I should know that my friend Cindy would have kept a log of everything since the beginning of what we commonly know as the internet – she was kind enough to send along what i actually wrote way back then. I have to laugh, as when 9-11 happened, the company name when from a cool idea to “Oh man, talk about a bad name,” once the press all started to call the twin towers in new York “ground zero.”
Another guy that understood the phenomenon of a “cool” name gone badly was Scott Rosenfeld. He is a guitarist for the band “anthrax.” At the time, in 2001 if memory serves me, a scientist needing funding for vaccine research turned out to be the villain in sending packets of the stuff to people – the sad irony of it all
Anyhow, before I get sad thinking back about the mess that 2001 really was for anyone in aviation, tourism or live entertainment that did not consider doing a benefit show to raise money and sell swag, a show - wait, that is how I stopped working on the show – I actually designed a show to drop both twin towers with 3d sound and all the wonderful special efx…..ick…ick…ick.
Amazing what your brain forgets. But alas, that was indeed the final chapter in the end. “Lets all do a show about 9-11! What can you do mark?”
“Well, there was a quote a photographer friend explained about being buried under the rubble when the second tower collapsed…. if you want we can use matrixed subwoofers and drop the first tower in one area of the room, then with special FX drop the other tower, make the room go black, and then fill the room with smoke and drop a lot of confetti on the audience…. (Yeah, I remember saying that and going my stomach churned, “no matter what money you get, this is a bad idea.)
So with no further depressing memories…. the background was I was told to “pack up your desk, go home and think of any idea that can make the companies money” in the fall of 1994 – after my journey into product development and licensing demonstrated we really didn’t do much but manage the licensing process and all the hoop jumping various firms made clients jump through for reasons to protect their brands.
It's not just a job,
it's an adventure!
Ground Zero Technologies (what a name huh? Duh)
Get up, jump in the shower, shave, put on big boy clothes, get in car, Drive 40 minutes to work in a game of vehicular dodgeball, spend the next several hours meeting and greeting, trying to find out who has what agenda, wondering why so much time is spent in meetings to decide to have more meetings, get in car drive home for the second half of vehicular dodgeball with people that have had a wonderful day. Gobble dinner, watch TV and go to sleep.
I am fortunate to find out what I truly love to do early in life. I am lucky to have the life I do. My day isn't really based on time or any schedule. It is a good thing I have such an understanding wife because without her, I would probably completely loose track of reality.
My day (from when I wake up till I basically fall over) is based on a few sections. They are as follows:
My favorite time of day! It is a lot like playing golf. You throw out a zillion bad ideas in the hope that you can come up with one good one. That one good one keeps you coming back another day! The record time I have ever had for this process has been 5 hours straight. Usually after one or two hours if your brain is not fried, you aren't thinking very hard.
You get to be an engineer, designer, artist, sculptor, writer, conductor, dreamer, manufacturer, mover, builder, tech weenie, performer and critic all at once. Too bad god didn't give me an abundance of talent in any one area. Instead he gave me a small pinch of each and good spatial thinking ability.
I guess that is why people don't hire us to find out what is the next color of a widget? They want us to think about a new widget and/or widget maker.
If we did the brainstorm correctly, usually a massive brain hurt follows. As to why, I really don't know. It isn't a headache; rather your brain feels like your body would after an exhausting workout. The time we spend from this period of the day is spent doing I guess what many others do. The unlisted phones ring, the emails fly, and the videoconferencing meetings take place. I may put on big boy clothes and go to a meeting and confuse people who don't recognize me without my hat and jeans.
Anything to do with audio testing and physical prototyping is done at this time as well. Simply because I vow never to have my wife call downstairs at 3am to complain that the matrixed subwoofers are vibrating the bed three floors up.
In early afternoon the ideas and/or brain gets its second wind and solutions start to come into being. It is an exciting period. Usually it is more of the "duh, why didn't I think of that this morning!" solutions. A momentum usually builds for those few hours until
Reality check is that time of day when my wife comes home from work. It is the crashing realization that I have to come back and do normal things. Yes, half the time I forget to eat. So dinner may be breakfast, lunch and dinner all combined. This strategy is probably not the best way to perfect health, but that is how it works. Besides, I can sleep when I am dead.
For the next few hours, dinner and Backgammon and cuddle time are necessary. I have no idea how it started. Three years later we still play the best of three after dinner. During the games I usually sitand listen to my wife talk about whatever and have her accuse me of being able to telepathically tell the dice what numbers I need. After this------------------------------------------, I slip out and go back down to the lab for
Despite actually thinking better in the morning, night is almost as much fun as brainstorm. Dreamstate goes from 9pm till I drop. It is this time when I can turn on all the computers and literally sit and take a shot at creating a comp/model/animation of what I have been thinking about. Or, I spend time chiseling away at that which I have been working on while cursing myself for having little talent in so many areas I wish I had more talent in.
I am not sure if it is the gentle hum of the computers or the din of the quiet basement, but you get into the zone. Time stands still. You go off into almost a trance state. The evolution from dream to idea to concept to prototype takes shape. Usually better solutions evolve as you are creating the first one. This is a great reason to have all the tools in one place. You can go off and improvise on the fly. Concept development is indeed fun. For the times you truly hit on a great idea, you can literally sit locked away for days and loose track of time.
That is a day in the life of me. I hope that anyone that reads this finds out what makes your heart sing. It turns life from a job to an adventure. If you do what you love, eventually the money follows. But I don't think it is the money that matters, it is the journey.