Monday, February 21, 2011

Business Cards

It's been forever since I had to make business cards, so I was surprised how many on-line resources there we're out there to design and print what seems now like a relic in the business world.

I went with a simple design based on a template at Overnight Prints. Mocked it up and it was wrapped in less than an hour.

These will have rounded corners to mimic the voice balloons, the front (the top image is technically the back, but I'm calling it the front) will be glossy and the other side not so much. The cards were about $10 and so was shipping. Crazy I know, but I think shipping is where these on-line printers make their margins.

Now to make some for What's in it for Tina?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Waiting on Superphone

I find myself in a bit of a quandary, the iPhone 5 is maybe just a few months away and I just had my iPhone 4 pulled from my cold dead hands. At first I had considered the Verizon iPhone with it's (hopefully) better coverage and reception in the greater New York area. My wife has the iPhone 3GS on AT&T and they were nice enough to give us a MicroCell3G that makes calling in and around the house a fairly pleasurable experience. 

What's a boy to do?

I could lock in for another two years with AT&T for a phone that drops connections every time I step two feet to the right.  Do I begin a similar relationship with Verizon and hope it's better?

Out of principle I should own an Android device. A no-contract smartphone on that platform could be a decent hold over device until the next shiny bobble comes from the Land of Jobs. 

iTouch + Google Voice + MyFi? Crazy I know, but I think that's where things are eventually going.

So, here's what I'm trying out. Virgin Mobile has a very cheap android phone now, the LG Optimus V. Their plan is $25 for 300 minutes, and get this, unlimited data over the Sprint network which is rock solid in NYC. (Now it doesn't work at my house, but that's another story.) No contract too, so the most I'm out is a $149 phone.

At home I talk mostly via Skype's SkypeOut while working, so I don't plan on going over those minutes. The only bummer is Virgin Mobile's known issues connecting to Google Voice, but that's a post for another day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Most Things Go Out of Control Slowly

How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.
Fred Brooks

I read a book (forever ago) called The Mythical Man-Month written by the man quoted above. The gist of it is "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." But how do we get to the point where we're simply tossing resources at a problem to fix it?

Even smart people can misrepresent how much much work they think that they can do. There's a process of  where one imagines their most productive hour and multiplies that by 40 hours, then by four weeks, then by twelve months. One minor slip in that logic (for example, you may only have four productive hours a week) and the effects are staggering.

Communication, organization and other pieces of daily work life are all transaction costs in delivering any sort of project. It's very hard to estimate how much time these kinds of tasks will take.

I'm tackling a few personal projects over the next few weeks and I'm trying to limit them to things I can do by myself in 48 hours over a weekend. This process is one I learned doing films in a weekend for the 48 hour film festival. When you start planning a few hours at a time it's amazing what you can get accomplished.

So, now I'm thinking small+fast=done.