With spring comes renew­al. After three years deep in the weeds on a hand­ful of intense­ly com­plex and chal­leng­ing web­sites, apps, and ecom­merce projects, Tim­my and I decid­ed to refo­cus our efforts on part­ner­ing with cre­ative agen­cies to work on more visu­al­ly inter­est­ing and engag­ing mar­ket­ing projects that had a more artis­tic core. 

To this end, we launched our new stu­dio site in April to near uni­ver­sal acclaim. Just take this com­ment we received from my mom’s friend, Judy. Judy is the lead instruc­tor of a How to Use Your Smart­phone” class for seniors at the local library.

Well, I guess a site like this…hmmm…I mean, the fact that there are peo­ple out there that like this kind of stuff and think it’s fun­ny, it’s a sign I’m get­ting on in years. It’s cer­tain­ly not the web­site I would build.” 

Now more than ever, brands are look­ing to get younger, hip­per, and more eclec­tic. To know our site turned off a wide swath of the 60 and old­er pop­u­la­tion helped val­i­date one of Tim­my and I’s key premis­es, main­ly that our site should appeal to the hippest, coolest, most eclec­tic cats in the entire neigh­bor­hood and make lit­er­al­ly no sense to any­one else. 

After a suc­cess­ful launch, my own atten­tion turned to acquir­ing new projects. While most of our work through the years has devel­oped organ­i­cal­ly through word of mouth and the con­tin­ued suc­cess of our small client base, I do bring a wealth of sales expe­ri­ence to the table. At 11, I sold six large plas­tic tubs worth of clas­si­cal art-inspired umbrel­las that were giv­en to me by a fam­i­ly friend who need­ed to quick­ly flee the state after a war­rant was issued for his arrest. Using half of my mom’s des­ig­nat­ed space at the Sat­ur­day farm­ers mar­ket in Hilo, Hawaii, I sold umbrel­la after umbrel­la for months while my mom gave tarot read­ings. The proof is in the pud­ding, folks.

While my nat­ur­al sales­man­ship is sec­ond to none, sell­ing web­sites is dif­fer­ent than umbrel­las in sev­er­al key ways. For one, they are not of imme­di­ate inter­est to the eldery. Also, they’re not very use­ful in the rain. Sell­ing web­sites requires a thought­ful, cre­ative approach, one that stands out from the crowd.

Being that the high-pow­ered cre­ative titans I would be con­tact­ing would sure­ly be inun­dat­ed with unin­spired emails and DMs inquir­ing about work, I decid­ed to do some­thing much more ana­log. I would write them a let­ter. You know, a let­ter, like the things you have to buy stamps for. 

Over the course of a cou­ple weeks, I would spend hour after hour draft­ing intri­cate cre­ative sto­ries involv­ing Tim­my and I. Each one would be hys­ter­i­cal, but also weird­ly believ­able. We would be failed restau­ra­teurs look­ing to bounce back or low-life entre­pre­neurs sling­ing can­dles in the Texas rave scene or naïve din­ner guests who get caught up in their host’s cult rit­u­als. Here’s a few of the good ones:

Crab shack goes bel­ly up (PDF)

Detained in Guadala­jara (PDF)

Our dog­gy AR app falls on its face (PDF)

I wrote ten in total as a tri­al. I signed them. Addressed them. I sent them on their way. I have yet to hear a word back, from any­one. Noth­ing. Nada. It’s been sev­er­al weeks. 

We couldn’t be more excited.

Now I know what you’re think­ing, Why would we con­sid­er this a suc­cess and not an abysmal fail­ure and com­plete waste of time?” That’s sim­ple. Had peo­ple respond­ed quick­ly, or even worse, with some small, lit­er­al­ly-10-sec­onds-of-your-life token of acknowl­edge­ment, this would have pre­clud­ed the far supe­ri­or, and quite frankly, increas­ing­ly more like­ly out­comes, a few of which I’ve out­lined below. 

The poten­tial client didn’t respond because:

  • [Agency A] They are prepar­ing a mas­sive feast in our hon­or at their cor­po­rate head­quar­ters. This under­tak­ing will require coor­di­na­tion between event plan­ners, cater­ers, orches­tras, bal­let dancers, pyrotech­nics teams, and aquat­ic seal troops. This takes time. Plus, Cindy and a cou­ple oth­er employ­ees are on vaca­tion. They can­not pos­si­bly miss this feast, and thus an announce­ment must be post­poned until their return.
  • [Agency B] They know we’ve con­tact­ed oth­er agen­cies, one of which is most cer­tain­ly host­ing a feast in our hon­or, and want to lit­er­al­ly sweep us off our feet before­hand. They are send­ing a pri­vate jet to whisk us away to a pri­vate meet­ing in the Bahamas. They know super­fi­cial demon­stra­tions of wealth and sta­tus do noth­ing for us, so they’re tak­ing the time to do a cus­tom vinyl wrap of the entire plane depict­ing Tim­my and I as pow­er­ful pharaohs in ancient Egypt. 

  • [Agency C] They know larg­er agen­cies are plan­ning a huge feast and send­ing pri­vate jets to wow us. They can’t com­pete with that, nor should they. Instead, they are lean­ing on some of their per­son­al con­nec­tions from the 6am class at Soul Cycle San­ta Mon­i­ca. Ryan Gosling, Sam Har­ris, Emma Stone, Dwayne The Rock” John­son, Chan Mar­shall, as well as Michelle Oba­ma (and maybe Barack) have all ten­ta­tive­ly agreed to a casu­al game night at the poten­tial client’s home and we’re invit­ed. Now it’s just a mat­ter of find­ing a day that works for every­one before they sur­prise us.

Need­less to say, Tim­my and I are pos­i­tive­ly gid­dy about the prospects of some major splash­es in the very near future. Just look at this spread­sheet of com­pa­nies we’ve con­tact­ed and whether they have respond­ed or not.

Due to some of our poten­tial clients’ con­nec­tions to the Yakuza in Japan, as well as the Russ­ian mob, we have blurred their names. 

Here at Fer­al, we’re all about visu­al­iz­ing data in new and inter­est­ing ways. Check out this com­par­i­son chart.

Look at all that red! And there’s more where that came from too. What all these fine estab­lish­ments could be plan­ning for us, we can only imag­ine! And imag­ine we will, because at the moment there is very lit­tle else for us to do. 

Some say start­ing a new busi­ness is tough. With all the chal­lenges that you face: the long nights spent awake won­der­ing if some­thing — any­thing — will work, the dif­fi­cul­ty in putting your­self out there to be judged again and again, the bal­anc­ing act between the cool, care­free image of suc­cess that peo­ple love and the ever present anx­i­ety that this actu­al­ly mat­ters to you and it mat­ters quite a lot, it can be easy to see how some busi­ness own­ers can find them­selves alone at their desk on 11pm on a Sat­ur­day star­ing into the void, tears welling up in their eyes. Not Tim­my and I. We’re not like this. No, no, nope. This stuff nev­er cross­es our mind, not even for a second. 

We per­spire pros­per­i­ty. Our pres­ence alters des­tinies. Our gazes evoke poems. Our dan­druff is but tiny clumps of gold. No, we look con­fi­dent­ly upward, our bags packed, wait­ing for our feast of the ages, our jet to the Bahamas, our game night with all our favorite people. 

What else can you do, right?

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