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a business relationship with me - with a focus on video editing  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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I got an email from somebody and ..... I put off responding for a long time because I knew a good response would take a lot of my time to write.

When I did respond I think that I came up with a really good way of explaining some stuff that has been a struggle of mine for a while. So I now wish to share it.

I guess the big thing for me is that I am very open to working with people where if they do 100 units of work by themselves, then can earn 100 units of money. But if they do 100 units of work, and work with me, then I put in 1 unit of work and then they get 200 units of money and I get 200 units of money.

So, when you ask me what, exactly, to do - that's where I see that this would end up with you putting in 100 units and i would have to put in much more than 1 unit.


I might even have to put in more than 100 units of work. In which case

A. The whole project would go faster if I just did this work myself.

B. If I knew I would have to do this much work myself, I would not have entered into the project to start with.


The great thing with bart is that I sent him a a pile of stuff and he sent me back something that looked very awesome on the first pass. He had put in, say 400 units of work. I then put in 2 units of work and I was happy with the result.

With the WDG project, I put in even less work and got an even better product back.

I am in the middle of working on about 80 projects simultaneously. All in the name of moving permaculture stuff forward. Some are small and trivial, some are rather epic.

I am sitting on the raw footage for a lot of projects. It would be great to have another pseudo-bart: somebody that would take a gob of footage and turn it into awesome without guidance from me. They are familiar with my podcasts, videos and articles and they are full to the brim of creativity to make awesomeness in the permaculture worth with my stink all over it.

Bart was handed this footage and in two days he sent me this and I put it up:



All I had to do was stand in the room and babble. Then upload it to my youtube channel. Bart was paid $0.00.


So here's the thing: suppose you took a bunch of glop, added some art sauce, some bounce, some giggle and then a big dose of goofy .... and you had a pretty good sellable thing on your hands. And then came to me and I said "Wow! That looks really great! I wish to market the fuck out of it!" ---- now we're talking.

But I am guessing that you need to work with a bart. A bart would bring the art sauce, the bounce, the giggle and the big dose of goofy and would tell you what to do. And then bart would come to me for raw video, and/or voiceover, and/or stand in front of an audience and/or marketing.

If it is just me and you, then it seems that I need to do all of my stuff plus all of barts stuff, with the exception of the bit of basic editing. But I think I can do basic editing faster than I can tell you what I want edited.


I can think of 20 video projects right now that I would hand to bart and we would dance. And with each project things would get to be better and better.



I sent bart the footage of the rocket mass heater event in 2012. In two days working part time, he sent me the kickstarter vid:



The final version isn't all that different from what he originally sent me.


I am riddled to the gills with ideas of stuff that you can do to make big coin. But it seems like for every 100 units of work you do, it will take 100 units of work from me too. So then I am limiting this to something where what can we do together that has that awesome 100 to 1 ratio?



I have about ten times more to say about this, but I promised Jocelyn a full day in town today and she is standing here waiting for me now.


And now it is christmas eve eve. Jocelyn is baking something christmas-esque and I am in the office typing this up to share.


Since I wrote it, I have thought about it a lot.

I kinda feel like it comes back to a lot of other things I have feebly attempted to express. And for the first time I am getting traction in expressing it.

I am very much trying to move things forward on a scale that is 20 times bigger than what I can do by myself. At the same time, I think there are a lot of people that can do some stuff way better than me. Bart is a great example. He added fun stuff to videos that I never would have thought of. And he did it faster than I could have.

There have been a lot of projects that have happened where the project finished with less than what I asked for, but it was becoming so time consuming I agreed to call it "done". I could have done it better myself with 100 units of work, but in the end it was 60 units of work from me, 180 units of work from them and the project was 20% shy of what I wanted.

And then I work with a bart and the project comes out 260% better than anything I could have imagined, and took just 1 unit of my time.

---

Sorta related, but unrelated .... about 40 times in my life somebody finds something I created, thinks it is amazing, and approaches me with some kind of "opportunity". They tell me it will make me rich and famous and I have to hardly do anything. And then it is almost always two hours of my life to hear the "opportunity" and it works out to be: I do a whole bunch of work on something that sounds stupid, and then they will make a whole lot of money. Apparently, their getting rich will then lead to great fame for me, which will lead to riches. So it is, therefore, fair.

---

I was visiting with Jocelyn yesterday about this "100 units of work" thing. And I think that if I work 10 units of work and I am giving direction to somebody else and they then put out, say, 10 units of work .... or even 40 units of work ... that kinda sounds like a school and I should be getting paid. And maybe I should give the same instruction to 20 students and look for the best result.

People can start to get paid for this stuff when the ratio shifts to something like 1 to 20 and the final product is at least 10% better than expected.

---

Is this making sense to anybody but me? Is this an idea that has traction for others?


 
Patrick Roehrman
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Makes perfect sense, Your time is valuable! Carry on.
 
Rick English
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After reading this, my first thought was Force Multiplication:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_multiplication

Force multiplication, in military usage, refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes which make a given force more effective than that same force would be without it. The expected size increase required to have the same effectiveness without that advantage is the multiplication factor. For example, if a certain technology like GPS enables a force to accomplish the same results of a force five times as large but without GPS, then the multiplier is five. Such estimates are used to justify an investment cost for force multipliers. A force multiplier refers to a factor that dramatically increases (hence "multiplies") the effectiveness of an item or group.


I am sure there is a better comparison, but this seemed pretty close to me.

Are you familiar with the 10,000-Hour Rule?
"10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.


Outliers: The Story of Success is the third non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008. In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_%28book%29

It is hard to get the required 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert at it, let alone be an expert at two things. You might need to find some people that are not expert at permaculture, to find people that are expert at other things that would act as force multipliers for forward momentum.

 
paul wheaton
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I am still obsessing about this. Somehow I feel like I have struck something rather profound .... well .... profound to me and probably not profound to anybody else. And somehow I just feel like I am on to something and I just need to flesh it out a little more and it will be ... uh ... much profound-er.

This mixes in with the stuff I wrote about being a natural where katelin would do the kitchen commander position and everything was done with nearly zero effort or time on my part. I no longer needed to do "dirty cup CSI" or talk at great length about flour and corn meal and pork.

Cassie can run for weeks with nothing more than two emails a day from me.

At the same time, I remember a month ago or so I was on the phone with cassie and she said "I know, I know, 'cassie, figure it out'" - and I thought "YES!" that's the big ingredient. A huge dose of "figure it out" combined with an even bigger dose of "give a shit" and awesome happens.

It ties in with the whole thing of hiring a housekeeper: most applicants have the mantra every few minutes of "what do you want me to do now?" and the only one's I hire are the ones that start the interview with "This place is disgusting! Stand aside and I'll see what I can do."

It also ties in with the whole "level 2" vs. "level 7" thing I wrote about where the level 2 person knows some stuff and wants some direction and some hand holding. And the level 7 person has a strong vision of what do to that will lead to global change for the better.



I feel powerfully compelled to change the world for the better. With permaculture. And I am focused on improving my overall forward velocity. If permaculture is a word that is currently known by 5% of the population, what do I need to do to get that up to 20% in one year? My current path won't do it - I will make a dent, but not that big of a dent. But if I have 20 "barts" then I can. And if those 20 barts work independently, as they are right now, then it won't happen. Further if I can pull these 20 barts together and we all work collectively, then I think each bart will earn twice as much money as well as dramatically improve the forward velocity of permaculture.

I don't mean to say that all 20 barts are video editors. I wish to say that one will be a graphic designer, one will be a writer .... three of them will be here filling the roles of natural builder, permaculture teacher and resort manager ...

And for every bart, I wish to say there exists such a thing as an anti-bart. I remember a cartoon long ago that had a guy that was a perpetual drain:



I propose that anti-barts come in infinite flavors. And that for every bart there are 20 anti-barts.

I further propose that between bart and anti-bart, every person has a degree of bartdom. Using the bits and bobs I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I suppose it is fair to the "units" stuff I started with.

I put forth the idea that I put in less than 1 unit of work and bart comes back with 100 units of work. Further, the product that comes back is completed in one tenth the time if I were to do it myself, and the quality is five times higher than if I were to do it myself.

So, I propose a "bart scale" At the top of the scale is bart with 1000 points. The idea is that I put in a half unit of work and bart came back with 100 units of work. That's a ratio of 200 to 1. 200 points. Getting the work done in one tenth the time it would take me, another 200 points. Quality is five times higher than I could have done, another 200 points. Lots of other things brings the total up to 1000 points.

On the bart scale, I propose a zero is where the final result is exactly the same if I had done it myself. So, an obvious one recipe is that I gave ten units of instruction and got back ten units of work. Zero gain. Another recipe might be that I provided one unit of instruction, got back ten units of work, but I had to pay coin for that, and the communication was not so good and the quality was poor, and I had to clean up after them. Again, it would have worked out to about even if I just did it myself.

And then there is the anti-bart: -1000 points. I put in 100 units of work and I get back 1 unit of work. The quality is terrible. I have to pay too much. And the person is so difficult that they eat up my spoons and make it so that I am not getting stuff done on other projects.

(the stuff I have written about spoons)



Okay, I feel like I have taken this forward quite a bit. I like this ... now to stew on this new stuff for a while.



 
Hans Quistorff
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A drag on all this is this system of things we live in. considering this after the thread on alternative means of exchange. And considering what happened to the project for my extra 5 acres. people get dragged down by a combination of their own failings and dependence on this system of things. The organizer had time because he was on disability payments but he was limited in what he could do physically. I could use my skill to increase what he could do but that was too threatening to his disability payments. The builder got more work with more overhead which meant he had to work more hours to cover the overhead. Only one worker shows up when he can to finish the project he started. He is the sort you describe that if we put in one unit he puts out 100 but he is being pushed by this system in the direction of the builder so his output is limited to 10 unit spurts.

So I have adopted your idea of ants. If someone or group can help cover the taxes they can take advantage of my unused resources to advance the permaculture potential of the land so that it will provide an excess for their sustenance and shelter. For one unit of my time teaching them what I have learned over 70 years I would expect them to put in 50 to 100 units of effort to make it profitable. The profit is theirs except for the need to cover the taxes. The improvement to the property is myne unless they can take up a contract to purchase the property.
 
paul wheaton
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Somewhat related ....

When I was researching FBA (fulfillment by amazon) there was an article I found that was probably paid for by amazon. In it, a guy talks about how, once a month or so, he has to arrange for a semi truck to take a load of his product to amazon. And that's it. That's his whole business model.

Then he talks about how he has a friend that is in a very similar business, but he has a warehouse. The semi truck comes to his warehouse and then he has web people, and warehouse people and people to answer phones, and customer support people and an HR department ... and the friend is putting in 80 hours a week and struggling with HR crazy stuff and hiring and firing ... and, of course, drama ....

I confess that I was seduced by this article. I thought I could just put the cards out there and then turn to putting my time into new projects. This is where I became convinced that it was a puff piece. All sorts of freaky challenges have come up and amazon sucks away chunks of time, and there is so much more than has to be done and .... and .... and ....

But the point of this post is that even when dealing with all of the amazon weirdness, it is still less work than what "the friend" does. And the people that work for "the friend" are the norm.

Of course, all sorts of books put a STRONG FOCUS on getting a business set up like what "the friend" has, and then you find somebody that is really good that will run that business - and then you spend your days putting in even less time than the FBA guy, and clear more income. But there are two big gambles there: find the right person; the right person leaves.


 
Pete Arthur
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convey idea in <100 words.....fail.

If you want the human based system, "the ranch", to run more
efficiently, you need to adopt a more "average human" group structure.

You are not average, you see things in 4 dimensions, you see the time
aspect in all you do and propose.

Most folks see now and maybe a few minutes into the future.
Some floks watch the world go by and have no clue why it does.

What you describe is the too often need to stop 4D thought and deal with
explaining 4D images to normal folks. That is an inefficient use of your time.

You are the captain Kirk on this mission.
You set the coarse, BUT, touching any of the control surfaces is a waste of resources.
Spock, Scotty, and Bones do the heavy lifting in the mechanical and personnel fields.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find Scotty, Bones, and Spock.
They can't make it without you, you can't make it without them.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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So the question it is possible to detect a bart from an anti-bart before spending too many units of work.

I know that for Java developers you had a list of questions that you would ask during an interview. Could there be such a list or a sort of test that the potential bart could go through before you commit?
 
paul wheaton
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Adrien Lapointe wrote:So the question it is possible to detect a bart from an anti-bart before spending too many units of work.

I know that for Java developers you had a list of questions that you would ask during an interview. Could there be such a list or a sort of test that the potential bart could go through before you commit?


I think for video editors, a portfolio would be good. Followed by a sample project.

For other people: it will depend on each business relationship.

In the world of java dev stuff: *I* was an expert. So I had a system. For what I am proposing here, I am suggesting that I am looking for experts of fields in which I am not an expert.

 
Adrien Lapointe
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paul wheaton wrote:

I think for video editors, a portfolio would be good. Followed by a sample project.



Perhaps a "standard assignment" could also give you an idea of how much directions they would need. You could have some raw footage somewhere they could download it from, and if they require more than a certain amount of directions they fail and you (or an assistant) have not spent more time than needed.

In the world of java dev stuff: *I* was an expert. So I had a system. For what I am proposing here, I am suggesting that I am looking for experts of fields in which I am not an expert.


What about tapping into the permies community. There might be some video editing experts out there that don't have time to work on a project, but that could tell you what are good questions to ask.

Just some thoughts
 
paul wheaton
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I wonder if somebody might make a meme that says:


recipe for success:

- a triple dose of "give a shit"

- a triple dose of "figure it out"




 
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