Looking for a distraction… or optimism?


A friend of mine was recently bummed about the lack of success a business venture turned out to be. So he started looking for a hobby… a distraction… something.


I have a hiring secret I haven’t shared before. I like to hire people handy with a camera.

Javan, who works here at our sister company Basecamp, is a tremendous developer. He used to actually work for me at my old company Inkling. I don’t think I’ve ever told him about this, but the thing about him that really sealed the deal on us hiring him at Inkling originally was that he had a great looking photo portfolio. He practiced taking beautiful photographs. He even made his own minimal photo software.

There’s something about folks who work with cameras and photography who I find are constantly on alert for interesting opportunities in the world. They take what others see as mundane, and they find something else. Something unique and beautiful to share with the rest of the world.

That’s a habit I enjoy having around me. Especially because it makes me aspire to do the same.


I’m clearly not a psychologist. And I’m not offering advice on turning something like depression around which really needs qualified, professional assistance. Believe me, I have my own tough time managing my psychology.

But there’s something so optimistic and uplifting about working with a camera and looking for the interesting things out there from a haystack of seemingly boring, routine tasks.

I’ve been doing a semi-regular vlog now on YouTube, and I keep noticing: there’s always something interesting.

Sometimes it’s harder to spot than others. But as I look back at the video I’ve captured each and every day, there’s always something. Even if it’s small and short.

More often though, there’s so much that was interesting and beautiful I have a hard time fitting it all into a single concise movie.

So on January 1, 2017, I announced I’d be trying my hand at a daily vlog — well on January 2 to be exact. I film on one day, publish the next 🙂

There’s a lot of reasons I’m not optimistic it will succeed. And when I say succeed I’m not referring to getting the followers or views I want.

I’m not optimistic because I’m not sure I can keep up with the demands a daily vlog could take. I have found myself spending hours and hours just editing a 7 minute video. I can’t keep doing that and fit in the rest of my life. Can I figure out ways to speed up the process? Will experience just make me faster?

I think so. Maybe. I’ve already shaved off a ton of time with some recent changes I’ve made.

But also I think this vlog could fail because my life is mundane. I don’t travel much, or hang out with famous friends. I like to stick close to home, spend as much time with my family as possible, and work the rest.

And that’s why I need to vlog even more frequently than I have so far. Because it is interesting. There’s always something. At least one creative challenge or business problem each day running Highrise. Not to mention the endless lessons I uncover trying to raise a child.

So with that, I start a daily vlog.

Please come and follow the journey. I hope it provides some help in areas important to you.

And please, if you ever have a question I’d love to help, just ask. I’m reachable over YouTube comments, Twitter, and email.


My friend looking for that hobby? He bought a new camera.

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