Big Little Things

Get Super Popular

Just got my first app in the Appstore! It’s called Super Popular and it turns your Facebook likes and comments into a friendly competition with your network. Get it! Download it! It’s free! And fun! Wooot!

Oh, and let me know what you think.

Beautiful swear words.

Was reading on of my old manifestos, and then randomly came across this. Fantastically fun illustrations of our favorite swear words. And you can submit your own too!

Humanize technology and promote magic: Sony’s ad for Xperia phone is awesome

Ask an 8 year old what happens inside a cell phone and have your ad directed by Wes Anderson, and you’ll be good to go.

Why I got out of client services

Actually, I really liked running Language in Common. I loved my staff, my partner and I had killer creative chemistry, and we had the privilege of working with super smart people and touching lots of super interesting projects.

Of course, that’s the small percentage. The rest is the terrible slog. The sleepless nights terrified about where the next paycheck is gonna come from. Turning out awful work for a client who doesn’t know better, just so you can keep the studio lights on. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching.

The horror.

Here’s a fantastic excerpt from Mike Monteiro’s new book Design is a Job. This is from a chapter called Getting Clients.

The biggest lie in this book would be if I told you I don’t worry about where the next client is coming from. I could tell you that once you build up enough of a portfolio, or garner enough experience, or achieve a certain level of notoriety in the industry, this won’t be a concern anymore. I could tell you I sleep soundly, not bolting out of bed at 4 a.m. to run laps around the local high school track. I could tell you that I never worry about enough presents under the tree. I could tell you these things, but I’d be lying. And I don’t want to lie to you. Getting clients is the most petrifying and scary thing I can think of in the world. I’d rather wrestle lady Bengal tigers in heat with meat strapped to my genitals than look for new clients.

Amen, Mike. Amen.

What Van Gogh’s Starry Night must have looked like in his addled head.

Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo.

Seriously. Because when you’re depressed enough to cut your ear off, you’ve got some mad crazy chemicals running around in your brain.

A short film with naughty skeletons

Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi on

What I mean is: Spike Jonez is brilliant. Make sure you watch this in full screen mode.

People jumping off cliffs. Beautiful.

Experience Zero Gravity from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

Astronauts falling down

I love this because we mostly think of astronauts as super suave, manly-super-manly men from the 60s. You know, the kind who don’t cry, don’t feel pain, and most certainly don’t fall down.

Basketball never stops

Really inspiring and clever commercial featuring top-notch players competing against regular Joes, including the under 40 Jewish league, and a seniors league. Awesome!

The guide to Kanye’s grunts and groans

This is super awesome. When you hear it like this, you realize that these noises are subconscious air-fillers, like “um” or “like”.

Beautifully minimal business card design

I don’t usually get all geeky and fawning over business card design. Mostly, I think that that sort of stuff is for design school students and designers who can’t see how little a business card actually matters. But this–if you’re gonna have a business card–this is kind of brilliant.

Colored food makes colored ants.

Ohmigod this is so awesome! Scientist Mohamed Babu from Mysore, India, has discovered that because ants have translucent bodies, they take on the color of what they eat. So he colored up some sugar water, fed it to them, and snapped some gorgeous pics. More here.

Robotics is the new High School shop class.

Man, this is way better than making a ceramic elephant lamp.

Sunglasses from skateboards

Experiment No. 1 – Skateboard Shades from Shwood Eyewear on Vimeo.

Wow. The guys over at Experiment with Nature are doing some next level shit. Sunglasses made out of old skateboard decks? Is that really possible? Sweeeeet.

OMG. This donut factory is dangerous!

Seriously. It’s a home donut maker made by a little company called Nostalgia Electronics. When I was at Language in Common, Bryan used bring in donuts every wednesday. That was bad enough. I think if we’d had this, we’d all have had happy coronaries before now.

Free Beats in NYC

Chris Sullivan brought a mike and an app to Union Square and beatboxed all day so that passersby could bust a rhyme if they felt like it. Awesome. You’ll also see a cameo by the ridiculously incredible Reggie Watts.

Fastest possible drawings

Here’s what I love about this: while the artists at Fastest Possible are likely super skilled sketchers, technically and otherwise, that’s not where the pleasure of viewing these drawings originates. For me, a forever lapsing creative, artist, and writer, these quick little drawings are a reminder that anyone can draw if they just take 30 seconds, a minute, 5 minutes, or whatever time’s available. Creativity doesn’t need to be a production–you don’t have to take time out of your day to do it. You only need a moment.

Having a baby is training for your next startup.

So you may have noticed it’s been slow around here lately. That’s because we just had a baby boy! It’s full of all kinds of conflicting emotion, from elation to exhaustion to euphoria to regret. And something thing I’ve been thinking about is that when you have a baby, you’re suddenly presented with a whole new set of opportunities for making. There’s always, and I do mean always, an unmet need. And, the market for baby stuff is one of the most stable around. Anil Dash has a fun writeup about how your baby is serious training for your next startup venture.

Here’s a taste:

-Sleep deprivation combined with constantly-changing schedules
-Performance of rote tasks, incorporating newly-acquired knowledge over time
-Breaking down of self-consciousness or a tendency towards embarrassment in the face of overwhelming responsibilities


Children breakdancing in slow motion

Yes, I know this is an ad. But it’s an ad for American Apparel, and quite different as those ads go. And, also, it’s awesome.

The darkest side of gamification

Oh wow. I’ve often been in a room with a client, trying to sell them on adding game cues to an app or an experience. And I always make this analogy: “We want it to be like a lab rat, sucking down nicotine. Press the lever, get your fix.” But actually, I’m beginning to think I was extraordinarily wrong. Because this brilliant little app, right here, is exactly that.