Year End

Benjamin W.

December 30, 2010

I just read Seth’s post about the things he’s shipped this year. It’s kind of sad that I don’t have two things to put on my list of shipped items. New Years has always been about what I could do next year and not what I did this year. I’m not proud or excited by the things I’ve shipped this year.

I think this is a fundamentally different way to approach 2011. I’m not going to think up some ridiculously lofty goals that I can fill my empty day with as we start the next year. I’m going to ship things. Small things, big things, I don’t care. But I’m going to finish them and launch them and do things that I care about. I’ll let you know how it turned out as we get close to 2012.

The Glif: First Kickstarter Project Contribution.

Benjamin W.

October 4, 2010

I just backed my first Kickstarter project. And I’m really excited about it. Iv’e been following Kickstarter for a while. I love what they’re doing and am so glad to finally back something.

If this is something you’re really excited about, I hope you’ll back them $20.

(via Daring Fireball)

I locked myself in.

Benjamin W.

September 28, 2010

I’m locked in to all kinds of crap. My mac, iPhone, FreshBooks, Backpack, etc. But I’m locked in by choice. I wouldn’t even want to leave if I could. I love these tools. They’re a joy to use and have become indispensable to what I do. This is the best kind of customer loyalty there is.

I can’t believe that in the age of twitter, blogging and yelp, we can’t find some way to overcome the incredibly terrible service we get from Telcos and ISPs.

AT&T should have bought GrandCentral and turned it into a free product like Google Voice. Verizon should have such good customer service that a 2 year contract isn’t even required because you wouldn’t leave if you had the chance.

That’s something people can learn from Apple. They’re a product based company. There’s more competition in the product area. They know they have to respond and so they’re constantly innovating to stay ahead of that competition.

But with Telcos, they know they have you by the balls for two years. Oh, what a beautiful day it will be when I stay with my ISP out of loyalty.

You’re not competing with the iPad.

Benjamin W.

September 27, 2010

In all this talk about Apple vs. Nameless Ugly Product #4459, it’s always about iOS vs. Android. Or iPad vs. Samsung Galaxy no one cares. Or Mac vs. PC. But there’s something missing in all these product vs. product battles.

No matter how great the new Samsung Galaxy Submarine 40S3 is, even if it matches the iPhone 4 in every possible way, Apple has gotten everything else better than you as well. Customer service at Apple is unparalleled in my experience. I can’t think of a better retail store. I actually pause my TiVO to watch their ads. They deliver the best they can at every stage of the chain.

To all the companies out there that are designing an iPad killer that’s basically an iPad but with more clutter from carriers, a less responsive screen and better notifications:

You’re not competing with the iPad. You’re competing with Apple’s attention to detail in customer service. You’re competing with the most successful retail stores that exist. You’re competing with AppleCare. And you’re competing with iTunes. I know it’s not perfect but it gets the job done for just about everyone.

And to all the Paul Thurrott’s out there, predicting Apples’ demise every time a new Droid comes out. Until your favorite [insert non-Apple company here] starts to care about these things a lot, I’ll sleep like a baby every night knowing that when the BlackPad comes out, they’ll be selling it at the Verizon store. Good luck with that.

Geeky side-note:

This is my first blog post written in Markdown. Scrivener and Markdown, I actually might blog again.

Lemonade: Detroit

Benjamin W.

September 16, 2010

Lemonade: Detroit Trailer from Erik Proulx on Vimeo.

David Gewirtz on Apple ruining lives.

Benjamin W.

June 22, 2010

I just read David’s post via Daring Fireball.

This is an article about how many lives and businesses have been ruined by Apple. And I’m not going to debate that. It’s not like the App Store is the most successful developer market place in the history of any platform or anything. But that’s not the point.

The point is that for every developer that is crying about Flash, there are several new companies excited as hell about iOS or HTML5 or whatever other awesome thing Apple is pushing. I’m a good example. I wouldn’t even be learning programming if it weren’t for my exposure to Apple’s products.

If monetary reward is the only way we’re going to judge anything, than just kick me in the balls now and call it a day.

Apple really is a big start-up. They do some risky stuff and they turn on a dime. When you’re as big as Apple, those decisions effect more people. They take the heat and they keep selling a ton of products. There must be something to this. They must be doing something right.

Good and evil is a gradient scale. And Apple is defintitely on my good side.

Workaholism vs. Initiative

Benjamin W.

June 14, 2010

Workaholism is putting in more hours because you don’t know what else to do.

Initiative is caring about something enough to do more than is required of you.

I’m starting my own business. This tends to fill my head with constant questions about what I’m doing wrong and second guessing tactics, skills, work ethic, etc. And I’ve heard time and again, “You have to work really hard to make it in x industry.” This idea has always scared me. Here’s why:

The words “hard work” sound tedious, annoying, boring, grueling, etc. Not on the surface but just in the back of my mind somewhere. I get scared because I start to think in order to win at something, it has to be tedious or annoying or something bad. It’s just not true.

When someone says “you have to work hard”, they’re talking about things that aren’t easy. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. When you’re not being chased by a pack of wolves or out hunting for your only meal this week, the challenges you want to overcome are now a choice.

So, I’m avoiding “hard work” for the sake of it. And taking initiative toward things that really interest me. That’s when I really do things I’m proud of.

Letter Case

Graphic Design & Web Design

Letter Case was my one-man design shop based in Los Angeles, CA.
I ran it for 2 years until I joined Typekit in January 2011.

In my spare time I've been learning to program by building my first web application.
A simple tool called Talkative to help people publish their talks on the web.

My current project is The Briefcase. A blog and podcast.
It's a place for me to create and publish stuff.

If you have any comments, thoughts or questions,
feel free to contact me at: benthomaswelch [at] gmail.com.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Cheers!

Simplicity is harder than it looks.