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Week 203

Posted by Keela on December 08, 2011


5:10pm. Standing guard.

This week…

Well, we got a new coffee maker. I broke the old one. It had it coming anyway, always dripping coffee everywhere when I try to pour a cup. The new one is shiny and brews a mean cup. I’m the only one who uses it…so happy early Christmas to me.

I’ve switched to the drip coffee maker from our regular nespresso machine. I attribute this to the volume of work. Large projects, big tasks and up-hill climbs call for a big pot of coffee, refilled every 40 minutes or so. It’s especially needed when editing. A proper cup of drip coffee is a must when editing a long paper, or Re:Vision Toolkit for that matter. Read a sentence, take a sip, read a paragraph…hold the cup and ponder. Coffee in one hand, pen in the other,  can’t edit a paper drinking espresso … you’d be wired with ink everywhere .… not red of course. I’ve learned that writers don’t really like red pen all over their work. It makes sense, I just never really thought about it being offensive. I use a green fine-tip sharpie…sometimes blue, although they do go through the page which is a drag.

Did you hear about the word of the year…it’s occupy, well so says Geoff Nunberg.

“The occupiers were romantics, holy fools, anarchists. Or they were an incoherent mob of dirty hippies — and with iPads, moreover. I make “dirty hippie” a strong candidate for comeback word of the year. It would have vanished from the language years ago if it hadn’t been kept on life support on South Park.” I’m right there with you Geoff, Dirty Hippie…comeback word.

Because it’s my last weeknote of 2011, I’d like to switch it up a bit. The end of the year is about reflection of the past 350 days or so, big events, milestones hit, new additions. So, I’d like to end with my Central highlights for 2011…

Best of List for Central 2011

1. Studio arrangement-We finally cracked how to arrange the studio, and it only took 5 NORDEN dining room tables and 7 EXPEDIT shelves.

2. Interns-We had two outstanding interns, Emma and Kathleen for our incubating client Re:Vision and now we have one of our very own, Maria, stellar researcher and all around smart cookie.

3. Squiggle T’s-flying off the shelves like hot cakes…well really given away like hotcakes in our attempt to establish some sort of Squiggle army. You all know who you are.

4. Linda the studio ninja-always 3 steps ahead of you, always smiling, always has cookies…sometimes the German ginger ones.

5. Our obsession with Tinkering Monkey and the new foam core rails that were installed yesterday. Now our 4’x8’ foam cores are 100% usable space, up from a measly 66%.

6. Cute Kitten Project Management-(compliments of Damien) in development. Let’s just say you better be pretty accurate with your projections or someone…or thing might get hurt.*

7. Alabamboo-2500 miles on a hand-made bamboo bike…we were just glad to be a part of their journey.

8. The Central Chicken compliments of Tom, our hot-blooded contractor.

9. Weightshift…and the “how fast can you launch a website project” see current website, or Central V1 or V2 for their past work.

10. Damien announcing he was giving up espresso…both times.

11. The Re:Vision Toolkit, always talked about never revealed…until now. It’s still in development, but things are coming along…thanks to the Cute Kitten Project Management tool. Coming soon to a Central shop near you.

Happy holidays to you all. See you in 2012.

*No animals were hurt in the writing of this post.


Week 25

Posted by Keela on September 06, 2011

Usually we end the week with a weeknote. This week, we’ll start with one. Last week was just too busy. We had a lot to do, in a short amount of time. But we had a great team helping and lucky for me they all showed up back to work today.

So, a little about last week.

The office…

There was a definite shift. There were more people, we’ve somehow doubled in size. Linda, our studio manager, has been here for a few weeks now and brings new meaning to the word “organization.” From the moment she walked in the door I swear all our plants are greener, it’s always sunny and the sharpies are always sharp. She’s a monumental help with other work as well. We had to pick and resize 300 photos in like 8 hours, I think she did it in 5, while on the phone with HP to fix our printer and probably baking cupcakes in the back.

More people…

We reached out to two different contractors last week when we realized just how much more help we actually needed. So, Christy kindly accepted our invitation to come help us out with some writing and Tom obliged us by throwing himself in to organize the design and production of the toolkit we’ve been working on. It seemed with the addition of a couple extra people, the studio was humming along at an even higher pace, higher efficiency. Like going from 4th to 5th gear. It’s also more lively, people working things out, eating lunch, solving problems. It was and is quite nice.

Our intern…

Really, Kathleen is our client’s intern, but I like to claim her. It’s her last week of her 7-week internship, although it seems like she has only been here for a couple of weeks. Time flies when you have a good intern. She’s out in the field this week talking to different groups, about how they speak to their community and even who their community is. I can’t wait to see what she comes back with. Some secondary research Kathleen did last week about non-violent communication was interesting…you tend not to think about the seemingly obvious do’s and don’ts, like “don’t cross your arms” “make eye contact but don’t stare.” This reminds me of the Global Do’s and Don’ts in regards to eating. So, maybe not as pertinent but entertaining none the less.

The client…

We’re gearing up to launch our client’s site this week. It’s very exciting for us. We’ve been working with this client for over a year and while we have many deliverables coming, this is the first one to “launch.” We’ll definitely post the link once everything goes live and is working, so for now you’ll just have to be in the dark. Big thanks to the guys at Weightshift for making this week’s launch possible. And a congrats to Scott on his recent nuptials. For those non-profits who don’t have Weightshift to help with their site, they can check out Bellstrike, who look like they are doing a good job helping non-profits get access to online fundraising.

Oh by the way, we are looking for a few more interns. For Central and for our client. We’ll post more information soon. So if you are a stellar intern, could be a stellar intern or know of a stellar intern, get your info ready to send to us!




Week 24 or Week 187.2

Posted by linda on August 25, 2011

I love celebrations!  Lately I’ve had a lot to celebrate, getting engaged, moving to the North Bay, Kathleen’s birthday today (see above: delicious cookies and a rose from Keela’s garden), and my new role as Central’s Studio Manager.  Not quite 3 weeks in and I feel right at home. There’s a lot to do and I’m looking forward to helping Damien and Keela with their to do lists and making things as easy as possible within operations.

It’s my Friday today.  I’m off for a three day weekend to do restoration work on my engagement ring, a 1974 Rally Vespa.  It’s been in the design community for quite some time, handed down to me by a former IDEO colleague and renamed “Poppy”.  The intent was to drive it a year and then restore it but once I took one piece off I couldn’t stop. Now we have 5 boxes of parts and one frame ready for metal work.  Another plus to the long weekend is driving my other baby, a ’76 Stingray, for one last road trip before she’s stored for the next year.  Side note:  I’m working on getting a company field trip to Laguna Seca for a Skip Barber day of racing.

I’m very excited to be here.  I look forward to more birthdays, more cookies, more laughs, more debates on whether or not we should remove the espresso machine and many more posts!  Now back to the bills!


Week 22

Posted by Keela on August 05, 2011

I have no idea how it’s Friday already. I have no idea where the week went or how we are in the month of August. Our new intern, Kathleen, started this week. Well, she’s not really ours, she technically works for our client, but she sits in Suite 6 with the rest of the Central crew. So far she’s doing lots and lots of research, which I hope she likes. She seems too, but she’s also extremely polite so we probably wouldn’t know otherwise.

The Alabamboo team made it cross the finish line this past weekend. So, we helped throw a little party for them at the Bamboo Bike Studio on Post. It was great to hear about their journey and very cool to see all the people they brought together. It was also nice to see our buddies at Weightshift show up. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a face-to-face conversation with people that you talk to via e-mail more than 7 times a day. We had an interesting conversation about when startups aren’t startups any longer and those that truly stay indie vs. those in for the buyout. You can ponder your thoughts on that.

This week has been about juggling. Juggling different projects, different responsibilities and keeping the team moving forward, while still staying smart. It’s easy to push toward a hard and fast deadline, but you’ve got to make sure that you are keeping with the overall vision that you set out, not just trying to make it to the finish line. Sometimes this needs to be repeated aloud.

We’re continuing our collaboration with the teams from SOCAP, Fearless and COMMON this week. We’re hopefully going to pull off something pretty cool at the SOCAP event in September. We’re also learning more about the COMMON pitchclever people pitching bold ideas to change the world. I love it and can’t wait to hear how it went!

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails lately from soon-to-be graduates looking for jobs. We don’t really have anything posted out there as far as “help wanted” signs go, but they find us anyway and are all so specific about their interests in working at Central and they all live far away. We usually stick to a strict in-person interview process. The first test is finding the studio. The second is deciphering Damien’s British humour. Both are oftentimes impossible.

That’s it for today. Got to get back to… everything that is…on…my…desk.