It was Ry's birthday today.

To celebrate we helped throw him a BBQ on Saturday and bought him a biodegradable, collapsible, eco-friendly water bottle. Well, all that plus of course the once in a lifetime privilege of working with Matt and I.

Ryan mentioned to me this morning that he was planning on really stretching the limits of the term 'flexible work schedule' in the next couple months. Besides trips to Albuquerque and Vegas for work, he's also planning on camping at Big Sur, spending a week in Wisconsin, two weeks hiking the John Muir Trail and he just booked tickets to go to Nicaragua. Yeah I know, tough life, right?

Man, I really miss beignets

I didn't exactly know what to say - so, I just told him to bring back photos for the blog.



Not a good way to start the week.

I. I was in San Diego on Saturday and Ryan asked Matt and I to go to some weird little indie folk band concert with him. Believe it or not, I don't listen to a lot of indie folk music and Matt doesn't listen to any music at all, so needless to say we politely declined. Then, this morning he told us that Blake Lively happened to be there and bugged him all night asking about where I was.

II. Checked my e-mail and found out that UPS lost those Kobe's I ordered last week. (Don't panic, Nike's supposedly sending me another pair.)

III. Then, to top it all off, this unranked, unknown Chinese kid (not me) beat Roddick in five sets today at Wimbledon. Unbelievable. Just yesterday ESPN ranked Roddick as the favorite to finally win this event since Federer and Nadal struggled last week. I'm not sure if the ESPN.com writers did that just to needlessly raise my hopes even more or actually they probably just officially jinxed him.

When Roddick turned pro ten years ago, he had 4 goals: to win Davis Cup, the US Open, Wimbledon and to one day be the World's #1 ranked player. He's done everything except win Wimbledon even though he's reached the Final three times and lost to that stupid robot Roger Federer in each instance.

Whatever. Monday's suck. I'm taking the rest of the day off. (Don't tell Matt)



Mailed out almost all the rest of the Kobe tees this week.

Sent them out to all sorts of people who we thought might enjoy them; all the A-list celebs who frequent Staples Center, bunch of 'tastemakers', bloggers, designers, friends, etc. Below are a few examples.

Our boy Lang, executive editor at SLAM.

A link to the project was up on this design blog last week and we got a lot of positive feedback from random strangers. Amongst whom was this guy Phillip who runs a creative agency out in Brooklyn and told us he loved the project and asked us to send him an XL.

And of course, the most notable, and perplexing recipient who we threw on our list, Dwayne. I actually don't know if you're allowed to send shirts into Riker's but hopefully he'll at least get to throw the posters up in his cell or something.

Anyway, in other sports related news:

Isner v. Mahut, Wimbledon 2010 First Round. (6/22, 6/23, 6/24)
As I'm sure you all heard, this thing lasted 11 hours over the course of 3 days. When TV coverage ran out I had to stream the feed from ESPN3.com. When you consider the epic length of this match, everyone is really blown away by the endurance of the players and their relentlessness etc. but just imagine the effect that an event of these proportions, spread over three days, had on my productivity this week.

By the way, that Trey Songz photo in the corner of that screenshot is part of a downloadable app - we're in the middle of designing a skin for a project built on the same platform. Just wanted to clear that up so people didn't see a photo of him with his shirt off on my desktop and get the wrong idea. It's probably bad enough that I wrote all about Drake earlier this week.

2010 NBA Draft (6/24)
Then of course after Isner's match and the rest of the day's Wimbledon coverage, they held the NBA draft tonight. And, just like last year, I once again went unselected.

Analysts and scouts were reporting that GM's liked my outside shooting and impeccable court vision but they also apparently heard about how I sprained my ankle in Ruchir's driveway in December and fear that I might never regain my (semi) explosive first step. Meanwhile, Matt claims no one picked me because I don't play defense or jump for rebounds.

Also, in real life, my boy Jeremy Lin went undrafted despite having worked out for a handful of teams. I guess nobody wants a hard working, well rounded forward with an Ivy league education when you can get one of the many tattooed, gun carrying, drug abusers with criminal records and violent pasts. On the other hand Jeremy still has that Harvard degree to fall back on. If the NBA didn't snatch up some of those other 19 year olds with the weapons and scary tempers, who knows where they'd end up, right?



Few random things from the 0484 Plum card statement last week.

Lacie 8GB Flash Drive
Bought this on Amazon today. Skyped Matt to see if he wanted one - we argued for 30 minutes about various USB drives. I thought this one was practical because I can throw it on my keychain (I've lost a lot of Flash drives). Matt claimed it was really nerdy and that not only did he not want one, but he says he's not going to talk to me anymore once I start carrying it around everywhere.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens
Ryan picked this up last week for his 7D. To be honest, all I know is that this lens is heavier than a brick and literally cost a small fortune.

Nike Zoom Kobe V 'Miles Davis' Edition - Size 10
Speaking of extravagant wastes of money, I picked these up online last week to play ball in.

Apple iPhone 4
We tried to buy a couple of these last week but, as I'm sure you've heard, the AT&T servers melted from the traffic overload to their site and we weren't able to order them after all. Word on the street is that now we have to wait until late July or something - life's so unfair sometimes.

Thank Me Later - Drake
There's a lot of hype about this kid but I think he's lived up to it so far. His music offers an honest perspective that is rarely heard elsewhere. He gets really introspective at times and talks about some personal, real life situations and then sometimes he mixes it up and also talks about being 23 and splurging on a Phantom and getting high once in a while and partying (a lot like the mix of stories on this blog). Last year he distributed So Far Gone for free online, and I listened to that for a good six months, so I figured it was only right to go out and pay for this album.

ALIFE x Drake 'Thank Me Now' Tee - Size M
You can never have enough t-shirts right? Since they closed the location in Hollywood I had to get this shipped from ALIFE NYC.

Odwalla Pomegranate Limeade - 64 fl oz.
Last but not least, I bought this at a store in Oxnard a couple weeks ago because it's my favorite and for some reason the stores down here in Newport never stock it. Anyway, my roommate pointed out yesterday that it expired forever ago (March 10). It had already been expired for 3 weeks before Vons even sold it to me. Doesn't seem like a huge deal - but it literally says 'EXTREMELY PERISHABLE' next to the UPC code. Anyway, this stuff is like $10 a gallon and like I said, I can never find it, so I didn't want to just throw it out. Plus I'd already consumed most of it, so I tried not to think about it and just finished it off yesterday. I was contemplating saving the bottle to use as evidence in the event that this stuff ends up killing me and the Courtroom Warrior has to represent my case. I'm sure he'd collect some major compensatory damages, but then again I'd be dead (and Matt would get all the money, plus the sneakers and he still probably wouldn't even use my key-shaped USB drive or the Drake album, so whatever...). If this ends up being the last blog post, you guys will know why.



The game tonight was awful.

At least LA managed to pull it off, but that was really a tough game to sit through. I thought the score would be close, but I was surprised at how bad the Lakers played especially coming off of Game 6.

I'm happy for Ron. Every time the Lakers lose, people flood sports talk radio in LA and start blaming everyone individually with all these outlandish claims. They say Fisher is too old and slow (which is true) or that Lamar spaces out all the time (also actually true - but trust me, sometimes they make really outrageous arguments). And for the past year they've blamed Artest, and lamented Ariza's departure, any time Ron does any little thing wrong (like when he damn near blew Game 5 vs Phoenix a couple weeks ago by rushing those jumpers early in the shot clock in the last minute of the game).

Point is, he carried the Lakers tonight and you could see how much he wanted it since he was the one Laker who'd never won a championship. He can't dribble to save his life and I still cringe every time I see him shoot, but I'm glad that he won.




Quick NASCAR story.

So we've been working with this denim upstart Iron Horse Jeans for the past 9 months or so. We handle everything for them. Created all their branding, packaging, collaborate on their marketing strategy, handle their website, photography, and we actually work with their fashion designer and consult on a few of the jeans design decisions. (We had a meeting with them on Monday where, amongst other things, Matt and I argued about thread gauge and denim construction details)

Anyway, the point is Iron Horse has been making some major moves recently and about two weeks ago they became the title sponsor of Tayler Malsam's #10 car in Nascar's Nationwide Series.

So they hit us up and told us they needed graphics for Tayler's new car. It was a super tight turnaround - I think we did it in about a day and we mocked up like 7 or 8 different possible wraps. We worked with a guy named Sean from Blackbeard Creative, who is part of Tayler's team, and threw this together.

We finalized the graphics last Wednesday.

Friday morning they applied the wrap to the car.

Couple of the Iron Horse Jeans guys went out to Kentucky to see its' debut. They sent me some photos of the car Saturday morning before time trials and said everything looked good.

I forwarded the pictures to Matt and said something like 'Hey, check out how the car turned out. It'll be kind of cool to turn on ESPN and see our logo zipping around the track.'

But then of course on Sunday, this happened:

There goes $125,000.

Good news is that Tayler's alright.
Don't worry, they're working on his new Camry as we speak.

And the Iron Horse crew actually had this hood removed and shipped to them to hang on the wall at their offices in San Diego.



The new Represent Kobe site is up.

Don't forget to download the wallpaper for your iMac... and your iPad... and your iPhone - no kidding.

Enjoy the weekend.



Time flies.

So, today the blog is a year old. In general I try not to talk too much about the blog, on the blog. But it's the blog's birthday, so I figured I'd make an exception.

Our intentions in even keeping a company blog are sort of hard to describe in the first place. So much of what we do, as a company, whether it's this blog, or the NBA bracket contest, those weird looking Kobe posters, etc. - seems really hard for other people to understand.

In terms of NoBizPlan, our goal was never to amass a huge readership or generate a great deal of traffic. Nor would we ever place ads on it and attempt to directly monetize it. In fact, there's no short explanation of our intentions for the blog, but I can honestly say that in in the past year, it's done exactly what we hoped that it would do and it's been fun as well. It's a semi-interesting look at what it is that we do on a daily basis, it's a scrapbook, it's a photo album - it serves more than a single purpose.

NoBizPlan is a really fitting name. Nothing we do is based on any conventional business strategy. Some of it is based upon stuff that we've implemented for our clients and has proven to be successful. Other things are just based upon whatever we feel like doing at the time and projects that we think we'll enjoy. In some ways, our underlying philosophy is No Business Plan - because we're not doing all the bullshit that everyone else thinks goes into building a business.

We're not incorporated. We don't have a company page on Facebook (gasp). We don't have an accountant. We don't have a P.O. Box. We don't have any investors or even any real lines of business credit. Neither of us have an MBA - actually neither of us even have a degree in Graphic Design for that matter (I was 9 units short of double majoring - if someone can someday convince it that it'd be worthwhile, I'll go back and take those last 3 classes).

But on the other hand we're running a really efficient business in the middle of a terrible economy. So in some ways I feel like it's not No Business Plan - it's actually more like Top Secret Potentially Genius Business Plan that we've been able to piece together because we have no bosses to answer to and because when it comes to how we choose to handle and grow our brand we really don't care what anyone else thinks.

Matt and I are 26 - but we've been designing stuff together since we were 15 years old. It's been about 3 and a half years since we've both been really working together at this as a full time job. In some ways it feels immensely successful. But at times we still deal with all of the concerns and issues that everyone who owns a business faces. Either way, Matt and I both realize that this whole thing is really a blessing and no matter how hectic things get, I don't think that's a fact that is ever fully lost on us.

Even now, it's incredible to me that Matt quit his job and took a chance on this. I freelanced throughout college, so after I graduated I simply tried to do a bit more work but I was never too tempted to seek out a real job. On the other hand, Matt worked for a couple months as an engineer and gave up a really legit job to come and try to do all of this. Out of all the things that we do that seem to go against conventional wisdom, him quitting his job was clearly the most audacious. And when you consider that that decision was basically part of the basis for all of this, then I think it all starts to make sense why we sort of just do our thing, and don't pay too much attention to what other people say.

To everyone who has read the blog in the past year and put up with our antics, we appreciate it. To all the clients and the agencies that we work with, we appreciate you trusting your business to us even though we look like we're 18 and we show up to every meeting with the same collared shirts on time after time. We've done our best not to leak any of your trade secrets or upcoming projects here on our blog - although I think it'd be pretty safe because, according to Matt, no one reads this blog anyway.

What's next?
More video projects, Albuquerque next month, possibly some websites for a couple bands, Magic fashion tradeshow in Vegas in August. A lot of stuff we've completed but has yet to be released including a new video game package, a bunch of web projects and a few magazine ads. A ton of branding and collateral pieces for the jeans company we work with and a few surprises to keep everyone interested.

Plus NoBizPlan 2.0 - which means we're going to rebuild this blog from scratch, adjust the layout and re-program a few things. If all goes well, it will undoubtedly be the best looking blog on earth that no one reads.

The photo up top was shot in '08 at our old office in downtown Long Beach.



Bought another Mac the other day.

We picked up a project editing a bunch of sports videos for a site that we're working on and Ryan didn't feel like running Final Cut on his laptop so he stopped by the Apple store at lunch Friday and grabbed yet another 27" iMac.

I don't want to geek you out with all the specs but he got his with 8GB of RAM which just means that between him, Matt and I, I've somehow ended up with the 'slowest' of the three computers.

Matt said it makes sense because he claims that they do most of the 'real work'. Whatever, now I'm thinking of buying an iPad just to make them both jealous.

Anyway, here are a few random flicks from last week.
(There are Kobe posters in a few and some others are just random shots of LA - I'll let you figure which ones are which - Where's Waldo style)



The new posters are up all over LA.

This is another incarnation of an experimental street art project we did last year. Basically we decided to make posters featuring Kobe Bryant and plaster them throughout the city during the NBA Finals.

In a lot of ways this is a very difficult project to explain. And actually, I tend to think the whole thing is a lot more intriguing the less you know about it. We got a million questions about the project last year - and that was before we threw a Batman mask on Kobe, so I can only imagine what people will say now.

Anyway, the new REP KOBE website will be up in a day or so - that is if Matt can get his act together and finish programming it.

Don't forget, Game 1 starts at 6 tonight - hope someone has Paul's wheelchair ready.