In between Stockholm and Copenhagen. In place in Vesterbro. Peace of mind, satisfied at work, heart in the right hands.
The past years have been a continuing quest to find calmness in a storm of changes. I ran away to pursue a dream and was hit with reality. That might have been the best thing that could have happened, I just didn’t know it.
Today is fairly representative in the pace of every day happenings, describing what it’s all like right now.
A client hires our agency to help them steer their project of building and launching a new website to a successful end. No nerves, no second thoughts, I’m off and sitting with a project group that trusts what I say, and it doesn’t scare me, and I’m not freaking out. I’ve found out that having a couple of methods, tools and some good sense of what has worked before as anecdotical evidence of any sort of abilities I might possess, the necessary trust is established.
More often than not, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, other than using some good judgment and a sense of what I think could work—and then it somehow ends up working pretty well. No one told me that at the university, and I’m not sure if they should have. It’s just the prevalent situation I find myself in, working in the agency business.
I still want to work on a real, honest-to-god product. A product that is polished and refined, and tested and reworked. Reinventing the wheel every other day can be draining, but right now, it’s a great opportunity for improving my skills, not knowing if I’ll work on a 20,000 page-strong and very public website, a conglomerate intranet, sports app or digital strategy. It’s something new every day, and I thrive.
Some employers, however, are now attempting to flip the “off” switch. Companies from Atos, the French information technology services giant, to Deutsche Telekom to Google have recently adopted measures that force workers toward a better work-life balance, with scheduled breaks from the Internet and constant connectivity. Just last month, Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest automaker, pledged to deactivate emails on German staff BlackBerries during non-office hours. In a bid to combat employee burnout, staff at Volkswagen will be limited to only receiving emails on their devices from half an hour before they start work until half an hour after they leave for the day, and will be in blackout mode the rest of the time.
(Sometimes I feel arguing on Twitter is like doing surgery while wearing boxing gloves. It has to be swift and precise, but ends up being generalizing and messy.)
There was also a fantastic piece of reporting from New York Times on why Apple gets their products manufactored in China:
“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”
The speed and agility of mass-scale production is unprecendented, and can’t be done anywhere else. And yes, it hurts the American middle class who used to have jobs at plants like these. “Apple, America and a squeezed middle class” is this week’s by far best long-form article.
In geo-political news, “The Israeli-based company G-Max Security makes a “buried cable intrusion detection sensor” that is “totally concealed and operates effectively under any type of surface,” from open fields and highways to mountains, snow, and ice.”Security geotextile is the word we’re looking for.
If you’re working with internet-stuff and like to draw something up quickly in HTML and CSS, Twitter’s Bootstrap is pretty fucking cool. It helps me turn Fireworks comps into a clickable prototype in literally a day. Mark Otto from Twitter wrote a bit about how it came to be, and what to expect from the next edition.
“You, guy,” he said to my boyfriend across the table. “It’s not fair. You bring this girl here. It’s not fair.” We asked why not. “Because all women who come to conferences should be available,” he replied.
Because US politics isn’t nearly fucked up enough, Stephen Colbert is dragging its lifeless corpse through the streets for everyone to mock.
The most interesting thing I learned from my impromptou experience was the power of nonsense spoken with conviction. I found that with just 5-10 unique stories or data points on a category (e.g. “transportation”), I could string together a compelling argument for almost any question. It wasn’t important that I believed what I was saying, or even that my arguments were consistent across questions. In fact, I would frequently use a single anecdote or data point multiple times in a single day to argue completely opposite things–and as the judges were different for each question, my shifting opinions were no problem.