it takes them three weeks. They're perceived as non-trustworthy, and sometimes downright lazy.
This one of the few times in life when you can actually manage how others perceive you.
Scenario: My client comes to me in a panic on Monday, “We’ve got to have this ad done by Thursday! Can you help?!” I repeat back the details of the project so I make sure to understand it completely. In my head I know I can have it done by Tuesday so I agree. I try to get it done on Tuesday but it took longer than I thought it would and end up delivering on Wednesday. If something happens and I can’t deliver until Thursday, I’ve still met my client’s deadline. What’s the benefit here? It’s not just making yourself look like a hero, which of course it does. It’s FREE INSURANCE on your time. If your computer crashes (which mine has), if your basement floods (which mine has—twice!), if you've had to take one of your kids to the ER (which has happened to me more times than I care to count), you can still deliver on time. The client learns that you are good for your word, and you gain credibility; you're perceived as reliable and trustworthy. This is a reputation that will spread all by itself.
By under-promising and over-delivering, you manage how people are perceiving you, and you get to CHOOSE to be the hero or the asshole. Deliver on time (or even early) and you're the reliable HERO. Deliver late (even with legitimate cause) and you're the unreliable ASSHOLE. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out which way you'd rather be perceived!
What pearls of wisdom do you have?
Thanks for reading,
p.s. My pearl of wisdom for you is to under-promise and over-deliver. Every time!
Good juju-spreader, speaker, graphic designer. I'd love to hear from you!