There’s a giant kitten in the room
People have asked me – “What is it like to be printing one of the biggest kick starters ever?” I was asked this about Cards Against Humanity many times – and most recently people have asked me this about Exploding Kittens.
The answer is, I find that, in general, I absolutely need to be kind of addicted to my emails and my communication devices during the weeks or months when production is in the planning and pre press stages. During that time I am getting samples and sending samples of printing, checking files and proofs, and really trying to make absolutely certain that we do not miss anything. I am truly living in a constant state of very high adrenalin. I wake up – sometimes in the middle of our night (here on the East Coast) to relay those solutions to my factory across the world. My twin cats have taken on new roles. They constantly remind me to watch over the job – make sure things are OK – check on things – and did I mention – stay on top of my emails.
Guess how many emails are in my inbox right now? 11. (I was down to 6 yesterday) And all of those have scheduled completion dates in the next day or two which means I can file them tomorrow or the next day.
A couple of weeks ago I actually awarded myself this nerd merit badge of 0 emails in my inbox:
— shari spiro (@ad_magic) March 22, 2015
(I got it from Elan Lee one of the inventors of Exploding Kittens) and I had it for nearly a full 15 minutes!!! – well I had to keep checking the in box – but I did manage to stay at no emails for most of that time.
I am extremely email organized (thanks to gmail and a will of steel to beat these emails in their tracks) and I have a great staff – so it’s funny – when people say – “I know you must be SOOO busy” – I am – but the idea is to be able to handle a lot of things efficiently – and effectively. I have great people on my team who are here to help – and I actually let them do their jobs (most of the time) so I can concentrate on attention to detail on the orders I handle personally – and most especially of course on the big orders – because there is a GIANT KITTEN in the room and it is going to be staring at me until it starts shipping.
BTW – I have these great early samples of the job -but of course – I can only tease you with saying that – as 9 out of 10 of my jobs are done and shipped and then months pass before I can get to talk about the details of them. This one has that great Oatmeal art – and is simply a fun game to play and very very clever. Its been a lot of fun to make – and I am enjoying every minute of it and the attention is not too tough to handle. A little attention is good – too much attention – like the press junket we did in LA when the Kittens first got so big on Kickstarter – I will never do again. The press is scary – period. And to think I was actually a journalist in college for a year in the news department of the radio station.
I like game printing way better. I like the whole tabletop industry in fact.
Anyway – I digress. I wanted to say that muti-tasking – as cliche a word as that has become – is the core and heart of my day. I think that the real rewards come if you are able to find a way to effectively multi task while practicing quality of life at the same time.
In a perfect day I take my superfood tablets and drinks in the morning, eat fruits and dark greens (and now that the weather has finally turned into a climate and not a landscape of dirty glacial sized mounds of snow) – I get on my bike for a mid day ride to clear my head in place of lunch hour – and take along a snack (as grazing during the day is the new eating apparently:) Then I get to my kitchen in time to actually prepare a great meal for dinner – and of course – I check emails in between stirring the soup.
Sometimes that level of quality of life actually happens. Sometimes a little “something” comes up that keeps me from that. But I really do have something to shoot for and something to look forward to.
As someone I respect very much has said “Something to look forward to” is probably one of the most important things there is for most of us. I am starting to appreciate this sentiment.
This is the work environment I currently exist in – it’s exciting – and I cannot complain. There are long hours – but I simply love this stuff. I love figuring out the problems – and I love hearing a client say “That just made me very happy”.
As long as there is self discipline – attention to detail and eventually – some appreciation for the work that gets done I am all good here. And of course – I feel best when the inbox emails are under 20. 🙂
Right now I need to just go and feed my real cats or they will start walking on my laptop again.