Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

The end. / May 22, 2004

I’m seriously into starting my own business. I am in a kind-of-forced-self-instigated-leaving-of-my-job thing. I’ve got about 3 weeks left before I HAVE to go. (Which conveniently coincides with both an annual trip and my upcoming jury duty.) After that… nothing.
I started out looking for a job. Duh. Applied for some truly cool openings. But besides never hearing from anyone, I know my heart was never fully in it either. I’ve been six and a half years at a job that was more social challenge than professional career building. (I’ll take up the issue of “careers” later.) I can’t see myself immediately dropping into another company where it’s someone else’s vision.
I’ve been quietly egged on for a couple years now by a local photographer to start my own business. I always dismissed the notion, because I have no experience selling myself, (insert joke here). But when he mentioned it again about 2 weeks ago, for the first time since I found out my old job was coming to an end, the idea took hold. In just a day or two, I was seriously considering the idea. In less than a week, I was seeking out advice from a friend who runs their own design business. I have since asked for feedback from many of my closest friends and relatives.
The advice has been cautious, but encouraging. The idea feels right. The work, while challenging, is in no way a stretch. I have proven I have every skill necessary, except for the selling. And even in that area, I’ve had limited success when allowed, at my current job.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research online. Online research is the modern equivalent of running for the encyclopedia. Unlike the anonymous blurb you get from an encyclopedia, though, the web is still a little bit of the wild, wild west. You got people selling, and people searching for gold, and people out to take advantage of the unprepared, just like the old west. But the beauty is in the anarchy.
“I’ve got my opinion and the biggest microphone mankind has ever invented, so let me tell you something.”
The most useful stuff here inevitably comes from the little person stealing time in their cubicle, who was upset that there was no officially sanctioned solution, and solved it for themself. Through ego, or altruism, they put their newborn idea out there and see if it sticks.
Many people now use the web to document their projects, their work, or their research. I’ve even found answers to my own problems within my website, most recently when I couldn’t remember when I last served on jury duty.
Many companies are also starting to have … slice of life … weblogs. More often than not, they tend to be more about justifying their business decisions. (Never justify, or you’ll make an ASS out of U and ME.)
All this in mind, along with my unnatural obsession for openness and sharing, a thought popped into my head the other day. There’s not much else up there, so you know, it kind of stood out.
So the idea was, to document this all. Not the corporate, ‘look at us, we know what a blog is’ thing. It’s doubtful I will ever even link this journal to the company in any solid way. Call it a what to do/not-to-do manual. Call it a place to sort through everything. Call it whatever you want.
But this is my dream.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *