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Weeknote 280

April 2nd to April 8th, 2011

Author: Johannes Schardt
Date: 11. April 2011

Twohundredeighty was frantic, I have to use my calendar to reconstruct the last days. It was a week full of tight deadlines, little catastrophes and last minute improvisations. The workload was enormous. Looking back, everything seems a bit hazy.

The whole week was dominated with preparations for re:publica. Michael got so excited that he spontaneously wrote a software for dynamically displaying the conference program on all screens in the venues – a by-product of the huge visualization he’s working on. Christophe helped him with the design of those screens. He also edited and scored a few short trailer videos together with Philipp and Michael. I was the print guy this week, cranking out massive volumes of PDF files and indesign templates.

Now that the dust is settling, I came to realized that we seldom had this kind of deadline pressure in the last years. While Christophe and I were working in agencies, there were always emergencies. With precious there were way less of those moments. Working nights or weekends because some deadline is looming rarely happens. I’m not sure yet why that is. Is it because of the different work we do? Or because we are a smaller, well-attuned team? Are we better organized or more experienced? Is it because we are just more relaxed now that we are a bit older and wiser? Definitely something I have to think about a bit more.

Anyway, as stressful as this week was, it was also a great experience. It’s a good feeling getting so much done. It creates an amazing vibe when a good team is working hard for one goal. I think I’ve said it before, but I have to repeat it for myself: we need to create more situations like this. The important part of this sentence: we… not our clients or anybody else (as it mostly happened at the agencies we worked at). We have to plan the frenzy.

There were also a few other things besides re:publica this week. On Monday, Michael organized an “Open Mouse” event at a meeting of VUT (german association of independent music labels). Open mouse is like open mic or open stage shows, but with a browser. Everybody is welcome to grab the keyboard and mouse and show some projects she finds interesting. The topic of Monday’s event was “Music Hacks” and Paul Lamere from The Echonest (via Skype) and I were invited as guest surfers. It was very fun and I look forward to the Open Mouse show at re:publica.

On Tuesday I went to Berlin for a kickoff workshop with a new client. This will be a project I will probably mention pretty often in the coming weeks, as it might keep us busy for a while. I will hereby codename it “Comox”.

Philipp came by on Thursday to do some screen testing for Okanogan. Our client dropped off a hardware prototype (with an open back that allows an unobstructed view into the innards of this machine), so we can check out how the first interface drafts look on the actual touch screen.

We need more hardware prototypes in the studio! They lend this place an aura of a mad scientist’s lab. I like that.

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