Martin Maaløe / ARKK Copenhagen

Maaløes vej

Min vej

I dette afsnit af “MIN VEJ” skal vi møde Martin Maaløe, som i dag er Marketingchef for det fremadstormende sneakerbrand ARKK Copenhagen. ARKK Copenhagen skriver selv; “We create sports orientated fashion sneakers, designed to make your day just a little bit better….” Og mange mennesker har efterhånden fået deres dage gjort bedre; De populære sneakers bliver solgt i over 30 lande, og flere gange har ARKK Copenhagen måtte melde udsolgt. Det kræver blandt andet hårdt arbejde fra hele marketingafdelingen, men det er samtidigt også attraktivt at være en del af sådan en succesrig virksomhed. Martin Maaløe har CMO stolen, men hvordan er han endt præcis i denne stol? Det fortæller han her i denne uges “MIN VEJ”

2005 – 2007: Ringsted Bygningsentreprise A/S, Kontorelev.
Efter 3 år på gymnasiet og 1 år, hvor jeg læste erhvervsøkonomi, kom jeg til Ringsted Bygningsentreprise. Det var en kontoruddannelse, som tog 2 år. Hvorfor jeg endte der?

Min far arbejdede der, de søgte en og jeg søgte stillingen. Et eller andet skulle jeg jo lave.

Jeg troede, at jeg skulle lave alt muligt med faktura, bogføre osv. Men jeg fandt hurtigt ud af, at jeg syntes, de kreative ting var sjovere. Det andet var spændende nok, men det kreative sagde mig bare mere. Jeg brugte hurtigt meget tid på firmaets website, foldere og andre ting, som kunne præges visuelt/kommunikativt.

2007 – 2009: RBE a/s, Marketing/IT ansvarlig.
Jeg færdiggjorde uddannelsen som kontorelev. Men efter de 2 år blev virksomheden solgt og delt op i 2 dele. Det ene kender I som Altan.dk i dag, og den anden hedder RBE a/s. Det var her, jeg endte og blev færdiguddannet. Herefter blev jeg IT og marketingansvarlig. Det var en fed tid. Der lavede jeg rigtig meget af det, der var sjovt og stod blandt andet i spidsen for at rebrande virksomheden. Jeg fik alt strømlinet, lavet nyt website og en masse andet.

Efter knap 2 år, hvor udfordringerne måske var lidt knappe, tog jeg på en 3 måneder lang skiferie. Da jeg kom hjem igen, fik jeg at vide, at jeg nok var for god til at sidde i det job. Så på trods af god sikker indkomst, fandt jeg på at starte mit eget.

RBE a/s blev min første kunde. De 2 direktører fra RBE a/s blev mine forretningsmentorer på sidelinien.

Facts om Martin Maaløe:
Navn: Martin Maaløe
Job: CMO, ARKK Copenhagen
Alder: 32 år
Kæreste: Tine, som han sammen har deres dejlige datter Kaya med

2010 – 2012: Orangebox, Founder / Creative Director.
Så var det tid til at starte sit eget. Navnet blev Orangebox, pga. ??. fordi det lød fedt og anderledes.

Orangebox var mit helt eget kreative bureau. Vi lavede alt grafisk du overhovedet kunne tænke dig!

Samtidig med at jeg startede Orangebox, begyndte jeg også på uddannelsen Multimediedesign. Jeg syntes, at jeg skulle have nogle papirer på alt det, jeg kunne. Der var virkelig knald på med opstart af virksomhed og fuldtidsstudie.

Mega fed, men hård rejse. Jeg skulle stå for alt. Startede derhjemme og byggede op.
Jeg havde ikke været her i dag, hvis jeg ikke havde haft Orangebox.

Jeg lærte så IUM at kende, og blev tilbudt at blive slået sammen med dem.

2012-2016: IUM / Marvelous Nordic, Creative director
Vi startede med at sidde 4-5 stykker og så er resten historie. Der blev hele tiden bygget på, og i dag sidder de vel 50 stykker. Det var fedt.

Jeg var ligeledes med til at rulle Marvelous ud til resten af norden. Vi sad med kunder som Coca Cola, Microsoft, Lufthavnen, BR.

2016-?: ARKK Copenhagen, CMO.
I 2014 kom Thomas og Kasper til mig og fortalte, at de gerne ville lave et nyt sneakerbrand. Jeg fandt på navn, lavede logo osv. allerede der og hjalp frem til 2016 på sidelinien. Fra 2016 overtalte de mig til at komme ombord fuld tid som ansvarlig for al markedsføring. Vores sneaks bliver pt. forhandlet i +30 forskellige lande, så der er rigeligt at se til. Men vi har det vildeste team – det har været sindsygt hårdt – men shit, det er fedt.

Når ens passion og hobby bliver til ens arbejde, så kan man ikke have det bedre. Sådan har jeg det nu!

BONUSINFO: 
Martin Maaløe er ligeledes 1 af 3 co-founders af Dontt.dk ! Martin har spillet en kæmpe rolle for denne platform, og har blandt andet vores flotte logo.


Casper Heiselberg / FC KØBENHAVN

Heiselbergs vej

Min vej

I dette afsnit af “MIN VEJ” skal vi møde Casper Heiselberg, som i dag er Digital chef i Danmarks største fodboldklub, FC København.

Starten:
2002-2003: 
I 2002 tog jeg en af de vigtigste beslutninger i mit liv, da jeg registrerede mit første domæne på nettet og det er vel egentlig her, min rejse for alvor starter.

Som nystartet gymnasieelev var min fascination af internettet stor, så jeg satte mig til at lære PHP ved at læse nogle tutorials på nettet og endte pludselig med at have udviklet et lille produktivt CMS og noget der kunne ligne en hjemmeside om Manchester United. I julen 2002 skete det så. OldTrafford.dk var mit. Jeg kan stadig huske hvor ellevild jeg var over at have købt mit eget domæne. Foråret blev brugt på at udvikle videre, få ekstra folk med ombord og den 26. Juni 2003 blev OldTrafford.dk lanceret.

Den dag i dag tænker jeg stadigvæk på hvor stor en beslutning det var for mig som person og for min karriere.

Fornyelig rundede vi 25.000 skrevne artikler. Besøgstallet er i de mest travle måneder oppe og nærme sig 100.000 unikke brugere om måneden, men ligger typisk på mellem 50.000 og 60.000 unikke brugere om måneden.

Der er i dag 10-12 frivillige skribenter tilknyttet og flere af de tidligere har deres gang i de danske mediehuse.

Det er også igennem OldTrafford.dk, at jeg senere fik interesse for den kommercielle side af fodbolden, som siden er blevet en stor del af min levevej.

Facts om Casper Heiselberg:
Navn: Casper Heiselberg
Job: Head of Digital hos F.C. København & ejer af OldTrafford.dk
Alder: 31

2005-2010: I SAS blev jeg voksen
I 2005 blev jeg student fra HHX og verden stod åben. Jeg ville egentlig gerne prøve at flytte til Manchester eller måske USA. Jeg gjorde et par forsøg, men en dag så jeg et jobopslag om at blive vikar i SAS. Jeg fik det og blev fastansat kort tid efter. Det var en enorm lærerig periode i mit liv, hvor jeg fik indblik i mange forskellige kulturer og verdener. Selvom det lyder som en kliché, så var ingen hverdag ens i SAS. Jeg elskede mine 5 år i SAS, og har fortsat kontakt med mange af mine kolleger fra dengang.

2008 Sådan endte jeg på CBS
Efter et par års fuldtidsarbejde blev jeg anbefalet at tage en uddannelse for mit eget bedste. Jeg begyndte at snuse lidt til studiemiljøet og endte med at vælge en international bachelor i Servicemanagement på CBS. Mest af alt, fordi jeg var fascineret af luftfart og sportsøkonomi, så her fik jeg lidt af det hele.

2008 var samtidig året, hvor vi på OldTrafford.dk var med til at arrangere vores første udendørsvisning af Champions League-Finalen i samarbejde med Den Glade Gris på Lille Kannikestræde. Over 2.000 mødte op!
Året efter gjorde vi kunsten efter på vor frue plads med over 5.000 fodboldfans.

2009: En fræk email gav indgang til IOC
Dette år fik stor betydning for min karriere. Interessen for sportsøkonomi var stadigt stigende, så jeg søgte ind som frivillig til IOC kongressen. Den store olympiske kongres i oktober, som blandt andet fik besøg af Barrack Obama og Pelé.

Da ansøgningsfristen var overskredet sendte jeg den direkte til kongresdirektøren, der kvitterede med at min profil passerede perfekt som akkrediteringschef ved kongressen. Det var en vild tjans at få. Fascinerende og nærmest lige så skræmmende at opleve IOC så tæt på. Hold kæft det var en fed oplevelse, selvom det krævede ekstreme arbejdstider.

2010 Fra sol, strand og studier i Marseille til hospice i Ballerup
Som opfølgning på IOC kongressen blev jeg tilbudt at stå for spillernes indkvartering og transporten ved den kommende WTA-turnering i Farum. Dette gjorde jeg de efterfølgende 2 år også indtil turneringen desværre måtte stoppe.

Det var samtidig året hvor jeg stoppede i SAS og tog på udvekslingsophold i Marseille gennem CBS. Jeg så frem til et spændende semester, hvor jeg også skulle lære og opleve mere til den franske kultur nede ved middelhavet, men desværre blev opholdet afbrudt efter to måneder. Min mors sygdom blev forværret, og jeg endte med at bruge de 2 resterende måneder af mit udvekslingsophold på et hospice i Ballerup.

2011: ”Kandidatuddannelsen lød desværre interessant og lærerig end den var
Officielt hjemvendt fra Frankrig blev jeg ansat i den digitale afdeling i VisitDenmark til at stå for deres digitale marketinganalyser på tværs af de internationale markeder. Virksomheden var i en digital transformation fra det traditionelle turistbureau til det der vel nu er en digital marketingorganisation, så det var en ret spændende periode.

Jeg skrev samtidig bacheloropgave om muligheden for at få EM i fodbold til Danmark & Sverige for Sport Event Denmark. Konklusionen var at det først var muligt med en turneringsændring (den kom et par år senere, så nu kommer EM i fodbold til Telia Parken i 2020).

Samme år endte jeg med at vælge en kandidatuddannelse, som desværre lød mere interessant og lærerig end den var; Cand.Soc. in Management of Creative Business Processes. Jeg var tæt på at droppe ud, men følte at jeg ville spilde et år med at vente på at starte en anden uddannelse.

På OldTrafford.dk var det samtidig endelig tid til at lave hjemmesiden om efter flere års efterspørgsel fra brugerne. Jeg satte mig for at lære Drupal og for første gang siden 2003 kom OldTrafford.dk ud i en ny indpakning. Det holdte i 2 år, hvorefter jeg relancerede sitet for 3. gang i den version, som du ser i dag.

2012: Tilbage i sportens verden gennem et hårdt semester
2012 blev et af de travleste år for mig til dato, da jeg besluttede at bruge et semester med både arbejdet i VisitDenmark, min hjemmeside og en god kombination mellem nogle valgfag og et praktikophold hos Sport Event Denmark, som jeg havde stiftet tæt bekendtskab med ved IOC kongressen i 2009. Det var enormt lærerigt, hvor jeg var inde over både planlægning, afholdelse og flere analyser af bud på store events i fremtiden, herunder VM i Ishockey der kommer til Danmark i 2018.

2013: Jeg kendte meget lidt til bureauverdenen før jeg pludselig stod i den
I 2013 begyndte jeg så småt at se efter et nyt job. Jeg skulle videre.

Jeg søgte ind i den digitale afdeling hos reklamebureuaet Kunde & Co. Det var en ret hurtig proces. Jeg var til jobsamtale, på vejen hjem ringede de og dagen efter havde jeg en fuldtidskontrakt foran mig. Mit kendskab til bureaubranchen var på det tidspunkt minimalt og det var måske en lidt for stor mundfuld, da jeg samme dag skrev under på min kandidatkontrakt.

Men jeg tog chancen, velvidende at både kandidatopgaven og jobbet begge var mere end bare fuldtidsbeskæftigelser.. og der også lå nærmest fuldtidsarbejde i OldTrafford.dk.

Jeg kan lige så godt afsløre at jeg ikke fik skrevet noget som helst på kandidatopgaven det efterår!

2014 Specialet blev afleveret og jeg skiftede bureauverdenen ud med fodboldverdenen
Da 2014 blev skudt i gang satte jeg mig for at kandidatopgaven skulle afleveres no matter what. Jeg havde valgt det mest åbenlyste emne: ”Hvordan kan fodboldklubber gøre fans til større fans gennem sociale medier?” Case: Manchester United, selvfølgelig.

Det forår blev det – for første gang – til mange timer på CBSs bibliotek og jeg måtte have mange interne kampe med mine egne forventninger: ”At jeg ikke havde omstændighederne til at gå efter 12”, ”At jeg bare skulle bestå”, ”At ingen ville kigge på specialet efterfølgende” osv. Men man er vel alligevel lidt ambitiøs og perfektionistisk.

Anyway, jeg fik skrevet det og indså hvor lærerig en proces det var. Jeg endte med at få 7, hvilket jeg var godt tilfreds med omstændighederne taget i betragtning. Samme dag jeg forsvarede specialet, tog jeg til Manchester og fik samme aften specialet signeret af en af fodboldens helt store legender, Verdens bedste fodboldspiller 1964, den tidligere Manchester United-stjerne Denis Law. Stor afslutning på en stor dag!

Senere samme sommer forlod jeg Kunde & Co og kom ind i fodboldens verden, da jeg tiltrådte som Digital Manager i Divisionsforeningen / Alka Superliga.

2015 – Som barn drømte jeg om at blive en del af det her
I Divsionsforeningen var jeg ansvarlig for Alka Superligaens digitale medier, herunder sociale medier, websites, statistik, tracking på banen, internationalt samarbejde og udvikling af øvrige digitale tiltag. Det var et fedt job, gode kolleger og frem for alt, en verden jeg vel som barn havde drømt om at blive en del af. Om så det var som professionel fodboldspiller eller.. eller indenfor internettet, som de færreste dengang havde stiftet bekendtskab endnu.

Året blev for øvrigt primært brugt på at relancere Alka Superligas officielle website for første gang i 6 år. Du kan læse mere om dette her.

2016 Forlod drømmejobbet, men følelsen er god!
Ovenpå den succesfulde lancering af Superliga.dk, hvor besøgstallet blandt andet steg med 40%, betragtede jeg egentlig jobbet som drømmestillingen for mig. Mine ansvarsområder spændte vidt og jeg blev mere og mere engageret i det internationale samarbejde, som blandt andet bød på spændende besøg hos Serie A, Premier League og Major League Soccer i New York.

Men i slutningen af 2016 fik jeg tilbuddet om at blive Head of Digital i F.C. København. Det var en stor beslutning, da jeg ikke selv var på vej væk, var godt tilfreds i Divisionsforeningen og fortsat følte at der var ting at udrette.

Men alligevel føltes det inderst inde som den rigtige beslutning. En stor og spændende udfordring i en klub med ambitioner og muligheder på den digitale front. Heldigvis er det fortsat den følelse jeg har i kroppen, her 3 måneder inde i den nye stilling hos de danske mestre.

Vi ses i Telia Parken!

/ Casper Heiselberg
Følg Casper på Twitter & Linkedin


Majbritt Madsen / Group 88

Majbritt vej

Min vej

I første afsnit af “MIN VEJ” skal vi møde Majbritt Madsen, som i dag er PR & Communication Manager hos Group 88. Det familieejede Group 88 håndterer en masse PR og marketing relaterede opgaver for internationale luksus brands som f.eks. Burnerry, Gucci, Mulberry og Saint Laurent.

Starten:
2001 –
Efter små 10 år på gulvet i forskellige tøjbutikker i den jyske hovedstad, Esbjerg, var jeg ikke i tvivl om, at jeg ville skabe en karriere inden for mode. . Allerede dengang var jeg betaget af pulsen, menneskerne og det kreative miljø modebranchen består af. Derfor vidste jeg at dette skulle være min vej. Jeg vidste også, at jeg ikke skulle være sælger eller indkøber, jeg var interesseret i det at skabe et brand.
 
Skolen:
2009-2011 – Branding og Marketing Management på TEKO, Herning. ( Det der i dag hedder, VIA Univerity College)
Uddannelsen bød på et praktikophold i PR & Marketing afdelingen hos Designers Remix, som senere skulle vise sig at danne grundlag for mit første job.

Facts om Majbritt Madsen:
Navn: Majbritt Madsen
Job: PR & Communication Manager, Group 88
Alder: 28 år

Job / erfaringer osv.:
2011-2012: Designers Remix, E-commerce Assistant
I mit første job var min overordnede opgave den daglige drift af Designers Remix’s webshop, men samtidig havde jeg også mange andre kasketter på i denne tid.
Alt fra salg på danske og internationale messer, til koordinering og afvikling af lagersalg. B2B kontakt i salg og kundeservice samt et tæt samarbejde med retail. En helt vildt god tid, fyldt med spændende læring og de bedste kolleager.
 
2012-2013: Noise PR, Showroom Coordinator
Tilbage til det mit hjerte rigtig bankede for, PR og ikke mindst branding.
Hos Noise PR fik jeg hele grundforståelsen for PR – Hvordan benarbejdet skulle gøres og hvor vigtigt det er.
 
2013-2014: Noise PR, PR Coordinator & Showroom Manager:
PR Coordinator rollen gav mere ansvar og et tættere samarbejde med de brands, hvis historie der skulle formidles til den danske presse. En stilling som gennem sparring med dygtige kollegaer dannede et stræk fundament for mine PR kompetencer og ikke mindst et godt netværk i branchen.
 
2014 – 2016: Group 88, PR & Marketing Coordinator:
Group 88s spændende portefølje af internationale luksus brands gav et job, hvor jeg fik lov at kombinere mine kompetencer fra både PR og Marketing på det skandinaviske marked. Koordinationer i  et lille dedikeret team, med store krav om internationale standarder.
 
2016 – 2017: Group 88, PR & Communication Manager:

I Februar 2016 blev ansvaret for alt PR og kommunikation mit, et ansvar jeg hver dag sætter en stor ære i at udføre. Internationale modeuger er kommet på programmet og de endelige beslutninger og tiltag ligger nu på mit bord. Min primære opgave er, at omsætte og formidle global branding på den skandinaviske marked i form af lokal ”hands on” PR.

Group 88 er en spændende virksomhed i vækst og hver dag arbejder jeg, sammen med resten af den kompetente organisation på, at levere et ”world class” niveau i alt hvad vi gør.

2017 – Nu: Stine Goya, PR-ansvarlig:
Til Fashion Forum siger Majbritt om sit nye job:
”Stine Goya er et stærkt brand og en virksomhed i vækst med høje ambitioner for fremtiden – det matcher mit temperament utrolig godt. Brandet har et stort internationalt potentiale, som de er I fuld gang med at realisere, og det glæder jeg mig til at blive en del af.”

”Jeg synes det er særligt imponerende, at Stine Goya – trods evig skiftende tendenser – altid har formået at holde fast i sit eget design-DNA. Med farverige kollektioner, båret af smukke prints og interessante kunst-samarbejder har Stine Goya skabt et helt unikt univers. Jeg glæder til at dykke ned i universet og yderligere styrke brandes tilstedeværelse og relationer blandt andet på de sociale medier. Og, så ser jeg selvfølgelig frem til, at blive en del af det kompetente team,” fortæller hun. Du kan læse hele nyheden her.


Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


Inspired by clouds

Take your time.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger.

When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Breathe the world.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.

— Christopher Morley

Enjoy the morning.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever. I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300.

It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Free your mind.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Photography is better shared.


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Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

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‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.


Real time design tools

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


Stumbled the concept

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. I stumbled upon the concept of margin while reading a post by Michael Hyatt, which led me to design my ideal week.

Richard Swenson, M.D. (who wrote the book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) describes margin like this:

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had recognized had been my problem: I was so booked up with clients that I wasn’t leaving any margin for error, growth, planning, or reflection. I wasn’t really growing my business in a sustainable way; I was just booking one client after the next. At the time this seemed like a good thing: doesn’t growing my business mean getting more clients?

What if instead of booking up to 100% capacity (which more often than not ends up being closer to 120%), we only booked up to an 80% capacity?

What if we left more room for growth (personal or professional) and stopped being one with “busy-ness”?
I spent nearly a year turning down every new project (and even getting rid of old ones) so that I could reduce my workload, build in more margin, and create what is now Digital Strategy School. It takes time to build margin into your schedule.

What could you accomplish with 20% more time?

Write a book. Create a program. Update your contracts and proposals (which has been on your to-do list for how long..?) Spend more time with your family. Go above and beyond for a client. Learn something new. Actually follow through on the things that have been nagging at you for a long time.

When you design your ideal week, you start to see that the time you think you have is often not in alignment with how much time you actually have.

After designing my ideal week, I had a much clearer idea of how to create a framework for my week that would empower me to feel more focused by theming days of the week, and even parts of the day. SO simple, I know. Some of you have been doing this for ages and you’re already a pro, and some of you who saw my schedule said “woah, that’s so rigid, I need more flexibility!”

Structure enables flexibility.

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. Turns out I’m consistently “in the zone” around 3pm in the afternoon; so instead of trying to tackle highly creative work first thing in the morning (when my brain is barely functioning), I handle it in the afternoon, when I know I’m at my peak!

Creating more margin has been game-changing for my business.
What would be possible for yours?


Time is passing by

CSS selectors all exist within the same global scope. Anyone who has worked with CSS long enough has had to come to terms with its aggressively global nature — a model clearly designed in the age of documents, now struggling to offer a sane working environment for today’s modern web applications. Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our selectors may even lose out in the global specificity war, ultimately having little or no effect on the page at all.

Any time we make a change to a CSS file, we need to carefully consider the global environment in which our styles will sit. No other front end technology requires so much discipline just to keep the code at a minimum level of maintainability. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to leave the era of global style sheets behind.

It’s time for local CSS.

In other languages, it’s accepted that modifying the global environment is something to be done rarely, if ever.

In the JavaScript community, thanks to tools like Browserify, Webpack and JSPM, it’s now expected that our code will consist of small modules, each encapsulating their explicit dependencies, exporting a minimal API.

Yet, somehow, CSS still seems to be getting a free pass.

Many of us — myself included, until recently — have been working with CSS so long that we don’t see the lack of local scope as a problem that we can solve without significant help from browser vendors. Even then, we’d still need to wait for the majority of our users to be using a browser with proper Shadow DOM support.

We’ve worked around the issues of global scope with a series of naming conventions like OOCSS, SMACSS, BEM and SUIT, each providing a way for us to avoid naming collisions and emulate sane scoping rules.

We no longer need to add lengthy prefixes to all of our selectors to simulate scoping. More components could define their own foo and bar identifiers which — unlike the traditional global selector model—wouldn’t produce any naming collisions.

import styles from './MyComponent.css';
import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class MyComponent extends Component {
 render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div className={styles.foo}>Foo</div>
        <div className={styles.bar}>Bar</div>
      </div>
    );
  }

The benefits of global CSS — style re-use between components via utility classes, etc. — are still achievable with this model. The key difference is that, just like when we work in other technologies, we need to explicitly import the classes that we depend on. Our code can’t make many, if any, assumptions about the global environment.

Writing maintainable CSS is now encouraged, not by careful adherence to a naming convention, but by style encapsulation during development.

Once you’ve tried working with local CSS, there’s really no going back. Experiencing true local scope in our style sheets — in a way that works across all browsers— is not something to be easily ignored.

Introducing local scope has had a significant ripple effect on how we approach our CSS. Naming conventions, patterns of re-use, and the potential extraction of styles into separate packages are all directly affected by this shift, and we’re only at the beginning of this new era of local CSS.

process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development' ?
    '[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]' :
    '[hash:base64:5]'
)

Understanding the ramifications of this shift is something that we’re still working through. With your valuable input and experimentation, I’m hoping that this is a conversation we can have together as a larger community.

Note: Automatically optimising style re-use between components would be an amazing step forward, but it definitely requires help from people a lot smarter than me.