Year: 2013

Why I’m Against Quantifying Productivity

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I got an email from MetaLab today that announced its latest software. It’s called Peak and it helps managers track what people on their team are working on in an automated way. It plugs in to popular apps used by people in the creative digital industry such as Basecamp, Harvest, Google Drive, and GitHub to show an aggregated feed of everyone’s activities. Peak looks beautiful as a web app and I’m sure it’s got the […]

The Meeting as Experience Design

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I’ve been trying something different at work. I’ve started to spend more and more time prepping for my meetings and being conscious about the experience I create for people who attend them. Back in September, I got some really good advice from our leadership coach Peter Oropeza on running meetings. Peter, who’s been helping me and Sei-Wook for the past several months as a consultant, sat in on a meeting at Barrel and took notes […]

What Can I Do? Thoughts on Nurturing a Culture of Self-Initiative

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Watching ESPN last Sunday night, I was struck by a comment that analyst (and former Super Bowl QB) Trent Dilfer made about championship teams and what makes them different. He talked about how players on a championship team were different in mindset. They always ask themselves: “What can I do to help my team? How can I be better?” These players do not wait on others to make the first move. There are no dependencies […]

Imminent Behavior Adjustments: Asking for Input and Being Open to Feedback

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I’ve been getting leadership coaching at Barrel the past few months. Sei-Wook and I have been working with Peter Oropeza of Oro Consulting¬†to identify our strengths and improvement areas and to develop action plans to help us grow as leaders. Last week, I met with Peter to review my ASSESS personality test, my ASSESS 360 feedback from direct reports and Sei-Wook, and my Hogan Development Survey, which shows how I behave when stressed. Peter also […]

Proactive Communication Relieves Employee Anxieties

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We’ve had a lot of people come and go at Barrel in the past year. Only a couple can truly be called resignations. The rest have been a combination of internship programs ending and temporary employee agreements expiring. A few have been firings. There’s a unique story to each of the employees who’ve left, so to me and Sei-Wook, there hasn’t been any alarming trends. We’ve viewed these as natural activities for our business, especially […]

Five Podcasts I’ve Been Listening to Lately

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In addition to the daily in-take of e-newsletters, blogs, and books, I’ve become enamored of the podcast format. It’s a great way to passively gain knowledge and a lot of very useful content is being generated these days through this medium. I use my iPhone and the Podcast app to subscribe to my favorite shows. I’ve noticed that my listening skews towards things related to business and startups (and the obligatory This American Life). This […]

Trying to Stop Being an Email Asshole

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There are many days when I feel like email is my job rather than a tool that helps me to do my job. It’s what I check the moment I wake up and the activity that sucks a good chunk of my time each day. I’ve been good about keeping “inbox zero” and reducing subscriptions (I use unroll.me), but I’m eager to read the latest messages and figure a way to reply as quickly as […]

Sports Analogy: The Program

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I’m a sucker for sports-business analogies. Back in college, I applied to a random summer job and in my cover letter, I referenced Jason Kidd (then a superstar for the Nets) as someone who inspired me to be a good employee. I pointed out Kidd’s traits as a great point guard who made his teammates better, an excellent rebounder and defender as a guard, and a player who paid attention to the small things, making […]

Time Remaining

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One of the toughest challenges I’ve had in the past few years has been mustering the discipline to focus on things for more than a few minutes. When it comes to TV shows or iPhone games, I feel like hours can go by easily, but when it comes to things like writing proposals or replying to emails, I’ve had a hard time engaging in these activities for more than a few minutes at a time. […]

Three Things to Consider for My Thirties

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I turned thirty years old today. I was grateful to be showered with attention by loved ones. I ate Korean food for lunch¬†and dinner, a rare treat. I felt lucky and very fortunate about many things. Before I forget, I want to jot down a few things I hope for in the years ahead. Being a better son and brother My parents (and grandmother) live in Atlanta, and I see them no more than once […]

E-commerce for First-time Sellers: Start Small, Focus on Sales

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Note: This guide is for first-time sellers looking to set up an e-commerce website. This is for people starting from the ground up and may not be as helpful to those with an existing brick and mortar storefront that already has an inventory management system or requires any complicated inventory and/or fulfillment management. You want to open up an online shop. It’s your first time selling stuff online and you have no idea how websites […]

Loving Brunch at Home

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Here’s why I like eating brunch at home: You save money. Eating brunch at a restaurant can be pricey. $20-$25 has been the typical average for me with the occasional $40+ brunches where cocktails are involved. No long waits. Especially in New York, where brunch traffic can be horrendous. You make your own brunch time at home. I guess reservations help, but not all places take them. Healthier, if you want it to be. You […]

Idea: Access to Company Materials

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How much would I pay to see another company’s materials? I’m thinking specifically about the materials of interactive shops and digital agencies whose work I admire and whose processes may be more sophisticated and evolved than ours. What exactly would I want to see? Here’s a brief list that I had in mind when thinking about client-facing materials: Capabilities/credibility deck Some examples of real project proposals A real contract Project documentation such as schedules, briefs, […]

New Website

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It’s been more than seven years since I redid my website. Back then, I poured quite a bit of time into my personal website, agonizing over the design, posting to my blog, and coming up with ideas for new content. But after things started picking up with my company Barrel, which is in the business of making websites, I didn’t want to spend any more of my personal time on yet another site. I also […]