Rhino In A Box

Friday, February 10, 2006


Have you ever seen a zombie movie? You know.. The one where the zombie is chasing the chick and he's lost both legs and arms and somehow keeps going after her. It seems nothing can stop this beast no matter how ugly or imperfect it is. It's this sign of total failure, yet somehow it still keeps moving forward toward its goal. It scares you out of your whits, yet, you know in the end this thing will fail. It fails for one simple reason. It's a zombie. Zombie's don't win. Nothing can stop them, yet they fail. No matter how many people they eat, no matter how far they travel, no matter how close to their goal they get, they fail. Maybe it's just nature. Zombie's were not built to be winners. They were built to fail. Their entire foundation is built in failure. They start off dead!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies out there that look like zombies. You may not be able to notice it on the surface. They may not have rotting flesh and missing limbs, but they are crawling along.... somehow continuing to move forward. It seems nothing can stop them, yet, inevitably, they fail. My suggestion. Run from these companies like you would run from a limbless zombie that is trying to eat your brains! If you get involved in one of these "businesses" get out. If you run one of these "businesses" repent and change your ways.

Signs of a ZOMBIE business
  1. No solid procedures or documentation
  2. No solid policy structure or documentation
  3. Emotional management (management that makes decision based on mood or feeling)
  4. Low employee morale
  5. Poor Project Management structure and practices
  6. Secretive upper management
  7. Immoral business practices
  8. Broken promises from management to employees or clients
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. If you or someone you know is involved in this type of "business", heed my warning. It may seem that nothing can stop it, but it will fail. It's a zombie. Zombie's were not built to be winners. They were built to fail. Their entire foundation is built in failure. They start off dead! It will be dead before the credits roll.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

clone me please

Cloning is one answer, but the right answer is subcontracting. If you work for any period of time in the creative industry, you will find that no matter how talented you are, no matter how fast you are, no matter how organized you are, you will eventually get in over your head with work. Especially if you have a day job and are only moonlighting on the side. My suggestion is this. Have subcontractor's handle the load that you can not. Basically, if you have people around you that you know can do quality work, simply hire them on a contract basis. Have them do the work. Pay them their quote, and mark it up as much as you can get away with. This way, you still have clients who remember you as the service provider, you make a little money, and you get the work off of your back. Too many times, creative service providers get over loaded and burned out. This doesn't have to happen.

Friday, February 03, 2006

fone edykate

Phone etiquette. If your going to make a living working with customers, or working period, educating yourself in phone etiquette is a must. I get so sick and tired of these people answering the customer service line with no etiquette at all. One thing that drives me crazy more than anything else with customer service is when they use some fouled up version of the language they speak. If your going to present yourself with an unprofessional tone, go work at a fast food joint. If you want to work in any other industry, then speak like you want to work in that industry. I've dealt with many past peers and employees who, though they had an MBA or some form of paper work that made them a "professional", spoke as if they had just walked in off the street. I couldn't begin to count the number of times that I have called some "professional entity" and was completely turned off by the company as a whole simply due to the tone or lack of professionalism of the individual who answered. Bad customer service is inexcusable in any profession.

Attack of the Killer DIV'S

What's the point in all these seats if no one is using them? Too many times in CSS, designers decide to use a div instead of just using the mark up that is already available through the source code. I've been very guilty of this for a long time. It basically turns of of that great usefull markup into a bunch of empty chairs in an empty room. They just sit there taking up space.
Hmm.... I need this to go here.... I know! I'll put it in a div!

Thank God I'm getting out of this phase! One of the points in CSS development is to lessen the amount of markup we use. If we are just replacing all of our style and table tags with div and span what's the point? Sure, you can still seperate the style. And sure, it will still work and look good. But seriously, what's the point? I'm learning a new trade as a visual person. Code before graphics. If you build your markup before you begin worrying about the style, or before you begin applying the style, you will see numerous ways to apply that style with out lathering the markup with div and span tags. This is good CSS. This is a good practice. IT'S A GOOD THING.

A Customer Service Note...

No matter how hard you try, you will not please all of your customers. The ultimate goal is to please as many as you can and be polite to those you can't. When it comes to customer service, your mind must be like water. With ever changing technology, policies, p.c., and customer feelings, you must be able to be poured into any shaped vase and fit. If you become hardened and stale, you will simply break whatever you are being poured into.... Or break yourself.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Everyone's a web deisgner!

Have you ever noticed how intuitive and proactive the software industry is becoming? With all of the new developments in software (i.e. Macromedia, and others), it seems to me that there is some grand conspiracy to rub out all of the creative genius' in this world and replace them with canned templates and CMS driven web sites that any moron can accomplish. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for making my job easier, but let's hide it from the public. Can we get some password protected professionals club that allows only people who have put real blood, sweat, and tears into learning programming and graphic arts to gain access to all the easy stuff? I mean, for crying out loud! Why does anyone hire a web designer anymore? Just get a few bucks and buy the software and let your niece handle it!