Sonne Taylor


Posted by Sonne Taylor on

A Primer on Spot TV

I’ve recently begun a quest to learn more about marketing and the way marketing is currently changing due to technological advancement. Part of this is out of interest and love of learning, but it also comes from the hope that I can learn enough about a certain niche within the marketing industry so as to capitalize on the opportunities available.

In the past few weeks, my attention has become focused on spot TV and programmatic advertising.

In case you haven’t heard the term, spot television is specially targeted advertising “spots” on television. In essence, if you have a general idea of who is watching, you can sell a spot to the businesses that would most benefit from reaching that viewership.

The key is just as much in who you don’t reach as who you do reach. Say you were selling female hygiene products, or intense mass-gaining products — you already know what demographics are extremely unlikely to buy your product, so you don’t want to use your advertising budget reaching them. You want to target the viewership that your product was built for. In short, with spot TV it is more important to think about who you’re reaching than what you’re saying.

Shows that had been trapped in late night slots or on smaller channels are starting to have their heyday. In the past, viewership may have came mostly from people flipping through channels and perhaps even watching the ads by accident. That makes it hard to trust specific demographics and meant none of the math could be trusted.

In the last few years innovations in broadcast technology have made it more feasible to reach the audience you would most benefit from.

During the advent of the Internet, one of the biggest opportunities for businesses was the ability to focus on certain demographics. Before then, the only real option was to take a television, radio or newspaper ad, and hope that it reached the right people.

The concept of targeting was out there, but it wasn’t possible to properly do on your own until the companies like Google built a platform with the ability to segment the market and address the target demographics.

This Renaissance of advertising that disrupted almost every industry is finally hitting cable television. For a while it seemed as cable TV ads might just disappear since the innovation hadn’t occurred that would make it possible to go after the right demographics. With DVR’s, online streaming and piracy, the television advertising industry was being threatened with extinction.

This has now changed. Spot TV and programmatic advertising are making it possible to segment out audiences and provide an effective marketing solution once again.

The biggest reason why this is a potential money-maker is that it is underpriced, and drastically so.

Nobody — including you or I — would ever think of going that route, because we would only see it as cheap but garbage TV spots, or extremely expensive mainstream spots. There is a middle-ground, and that’s where the opportunity is. Comcast Spotlight, which is the advertising sales group at Comcast Cable, is making significant moves in the space and taking advantage of the opportunity at hand.

Now that I’ve explained the basics of the industry, I will next go through the major players, advantages and business models.

A Primer on Spot TV was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

But The Answer Is Right There: A Case For Project Based Assessments In Advertising.

I’m noticing a startling trend.

Over the past few years the number of job functions related to marketing online have grown dramatically. Roles haven’t always kept up and some shops always seem to have a slightly different way of doing things.

I first noticed this trouble when we began working through rounds of contract and part-time talent. Breaking apart who was responsible for what on a team is a chore. Some people play minor parts and are quick to take credit for all the work. Others had a very specific task that may not have been the right task for the situation. Divorcing the experience from the lesson it taught is part of the challenge of hiring. It isn’t new and it isn’t going anywhere.

But in many fields, job titles are fairly standardized. If someone tells you they worked as a third grade teacher, for example, you know exactly what they did. They taught third grade.

But when someone tells you that they’ve worked with Facebook Ads for three years, you really don’t have a great way of picking apart what that experience meant.

Many small businesses post a daily post on two social channels. Facebook and Instagram are in many cases a popular setup. Working out the math, you might be making as many as 10 original pieces of content that way. In reality, you may make slightly fewer and use a mix of OPC (other people’s content) and recycled assets. You may also spend a few minutes hitting “boost post” and an incalculable amount of time monitoring, engaging and responding to a (hopefully) growing community.

The trouble is, the ads platform is a lot more powerful than many people realize. Posts don’t just show up in your newsfeed (or the feeds of your audience) via magic.

If you’ve read through Facebook’s Marketing API documentation before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’ll be familiar with each of the different types of edges, fields and nodes in the Facebook graph. You’ll know how to split out Clicks and Link Clicks, and you’ll probably have a series of custom views you use to highlight the reporting metrics you care about.

If this is your experience, and you’ve got three years of it, you have proven that you can pretty much do anything you want in the world of ad targeting. You may need to learn the quirks of a new platform, or the nuances of a differences between auction styles, but you’re well on your way to developing a valuable hard skill.

The trouble is that at the end of the day, your job title won’t look that much different from your colleagues who are walking a less arduous path.

I haven’t found a great way to reliably differentiate between these two types of candidates, but we do have a work around I’ve grown to be rather fond of.

We’ll create an ad account that conforms to conditions you might find at a typical business. We’ll include some historic campaigns, we’ll spin up some post engagement ads. We’ll position everything from the audience on down to recreate a situation with an obvious problem and a handful of potential solutions.

Then we see what they find and what they do about it.

Ike Ellis suggests a similar approach in “I Will Not Do Your Tech Interview,” when the problem is verifying the skills of a key hire, the easiest way to do that is to create an environment where you can actually find that out. Despite the great variety of Commonly Used Aptitude Test Types, there really just isn’t a perfect replacement for documented, verifiable success.

I think a lot about Roger Nesbitt’s questions in “Designing a Great Technical Test Experience,” I’ve copied them here for convenience.

A technical test provides a framework for the following information to leak out:

How do they handle feedback, both positive and negative?

How fast do they pick up on new concepts?

How much have they been exposed to the concept of elegant code?

What do they do when they don’t know something?

What are they fast at? What are they slow at? What are they sloppy at?

Where are the gaps in their knowledge? How far does their knowledge extend? How aware are they of this?

If given an opportunity to, do they cheat by going outside of the rules of the test? Do they admit it when challenged?

How do they justify the decisions they made in their code? How defensive are they?

What are their values when it comes to development? How flexible are they with those values?

If you’re doing it right, it should be possible for your candidate to completely “flunk” the test, but for you still to hire them because you see the value they’ll bring over the next year.

I think there’s something to this.

If you (or your prospective team member) can accurately gauge strengths and weaknesses, there’s a good chance that individual will also be effective at implementing plans to improve on those strengths and mitigate the impact of any weaknesses. That’s a recipe for success.

So it doesn’t fix the problem of uneven candidate credentialing. It also doesn’t make it any easier for a well-qualified-but-poorly-packaged candidate to stand out, but what a project based approach can do is highlight the way your prospective new player will fit into the team. It should give you a clear picture of what learning projects you need to make sure your new employee undertakes. If you’re looking at this from the perspective of looking for a job, I suspect that this is the reason that folks doing hiring generally pay more attention to applications that are the product of a novel approach to problem solving.

While you may not be ready to change the way you do everything today, over the next few years we’re likely to see the popularity of these sorts of assessments grow. It might be a good idea to start thinking about.

But The Answer Is Right There: A Case For Project Based Assessments In Advertising. was originally published in Thoughts On Best Practices.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

A Reluctant Reformed Cord Cutter

“Back to multi-channel TV…for work no less.”

I caught myself muttering something to that effect a few days ago as I ended up plugging myself back into the universe of multi-channel TV.

It isn’t the first time in the last decade I’ve come back, but for the most part I haven’t been a regular customer of cable since 2007.

At first, there weren’t really streaming services to speak of. Enough of the old alternative distribution channels were still around by the time DVD mailer subscription services started to peak, that I don’t remember ever being hungry for content — even then.

The great thing about the mailer services is that they for a while, they were built for same day turnaround. You could find content, receive it, enjoy it and be on to the next thing before the week was out. If, for example, you worked out the right balance Blockbuster Online’s same-day exchange coupons were a great deal.

It wasn’t long before internet streaming just became easier than jumping through all the hoops one had to to work around the system.

That’s when I subscribed.

I thought about that while I was getting myself plugged back into the world of multi-channel the other day. I wasn’t after sports or movies, locals or networks.

I actually just wanted C-SPAN.

I was reminded of a moment half-way through Disney’s 2016 Annual Meeting Of Shareholders where you could hear Bob Iger refrain from suggesting an eager shareholder download a location scrambler to take advantage of DisneyLife.

I know we get asked about piracy by start ups all the time, but I don’t know that what I’ve said has changed much in the time since. Be flattered someone wants your content, and find a way to make it easier to consume.

There’s always going to be a percentage of people out there who are cheapskates, but with some out-of-the-box thinking, you can almost always find a way to make the attention work to your favor.

I read once that the difference between a fully loaded streaming subscriber and a cable subscriber was around 60$. Niche content subscriptions could make up that gap and that makes them potentially valuable real estate for brands.

Why else would my shiny new cable box have taken to asking me if I’m still watching?

A Reluctant Reformed Cord Cutter was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

What I Wondered Spending An Afternoon Building Our iMessage Sticker App

I got it into my head late last week that we ought to recycle a few of the illustrations we’ve been generating over the last year.

I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with the stack, so I started with all the usual suspects. I fiddled with mugs, priced out pins whole nine yards.

Somewhere in the midst of an afternoon spent pricing out merch, I noticed I had a text message.

I realized I had been sending a lot more texts using iMessage stickers, and I figured I might as well spend the time fiddling together a sticker pack.

It’s a great process, and while I’ll try and resist the urge to soapbox too hard, but adelyn has a delightful set “From Sketches to the iMessage Store…” that’s a great place to start checking out the medium.

After resizing a few rough images to use as first version placeholders, I started the process of validating and uploading the app.

Steps went great. Time to upload.

Or to wait…

and wait…

and wait.

We spend a lot of time building out screens for things that aren’t happening in a way that a user might want real updates about. We bury actual settings in consoles and logs and we hope that by doing this we’ll manage complexity in such a way that only the folks who want to be bothered by it are.

But even if something like this screen feels reassuring, it hasn’t done much more than pay lip service to what are otherwise relatively high minded ideals. This loading screen isn’t any more simple than any other, it just looks like it.

That’s not a change, it’s a fresh coat of paint.

What I Wondered Spending An Afternoon Building Our iMessage Sticker App was originally published in Notes On Digital Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

One Trick For Evaluating Readership Numbers

When I first realized that advertising would become a focus of my career, I was in part drawn in by the relatively numeric world of digital advertising. I liked that it was easy to base all of your work on an actual number of users, and it seemed reassuring to be able to know what was happening with the content that you produced.

Over the years as my scope of practice has grown, I’ve had to learn the nuances of the way this same information is communicated differently in different mediums.

A few years ago, I was learning how to buy print. It was then that I first encountered the idea of a readership number. It was explained to me that a magazine publisher knew (roughly) how many issues it produced and how many were distributed. With a bit of work the team publishing a magazine could also know what percentage of run went to homes and what percentage went to places like waiting rooms where it was likely to be seen by multiple people.

A readership number then, was an estimate of how many people actually read the content in any given issue.

While this definition might encourage the comfort of feeling as though there were some sort of consistency into the assumed number of readers per issue, I’ve yet to get the same multiple from any one publisher. Some hold to the average of 4, others report the subscriber number and others come up with justifications I’ve heard for as high as 12x.

Trouble is there are just some situations where you don’t have a choice.
If a strategy demands a certain publication, you need it — no two ways about it.

One trick I’ve found incredibly helpful in these situations is to compare the readership and subscribership numbers. Once you’ve figured out how much the figure is inflated, you can check another source to reference the audience size.

While you can’t always find an exact match, I’ve found that comparing the number of people interested in “bicycles” on Facebook to the number of people a magazine claims as readers (and then both numbers to the total (avg cost/total sales size) number of bicycle sales) can often prove a beneficial exercise.

While it won’t tell you exactly how many people you’re about to reach it should get you a little bit closer to reality than the more optimistic sales figure often is.

One Trick For Evaluating Readership Numbers was originally published in Fits About Prints.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Why You Should Pay Attention To Disney’s Take On This Generation’s iMessage Sticker

Early reactions to iMessage stickers weren’t great, but folks like Yono were quick to check it out. I’ll admit I’ve found myself unable to resist the temptation, and have also rolled my sleeves up to get into the fray.

It’s one of those things you get or you don’t — but when it comes to actually assembling the assets for an iMessage sticker pack? You could have gotten incredibly simply.

There’s a fairly well defined style guide, and the truth is most teams will have many of the necessary assets hanging out in a folder on the shared drive. It’s quite possible you could be looking at as little as an afternoon of work to launch your first sticker pack.

…or would have been.

In recent months a proliferation of image-only stickers has meant that the market has matured a little. If you’re paying attention to the top sticker packs you’ll notice that many include some degree of animation. Others rely on familiar characters.

But familiar characters aren’t enough. One of the earliest players to the space was the Disney company. Disney has a rich library of assets to work with and one has to look no farther than LINE to be given a rich opportunity to study best practices and learn lessons from earlier attempts with stickers.

Disney’s first collections of apps were simple. They included favorite characters with blurbs and static poses. They were generally priced at 1.99 (as are the majority of the apps on the platform.)

Reviews suffered.

Now this isn’t generally true, but I noticed this a few months ago with some curiosity and didn’t give it much thought.

That is until I took the opportunity to pick up one of the recently updated sticker packs I had had on my App Store wishlist.

That’s right: I bought Lion King stickers.

And while you can’t quite tell here, each one has its own animation.

It really is a great set.

So great, I turned around and grabbed one more.

Same thing.

Great pictures, great animations.

As I scrolled, I contemplated looking for a third pack, and wondered what other assets the team had converted into iMessage sticker form.

And then I saw that like all great Disney products, this one ended with a trip to the gift shop.

I can’t tell you from a distance if stickers are the right fit for your project. They might make sense if you have a particularly rich visual library or if you have something to say that can best be expressed with small shareable graphics.

It might sound as though they might not do much of anything for your business, and the truth is it will be a challenge to measure the impact they have. That being said, directed nostalgia like that can be a powerful thing to share with your customers.

While you can’t always influence the way your customers engage with your message emerging communications technologies like iMessage stickers can help to close the gap.

I can tell you anecdotally that I’ve spent more time with these stickers than I have with any of these underlying assets in years.

While that may not always translate directly into added sales, it has a real and perceptible value. Learning to measure and optimize for it is the trick to finding the best way to exploit a new opportunity like Disney has with these stickers.

Why You Should Pay Attention To Disney’s Take On This Generation’s iMessage Sticker was originally published in Marketing Experimentation.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Help Keep Your Account Secure

Why Every Day Transactional Email Might Be Your Biggest Missed Opportunity of 2017

There’s already been more than enough said about the importance of fleshing out a robust transactional email program. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter which platform you end up on so long as when it makes sense for your app to notify a user about something you’re doing it happens seamlessly.

There’s been a lot written about the impact regular notifications can have on the experience of using your app or service. I’ve even noticed a handful of particularly savvy teams experimenting with strategies that make it easier to share emails that might otherwise get dismissed as rote.

And while it’s a much more humble component of your digital marketing universe than most of the other things we talk about, there’s something to be said for taking advantage of small opportunities — wherever they present themselves.

You won’t always be able to rely on a single message to fix every problem in your marketing program. Sometimes, you’ll just have to rely that the system works in more cases than it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that you need to neglect the opportunity to make your small messages matter.

A well timed push notification can make the difference between a daily active and semi-active user. Over time those small changes can mean a big impact on your metrics.

Help Keep Your Account Secure was originally published in Notes On Digital Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

“But How Long Will This Take”

The Time It Takes For Your “Marketing To Work.”

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Imagine you have a mobile app that gets 100 downloads a day and you’re trying to decide if you should invest in marketing.

For every 100 people who download your app, 5 become a paying customer. You’re averaging 5 new customers a day. For the sake of easy to follow numbers, let’s assume that each new customer is worth 10$ to your business — after costs and the App Store’s cut are taken out. You’re making 50$ a day.

Now you may say to yourself, self how can I make this 50$ work for me in the form advertising.

You draw up a series of ten ads. You build an audience of 500,000 people. You give each ad a budget of $5 dollars*. This means that each ad is set to reach an estimated audience of 5,000 people.

Between 2–5% of the people who see an ad, click. We’ll use 2.5% as the average. Of the people who click, 20% of the people download the app.

That means your ads that reached 50,000 people also generated 1,250 app downloads. For every 100 downloads, you generate 5 paying customers. That means your ads generated 12.5 paying customers. (We’ll say 12.)

If each paying customer was worth 10$ to your business, we could say that your 50$ of ads generated 120$ of profit.

You more than doubled your money.

But that still doesn’t answer the question we set out with: the question of how long it would take to reach your goals.

The trouble is, that question is nearly impossible to answer without some insight as to what your particular goal may be.

What do I mean by this?

If you take a second walk through the example you’ll notice my asterisk. It’s placed there because in creating that thought experiment, I made a very very generous assumption about what astute advertisers might have noticed as CPM.

The truth is, there are very few places you can advertise where $1 of ad spend could reach 1,000 people in your target audience.

It’s also unlikely that a new app would be generating a conversion rate of 5% out of the gate — especially at the price point you’d need to walk away with 10$ per sale.

There are a lot of levers to fiddle with.

But when it comes to calculating how long your ads need to serve to reach your goal, the levers you need to be most concerned with are the ones relating to how many people see your ad, what percentage of them take action and what percentage of those complete the action.

If you have that information, you can figure out how many people you need to reach and at what response rate to generate the number people taking action you’re looking for.

From there, you can figure out how long you’ll need that action to occur in order to hit your goal.

If you need to move at a faster pace, you can increase the number of people you reach at the top of the funnel. If you need to stretch your dollar, you can look for ways to increase conversion rate or slow down the rate at which you reach your audience.

While you won’t ever get numbers quite as clean as you could in our little example above, you will find this a very helpful rule of thumb for calculating just how long you’ll need to advertise.

“But How Long Will This Take” was originally published in .

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

We could end “Fake News” right now with digital ad exchange inventory transparency.

There’s been a lot of hoopla about the scourge of fake news. As someone who works with, and around, people that value settling on the facts before interpreting them, I’m discouraged to see the rise of lying as a legitimate “business” model.

However, I don’t really blame these Macedonian teens, or whomever really, for gaming a rigged and corrupt system. A system that has been allowed to embarrassingly continue and has been defrauding legitimate businesses of advertising dollars for years. I’m talking about the 800 layers of bloated, inefficient, and downright fraudulent ad tech that the digital advertising world is dealing with right now.

I want you to imagine you’re walking into a burger restaurant. You go up to the counter and order a cheeseburger. However, you’re health conscious, so you first ask what the ingredients are. The cashier responds that they can’t tell you what goes into the burger, but they can tell you it’s great! In fact it’s a premium burger. Much better than the other place down the street. Also, after you pay, you only have a 55% chance of actually receiving what you paid for. In addition, if you do manage to get anything, up to half of it won’t be real beef. It’ll be bug meat. Sounds absurd right?

This is the reality of programmatic advertising right now.

So this is really important to understand, because in an effort to secure their inventory and undercut one another, these ad exchanges have extremely opaque inventories. When I go buy on a demand side platform, I often times have no way of seeing what the inventory is until I’ve actually bought it, and even then it’s only through measuring clicks on the back end. So these teens sign up for these exchanges, and then they arbitrage this against Facebook’s traffic. Essentially what they’re doing, is buying clicks on Facebook cheaper than they’re selling them by tapping into hot button high traffic issues. In this case, the US presidential election.

Which brings me back to this original point. These kids don’t give a shit about the election. They’re pretty transparent that they’re in this game for the money. These Macedonian teens simply took advantage of the system. Very few advertisers wake up the morning, walk over to their computer, and then think to themselves. “Hmm, I should buy some ads on thetruthaboutjohnpodestaandhillary.com, that’s the ticket!” There’s just no meaningful way to discern what you’re buying unless you have the budget to force exchanges to have transparency.

So you want to end fake news? Clean up the digital ad ecosystem. Hell, regulate them to force inventory transparency. It’ll end the financial incentive while also preserving the rights of independent and indie press. In addition, you’ll give small advertisers equal footing to play with the big players. Someone just has to have the guts to take on the advertising industrial complex.

We could end “Fake News” right now with digital ad exchange inventory transparency. was originally published in Notes On Digital Marketing.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

The Difference Between Love And Obsession

What I Think “Five Years’ Experience” Really Means And Why You Should Ignore It

Before I get too far ahead of myself here, I want to take a moment to say that if you’ve stumbled into this post because you’re encountering one of life’s most mysterious of frustrations you may find better answers on the resume game in Dr. John Sullivan’s delightful “Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By The Numbers,” it’s one of the best explanations I’ve seen of how applicant tracking systems have changed the way we recruit talent.

But there’s one particular nuance that I’m not sure I’ve seen receive as much attention.

By some accounts, 2004’s introduction of “flyers” was the first iteration of Facebook advertising. I remember when I first started playing with the Facebook Ads platform, but that wouldn’t launch for years after the fact. In 2008 businesses started creating pages, and by 2012 the ad platform had matured enough to include conversion event targeting and user modeling.

Which is why it was so curious to start seeing job descriptions for “Facebook Marketers” as early that year (2008) that asked for 5 years of experience with the advertising platform.

The trouble is, it wouldn’t have been possible to have five years’ experience on the platform at that point.

The platform just hadn’t been around that long.

At the time, I wasn’t really in a position to do anything about it, so I kind of just forgot about it.

This afternoon, however, I was speaking with my sister who is just starting to explore the job market for the first time as an adult. It reminded me how baffling these sorts of requirements can be.

Yeh-Nah-Yeh Isn’t Wrong.

There’s a few different school of thought as to what the phrase actually means.

  1. It’s an attempt to encourage applicants to self-select out.
  2. It’s an attempt to find an applicant with a measure of real world — not just academic experience.
  3. It’s an attempt to find someone familiar enough with a role to be able to hit the ground running.
  4. It’s the product of a hastily thrown together spec by a less-than-clear-headed hiring manager.

This isn’t to say that these categories are the be all and end all. You don’t have to look too far however, to find several discussions where the topic is explored at length.

But, I think, really I’m of a similar mind on these as Raghav Haran (here.)

There’s 40 hours in the normal work week, and roughly 52 weeks a year. But people don’t really work 52 weeks, right?

From The Fine Folks At BLS

We could take the time to figure out the exact average number of days one might accrue over those five years, but for the sake of this exercise, let’s just assume that the average US employee gets 29 days off a year. 29/5=5.8 weeks off.

52 weeks in a year – 5.8 weeks off a year = 46.2 work weeks.

At 40 hours a week, that means one year of work is the equivalent of 1,848 hours of labor.

Now, for the sake of the exercise take that 1,848 hours and multiply it by the number of years’ experience (5) required. You’ll come up with 9,240 hours.

And then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder about the impact my leniency with vacation days had on the number of hours.

In the time since the 10,000 hours metric was popularized, there’s been a growing bit of dissent.

Some, like Herbet Lui feel 10,000 hours just isn’t enough to become a master. Others, like David Kadavy, have highlighted just which variables you ought to be paying attention to.

Drake Baer notes what I think is one rather important bit of detail those who parrot the hourly figure often miss: the significance of the quality of the work.

It’s not as though you can just run out the clock and end up where you want to be. In fact, if you revisit the literature I think there’s one part worth considering.

“The distinction between work and training (deliberate practice) is generally recognized. Individuals given a new job are often given some period of apprenticeship or supervised activity during which they are supposed to acquire an acceptable level of reliable performance. Thereafter individuals are expected to give their best performance in work activities and hence individuals rely on previously well-entrenched methods rather than exploring alternative methods with unknown reliability. The costs of mistakes or failures to meet deadlines are generally great, which discourages learning and acquisition of new and possibly better methods during the time of work. For example, highly experienced users of computer software applications are found to use a small set of commands, thus avoiding the learning of a larger set of more efficient commands (see Ashworth, 1992, for a review). Although work activities offer some opportunities for learning, they are far from optimal. In contrast, deliberate practice would allow for repeated experiences in which the individual can attend to the critical aspects of the situation and incrementally improve her or his performance in response to knowledge of results, feedback, or both from a teacher. Let us briefly illustrate the differences between work and deliberate practice. During a 3-hr baseball game, a batter may get only 5–15 pitches (perhaps one or two relevant to a particular weakness), whereas during optimal practice of the same duration, a batter working with a dedicated pitcher has several hundred batting opportunities, where this weakness can be systematically explored (T. Williams, 1988).”

I don’t know that it’d be right to suggest that each hiring team put this level of thought into planning out their process, but I think in a way this makes a bit of sense.

For example, I know that I tend to try to have as many people working on production-quality work at one time as I can — but not everyone in my position manages their resources in the same way. What I might expect as standard performance from a Jr. Designer, for example, might better map up to another organization’s Associate Art Director role. If these two jobs have exactly the same title, someone somewhere is going to have to figure out how to unpack the experience and compare the candidates.

True too, is that the constraints of the environment don’t always allow for picking up the context necessary to really understand how any one given aptitude, experience, or talent fits into the bigger picture. Such perspective can really only be acquired with….well, perspective.

There’s something to be said about the value of being humbled by a lack of experience, but thus far I have found struggling to accurately catalog strengths and weaknesses (and then identifying the steps to leverage those strengths to mitigate said weakness) has proven far more rewarding.

The Difference Between Love And Obsession was originally published in Thoughts On Best Practices.