Effortless Immersion

Don’t settle until you find a project, job, hobby, or whatever that allows you to effortlessly get lost in the work. 

Effortless immersion isn’t the only criteria. To find real meaning and satisfaction the work has to improve you and the lives of others.

When you’re there, you’ll know. It’ll be hard to sleep because you can’t wait to get back at it.

May we all be blessed with effortless immersion.

Move faster. Adobe does it.

You’re not moving fast enough.

I’ve attended the Adobe Summit for the past two years (not going this year) and I’ve been impressed with how fast they move. Their pace of change and innovation is fun to watch. A few years ago I was worried about them. They quickly moved from Flash the outdated tech to The Flash (the super fast guy named Barry).

They recently released Experience Design. It’s a beautifully designed app that allows you to design and test apps. I’ve been working on a new custom shopping cart experience and have been pleased with the app (so far).

The release coincided nicely with the new book Sprint from the guys who work at Google Ventures.

Pre-order finally arrived! Been eyeing this book for months. #googleventures #sprintbook

A photo posted by Aaron Edgell (@aaronedgell) on

The smell of newspaper.

Up before the sun. Twelve years old. A stack a newspapers on the front doorstep. Roll the newspapers and wrap them in rubber bands. Load the bags on my bike and we’re off to deliver. 

I got a little publication in the mail that looked and smelled like newspaper (it was, but sans valuable information). That smell brought back memories. It reminded me of the many jobs I said yes to when I was young. Lawn mowing, paper routes, making pizzas, clearing horse trails. I was no more than 10 years old when I started finding ways earn money.

Today, with minimal investment a ten-year-old can create a mobile app. A website. The world is at their finger tips. But mobile apps and websites don’t have a smell. They do have a soundtrack and taste. What did you listen to while you coded? What did you eat? That’s now my “smell of a newspaper.”

The scarcity of real urgency

It’s unfortunate that despite good intentions so few work with a real sense of urgency. You could argue that downtime is critical for creative thought; or that we’re not running sprints, we’re running a marathon. But we should be running sprints. We find the direction, move fast. Adjust. Don’t mistake busy, frantic, and loud voices as urgent. Urgent can be calm, smooth, and kind.

Process: People matter more.

Companies build processes in order to scale. Consistent quality output requires good processes. As Ed Catmull talks about in Creativity, Inc. it’s not enough to “Trust the process” – trusting a process does not take people out of the equation. People still own the process.

I’ve experienced poor processes. Processes so fine-tuned that nobody owns anything. There were constant fires to put out. Unfortunately, the answer was “We’re missing a step in the process. Add to it!” … the answer is not adding to the process, but revisiting it. Considering subtracting or eliminating.

You have to “Find, develop, and support good people” – hire people who know what they’re doing and care about the work they do. When something goes wrong, it’s not just the process’ fault. People failed. That’s okay. Own it. Improve it. We should be failing all the time, but if we don’t own that failure, we’ll never learn.

 

P.S. Creativity, Inc. is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. Grab a copy.

One brain. Many hands.

Digital marketing is often accomplished by an individual with a computer (mobile, tablet, desktop, or otherwise), the Internet, and some smarts. As digital marketing matures and search algorithms improve, the worlds of SEO and links meld with Public Relations, design, and more.

No longer can a modern digital marketing effort be executed with one individual, no matter how intelligent she may be. I am a firm believer in the full stack marketer, but when there are dozens of web assets and strategies, it no longer becomes an issue of skill sets in the individual or the ability to handle the complexities of digital strategy, it is more about the sheer volume of work that deserves the time needed to produce quality.

Digital marketing now requires building a brand. A single mind should drive it, but it will be impossible for them to execute it alone.

Good thing we live in a world of smart freelancers, contractors, and communities.

Content Nucleus

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Few will experience your brand & story in one complete way. It is consumed little by little in a variety of places and experiences. Create a strong and complete content nucleus on your website. It tells the core story and message through a variety of content types. It is authoritative. It is complete. It acts as the center of the story and anchors all communication and content. The source the truth will always exist at the nucleus.

Develop muscles for uncertainty.

Some are born with the propensity to navigate uncertainty. Most of us are not.

For growth and success you must live on the edge of discomfort in a world that seems uncertain. The key is to pursue that world early and often. It’ll be hard. But you will have experiences that will teach you it’s worth it. The more you have, the easier it becomes. Not because it is easier, but because you are stronger.

The longer you live in uncertainty, the more comfortable discomfort feels.