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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project Template

Do you keep templates for improving your next project?

I build organizations, teams, destinations on the internet, and publications, and for each project, I have one or several Benefits of Hindsight Templates. With a nod to Professor Keith, I wanta know now what I shoulda known then...

I was talking with Jack about a professional editors response to my exact typography standards, when he said, “Well you use them several times a year, of course you know them better than someone just feeling their way.” Those standards have been developing since 1989, when the other Robin Williams published The Mac Is Not A Typewriter. Before that I had been setting standards by eye on the Vydek and then Trash 80. Didn’t do any good to set standards on .dos, because every printer was different.

The other night when I was talking with a magazine editor, who asked for my opinion of her work. I had some specific improvements, and was giving her a string of numbers for changing her typography in both Word and open source software. She stopped me, saying, “Is there open source software I could use for setting my publications?”

Well now, that’s another template. And that template came from my Pagemaker Ninja status, where I learned, “You become a ninja when the sun comes and you hadn’t intended it to.”

The other Pagemaker story was when they ported it to Windows, one of my clients ran out and bought copies for their code wranglers, since they had been been giving me their data, I would go home at night and come back with their finished product.

We tried their Windows version, and it sat there like a lump and blinked at us..

Finally, I got frustrated and started suggesting Mac keyboard commands to the operators. The file started to take shape, but it was hard work.

Eventually, we shipped, and one of the programmers brightly said, “Well that’s the difference between Windows and Mac. Mac has keyboard commands.” Aargh! Something like that.

My Doctor Of Proposals is smart, but that CD with his previous creative solutions makes him a force of nature. He’s like Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity, the combining of man and machine.

It’s not the words or data, it’s how they were used, the creative solution, that gets us to the next level. It’s not the length of the wand, but the magic of the magician.

So many people don’t keep their lessons, so they are doomed to repeat them, usually losing details and quality.

The beauty of templates is that all those details that were so brilliant at the time don’t get away. That let’s me spend my time on the new details.

What do you save to take forward?

Moments of Truth – New Strategies for Today’s Customer Driven Economy
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