my blog

The fundamental values of digital production.

For near on the past 20 years I've operated as an independent producer of digital products, assembling teams and contracting in the most appropriate skills to get the job done, no matter what the challenges. In order to achieve this I've had to continually asses my relationship to a changing market where the only constant is change. I’ve discovered over the years though that no matter how fast technology moves, the fundamentals remain the same.

I was once told that ‘everything is different, but nothing has changed’. I was inspired by this and it gave a me a foundation to build my career on. Hard work, going the extra mile, and most important of all, creativity and insight into the needs of both my clients and the teams I work with is the cornerstone of digital success.

Being the captain of your own ship is not easy, it means taking responsibility for your team, getting up early, being at your desk first, always being on hand and exhibiting a philosophy of performance that exceeds expectation. Embracing change while holding tight to the fundamental values of trust and performance provides stability and continuity in an ever changing world.

I believe we're all philosophical beings and that our actions and imagination underpin our relationship to world around us and that thoughts are deeds. We all have the potential to be both inspiring and inspired. A motivated imagination coupled with intellect, insight, knowledge, critical thought and reason can produce extraordinary results.

As a manager of skilled individuals, both people and systems are important to me. Proven methodologies that derive empirical values provide teams with environments that help identify where we as individuals can best contribute to maximum effect. We must acknowledge though that individuals excel when it is in their own best interest to do so. It's important to be pragmatic and understand that sacrifice is not motivating while enlightened mutual self interest is. Your success is my success and vice versa. Cooperative mutual self interest is, in my opinion, the road to success.

Self interest has a bad reputation. It is associated with selfishness and is perceived negatively. Self interest is not socially destructive. We all have egos that are motivated by extra material, personal and professional concerns. When harnessed, these motives produce outcomes that exceed expectations. A motivated group working in its own best interest without the requirement to sacrifice their core values can achieve extraordinary results. This is the human condition, teams after all are a collection of unique individuals cooperating on the basis of enlightened self interest.

Consumers of digital experiences are no different. They have their own self interest at heart. Interacting with digital media is an individualistic experience - we lean forward into it, we want it to be relevant and focused on us. I as an individual want to derive value from the time I spend interacting with this or that product or service. This doesn’t mean it is selfish. By sharing our imagination in a digital environment we add to our own experience and that of others. We develop our digital life in relation to other individuals and things, but always for our own benefit and self interest. The best digital environments are those that pragmatically recognise this and in doing so create personal value by providing the individual with an opportunity to re-imagine life with the benefit of shared experiences that are relevant to them.

Some will have us believe that "Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life." I disagree. We are all beings of the imagination. I grew up as an ex-pat in South Africa in the 80’s and was deeply affected by the historical events that took place there. I witnessed firsthand the triumph of the human imagination over a system designed to crush the very spirit it inspired. The democratic revolution was a victory of the imagination. It happened because inspired individuals could imagine a better way and were motivated to bring it into reality. In spite of the difficulty the system posed, these individuals did not sacrifice their values and achieved extraordinary results.