I have received a few concerned emails from friends whom I admire, and who worry that I’m nearing an explosive burnout, given the scale and strangeness of what I’m doing. This isn’t directed at any one person’s emails, but I wanted to throw this out onto the site, because it better defines me.
Things I know about me that aren’t like other people:
- I do better with less sleep. I’m less grumpy.
- Without caffeine, I can’t focus. I get too scatter-brained (what I’d imagine ADHD to feel like).
- With caffeine, I focus well. I span. I scale. I think of things.
- I recognize this is a medication (addiction?). I don’t care.
- Side effect: occasionally forgetful… I call it dropping bits.
- Side effect: occasionally socially inept (Christopher Penn calls this “We take Chris everywhere twice.”)
- Side effect: lots of creative output.
Why did I start Grasshopper New Media instead of a standalone podcast?
I had too many ideas to fit inside one podcast. Podcasts are built to be niche-focused. It’s their forte. My vision has scale and needed more than one skull.
Why do this right before my first ever major event?
I wanted to bring a working model of the content network theory I posited at BarCamp Boston to discuss at PodCamp, and ultimately, to grow into my full fledged startup company and job.
How do you keep it all straight?
I spend my time in the following order of priority:
I want to change the last few, but it’s all time and effort.
This doesn’t seem very focused.
It’s not. I don’t focus. I span. I dig into various things, get fascinated, drive them forward, and then go try something new while the other thing spins down. The point behind Grasshopper and everything I eventually do, is that if I can share how the next parts go, I can hand it off, keep the creative pulse, and make that new thing operate. Some people are creators, others are maintainers, and still others do the hybrid. I know what I do.
Why do you answer all the post comments, send emails, connect with all these people?
That is 100% my priority. If I made NOTHING financially from all the 50 hour weeks I’ve been putting in on top of my 40 at work, I’d want only one thing: the connections I’ve made to all you fascinating people. I told a CEO on the phone the other day, “I couldn’t talk with you a few years ago. I couldn’t talk with your janitor.” But I’ve found a way to reach people who matter: teachers, educators, parents, musicians, the ones that Apple throws up on black and white billboards to sell the meme and the dream.
Steve Garfield: “I subscribe to people.”
He said it best.
Something has to give. You’re going to burn out.
I won’t work *this* hard forever, but the premise is this: if I can get all the plates spinning now, and if I can build the network of friends and trusted colleagues to keep this thing running once it gets going, I’ll have the ability to do this as a day job. When that happens, I’ll work a more normal 60 hours a week at the max, instead of the current 90.
I *am* going to burn out, but it’ll happen in brief doses. I’ll go offline for a few days. I’ll piss off friends. I’ll make mistakes, forget things, continue being human on the human scale.
But I’ll tell you this, friends, skeptics, and especially Devil’s Advocates:
The ride I’m on right now, today, over the last several months since April pretty much, have been the BEST DAMNED DAYS of my life, and it’s all related to meeting you, finding new media and this ability to span my passion for people and their stories out into the great wide beyond. After SEVEN years of blogging, I only now feel like I’ve got the ear of enough people that I can make this conversation resonate.
I keep reading this about me on your blogs:
“Chris is Crazy.” “Chris is the most involved guy.” “Chris is mental with all these projects.” “I don’t know how he does it.”
Really, if you look at it, Startups look like this, too. The only difference is that I’m pre-funding, and I’m boostrapping. If you look at the vision I’m creating, it’s the kind of thing that ANYONE could do. Anyone crazy. If you look at the differentiators between what I’m doing and what others are doing, you’ll see that mine plays heavily on passion, on creativity, and on the vast power of getting fascinating people together.
My day to day life is spent through you people online to a great extent. The parts of my family life that I keep offline are another blog that I don’t have time to write because I’m living it. I type those pages out into conversations with my wife and my daughter (who thinks Spanish sounds like “Klika likka lik,” and refuses to think that it’s REAL words).
Make No Mistake
I am crazy. I am furiously mental crazy. But I’m passionate, and I’m full of visions that refuse to leave my head, and the difference is that I need larger sets of people and tools to do what I’m doing.
Is Spielberg crazy? (No, I’m not comparing myself to him, except as a reference point). He’s crazy for thinking in terms of 100 people, 3 year projects, things that don’t exist and technologies that don’t exist to create the “impression” of things that don’t exist.
I’m crazy to you. Spielberg is crazy to me. Who’s crazy to Spielberg? Who knows? That’s off the scope.
You’re crazy. I know this Sith Lord who does all this crazy stuff that I eventually comprehend, but that he has to explain as if I’m a puppy being scolded for pooping on the rug again. He’s brilliant. I know lots of you who can do things I cannot. Justin’s movies? They’re crazy. Now that I’m shooting film, I look at Steve Garfield’s little tricks, and I think… wow. I wouldn’t have thought of that.
We’re all Crazy. Thank you, *.Deity