Snippets from the Glug event in Auckland

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Glug event here in Auckland and thought I’d share several snippets of knowledge that stuck with me.

For those of you who don’t (yet) know what Glug is all about, I’ve got you covered:

Glug is a series of events for the design and creative community established around 2007. Based around a series of talks and informal networking, Glug has become one of the most exciting, credible and well attended creative events around.”

So this thing has been around for many years and is just now slowly taking off in New Zealand from what I’ve gathered.

Nathan James Cooper

First up was Nathan James Cooper, who is a Digital Director at TBWA and also runs the blog rubbishcorp among other things.
This was probably the most genuine and entertaining talk of the evening, as the crowd attentively listened to every piece of advice they were offered.

When talking about his own journey, Nathan stressed the importance of side projects, especially for those working in a creative industry. We don’t always get to do what we want during our day job, since we’re not the only ones involved in it. There are compromises to be made and that’s okay. And here is where side projects come in to fill that creative gap. If you spend 50% of your creative energy at work, you still have 50% to spend on a project you really like, without having to please anyone but yourself in your free time. How cool is that?

For these side projects to take shape, however, you have to stop being lazy and do something. Try out new stuff - who cares if it doesn’t work out.

If you”re going to fail, fail fast.”

Instead of holding onto a lingering project for several years in hopes that it might amount to something, it’s best to go all in from the start and move on if it fails. After all, the more stuff you make, the more chances you have of at least one turning out decent, right?

He also touched on the 80/20 rule, which goes against any perfectionist’s mindset.
To sum it up, if you are in the process of getting good at something, it ought to be enough to settle for 80% mastery of that thing. Supposedly, trying to close the gap from 80% to 100% in order to reach perfection is a waste of both time and energy since those 20% more won’t really make any difference in the big picture.
In fact, at this stage you could just be satisfied with your current skill level and move on to learn new skills instead.

Casey Eden

Next up was Casey Eden, the co-founder of Neighbourly, who shared insights about the start-up life and his business practices.
Among the more surprising revelations was the absolute transparency at his company. In fact all employees know pretty much everything business-related about their colleagues. Yes, even salary.

Some of the points he made were already mentioned by Nathan so I won’t repeat myself here.

Mike Van De Elzen

The final speaker for the evening, famous chef Michael Van De Elzen, looked back on his old lifestyle when he ran the Molten Restaurant. He realised how much his job had taken over his life which slowly led to unhealthy habits such as regular 100-hour weeks, lack of exercise and overall stress.
He solved this problem by learning to let go little by little without having to be in control of everything all the time.

Even though success comes at a price, he reached a point where his hard work hurt him more than it helped him, so Mike took a step back and looked at the bigger picture.

His new life style is more relaxed and he enjoys family time much more than before, even though that doesn’t stop him from having many new projects in the pipeline which include a new book on healthy cooking for busy people.

So there you have it. I just realised that there is a big disparity between my recaps, but that doesn’t mean I did not enjoy what everyone had to say. There’s only so much one can remember in a single night.