Working out in Albuquerque this week.

Ran some video tests and read tech manuals on the flight. Procrastinated preparation is preparation nonetheless.

Rented some stuff from Production Outfitters.

And we stopped by the health food store and picked up a few things. Yeah, it looks like mostly junk food but you're probably forgetting that the water is infused with antioxidants and fortified with six essential vitamins.

More pics from the Land of Enchantment coming soon.



Went home for a couple days.

Well actually I went to Ruchir's house. He's got a tennis court in his backyard but we couldn't actually play because he hurt his knee last week and I fractured a rib playing basketball. (Technically Matt doesn't believe that my rib is actually broken (no visible bruise), but I think I know how to use WebMD - it's not like I'm not going to misdiagnose myself)

So I simply worked from his place while he studied for the Medical Board Exams for 12 hours a day for a couple days.

Thursday he went to get an MRI on his knee. I asked the tech if we could take a quick scan of my ribcage as well but, just like Matt, he seemed to think I was just joking or something.

Looks like a torn meniscus to me but we'll see what the orthopedic surgeon has to say

Meanwhile Matty built a surfboard down in San Diego.

He wanted to point out that he built this whole board in 2 days - record time. While I wanted to point out that those 2 days happened to be right in the middle of the work week. Priorities, priorities...



These kids are killing the web video game right now.


This is actually a video shot of Levi but not made by him - I felt like it introduced him better than most of the videos he shoots himself - see the link below to check out his actual work

This kid moved out to LA a couple years ago and wanted his own television show. So he started making it himself. He grabbed a Panasonic camcorder and shot, hosted and edited his own online show called Maestro Knows. Along the way he made a ton of connections and now he also shoots video for some of the biggest brands and musicians in the world.

This guy travels all the time but I still manage to run into him every once in a while out in LA. You may not love all his videos, and you might not understand the underlying plan behind all of the moves he's making, but you cannot knock this kid's hustle. Plus, a lot like Stebs, he has a really positive attitude that seems to shine through in his work.

Check out MaestroKnows.com for all of his videos including footage of him doing everything from touring Japan with Eric Koston to partying in Vegas with Jermaine Dupri and Nelly.


About two weeks ago I came across a video this kid made and then I tracked down his website. Matt and I ended up watching almost his entire portfolio of work in a single sitting. I never let the fact that someone is a complete stranger keep me from contacting them - so I wrote this guy an e-mail, just to say 'Good work, keep it up' and ask a couple technical questions about the equipment he was using. I never really expect a response but this kid actually wrote me back the very next morning - and he answered all my questions and then some.

Anyway he has a studio outside of Boston. He's shot a few things for some large sites online but nothing too major yet. It's just a matter of time - he has a very rare level of cinematic style. Trust me, this kid is going to blow up one day soon. Check out his stuff at PaperFortressFilms.com

P.S. Why web videos and who cares about random guys filming themselves riding their bikes? Well, as bandwidth expands over the net - online video is becoming even more ubiquitous. And because of advances in technology, large ad agencies no longer have a monopoly on production for major brands. Now all that matters are your skills, a decent portfolio and a handful of connections. Plus most content is going straight to the web - so brands like Nike can afford to be riskier and hire some punk kids with a DSLR to shoot something for them and it's virtually no risk because the production budget is negligible and there's no cost associated with the 'media buy' like paying for television commercial time.

Now you start to see why guys like Levi and Stebs are a bit more noteworthy than the average 25-year-old juvenile delinquents. And now you understand why we've been spending Lakers-Season-Tickets-type-of-money on high-end lenses and European imported camera equipment.



Dropped $4,000 at Samy's Camera on Saturday.

1 Canon f/4L 24-105mm lens.

2 Kino Flo Diva 400 Light Systems with Travel Cases.
These are the best brand of production lights in the world - for real. These are the lights they use to illuminate most of the stuff you watch on TV everyday. Instead of renting these all the time we decided to finally buy a couple of our own.

16 Kino Flo 55W 21" CFL Bulbs (8 daylight/8 tungsten).
As much as the lights cost you'd think they come with bulbs - they don't. You have to buy 2 complete sets - one set is 'daylight' balanced to match the color temperature of the sun and the other set matches regular incandescent light sources. This is one of the many concepts that we covered in Film school that I could never make myself pretend to care about. We would discuss in-depth lighting scenarios and contrasting light temperature situations at great length and while everyone took copious notes on the subject I would literally sleep through a large portion of the lectures and then I'd write a single sentence in my notebook, "RED bulbs = OUTDOORS" with a drawing next to it of a cartoon sun wearing sunglasses.

Anyway, I tried to tell you guys our photo/video game was about to get real serious. This doesn't even include the Glidetrack dolly we had shipped in from Scotland last week. And to think that people always wonder how Matt and I end up with so many giant tax deductions at the end of the year.



We decided it's time we start to mess with video production fairly seriously.

So we picked up this camera this week.
I hadn't really thought about it, but this is actually the first video camera I've ever owned.

This is actually the exact same camera that Ryan has, but of course, Matt and I decided we needed one for ourselves. Even though we've shot video and edited and produced things in the past - I think now we're going to start really focusing on refining our own production style from here on out. There's sort of a formula for what we're about to do - and it's actually applicable to almost any craft - it's something along these lines:

I. Identify those who are successful and whose style you admire.
This part is fairly easy. Don't be fooled by success alone - make sure they have a unique quality to their work. Be very discerning - copy only from the best.

II. Analyze their work and determine the formula behind their success.
Study both the authors and their work carefully. I think this is the part that people screw up on the most. It's easy for people to recognize if they like something but hard for them to discern what it is they like about it. You have to really be able to analyze things and break them into their component parts. Reproducing something of professional quality to any degree of accuracy is extremely difficult. It takes meticulous attention to detail. I always joke with people that Matt's the best at forging documents but it's true. The skills you need to replicate things correctly (like NBA tickets or college parking passes, for example) starts with analyzing how they're made and that practice is extremely useful when applied to other subjects.

III. Learn the fundamental skills required to be proficient.
I hate the technical sides of cameras. I like almost all other parts of making movies and videos but I don't like messing with all the camera settings and thinking about the math associated with all the different lenses etc. Luckily Matt already bought a couple 7D technical books this week. I don't think he necessarily enjoys that side of things more than I do but he's much more thorough than I am and also less lazy.

IV. Create your own stuff using a blend of elements from those who you studied.
You don't want to completely copy someone's entire style - since that's obviously lame, so you have to mix it up a bit. Take different parts of all the techniques you analyze and blend them together. If you do it correctly, your finished product, whatever that is, will look good. And since you didn't copy from any one specific source, people will be fooled into thinking that your work has a style all it's own and that you're actually innately talented.

Anyway, I hope that formula can be useful for someone else someday - I feel like we've used it for just about anything we've ever messed with. In terms of video production, Matt and I have already knocked parts I and II off our list. Now I'm just waiting for those nerd manuals that he bought to teach him which dials to turn and buttons to push. After that, it's on.

I'll keep you guys posted on how it all works out.



Matt and I don't have time to go to Grad School at the moment.

So instead I try and read a few random books and blogs fairly regularly just to keep up with everything. And Matt trades stocks. Actually I'm not sure if his day trading technically enriches our collective business acumen at all, but it forces him to wake up early every morning (something I don't exactly always do) so I guess it can't hurt.

Delivering Happiness is the story about how Tony Hsieh infused Zappos.com with a rich corporate culture centered upon making both customers and employees happy. I bought this book because some of the lessons in it seemed applicable to what we're trying to do with our own company and some stuff is relevant to the brands that we work with. Plus Hsieh managed to sell Zappos to Amazon for over $1.2 billion last year so I thought I might be able to learn a thing or two from him.

What's crazy is that Hsieh, the eldest son of two Taiwanese immigrants, was already filthy rich before he started at Zappos. At the age of 24, he sold his first company to Microsoft for $265 million. Most people would've probably went on vacation for the rest of their lives, instead he built Zappos into a billion dollar business. Man, those Asian parents really know how to raise over-achievers.

Anyway, here's a link to the new Drake song Paris Morton Music - it's a remix from a track he did off Rick Ross' new album. This has nothing to do with the Zappos book, by the way - it's just for fun - you can't read advertising blogs and trade stocks all day.



Worked at the Iron Horse office on Friday.

They just received samples of a new signature jean we're working on that was made specifically for Matt and I. Sort of.

We asked them to make a new fit for us about a month ago. Figured we'd have some pull since we helped build the brand from scratch. We were wrong. They temporarily shelved the idea and told us to wait until next season.

But then they signed on to endorse that NASCAR kid a few weeks ago and he requested a jean exactly like the one Matt and I wanted to have made. So all of the sudden this new fit became a priority. We helped spec some of the finishing details a couple weeks ago and these samples arrived the other day.

For first run samples, they came out really well. Matt and I both wore these jeans home for the rest of the day. Really comfortable, good fit, nice washes. Might seem like a no-brainer that we'd wear whatever Iron Horse made since we work so closely with them - it's not. We worked for another denim company a couple years back and I never, once, wore a pair of their jeans. (But then again, I'm sort of picky about certain things, so....)

David Ogilvy preached that it's essential for advertising professionals to use the products of the companies that they work for. But, then again, Ogilvy worked for clients like Rolls-Royce, so it's not like that was much of a sacrifice for him.

Renee is the fashion designer at Iron Horse. I saw that Kobe poster behind her desk a few weeks ago and said 'Hey, thanks throwing that up there. I know it must have been hard for you to do since you're a Suns fan.'

She said, 'I didn't. Matt and Ryan hung that up there last time they were here.'

I said, 'Oh. Wow - you really didn't have to tell me that.' Then I think she just felt bad which is probably why it's still there.

Shot of the buildout they're doing at the new Iron Horse offices.



To be honest, I'm sick of everyone talking about this kid.

But as long as we're discussing it, here's the deal:

1. Lebron James is a punk. That's the honest truth. He's been spoiled with so much hype and money since he was 14 years old that he's damn near basketball's version of Lindsey Lohan at this point. He should have never fired his first agent a couple years back and let his high school pals basically manage his career. Because he is so incredibly talented on the court, now all NBA owners, corporate sponsors, ESPN and the general public has to put up with whims of his entire entourage who have no clue what they're doing.

Look at this whole situation - everyone ends up looking bad.

2. Dan Gilbert was understandably heated. His letter was, of course, a bit emotional and far reaching but overall I appreciated it. Lebron and his 'management team' are really unprofessional and it's amazing no one ever holds him accountable. I've heard horror stories from people that work with Nike about how extremely rude and amateurish he acts in his dealings with them - but everyone still kisses his ass and that's how it's always been for him.

3. ESPN just lost a lot of respect, especially from the journalism community as a whole. They basically let Lebron James' posse take over their entire headquarters for a day. Madness like this is unprecedented. Jordan never did crap like this. This kid hasn't even won anything - who gives him carte blanche to take over the #1 worldwide sports network for his own self aggrandizement? ESPN is now catching extra criticism for letting Lebron hand pick and pay Jim Grey as the 'host' of 'The Decision' and how poor of a job he did (i.e. "Are you still a nail biter?")

4. Chris Bosh is not that good. Sorry if that comes as a news flash. He's basically Jermaine O'Neal like maybe 3 years ago. He's a lankier, less talented Carlos Boozer. He's going to put up 12 and 12 next year. Udonis Fucking Haslem has been doing that for the past 5 seasons and no one ever offered him a $100 million.

5. The Heat will not win it all next year. I don't care if they sign Mike Miller or whoever else. Maybe they'll get it together in a couple of seasons but it's far from over. I'd still put money on the Celtics getting out of the East over these kids at this point. They're missing a ton of pieces. And I'm praying that they take Derek Fisher with them.

6. The Cavs, of course, will also not win it all next year. As much as I appreciate Dan Gilbert's candor, let's be for real, Cleveland's never winning a championship. But truthfully, I'm not as upset with his audacious prediction and the spells he cast on Lebron's family as I am with the fact that he formatted his entire letter in the font Comic Sans. I doubt he'll ever apologize to Lebron but maybe one day he'll say he's sorry to the web design community as a whole.



Stopped by the new JTW & Co office today.

We've been working with these guys a lot lately. Anyway, they recently moved units within their same building - their new space is nice, spacious, vaulted ceilings, really good modern/industrial type feel.

I stopped by to chat with John, their Principal (he's the "JTW" portion of the company name) about a couple upcoming projects and some things that are in the works. Good meeting - quick, concise, but productive. Effective communication is priceless.

Over the course of no more than about 20 minutes, we talked about (amongst other things): the internet, Mahalo
(this site is wack - in fact I shouldn't of even hyperlinked it), aggregators, TweetDeck, NYT Skimmer, a recent Fast Company music industry article, the Japanese firm Information Architects, Supertouch, Omnigraffle, Alltop, Hypebeast, the iPad, and the WIRED iPad app.

Then John bounced and caught a flight to Washington and I drove to Jamba Juice.

When I was on the Fast Company site 20 minutes ago, I stumbled across this video I'd almost forgot about. It's a guy who got famous off of a wine vlog, ranting about what to do with your life, how the internet is changing everything, hustling and building brand equity. I first saw this video a couple years ago when it debuted online. But that was back in the pre-NoBizPlan days, because I remember I had to manually e-mail the link to everyone and tell them "Watch this thing - it will change your life". Anyway, check it out - or ignore it and go back to updating your Facebook status, your choice. No hard feelings either way.

Skip the intro and start paying attention at the 0:40 second mark. It's only about 15 minutes long. If you're watching this while at work, don't trip. After hearing Gary's message, you're going to quit your job anyway, so it's all good.

"If you want this... If you want to buy the jets, if you want to do shit - work. That's how you get it."



Our boy Lang from SLAM magazine mentioned us in his online column on Wednesday.

Lang's the executive editor over at SLAM, plus he writes for the Atlanta Hawks' website and he also pops up on NBA TV all the time.

The other day, in his column The Links for SlamOnline.com, he wrote:

"You remember last year when the guys from 0484 Creative out in SoCal did a street art project they called Represent Kobe? Well, they’re at it again, this time with a more avant garde theme, where they depicted Kobe as Batman. They sent me a shirt which I wore out jogging the other morning, and I got so many double-takes that it was pretty hilarious.
You can check that out here."

Since then we've got a couple thousand hits to both this year's and last year's REP KOBE sites and e-mails and phone calls from people wanting to know how and where they can buy shirts. A lot of global interest too, people from India, Canada, Australia, etc. Apparently Kobe (masquerading as Batman) is pretty popular worldwide.

In fact we just got an e-mail from a guy who works at MAXIM in New York and wants a shirt as well. So, I guess the week got a bit better after the rocky start Monday.

Here's a link to the column in case you want to check it out for yourself - it's about halfway down the page.