Startup culture or HR marketing scam

Just watch the following talk…

Trends sell.

Sometime they sell bulshit.

Startup culture and entrepreneurship is trendy now.

But now always for good reasons…

a quick one about the designers’ struggle with clients

Yesterday I had a conversation with a designer who made a career change to become a real-estate sales person.


yep – you heard well.


From panda-hat pencil-in-hand graphic artist and logo designer, he went to sell cinderblocks lots…


What happened? well, unsurprisingly – he got sick of clients – he got tired of not getting paid – and he got tired of having the very people who hired him for a job starting to tell him how he should do his job.


He got lost.


Like many others.


Like probably whole of us at any point in our career – when dealing with clients and learning how to provide a service to somebody else – it is not always easy – and it is not happening in your photoshop.


This is when I realised – how many people have not yet read or heard Mike Monteiro


This guy is the business coach that creatives didn’t have while learning their craft.


And most importantly – he will bring back your motivation to do good while giving you the tools to deliver.


If you haven’t, you should watch:



Any issue with getting paid? Watch this one:


(Actually – even if this one feels good – it is not always very helpful. I guess it works fine in the US – but from my experience in other places in the world – lawyers aren’t always the best to handle this kind of task… I have other resources I’ll put together for you some other time – still worth watching the talk though because it will help you realise how common these situations can be and how you should not bow your head and agree but you should fight to get that money.)



Anyway that’s it for today!

Don’t let the daily grind get the best out of you, and remember that your work matter! Just sell it.


Do what you can’t

They did not know it was impossible so they did it
— Mark Twain





seems to be a barrier to innovation.



Status-quo is cultural protectionism

The status-quo creates artificial scarcity.

Because it promotes the lack of initiative

It supports business as usual.

The status-quo is opposed to disruption, to change, to innovation.

It is opposed to improvement.

It is the systemic manifestation of the resistance.

It is the bystander effect of our collective intellectual accident.

The status-quo is a social agreement where we agree to live with some specific problem and to not fix them.

Artificial scarcity generated by the lack of action is benefiting somebody.

Side note:

Status-quo is not about things remaining the same.

It is things remaining the same when we have problems we don’t want to fix.

Status-quo into the culture

Creating a culture of conformism

Turning innovation into the realm of a few,

so nobody even question the existence of alternative options.


When we agree with the status quo, we agree to die.


Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.

— Benjamin Franklin


A remedy




Daily, to push to improve.


Some dance.

Some write.

Some films.

Some draw.

Some build.

Some code.

Some paint.


Every one has a different version.

Find yours.




It is an original piece from Bre Pettis and Kio Stark – under Creative Common.

For me it is a reminder that done is better than perfect, and no matter how creative you want to be there is a point where actual delivery matter more than potential awesomeness .

Here it is:

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.


The Cult of Done





What happens when people sign up for your stuff


So you have this book that you wrote.

This newsletter you so carefully crafted.

This course you designed with attention and love.


You are ready for launch.

The world is waiting for you ….

…. well ….


No one is waiting for you.

Not even the people who registered for (tick the right answer):

  • your newsletter
  • your course
  • your e-book.


— But they signed up, right?

— Right…


Let’s break down the psychology of this, do you mind?


giphy (3)


Someone was online. Saw your ad, read your blog post, stumbled upon your site on his/her lunch break, and got excited. Signed up. It’s free. The opportunity is here to be seized.

He knows if he doesn’t do it now, nearly no chance he gets back here. (Today’s internet is a crowded place and you don’t come back very often to places). So he likes what he just saw or read, and in the momentum of the excitement, he signed up.

The moment he signed up, the pressure go down. The panic feeling that “I might miss out on something awesome for free” just left him. He knows he is safe now. He signed up. He knows that from now on, you are the one who will remind him, run after him and he can decide later on if he really needs it.


giphy (2)


Signing up for free shit on the internet became a lot like binge shopping.


It looks good, so you take it now. You’ll see later if you need it.


However, on the other side, someone’s tripping.


giphy (5)

You think you have a new fan.

When all you have is someone who got excited about your free stuff and fear he might miss out on something so he signed up just in case.

You haven’t sold him yet.

You just started the conversation with that guy or gal.

You have not yet bought him.

All the work is still upfront.



It’s like when a girl (or a guy) give you her (his) phone number.

You got the other side’s attention, and you have an opportunity to build up the relationship.

So, don’t blow it up by saying non-sense over the freaking phone when you call that number!!!


How do you know you’re doing it right?

Once you understand this fundamental principal that a signup is just the beginning, it then becomes clearer you need to monitor how the relationship is growing, 


You're email open rate.


If it’s a newsletter, you will need to see how often they opens it, do  they click the content in there, do they pay attention over time. From newsletter to newsletter, you need to gain their attention again again.

If it’s a course, they needs to come back week after week, day after day and make progress. If they don’t come back, you need to see when do they stop, was it the content? was it the design? do they all stop at this same point? Try a different format of content, a different topic, a different approach, improve your bugs, fix your design, become mobile-friendly. In short, make sure your users feels at home and enjoy…

Remember, you are dating your customers, so put on you’re best dress, and make the experience unforgettable. Or, if you prefer to go casual, that’s ok too, as long as it fits the expectation. Not every date needs to be in a 4-stars hotel, you can also go to a burger… just make sure it’s cool with the other side. Test, and iterate. Test and iterate. Again and again, until you build the right approach, the right relationship, with your audience.

Content and context

CONTENT IS THE KEY – as you long as you keep the content relevant to the conversation.

The moment your content is getting boring is the moment they loose interest, meaning you’re out of the game because there is no conversation anymore.

Being irrelevant is how you build a huge database of dead-meat emails disconnected from any reality on the ground.

dead horse


So before you get to this situation, segment your data properly, analyse how your users consume the content they signed up for, so you can adapt to keep the conversation relevant – to keep your content in context.

Because NOBODY CARES – unless you make them care.

So make them care, each and every freaking time as if it was the first time.

And for this, you need to care about them.