On long term business relationships

From Jackie Huba’s Tour bits:

I was honored to meet one of the deans of public relations: Al Golin of GolinHarris. He began his PR career in 1951 and today his company has offices in 29 countries.

One ingredient of Al’s success has been having McDonald’s as a client for 50 years. In 1957, Al cold-called Ray Kroc, the legendary force behind McDonald’s. Kroc hired him and put the firm on a $500 monthly retainer. (I’m sure the retainer is a bit higher today.) It’s remarkable for anyone to have a client for 50 years.

Indeed so.

Tip for job candidates

For the last few days I am occupied with something that I never did before – interviewing job candidates (we are looking for someone experienced in web design).

One thing that I keep hearing over and over again is “I can learn. I am a fast learner”. And that’s one thing that I don’t want to hear.

First of all, we specified it in all ads that we are looking for “experienced” web designer. That means that you already have to have experience and you already have to know your stuff. And you have to be able to prove that you do – samples of previous work and answers to those few technical questions is all I want.

Secondly, it’s pretty obvious that in order to be any good you have to be a fast learner. This might not be true for all industries, but it is for web industry. Web is about the fastest growing and changing thing in the last ten years.

So, here you go – quick tip. I wanted to publish it on the official blog first, but then decided that it would make it too easy to get in…

Is Google good or evil?

As surprising as it may sound, I am not a fan of Google. It just so happens that their tools and services are very suitable for the way I work. And they cover my needs pretty good. So, most of my data is over there, on Google servers.

Now the question that I have engaged in discussing many times is “Is Google good or evil?”. I think they are neither. They are a profit-oriented company that does things the way that not many dare to try. Or have the brains to.

I do trust Google with way too much of my personal data. I understand all the privacy issues in this regard, but, frankly, I don’t care. Really.

My trust in Google’s proper conduct was not built in one day. It grew gradually from one day to another, one service at a time. I have made most of the choices consciously (or I like to think so), and I haven’t had any regrets so far. More to the opposite.

For those of you who enjoys building fantasies about what would happen if Google was truly evil or, on the contrary, saint as an angel, here is a nice list of things that Google might do. Entertaining read, and makes one think, while counting the fingers.

Arguing with myself

I’ve been thinking about making this picture for more than a year now. Recently, I got very inspired by a number of really cool versions at Flickr (see this set for example). So, today I finally did it – click on the image for larger versions, tags, and comments.

Arguing with myself

It took me altogether about 20 minutes, including two unsuccessful attempts.

Here are the notes, so that I can do it even faster next time:

  • Find the location and think of setup, then make a test shot for settings reference.
  • Set camera on tripod. Both shots (or more if needed) have to be as identical as possible.
  • Set camera to manual mode. Set aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and custom white balance. Make another test shot, if unsure.
  • Set lens to manual focus. Then focus manually.
  • Find a reference point for posing. This will be the place to cut two images at. For the above image I used the lamp light as a reference.
  • Set camera on timer. This will give you some time to run back to the scene and pose.
  • Run back and pose. Try to stay off the reference point, so that you won’t have to do a lot of editing afterwords.
  • Make as many shots with as many poses as you need for the final image.

That’s the hardest part. Now, for a little bit of editing.

  • Get images off the camera and onto the computer.
  • Load them up in Gimp or your editor of choice.
  • Use one image as a base, this way EXIF data will be preserved and you’ll know how you did it.
  • Cut relevant pieces from all photographs and load them into layers of the base image. Make sure to use the grid ruler. Increase the view point of the image as much as possible, so that the ruler is as precise as a pixel. Otherwise, you’ll have to do a lot of editing afterwords.
  • Adjust the positions of layers on the base image. Again, use the pixel precise ruler.
  • Merge layers and flatten the image.
  • Now is the time to do all that other usual editing, such as cropping, levels, contrast, and saturation.

That’s it!