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Chris Do and Greg Gunn

Welcome to a special, new episode format that we call “Hey Chris.“ It’s a candid and casual conversation where Chris answers your most most burning questions. And Greg gets to spring them on him.

Introducing “Hey Chris”
Introducing “Hey Chris”

Introducing “Hey Chris”

Ep
95
Aug
24
With
Chris Do and Greg Gunn
Or Listen On:

Ask Chris anything.

Welcome to a special, new episode format that we call “Hey Chris.“ It’s a candid and casual conversation where Chris answers your most burning questions. And Greg gets to spring them on him.

In this episode, we answer five unique questions. They cover topics like selling your boss, how to get hired during a pandemic, and why Instagram could be the most powerful teaching tool in the world. Have a question for Chris? Visit thefutur.com/heychris and ask away.

This episode is sponsored by Framer. framer.com/thefutur

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Episode Transcript

Chris:
The lesson here is if you want to teach something, don't tell them what to memorize. Ask them a series of questions that lead them to the same conclusion that you're hoping that they'll get to. That takes a tremendous amount of skill and craft and practice and trial and error to get that right.  

Greg:
Hello friends. It's me, Greg and you will never guess who's here with me. That's your cue, Chris.

Chris:
I guess you could never guess. This would be a total shock to everybody.

Greg:
Who would have thunk, right? That I called, hey, Chris and I come on.

Chris:
Sorry. I thought the intro is going to be a lot longer than that. So I was just standing by, I didn't want to interrupt you. I knew that was my cue by the way. I'm not that dense.

Greg:
This is a wild experiment. That's okay. I do want to take this moment and I know you folks who are listening can't see us, but this is maybe the second time I've seen Chris's face in 2020 so far. It's strange and kind of cool, but we've been working remote and essentially communicating via Slack for a long time, but hey, you look good Chris.

Chris:
Thanks.

Greg:
Head is looking nice and clean and sharp and you clearly have a better lighting setup than I do. How are you?

Chris:
I'm good. And I need all the help I can get because I am your senior by several years. So yeah, I work on the lighting here and we make so much content here that it's important for me to A, look good, but to learn a little bit more about what the production team is doing and not take it for granted. So I've got a pretty complicated lighting setup here, along with microphones and other things I'm experimenting with all the time.

Greg:
That's that's really cool. That's awesome. Yeah, we need to have a conversation offline because I need help in that department.

Chris:
Sure.

Greg:
Yeah. Right on. Well, I'm glad to hear you're well. I think to get this weird experiment started, I guess I just want to take a moment to explain what we're going to do. So we're both here today to try out a new format on the show that I've cleverly named hey Chris. So for the past few weeks we've been collecting questions that you guys have submitted and that you want Chris to answer. And today my plan is to get those questions answered for you, but here's the best part. Chris has no idea what I'm going to ask him and I'm kind of excited about that. Now-

Chris:
I thought you had said, I'm going to send you some of those questions ahead of time. And then here we are today has come and I haven't seen any of that. So I guess that was you misleading me a little bit there.  

Greg:
I don't believe I said that.

Chris:
I'm going to go look in our messages later.

Greg:
Go look it up. I want this to be in the moment responses and we'll see how it goes.

Chris:
Okay. Hands on the buzzer.

Greg:
But before we get started, with all this in mind, Chris, how do you feel about this and what's going through your head right now? Like what are you thinking?

Chris:
I'm excited to do this with you. I think one of the cool things that I've been meaning to do is to be able to capture the conversations that happen naturally in the office before COVID happened, obviously, and to share that with our community and our audience, because most of the time on our podcast, I do very little talking. I ask the question and then the guests are able to share and pontificate on the ideas and the things that are of great interest I think to me and hopefully to our community. But it's not that often on our podcast where I get to share my thoughts. So I'm looking forward to doing this with you.  

Greg:
I am too. So I will be playing the role of, I guess I'm playing the role of Chris today. Interesting.

Chris:
That'll be interesting. Yes.

Greg:
Yeah, yeah. Not nearly as confident, but we'll see how it goes. Alright. Are you ready? Should we do this?

Chris:
I am.

Greg:
Okay, so let's get into it. Our first question comes from Jose and Jose asks, how can you sell your boss the idea of selling workshop strategy services like design sprints, if they only trust the traditional kickoff, guess what the client wants method.

Chris:
I see. Very good question by the way.

Greg:
I think so too.

Chris:
I thought the question was going to go somewhere else. And then in the way it finished like, oh, it's a much easier question to answer. So the question that I had thought initially was going to be asked was how do I sell my boss' idea of selling workshops and strategy sessions to our clients and customers? Which would have been a whole interesting thing in itself, right?

Greg:
Yeah.

Chris:
Okay. But it's really just about this person Jose wants to know how they can get maybe a boss who is the more traditional, more set in their ways to be open to more other kinds of processes that can help them serve their clients better.  

Greg:
That's what it sounds like to me. Yeah. And I'm sure this is something a lot of people run into.  

Chris:
This one is tricky. This is really, really tricky because the boss is the boss for a reason. And the boss has certain responsibilities that an employee isn't always cognizant of. And we need to handle this one with the greatest care and respect because otherwise it can feel like you're trying to tell the boss how to be a boss, which no boss wants to do. And I'm speaking from personal experience here is there are a lot of downsides to being a boss. Late nights worrying about payroll, about bringing on new clients investments in training, in tools and in technology that comes at a price, right? And you want to be able to at the end of the day, not be directed by anybody else. So if you have some young person coming up to you and saying, "Hey, I think we could do better here, here, and here."
It could start to feel like even if it's a good idea, I don't want to hear it because 365 days of the year, I suffer with all the responsibilities I have to carry only for the one reward, which is I get to be the author of my own destiny to be able to manifest what I want into my life. So let's just keep that in mind because we have to approach it like that. Because one day Jose, you're going to be the boss and you're going to invest a lot of your time and money into making something that may or may not even make money. Then for some young kid to come up to you and say, "Hey, I think we could be better here." And then you'll know what I'm talking about. Okay. So let's do it now. Let's get into the actual practical part of this thing.  
I think what we need to do is make sure that the boss's goal is your goal. And sometimes your goal is different than the boss. The boss could just be thinking, you know what, I got to put three more years, three more profitable years in here and I'm going to sell the company and sit on my yacht and sail off into the sunset, so to speak. So what we want to do and if you haven't yet done so, watch the video that I recently released with Google on selling, like what it means to sell. S-A-L-E-S, sales, right? And the first letter S stands for serve. So right now you have an agenda that sounds to me that's different than your boss's agenda and that's why you have to sell them the idea. You have to pitch it to them.  
It would be much better if you were to ask your boss a series of questions about what they want and see if what you want is in alignment. If not, you're barking up the wrong tree. So Greg, why don't we talk about this? So I'm going to put you in a position now of Jose, and I'll just pretend I'm the boss. Gee, what a stretch. And then as Jose, what are some questions that you can ask me that would sort of direct me towards wanting to clarify if we want the same things or not?  

Greg:
Yeah. That's interesting. So if I'm Jose asking this question, I see maybe and Jose I apologize if you're listening to this, I'm going to make a lot of assumptions on your part, but it sounds like you see the value in workshop strategy, like design sprints and strategy sessions, stuff like that. And I understand that because yeah, that makes sense. I'd be eager to kind of chase that maybe. But I think, yeah, like Chris said, maybe I would start by asking what is our ultimate business goal? Like is it profit? Is it growth? Is it is branding? What are we doing and why is that important to us? And does that connect with strategy services like the design sprints that you mentioned? So that would be the first thing is to just understand the business objective, the goal there. Because like Chris said, if it's, I don't know, I just want to ride this out another few years and then sail off into the sunset then, yeah, maybe not a good idea.

Chris:
Okay. Hold on. Hold that thought for a second. This is interesting. I just said, like I just want to know what the goals are. It doesn't mean that a goal that might not sound like it's in alignment with what you want, you don't need to just give up right away. So let's try this. Okay. I'll flip it with you. You're the boss, I'm Jose. And let's just say, and I ask you that question and you say, "Actually to be honest with you, I want to ride this, I need three strong profitable years, and then I'm going to retire in some fashion." Right. So let's just set it up. So I'm just here as Greg. What are ultimately your goals for this business?  

Greg:
Well, my goal for this business is to keep everyone gainfully employed for as long as I can, but this ride won't last forever and I'm getting ready to retire in the next five years. So I need to be thinking about what that means and how that affects everyone here. I just want to give everyone the best chance that they have for when this ride is over.  

Chris:
I see. Well, that might be sad for all of us, but I'm very excited for you. You certainly worked very hard and have sacrificed a lot. So it sounds like amazing. I want to be in your position one day where I could be looking forward to my retirement. Let me ask you this question. You said something about in the next five years. Would it make you happier if you can get there sooner?  

Greg:
Not necessarily. I think I enjoy what we're doing here. I have goals and I've met them and I feel good about this. So early retirement is not exactly my goal. I want to make sure I do things right for the next five years. At that point, I feel like with personal life things I'll be ready to make the big change.  

Chris:
Okay. So you said something that sounded really interesting to me, which was you want to make sure to do it right. The reason why I asked you this question was if you can get everything you wanted to get done in five years and less time, would you be happy with that?  

Greg:
Would I be happy with that? Yes, because I value my time over anything.  

Chris:
That's what I thought. So what are some of the things that need to happen in order for you to be able to sail off into the sunset, so to speak and be content with the legacy you've left behind?  

Greg:
Great question. I should be paying you more because you're asking really fantastic questions.

Chris:
I love that too by the way. We'll talk about that right after this.  

Greg:
Also, this is me being the boss for five minutes. I'm already overwhelmed. I'm like, "Oh God, how do I answer this stuff?"

Chris:
Keep going, stay in it.

Greg:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So do not break character. Well, I want to make sure that all of our employees are taken care of. I don't want to have any debt on our behalf or the company's behalf. And when we do sunset the business, I want to make sure everyone is taken care of. And that means pensions or whatever it may be for at least what, like six months. So people can get back on their feet and make any kind of transitions without having to worry. I want them to feel good about their experience here and we can all move on happily.  

Chris:
Great. I'm going to assume that this is the case, but have you shared this plan with the team yet?

Greg:
Let's say-

Chris:
It doesn't sound like you have because you just thought about it now, right?  

Greg:
No, not formally, not formally. These have been things I've thought about.

Chris:
Okay. So I know I haven't been here with the company for that long, but I feel like this is family and I really do care about this business and I respect 100% what you want to do. So with that in mind, if I can just summarize a couple of things that we just talked about and please correct me if I'm wrong, you probably need to develop some kind of succession plan. Like what happens after you retire? It sounds to me like you want it to be debt free and that's important. And you also want to make enough money so that you can take care of the people who've served you well, whether it be pension or bonuses, or maybe you're able to sell the company and give a percentage of the sale to the people. Is that about right?

Greg:
That's exactly right.

Chris:
Okay. So we need to have a very successful business. And this is presumptuous of me to even suggest this thought, but if we can come up with a plan and let everybody know, maybe we can all work together to achieve this plan together so it's not a surprise to anybody and we can participate in helping you to achieve the goal. Does that sound like it's okay?

Greg:
I'd be open to that. I think you all are a smart bunch and we can come up with a good plan together.  

Chris:
Okay. So fantastic. So it sounds like you're open and that's really all I wanted to do was to kind of get a sense of that and get some agreement there. So here's the thing, boss. I've been spending a lot of my time on weekends and after hours and I've been learning a lot about how other companies have been able to grow because they've integrated facets of strategy and noticed we only do X and Y. And with your permission, I'd like to dive in a little deeper and come back to you and report to you some of the things that we could possibly implement that would help us to attract bigger clients to do work in a more streamlined manner and to perhaps offer our clients services that we previously have ignored. Is that okay?  

Greg:
Yeah. Pitch away. I'm open to hear and we can talk about it once I know what it is.  

Chris:
Okay. And I just also want to get confirmation from you that you're not just saying this to get me out of a room, that you are genuinely interested, because if you're not just please tell me because I don't want to waste your time.  

Greg:
Oh, that's a good question, Chris. Absolutely. I'm totally open to this. I just, I want you to know, I want everyone to be taken care of, but I do not want to have to reinvent our company just to close it. So I hope we can find something we can work out together and let's talk once you have a plan.

Chris:
You have my word, no reinvention of the company. So why don't we set an appointment today that I'll come back here by next week at 3:00 PM. And we can have, I'll report back to you and I'll take 15 minutes of your time. I'll present to you what I've come up with. Is that okay?

Greg:
That's great.

Chris:
Okay. Well, thanks so much.

Greg:
Thank you.

Chris:
Okay, Greg, let's talk about that.

Greg:
Yeah, oh man.

Chris:
How do you feel?  

Greg:
Put on the spot. Man, you totally reversed everything on me. I was supposed to be that guy. No, no everything you asked made perfect sense. I mean, you're inherently great listener and question asker, but I think unless you really are the boss and you know the answers to those questions, it's tough because those are big ones. Those are really big ones and they will affect everything. But I think the approach you took was fantastic because it did not feel like you were trying to push anything on me or any kind of like it wasn't insulting to my intelligence and business direction. And as a boss I'm like, okay this guy's busting his butt, what's going on here? This is like, he cares so much. That's what it felt like versus why is this kid trying to stuff an idea down my throat.

Chris:
Right. And did the conversation feel organic and natural and flowing or did it feel like, hey, this kid's trapping me.

Greg:
A little bit of both. I think, yeah, you're a little too smooth at times but-

Chris:
Only because you know who I am I think.

Greg:
Yeah. Yeah. I think if anyone else were to try to do that, it actually might work for them better because they would just sort of have to figure it out. Yeah.  

Chris:
Yeah. So here's the thing. If you want to sell anything, you have to approach this mentality of servitude and you have to do in the spirit of generosity and you have to be open, you have to be curious. And if you hear an answer that doesn't lead you where you want to go, then you either redirect or you say, "Okay, this is not the right person," because I don't believe you can convince somebody to do something that they have not yet convinced themselves that they want to do. Look, if you were talking to somebody who's vegan and has sworn off meat, good luck trying to tell them to eat a burger. It's just, it's not going to go. But if they've been contemplating about it and are thinking about it and you say, "You know, is there any occasion you would ever consider eating meat again?"  
And that perhaps I've actually been having some cravings. Oh. And if they say, no, get lost, done, move on. Okay. So you'll notice something. I try my best to adopt a spirit and a mindset of respect and deference to my boss. Notice the tons of appreciation and acknowledgement and understanding of all that they're going through. And to be super hyper self-aware, I've only been in the company for a couple of years and there are big, important things that you need to deal with. And the most, the loudest thing that I heard from the boss was to say to me that they don't want to reinvent the company. So I repeat it right back. I promise you, we're not going to reinvent the company. And that lets them know just by repeating the exact same words back to them, I'm paying attention. I really am and I really do care. And it's hard to refuse somebody who genuinely wants to help, is very giving and asks nothing of you. It's very hard to refuse that.  

Greg:
It's true. I don't know if I felt guilty, but there's yeah, there was a sense of like, yeah, well this is ... I could tell it was coming from a place of care. So I'm like, let me hear this guy out at least.

Chris:
Yeah. Why not? Right? Like if I say, hey Greg, can I wash your car today? I was going to wash my car and when I'm out there, it's only a little bit extra effort to wash another car once I'm all soaked up. What are you going to say? No, don't touch my car. You're going to say, okay.

Greg:
Take that free carwash. Yeah.

Chris:
Right. The only time you would say no is because you think I'm going to ask you for something right away. And if that's the person that I am, then for sure say no.

Greg:
I think that an interesting point you make too is I imagine your boss already has an opinion about who you are. So that approach might be, you might have to consider that. It's like, and that comes back to self awareness. It's like, what do they think I want out of this conversation and how can I disarm that if it truly is coming from like a, I just want to help. I think this is good for our business, but I don't want to be a jerk about it.

Chris:
Yeah. Here is a real world scenario here because a lot of times people will listen to these kinds of conversations that we're having and say, "Oh, it's not real. This is so fake."

Greg:
You made it up.

Chris:
Greg just gave it to you and no boss would say that and they'd go on and on. But I'll tell you in the world, both, I mean, everybody in the company at some point has pitched me an idea because they want to help and I've gone along with it. So most recently Matthew's been floating out some ideas about how to promote and better onboard potential candidates for the business bootcamp. So he's out there, he's surfing the web, he finds things and he's contemplating about how he can help and then he suggests X, Y, and Z. And then I say to Ben, "Ben, why don't we just put Matthew in charge of this and let him run with it? It's something he cares a lot about and he has some good ideas. And since I'm not sitting there spending my waking moments thinking about how to sell more courses, let them do it."
Notice in the question from Jose and the way that I approached it, I wasn't looking for personal gain. Jose wasn't saying like, "How do I make more money by selling my boss's idea?" He just wanted to improve the process, improve the fidelity of the work and decrease the amount of revisions and potentially open the company up to other services that might benefit everybody. Had nothing to do with him asking for a raise. So when you're really approaching things like that, it's just a matter of strategy because your intention is very good.

Greg:
Yeah. I've definitely, I think we've all been there. You see something really exciting and then you map it to what your business does. And you're like, "Oh, this will be a game changer for us." And knowing all the other things that need to happen around it. But yeah, it's easy to get really excited and yeah, strategy and approach. Great question, Jose. Thank you for submitting that.

Chris:
Good one.

Greg:
Yeah. Okay. I thought that was like the soft start question, but clearly I was wrong. All right. So Madison asks, hey Chris and bonus points for using hey Chris, what are the key factors that distinguish a fad from an innovation in terms of design? And before you answer that, let's go to a quick break.
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Chris:
Now we're getting into dissecting words and I'm going to need a little help from Google. So I looked it up. I looked it up. So it defines a fad as the difference between a fad and a trend is fad tends to be very short behavioral spikes, whereas trends are longer and evolve into longterm and permanent change. So fad might be like bell bottoms. So it's here, it's hot and then it's gone. Whereas there's the trend towards sustainable businesses industries, eco travel, that's going to be the way moving forward.

Greg:
Oh, interesting. Yeah, okay. That makes sense.

Chris:
So that's like a fad is the pet rock and a trend could be towards the sharing economy where industries are built on non ownership where we're able to share things together.  

Greg:
So trends kind of adds to the conversation and carries through, whereas a fad is a little blip on the radar, a little flash in the pan.

Chris:
I think so. Maybe there exactly the same thing except for one is going to last long and one is just really quick.

Greg:
Yeah. Okay. Alright. So Madison's asking you about the difference between a fad, the short term one and innovation as it relates to design.

Chris:
Yeah. So that's one of those ones where I think we're talking apples and oranges-

Greg:
A little bit.

Chris:
Right. Because if she said fad and trend, then the difference is time where trending is this is where society is moving and a fad is a momentary spike. So can a momentary spike be innovative? It can be because those fidget spinners, I guess, for a bit, for whatever person who came up with that idea, that was an innovative idea. But the fad didn't last that long. That's the only problem. So I don't think these are mutually exclusive. They can be an innovative idea and not last long. Right? So I think the way that you determine that is does the innovation solve a real problem versus an imaginary one?

Greg:
Can you think of a design concept or I don't know, creation or something that did innovate that that was a fad or even the reverse, like a design fad that ... So what would be the fidget spinner of design, I guess that's what I'm trying to ask.  

Chris:
Yeah. It's hard to know what that might be in terms of like when you say design, do you mean graphic design or any kind of design?

Greg:
I'm going to leave it open to any kind of design. Why not?

Chris:
Well, since you did not prepare me for this, hey, Chris question-

Greg:
That's right.

Chris:
I'm going to say things I may regret later on, but I think that's the whole point of this.

Greg:
Exactly.

Chris:
You remember way back, there was this guy, his name is Dyson and he was like, I think cleaning a large warehouses with this powerful machine. And he had this idea to create a vacuum and they were transparent polycarbonate, and his whole thing was a vacuum that never loses suction, that you don't have to spend money on bags. And they're brightly colored orange, purple and red and silver. And they looked unlike anything else on the market.  
So 99% of the market were bag designed vacuum cleaners, and it kind of a boring ho-hum category. So I think as James Dyson, right? So he goes and he creates this thing and you could see it being priced two to two and a half times what a comparable vacuum cleaner and upright would sell for. And they stuck out like a sore thumb and they needed to, because it's a boring category. So he's injecting it with all kinds of design and design innovation, right. And selling it on a benefit it doesn't lose suction, which I never even was aware that my vacuum cleaner was losing suction. Right. So he's kind of, and it could have been a fad because it could have been like, wow, all these people are taking care of the home, homemakers are now buying up these vacuum cleaners, and then it could have just been gone.
But what's been really interesting is he didn't settle just on that. He kept innovating on the vacuum cleaner design. And then he thought we have a really great way to move air is really what the heart of his design and invention is. What else can we do with this? So he came up with heating and cooling devices for the home. He came up with blow dryers, and he also came up with the industrial version, which are his Dyson Airblades, which are in a lot of bathrooms. Because when you use an air blade versus a standard air blower, you can greatly appreciate the difference because this thing's going to get your hands dry fast. And they're coming up with lots of other innovative solutions like the faucet in these bathrooms now have a built in air blade into the head, because that was one of the big problems you would get your hands wet.  
You would stick it in an Airblade, but water would fly all over the floor, because it was hitting it with such a velocity that water was just flying everywhere. Well, this created another problem for people to clean up after you. And it also creates some issues of hygiene because when water is collecting at the base end of these things, it gets kind of gross really fast. So look at this, you wash your hands, you switch over, it dries your hand inside the basin of the sink. That's pretty innovative. So that's how you take a potential fad and you give it legs. You make it last and you expand it into things that make sense. So he's created now a very powerful brand, not a product. Is that okay of an answer, Greg?  

Greg:
That was not at all what I was expecting. So yes. Thank you. I loved it. I had no idea Dyson created all these other things too. I don't know. When I hear Dyson, I just think expensive vacuums.

Chris:
Yeah. Maybe you haven't gone to the department store in a while.  

Greg:
It's been a minute. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. I think that's a pretty good answer for a pretty complicated question, but thank you, Madison. It's an interesting question. Okay. I'm going to jump to this one then because I think this is topical.

Chris:
Okay. Let's do it.

Greg:
So Jessica asks and it's a long one so I'm going to summarize. What would you recommend to unemployed designers trying to find a job right now? I'm a young designer and want to continue working full time so I can learn from others, but trying to find a job has proven difficult. Emails or applications are ignored. I've had creative directors who I've worked with told me they love my work and my resume looks great, but zero luck. Do you have any advice?  

Chris:
That's actually a pretty easy question.

Greg:
All right then.

Chris:
So yeah, Jessica, I think you're not alone. This is a boat that's filled with people. And then if you look on the horizon, you'll see many boats filled with other people in the same situation. I think we need to take a moment just to pause and reflect on what's going on with our society and potentially the unraveling of our economic engine that's holding all of this stuff together. And I think we have yet to feel the full brunt of what's happened. If you think about all the businesses that are going out of business in terms of car rental, any anybody in the travel hospitality space is going to be in deep trouble and every industry that's attached to it, airline, transportation, Uber, travel agents, event planners, conferences, and I'm just getting started here and then let's go to retail and then food and bev, everybody is getting impacted by this. And so we're all kind of feeling the brunt of this.
So I'm going to give you some advice, I think on how to find opportunities, but also to encourage you afterwards, which is to just, this is the best time to do some self development. It really is because you can't force the situation. So in a normal booming economy, and you're looking for work, I would give you different bits of advice. And maybe it's about the way that you're approaching people, because they're obviously hiring and looking for folks. But now if the market isn't there, you're going to have to go through some extra ordinary efforts to be able to even be noticed and to get hired. I have a friend who is 20 years out of school, senior level art director, creative director, has worked for some really big companies.
She's being considered for a job at one of these large multi billion dollar tech companies and they have slowed the entire hiring process down because they're sitting there trying to adjust teams and workflow and remote working before they go and add more people to assist them that is in need of re-evaluation. But I think we're starting to come around to other side of this. And why do I say that? One, I think we've come to accept that life as we knew it is not going to return for some time if ever. That this is only the beginning of potentially the second or third wave of isolation and work from home. And so people have made plans. People first after they get over the initial shock are going to be able to say, okay, what can I do? What can our company do and how do we want to adjust accordingly? So they're probably going to start hiring pretty soon and you want to put yourself in the best position to get those opportunities.  
So I think you've probably done everything that you needed to do as of right now. So I'm going to encourage you to keep doing that, which is applying for jobs, showing up for the interviews. And then the one thing I would say is put it into your calendar to follow up with people on a semi regular basis, not to the points of annoying, but that you care and that you're connected. So if you had an interview, let's just say with Google recently and you had good remarks, but it's gone silent, totally okay. I would say maybe every two weeks drop them a line and tell them, let me know if anything has changed. I'm still looking and you're on the top of my list of companies I'd like to work for. And if there's anything that you need from me, please let me know.  
And I would do that like two weeks and then four weeks and then another four weeks and just keep doing that and it's totally okay. The second thing that you can do, I think is to make sure that people who aren't aware of your existence become aware of you and the best way I know how it was to write and to create content and to use whatever platform and tools that are most comfortable for you. So if you're a writer, start writing some ideas about your thoughts on design or user experience research or doing testing for design or prototyping. Write about things that you care about. And if you don't have anything to write about, that's a good indicator that it's time to learn a few more things, to do a little research and get lost in your curiosity, and then share what you learn while you're learning it and publish it with no strings attached.  
And that's good because if you write something that's really great, hopefully if people are looking at you like that potential employer from Google, they're going to see that and ask themselves, isn't that the same person? Isn't it the same Jessica we interviewed like three weeks ago? Why aren't we hiring this person? Somebody is going to snap her up. So let's get her back on the phone and let's move things along. That's kind of what you want to do. You want to make them think that you're the best, clearest, least risky option. And the best way I know how to do that is to show value all the time.  

Greg:
Interesting. So it's a little bit from what I'm hearing, it's a little bit of being persistent with your followups and your applications. And I mean, just grit, just trying to really work for it and apply yourself. And at the same time, be more visible, develop a presence online in the circles where perhaps those potential employers are hanging out, which leads me to a follow up question. So let's say I'm an unemployed designer and I'm like, you know what? I am going to put myself out there and be a bit more visible for people who want to work maybe at a big tech firm, because it sounds like Jessica wants a staff full time position. Where should they be visible? What are the best places? Where do you think those people are looking?  

Chris:
Yeah. I think the fewer steps that somebody has to take to find you relative to what's natural for them, the better. I think a lot of the business conversations are happening on LinkedIn. And if I look at my posts and who's looking at those posts, just because of the kind of content I've created and the following of cultivated, they tend to be executive suite, creative directors, ACDs at some of the largest companies. So I can already tell you that it's hitting the right demographic for me and that's important. So I think LinkedIn is a wonderful place if you are a good writer and especially if you can combine some imagery with that, I think you're going to stand out from the rest of the people.
Another great way, and this has been surprising to me, no surprise once I look back is if you're able to interview people and publish on a platform where they consider valuable to them, if you do podcasts and you interview the people you look up to and admire, that's a great way to build a relationship and create value for you and for them, especially if you're really good at promoting the content, right? If you spend time making really great thumbnails and do bite sized, adjustable mini episodes, micro episodes, little cut downs in graphics and infographics, all of a sudden, whoever you interview would say like, "Dang, I don't even promote myself as well as Jessica does. She deserves another consideration or just something that I just need to remember." And that's one way.
You can interview them for a blog post. And that way it doesn't take up too much of their time. Formulate six really important tailor-made questions for them that they can answer in their spare time and then publish it. Again, put in the effort. And I would even spend a little bit of money on doing Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads or boosting the post so that people see it because here's the cool thing. That's somebody that other people are going to want to know and people at their level know of them and about them and they might check them out as well and then they're going to see your name attached to that piece of content. And so we talk about this. If you want to work with a company and they give you no time of day, target their competitors. One of them will call you first. The smartest one usually will win.  

Greg:
That's an interesting approach, sort of like yeah, backdoor interview. Just like, you want to come on my podcast? I mean, who says no to do you want to come on my podcast? I think I've said yes to every single one. It just sounds fun. I think LinkedIn is definitely underrated for the visual folks. Anything I post on there you're totally right. I'm like, "Oh, this is way more interesting to people that I wanted it to be in front of." What if you're not the best writer? Like you're more of a like visual designer or maybe you struggle with even like English or writing in general. And it's like, you really rely on the visuals to get you the work. What can someone like that do on LinkedIn?  

Chris:
Yeah. So we're talking to mostly to North American audience here. So United States, Canada and it's English speaking, right? So you kind of have to speak the language, literally in this case, English, as the people that want to hire you. So if you're an ESL person and I am one, start to work on these things. Like I said, it's a great time for personal development. I would work on that. And I think also sometimes having English as your second language is an advantage because it forces you to communicate in a much simpler way. Number one writing mistake is try to use words that are too complicated, trying to sound too academic. Just speak like a human, like you're talking to a good friend. Use programs and apps like Grammarly to help you. It'll kind of fix most of the problems, have a friend who's a native speaker kind of just read it through and then write based on that.
But let's just say writing's even not your thing. You're a native born speaker. It doesn't matter. You don't like to write. That's not your strength. And if you're an image maker, well, go make some really good images. One way to do this is to make a really powerful infographic. Now, not all infographics are the same. I'm talking about doing research and reading and even conducting polls yourself and getting a good enough sample size. So you put in a couple of weeks worth of work, what you would have done in writing, you put into research and trying to synthesize complex bits of information other people would find helpful, right? I'll give you one idea right now. What if you were to trace one industry and how they're struggling to adapt to what's going on right now, and then to write about that. And then to draw a little tangent off of all the industries that support that industry and see how they're being affected adversely and on and on and on.  
And so you're going to create this web, this nucleus or something like that where people are going to see like, oh my God, I knew about A, but I didn't know about D. Three steps in, you're telling me that this is going to impact supply chain down here, and that's going to impact this neighborhood and this community. And so you're giving them some insight or a crystal ball into the future and you design this beautifully. And when I see beautifully, as in the form meets the function and you share that on Pinterest and you link to it onto your website and you share it all over the place. That is going to be something that might get you that call, that interview and that job much faster. I'll give you one more example of something that you can do because you can take on spec projects.  
I remember a while back, it was an Asian woman. I forget her name, but she redesigned the interface of one of the most popular apps. I can't remember it was for Uber or one of these things, but it looked amazing and it got hundreds of thousands of likes and engagement. And so by the time I reached out to her, she was like, "I'm too busy. There's just too many good things, too many offers on my table right now." And that's one. There's another one where you create an accidental career. I forget her name too, another Asian woman. And she sang a song on her last day of her job at Microsoft I think. It went viral so much so now that she produces content on how to create viral videos and they're all hilarious and she's using like really low budget tools and techniques. It's like film hacks and she does a wonderful job.  

Greg:
That's awesome. I love seeing those accidental careers because they do happen more often than you think. That's cool. Wow. Okay. That's a lot to process. Jessica, I hope we answered your question. It's got to be tough out there right now. This was not the first question we had on this topic. So I'm glad we spent some time to address that. Okay. Let's see. So I want to make sure we get to this one because I think this is a really great, great question. This one comes from Menzie and they ask, hey Chris, I was wondering if you could make a video about teaching methods and pedagogy. How can we use methods to teach others especially if we do not have a background in teaching? Also, how do you develop a teaching method?

Chris:
This is great. So the fact that you've been using the word pedagogy, points for you. And for people who don't know that, it's like teaching theory, right? So people who are in the space of education, academics in universities, college and high school, they're all part of pedagogy. And we're always trying to study and develop more effective ways of teaching people. And this is a space ripe for innovation because a lot of our teaching models are built on memorization. And we now know that that's not a very helpful skill. It's not needed anymore. You don't need to memorize anything because you have this thing called a smartphone that connects you to the world's information database. So what we need to do is develop more skills in critical thinking, creative thinking and maybe like design thinking and it all involves the word thinking.  
Now how do you learn how to teach if you're not a teacher? The best way I know how to learn to teach is just get in front of a room of a small group of people and try to share a concept. And to get real time feedback and not to be overly prepared with things because you want to be very loose. You want to be as engaged and responsive to what's going on as possible. A lot of people think I'm going to teach something. So I'm going to sit down, I'm going to write a 40 page manual and I'm going to go through and I'm then going to teach and everybody's going to be great. What you're doing isn't teaching. You're preparing collected curated information. And there's a big gap between information and education. Okay? Information is cheap. It's actually free because you could just use Google and find most of the information that you need. But what you're trying to do is you're helping to create transformation in the person that they want to achieve a certain goal or an outcome.  
And the best way I know how to do that, it's just actually getting in front of real people, think through an exercise, preferably an exercise that they can do together so that they're able to learn. Thinking back on my life, throughout, I did get a bachelor's degree. So I've got what is it? 16 years of education under me, 12 years through primary school, right? And then to get a degree in design. So I have about 16 years of learning, less obviously. Now the teachers that come to mind right away as like really powerful and effective aren't exactly who you would think. And I want to share this with you as an example.  
One is Mr. Janiece. He was a stocky man, balding in the middle there, a Jewish man from the Bronx. He would always say like, "I'm a Jew from the Bronx." And he taught us math. And Mr. Janiece taught us math in ways that no other math teacher has duplicated in my experience. And I've gone all the way up to like some very high levels of calculus and he was teaching a junior high class. And what he would do is he would ask us a question, and this might make the whole episode like this bookend. If you're able to come up with really powerful questions that get your students to think and think through the problem themselves, there's no memorization.
So I remembered Mr. Janiece's class and he was really tough. He was like yelling half the time that he was talking. It made everybody sit up on their edge. Right. He would say, "What's a whole number? What's an even number. And how do we know is a whole number or an even number?" Without even telling us what a whole number is, we had to sit there and calculate or theorize what a whole number was. And we will come up with definitions. This is a group of junior high students coming up with ideas, and he's like, "Right." And then he would write on the board and he kept working on it.
He's like, "Is this true now?" And then he would make us test it. So it's like, let's try the formula out. And I got to tell you of all the teachers I've had, that was a profoundly different and a very effective way of teaching, if more teachers taught like him. And so the lesson here is if you want to teach something, don't tell them what to memorize. Ask them a series of questions that lead them to the same conclusion that you're hoping that they'll get to. That takes a tremendous amount of skill and craft and practice and trial and error to get that right.
The next teacher, also junior high teacher, I went to public school mind you. He worked in contracting construction and I took like shop with him. And he made us do four assignments to build a scale model home, to build a hot air balloon, to build a race car and to build a bridge. Each one of these assignments was hands on, very light on lecture, but taught us about physics, about construction, about aerodynamics, about design, and they're wonderful. We all walked away with something we can hold in our hands and they're concepts that I still use and share with people to this day. So that was a very activity, workshop based way of teaching, super effective. Like you learn while not learning.

Greg:
Chris, what public school did you go to? Because what you're describing sounds nothing like my experience.

Chris:
Did you go to public school too?

Greg:
I did. Yeah. I don't think I ever got one of those assignments that you're describing like that. That's just like, read this, memorize it.

Chris:
Yeah. And that's really how most schools are set up. Right. Read this, memorize this, you'll be tested on this later. And don't worry about keeping it in your memory because we won't ever talk about it again. Right?

Greg:
Exactly.

Chris:
Yeah. So I went to John Steinbeck middle school in San Jose in Silicon Valley. Right. And those teachers really just blew my mind. Now you would say like, wood shop is not the place where you would think you would learn about aerodynamics and physics and how to build strong structures and space planning. But I got to tell you today, I could practically teach that entire class from memory without even trying. That's how effective the teacher was.  

Greg:
Wow. When you said that I did take wood shop, I did take that class. And do you remember the movie Dazed And Confused?

Chris:
Barely.

Greg:
Okay. So there's a scene in the opening. It's like the last day of school and it's in the seventies. I'm not that old, but similar experience, all these kids were in wood shop. They're all fabricating bongs out of wood and testing it. And they cut over to the teacher and he's got his feet up on the desk and he's asleep. And I kid you not, that was my wood shop experience, kids trying to make bongs and the teacher sleeping. And I was just trying to make, I think I tried to make like, typography, like three-dimensional type that said like mom or something so I could give it to my mom and just terrible. I didn't learn a thing. Wow. Okay. So there's the difference. Interesting.  

Chris:
Yeah. So there's this book called The Workshop Survival Guide, and I'm hoping to have the authors of that book on our podcast pretty soon. And I would highly recommend you guys pick that up. We'll include that in the notes. So make sure you check out the notes so you can pick up the book. But they tell you that the lecture is only one of many ways of teaching and it's the least effective. It's only good for disseminating instructions and information, but if you want people to learn, you're going to focus on the other kinds of exercises. And they show some really powerful exercises that I one day hope to be able to develop.  

Greg:
Awesome. That makes me think of a follow up question to this, which is given our pandemic circumstances, a lot of the teaching has to be done through Zoom or through YouTube or online. It's not as interactive as it probably should be. We've been doing The Futur for a while. I still struggle every single time I make a video. I'm like, "Is this good enough? Are people going to care? Like why would they watch this?" But how do you be the best teacher you can be over the internet when it's a one way conversation?

Chris:
It's a really interesting question. I think you are the best teacher you can be every day that you try because tomorrow you'll be the better teacher and that's the best you can be and the day after that, and we have to be okay with that. Here's an idea I want to start sharing and hopefully it catches on. I think Instagram can be the most powerful and disruptive way of teaching people that's ever been invented because in 10 slides, you have to articulate an idea to somebody that's going to resonate with them. So it forces you to think in a very reductive simplistic way. And then if you think about the shortening attention spans of people today, you have to learn how to hook people, to give them value and get them on their way. And if enough people started doing this on Instagram of real value and powerful lessons that they can learn, think about how much smarter the general public is going to be.  
And you can use this to teach them a lot how our government works about politics, about how the judicial system works, just about everything. So whatever you're interested in baking a cake, flying a kite, a building a house, making a dress, use this very limited format of 10 slides to communicate an idea and it will make you a better teacher. What's really cool is if the idea resonates, if it works, you have really great feedback right away to then potentially take this to somewhere else. Now I'm going to drop a hint. I don't do this that often, but Greg, we are about to sell a bunch of our books Pocket Full of Do, the second edition via Amazon, right? And I'm thankful for all the supports and the people who purchase the book. But I've been thinking about my second book. What am I going to do here?  
And if you ask somebody to sit down and write a book, it's a very daunting challenge. I know from firsthand, it's like enough to make you want to throw yourself off a bridge and it is painful. It's very painful process, but here's what I'm doing. So I've been writing on a daily basis, publishing to Instagram and the posts that do really well, I might collect together to create like an Instagram book, a compilation of my best thoughts on Instagram that you can read while standing in line, because I've already tested the idea and that you could walk away and just thumb through any page, like page 80 to 90. And if that's all the time you have for in that day to be able to read that and just to get something satisfying and that's going to help you. So maybe that's the idea for a second book.  

Greg:
Pocket Full of Dos. I don't know. I could not think of a-

Chris:
Yeah, maybe like Instagrammer or something.

Greg:
InstaDo. Yeah. We'll come up with a better name. These are terrible ideas. I love that. And thank you for the little hint. That's cool. I like that idea a lot. Okay. Last question and I saved the most, I know we're running short on time, but I saved the most polarizing question for last here. And it comes from someone named Ricky who I want to assume caught wind of our question submission and threw this at us. Nonetheless, I think it's an important one. Chris, does pineapple belong on pizza?  

Chris:
The answer is yes if you like pineapple and I do like pineapple, so I have no problems. Now let's talk about it.

Greg:
Are you Hawaiian pizza style?

Chris:
I like Hawaiian pizza. Yes, I like Hawaiian pizza.

Greg:
Oh, man. Me too. Me too. We are few and far between.

Chris:
I don't know. Some people like anchovies, some people like four kinds of cheese, to each their own. What kind of toppings do you want to put on your piece of bread to love and let live, right?

Greg:
As long as it's not barbecue chicken, I'm fine with it.  

Chris:
So here's the thing. Pineapple has a lot of acid in it and it will cook things. So if you put pineapple in a dish where you're baking with fish, your fish will fall apart. And I've watched cooking shows where they say molecularly, you should not do this. There's a way to serve pineapple and you have to be careful, right? Because it has, you know that acid cooks food. But in a case where everything's already cooked and you just throwing the pineapple on top of a few minutes, it's really not going to have any impact. And the little bit of sweetness I think goes nicely with a savoriness of the whatever meats that are on your pizza.

Greg:
Preaching to the choir. I'm so with you there. For those of you grossed out listening to this, get over it, it's delicious. That's all I can say. And also like only Chris, only you would take my throwaway question and turn it into something of value that you can learn from. So great answer.

Chris:
Thanks. I thought you were going to say and if you're disgusted by this, that's what we call hey Chris and we're out of here. [crosstalk 00:57:26].

Greg:
That would have been the best segue out of this. Yeah, no, I know you got to run, so thank you for doing this with me. How do you feel post Q&A session?  

Chris:
I like having a conversation with you Greg. I think the reason why podcasting is so fun to do, so fun to listen to is that people are themselves and it's a conversation. And I appreciate you doing this, setting this up. And for everyone who submitted a question, if we didn't get to your question this time, let's get into it next time. And I'd love for you to participate more Greg, that we can go back and forth. So we can have a topic that we both feel some energy towards. And you can have the advantage because you know the question, you could prepare in advance, and then we can have some dialogue because I think in the push and pull, the tension that exists between what you think and I think is a wonderful place and it's what we call like critical thinking. Right. And I want to be transformed by the experience as well.  

Greg:
Well, critical whatting? I went to a public school. I don't know what you're saying. I totally agree.

Chris:
You went to public school and you went to an art school. So we are both doubly cursed there.  

Greg:
Yeah. It's sad. That's a great idea. I could use the practice. Cool man. Well, thanks so much. And oh yeah. Also out there, if you're listening and you have a question that you want to submit, go to thefutur.com/heychris and throw it at us. I read every single one of them and maybe we'll get to it. Who knows? Cool. That's it. Thanks for listening everyone.

Chris:
Until next time, we will see you in The Futur. Should we do an outro like I'm Greg and I'm Chris and you are listening to The Futur.  

Greg:
Okay. All right, here we go. I'm Greg Gunn-

Chris:
And I'm Chris Do. And you ... When I do this, we got to go. Ready?

Greg:
I'm keeping this in. Thanks so much for joining us in this episode. If you're new to The Futur and want to know more about our educational mission, visit thefutur.com. You'll find more podcast episodes, hundreds of YouTube videos and a growing collection of online courses and products covering design and business. Oh, and we spell The Futur with no E. The Futur podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. This episode was mixed and edited by Anthony Baro with intro music by Adam Sanborne. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor and rate and review us on iTunes. It's a tremendous help in getting our message out there and lets us know what you like. Thanks again for listening and we will see you next time.

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