😜 Make it messy
3 min read

😜 Make it messy

Recently I talked with Glen about a few insights from the Salon, when he said "Messy is the new perfect!". Boom, there it was!

​That statement perfectly summed up the point I was trying to make. It's a new paradigm for knowledge entrepreneurs. Don't spend too much time polishing your creations. Make it messy, get it out there, then move forward!

The Salon we talked about was building in public (recording available as a podcast here) in which Andrew shared an interesting experience from the Bon Appetite YouTube channel.

Their pastry chef Claire Saffitz tries to recreate famous snacks from scratch, for example, Doritos. Just watch the first 30 seconds and you'll get a feeling how these videos are ... well, messy.

You hear background noises from the kitchen. Things fall on the floor. Claire gets sidetracked when explaining things to the camera and chats up the staff while recording. Most important, she clearly shows her frustrations when things go south. These videos are very entertaining but definitely not polished.

Andrew contrasted that with a video from Claire about soup dumplings that was professionally set up and edited, just like you would expect from a professional video production. I agree, it loses much of its charm.

You might argue that this unpolished look is a style choice and that it may or may not fit the personality of a person or brand.

But there are universal upsides in making things messy:

  • Personality - when a presenter memorizes lines and says them flawlessly it often sounds artificial. Nobody talks like that, except for people in movies. So you will show a lot less of your personality.
  • Authenticity - we all know how things don't always work as expected. The more you are showing it, the more authentic you will be seen by your audience. Showing the struggles of creating things or situations where things go wrong, or where you have to make compromises is a feature not a bug.
  • Identification - the higher the production value of your videos the more distance you put between your audience and you. Starting out always feels messy. If you show it, your audience can relate to you.
  • Getting it done - doing something messy allows you to do more of it. Comparing your own creations to the most successful creations in your category is a perfect recipe to stop you in your tracks. Done is better than perfect!

And to make it very clear: with messy I don't mean cutting back on your expertise. The content of your videos, articles, audios, etc. should and will show your expertise on your (!) topic.

Secondary qualities like video editing, copywriting, photo shooting, web designing, etc. don't add significant value to the content of your message in the first place. Not, when it comes to your expertise in particular.

And if you do have an abundance of resources such as time, money, and creative energy, then go ahead and make it as polished as you want. But who does?

So, make it messy!

My website is messy (I often forget to update the Salon pages), the Salon is messy (just listen to the recordings), my newsletter is messy (I often write it at the last minute), my Twitter stream is messy (I don't post regularly enough).

Still, when I look back on what I created in the last four months I am happy with both, content and the output volume.

Let me know, whether you are, too! πŸ˜€

A messy design genius (Zimri Mayfield)

When I thought about messy knowledge entrepreneurs, Zimri came to mind. His videos are something special! You may or may not like his outgoing personality - I personally love (!) it and am constantly in awe about his quirky and fun gestures and comments. When you watch one of his logo re-design videos, I guess you see his expertise. Improving logos in public may just be the best idea for combining practice, value creation, and audience growth. And if you read the comments, you'll see that he sometimes just disappears from his channel for months. Can this mess be successful? 400k subscribers and 27 Million video views. I think so!

Not digital whiteboard but new software category (Miro)

When I started a remote company three years ago I quickly started looking for digital whiteboard tools. The goal was just to have a shared space to draw visualizations during a Zoom call. I remember how among other tools Miro started to fill that niche. Now a few years later it grew into so much more than a whiteboard. Miro is a tool for visual communication. Just like a whiteboard in a meeting room but digital and with many more functionalities for collaboration. See it as design software for non-designers. The key here is to just start using it with other people. Put sticky notes on the canvas, create flowcharts, draw mockups, throw ideas on the board. Miro makes it easy to convert your thoughts into something visual. Tools like Miro will become a new category of software for every professional, just like email, messaging, video conferencing, etc.

See you next week. It's going to be a mess πŸ˜‰

Achim πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

πŸ‘‰ This was sent out via my newsletter on Apr 18, 2021. Sign up for the newsletter to receive weekly insights for knowledge entrepreneurs.