The short version: I shared my knowledge of color and measurement. Now, when Translator lands work at big consumer products or beverage company (and they will) whose solution for verified color do you think they will suggest when the topic comes up? How powerful is social media and community now?
ColorMetrix is a virtual company. We have no physical office in the traditional sense. My business partner Michael Litscher and I work from our homes. We employ 1099 contractors for software development, administrative tasks and even sales assistance. The business climate of the last 18 months has validated this business model to the extreme.
Fresh thinking can be a challenge for a virtual company. You wake up each day and dig into the work that needs doing. There is plenty of that. There are customers to serve and sales to be wrangled. There are trips to be planned and bills to be paid. You get the idea. Sometimes ideation takes a back seat and a lack of new ideas will be the death of any company in the long run.
Enter Translator Digital Cafe lab hours. Translator is a new company formed by three seasoned veterans of the creative agency space. Every Tuesday and Thursday in the space above my friend Joe Sorge’s restaurant Swig (great place to eat if you are ever in Milwaukee by the way), they conduct “lab hours.” Somehow I was lucky enough to be invited to attend. I figured it was a one-time thing. I thought we would get to know each other and see where we might be able to help each other out in the future.
Lab hours is a growing community. In addition to being seasoned veterans, Mark, Cindi and Andy also get the convergence of the online and offline worlds. “Lab hours” is really code for a community of peers getting together to help each other.
Help comes in many shapes and sizes. I brought along a pound of coffee once and am contributing some ceramic coffee mugs to the effort. Meanwhile, these guys have helped me expand and understand some of my own efforts in the online space. Who knows? Maybe I have added something to the mix with business knowledge and some understanding of the printing aspects of the offline space. I’m much better at understanding the knowledge I have walked away with and it’s priceless.
Getting ready for a demo. Recently, I was getting ready for a demo I was headed to after lab hours. I guess I take all my gear for granted. If one understands the world of print yet has never seen a color bar scanned with an EyeOne and our super duper cool ProofPass.com, then I guess it seems “shiny.”
That’s all I’ve got. Hopefully the pictures fill in any blanks. Just remember to keep sharing your message and listening to others. Community is listening and helping others when you can.