Brumation 2020

Until the time is right again.

November 23, 2020

You probably know where this is going, I'm taking a break from my newsletter until 2021. I'd call it hibernation, but there's a better term that describes what will actually happen: brumation.

It's the reptilian substitute for the warm-blooded's winter slumber. But, unlike hibernation, brumation does not consist of sleep. Instead, the brumating creature sits patiently waiting for things to heat up. They slow-down, certainly, but sleeping? Certainly not.

Why the distinction? Well, I'm still around just not as active. So please, feel free to reach out if you need some design direction, are gearing up for something big in 2021, or are simply looking to connect with another human.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and an awesome start to the New Year 🤘😎

- Zach

More you say?

I Don't Bill Hourly

Here's why:


"We imagine this will take 20 hours of work."

Well, I can imagine quite a bit too. I can imagine the work would take 4 hours and that would be something, wouldn't it? I can also imagine it going over 20 hours, which would be a real bummer because we'd lose time.

What's the point? No one knows how long projects take. Billing by the hour puts the risk in my client's hands, since anything that takes longer than we'd initially planned becomes their problem instead of mine.That's not the kind of assurance I want to provide.

Sure, it could be easier to just keep the clock running and send a bill, but that is conformity. That is being unsure of how good you are as professional and being unable to create innovate solutions for clients. Billing hourly is not the rebel way.

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Sugar Balls and Whole Wheat Wonder

Customers want a solution, but will they buy it from you?


In 1999, Kellogg's was seeing a shift toward healthy breakfast options. This meant that their top sellers like Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Pops, and Froot Loops (all of which are loaded with mass amounts of sugar) were becoming less and less desirable from consumers.

Now, Kellogg's could try and reposition their brand, which is known for these fun cereals. But it would take a long time, a lot of change, and hope that their fan base would still appreciate them. Or they could go a different route... like acquiring a La Jolla based company called Kashi that is already known for healthy breakfast cereals. They maintain their position and get to pump Kashi full of Kellogg's resources to gain more market share.

The point? Customers might need it, but you have to wonder whether or not they will buy it from you. Are you in a position to offer them a new solution? Will this new offering dilute your brand?

If you can't do it effectively, make a new brand.

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