Contentions: Article, series, zine, publication

It’s easy for gravitational pull—fear, doubt, uncertainty, lenience, confusion—to draw a project out longer than it needs to take. Especially at a large company, it feels like the more time and money you have, the better it’ll turn out. 

Of course, that’s not true; I’ve done projects with plenty of time, and some with tighter timelines, and there’s usually no correlation with how it ends up turning out. What does change is the quickness to test and displaying momentum. Let’s say a trusted agency or in-house team takes six months to ship a project, and you want to see results sooner. They won’t budge. Can you scope the project down and meet your own sooner deadline?

If the project is important enough, you’ll focus on it. Let’s say you’re working to build a publication: maybe, write up one investigative article yourself or with a collaborative writer (AI or human!), editor, and researcher. If you can do one post, you can do a series. You can also promote that draft or post to some of your target readers; it’ll be a good reason to meet actual people. If you can do a series, you can then turn it into a zine. If you turn it into a zine, you can turn it into a publication; you can also work with a designer to make a print version of the zine, and distribute print versions of it at your company’s events. 

Six months later, as the big publication design is ready, you’ll have plenty of work to migrate over and find a new home for, and you can properly do a big launch of the publication’s brand and identity. It’ll all work out.

The idea I’m suggesting here is to take both paths: to work both on a version of the big project at the slower corporate/bureaucratic pace, and also to work on a version of it like the survival of your project—and your job—depends on it with a scrappy team of people and group of resources.

See Skateboard, Bike, Car and Testable, Usable, Loveable. See also, Make Twice, Sell Twice.

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