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Kicked Out of Virtual Comfort

05/20/10

I’ve lived my entire professional career in the virtual world.  Job interviews over video conferencing.  Client requests through instant message.  The final product was always a web site, software, the latest application.

View of an inbox

C'mon, admit it. More days than not you live in your inbox.

You’ve been in this world.  Your email is your to-do list.  People you work with everyday you rarely see face-to-face.  It’s easier to explain “what you do” if you have access to the Internet.

I walked into my meeting at TDIC with a beautiful keynote presentation made on my Mac.  Copies for everyone.  Stapled perfectly vertically.

The TDIC team looked through the ideas on paper in about ten minutes.  Then they wanted to spend the remainder of our time discussing the bag using my current laptop bag as a point of reference.

Immediately I was kicked out of my virtual comfort zone.

You want to look inside my bag?  In the pocket where the highlighter leaked and its all bright yellow?  Where the gum wrappers go to die?  Well, I guess if we have to…OK.

During the meeting I learned two things:

1.  If you’re going to be a bag manufacturer people are going to want to look inside your bag, so it better be as beautiful as those presentations you’re so proud of.  They’re going to ask you to open it up at the bookstore, in the airport and in the ladies room.

2.  While my new venture will always have a presence online (this blog, Facebook, Twitter, a website) I was now in the real world with a finished product that didn’t earn its living in the computer.

The biggest surprise?  It actually felt good.  It felt real.

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