Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The Garage that built Hewlett Packard
This is where it all started.
This is where William Hewlett and David Packard put their brains together, along with $538 in funding, to begin their legendary company.
By the time I began calling them a client (back in the mid-90's) they were worth billions and billions of dollars, with offices on every continent of the planet. Had there been people in Antarctica with a need for some slow inkjet printers, I'm sure they would have set up shop there as well.
My dealings with this printing behemoth were never very pleasant. But today's post is not about that.
You see, recently I have begun work for another start up.
They don't operate out of a one car garage, but they are in their infancy. And, I hope, they have more than $538 in funding.
I'm not going to divulge the name of this new client. I don't have their permission. Plus, I don't need other freelance creatives trying to poach them away. I know that sounds crazy, but from various social media postings I can see that fellow copywriters and art directors are absolutely desperate for work.
What I will tell you is that working with them, even at my greatly reduced day rate, is a true joy.
For one thing, it's just a bunch of young, energetic guys, gathered in a frumpy 3 story townhouse. It's a half living, half working type of environment that has all the appearances of a well maintained frat house. They all wear shorts, flip flops and three day facial hair.
So, it's casual to say the least.
But make no mistake, these guys are smart. They're are some MBAs in the crowd. Maybe a Phd. And they all seem very enthusiastic. Everything is "awesome" or "super" or "super, awesome". Last week I showed the CEO and founder some possible new tagline and he was over the moon with giddiness. I know I've developed a thick skin after all these years, but it was downright refreshing to have someone actually appreciate the work I do.
The work we all do.
It stood in dark contrast to the countless meetings of stone faced corporate executives who see what you've pinned up on the board and launch into their well-rehearsed career posturing, box checking and devil's advocate playing...
"I like what you've done here but let me just play..."
Oh fuck you!
Here's the thing about working with people you actually like, people with a passion, people who see value in what you bring to the table -- you want to give them everything you've got. I've already gone way beyond the original scope of the assignment. Way beyond. So I'm already operating in the red.
But you know what?
I don't care.