Ben-Hur vs. Anakin Skywalker

Watching a documentary on the making of Ben-Hur, I saw an interview with George Lucas. He compared the excitement of the chariot race in Ben-Hur to the race in Episode 1. He talked about wanting to convey the same excitement he first experienced while watching Ben-Hur.

While I don’t think Lucas did a bad job of it, I think it shows the difference between live-action of old, and computer-generated-images of modern cinema. I’ve seen Episode 1 a few times, and the race isn’t bad, but the sense of danger just isn’t there. We rewatched Ben-Hur, and the race was absolutely engaging. You can just tell when it is real people riding real chariots in real danger. For all the advances of cgi, I sometimes long for the days when you saw something on the screen and were in awe because you knew someone really did it.

Serving like doctors

A recent doctor’s visit by my wife made me wonder what the world would be like if all businesses had customer service like the doctor’s office.

After arriving on time for an 8:45 appointment, she was forced to wait over an hour before she could even see the doctor. In our current society where time is so precious, how could a business survive by treating customers like that? Well, doctors are essential. Where else are you going to go to get diagnosed and fixed? We have to remember in our businesses, however, that we are not quite as essential. We need to always respect people’s time.

How would your business do if you made your customers wait for an hour for each meeting?

Doctors seem to make the most money by piling the day with appointments (even though they know they can’t meet them all in a timely manner). I’d be curious to see if a doctor could make more money by adding staff and seeing clients in a timely manner. Wouldn’t they become more popular for treating their customers differently and therefore garner more business?

Competition is good, even in fields like healthcare.

Rearranging inspiration

While we’re on the subject of desktops. If you find yourself in a funk and need something to inspire you, rearrange your desk. You’d be surprised how something as simple as moving a few monitors around will make things seem so much different.

After spending a little time doing this today, though, I would have one piece of advice. Don’t move the trash can. You’ll find yourself throwing trash on the floor where it used to be for days.

Tabletop influences

We are all a sum of our influences. Everything we take in influences us in some way, and the things we like help shape our personalities. This is incredibly important in the creative business. So much of our creative output is influenced by everything we have taken in since birth.

It’s always interesting to me to observe other people’s offices and see what they have around them as influences. I thought of this when I looked at the table in my office. It’s contains a Communication Arts Advertising Annual, the coffee table book “The Cinema of George Lucas,” and three books on church planting. This really tells a lot about my personality. So what’s on your tabletop?

It’s hard to get it right

In this day and age, it’s hard to “get it right.” When you are trying to launch a new venture, rarely do you have the resources, people, or experience you need to really do something great. With time, you can, but most don’t survive long enough to reach that point. There are just too many factors working against any new venture.

I point this out to bring your attention to the perfect storm happening right now in Stephenville, Texas. We just received the second issue of the Business Journal. Is it perfect? Nope. But, it’s great. Why is it great? Because of the dedication each member of the team brings to the project. These are true professionals who are bringing their years of experience to bear on a single goal: creating something great.

Disclaimer: Yes, I do handle the creative direction on the Journal, so I am tooting my own horn, so to speak. But, you know what, that’s ok sometimes.

I just wanted to thank Hal, Lainey, Pat and Michael for all the hard work and dedication they put into each issue. It’s rare that you can look around at a particular moment in time and just feel you are part of something great. This is one of those moments.