I have been trying to write you for ages, but every time I sit down to start, I look over a few feet and see my elven daughter Zelda doing something magical, like farting sparkles. The little tufts of fur on her pointed ears ruffle in the wind. “Puh,” she says.
For all the helpful and stressful advice we received from all of our friends, the one thing nobody told me was that I was…
Zelda just peed all over herself and had to be given a bath and a fresh set of clothing.
Now what was I saying. Who cares. The point is, having a kid meets and exceeds my expectations, and consumes an enormous amount of resource. I mean, how can I type when I have a baby in one hand? Poorly.
BUT REST ASSURED, loyal reader: The B in this log stands for Ben, not Baby.
Everything else has also been going swimmingly, and I would like to publicly congratulate Katie and myself for adjusting so well. Thanks, Ben! It really means a lot for you to say that. Hey no problem, little buddy. Hug it out.
At work, we just finished a fun project for a high profile client, and then were invited to immediately come back and keep working on the next phase. Working with Adam again has been fun and useful and inspiring. And Damien’s secret project, which was always pretty exciting, is evolving into something even more exciting! And this week I learned how to make a new type of useful spreadsheet!!!!!! Holy crap, folks, this is real business.
My only regret is that I haven’t had the time to issue updates to my iOS apps to make them work better on the new version of iOS that came out a few weeks ago. I AM SO SORRY, USERS. Just so you know, I have deprived myself of the iOS 5.1 update in solidarity with you so that I can carefully test these next updates, and ensure the upgrade process goes smoothly for all your pixels and sendtabs.
I hate to be humble, but it turns out that Katie and I are the best parents in the world, and our daughter Zelda is already turning out to be way above average in all measurable categories. At just five weeks old, she is already wearing Paul Frank socks.
One of the other regulars at Once Over told us, after gazing at Zelda for a few minutes, turned to us and said, “She really is quite beautiful, for a white baby.”
I have been drawing a lot lately. I got a cheap stylus from Amazon, and it has completely changed the way I use my iPad. I now doodle constantly in one of my drawing apps. I draw stuff for work too, user interfaces and crazy box-arrow-cloud-question marks. I am piling up virtual notebooks of stuff. I feel bad for all my fancy Japanese paper notebooks that will never get used.
My favorite feature of tablet drawing is being able to delete my drawings. There is no opportunity cost with tablet drawing - I can pour new pages into my journal whenever I want, and I can throw away as many pages as I want without creating any trash. I can draw anything, as much as I want, as big as I want, and only keep the bits and pieces I need.
Before I draw anything worth keeping, I always draw 20 amorphous blobs first.
In between drawings, I have been keeping amazingly busy with work at XOXCO. The whole team has been embedded inside a big corporate client since mid-March, and we’ve been secretly working on a prototype product for them. It has been going very well, though we are aching to flex our product design muscles more than we’ve been able to. Meanwhile, we are fielding an array of potential clients, meaning that whenever I am not writing code or bouncing a baby, I am on the phone, telling someone how amazing we are.
Most of the time, people seem to believe me.
Since Adam rejoined the team, we’ve been talking about and working on a new, more focused pitch to make to prospective clients. We set aside time each week to hone and design this pitch in preparation to send it out to everyone we’ve ever worked with. Ironically, we’ve been so busy with work that comes to us from referrals and return clients, we haven’t had a chance to make much progress. Last week, we finally spent a few solid hours working on it, and I can now move forward on the layout.
I firmly believe spending time looking inward at your own processes and identity are an important part of delivering value to clients. We have to know what we do, how we do it, and why we do it so that we can present our solutions to clients with confidence.
I’m also dying to get the XOXCO blog set up and beautified so that I can start posting more stuff there. I imagine a combination of code, weeknote-style updates and interesting links we find in our daily research and education. I’ve been spending a lot of time with blogs from companies like BERG and the Really Interesting Group. I want a place where we can share stuff that adds context to who XOXCO is and what we’re about, and allows us to demonstrate and explore our areas of expertise in public.
It took me about three weeks to write this blog post. I’ve had it open in a window for ages, but every time I sit down to write, something distracts me. A baby, a client, an in-from-out-of-town friend. Life is awesome and exciting, but sometimes I yearn for two or three hours spent quietly alone to do nothing but think.