The lady GSD&M pays to refer business to other agencies

Nice story in the Austin American-Statesman about GSD&M’s Glenda Goehrs, whose job it is to match other Austin ad agencies with accounts that are too small for our burg’s biggest (by far) ad firm. And she’s been doing it for 20 years. 

This goes a long way toward explaining why, from my perspective at least, other agencies in town tend to view GSD&M more as a benevolent big brother, rather than an uncaring Goliath. 

Just another reminder that success in our business is not a zero-sum game. 

Austin American-Statesman: GSD&M employee has an odd job—sending business to others

Artist Rafael Leonardo Black inspires through guileless perseverance

Last month, 10 of Rafael Leonardo Black’s pencil drawings sold at a gallery showing, at prices ranging $16,000 to $28,000. 

They were apparently the first drawings he’d sold after 30 years of cranking them out in a cramped Brooklyn studio apartment. 

Black, as quoted in this brief NYT profile, says, “I just never made the effort to sell it. I never expected to be able to make a living at it, but I’ve always done it since — well, I guess, since I’ve known my self.”

Never expect. Always do. Thank you for the reminder, Rafael Leonardo Black. 

NYT: Discovered at 64, A Brooklyn Artist Takes His Place

Readers of Oblogatory, more of you it seems there are

Hey, Oblogatory is averaging a bit over a thousand unique visitors a month, which is totally thrilling to me. I just wanted to say I really appreciate y’all coming around. 

If there’s something you’re interested in seeing here, or you want to offer feedback on a post, please don’t hesitate to email me

Too sweet: Krispy Kreme mgr. runs rings to please a customer

Really sweet story in the Statesman today about an Austin entrepreneur’s encounter with a ready-to-please restaurant manager. 

Smarting from a withdrawn financial commitment, Jia Jiang set out to toughen himself against future disappointment by asking strangers for odd requests. The goal of his “rejection therapy” was to do this for 100 days and get turned down 100 times.

He hit up a stranger for 100 bucks. He asked for a burger “refill” at a fast food place. So far so good. But on only the third day of his experiment he went in to an Austin Krispy Kreme and met manager Jackie Braun. Watch the inspiring outcome:



Squarespace under-promises and over-delivers uptime in wake of Sandy

This site is hosted on Squarespace, one of the many all-in-one site building and hosting solutions out there.

When I started my freelance business, there were a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of options for each decision. I could’ve literally spent hours deciding whether to go with Squarespace, or one of their many competitors. But a friend told me about them, I saw that they offered most of what I was looking for at a fair price, and they seemed like a stable player in the market, so I bought in. And I’ve been satisfied. 

Last week, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the company sent out an email blast saying, essentially, We’re sorry to tell you this, but a big part of our infrastructure is in the hardest hit section of Manhattan, and despite all of our redundancies and contingencies, the severity of the storm damage makes it look likely that your service will be interrupted. 

Uh oh, I thought. That’s not good, but at least they are preparing me for the worst. 

But the worst never came. My site, along with the sites of thousands of other Squarespace customers, kept right on humming. And yesterday, I got another email blast from Squarespace explaining why: their employees hauled fuel up 17 flights of stairs for three days to keep their back-up back-up back-up generator running. 

And all this so that I could post stupid videos of me interviewing my cat and you could watch them.

Not only did they handle the emergency beautifully, they handled the communications around it beautifully:

  • They prepared me for the worst and apologized ahead of time. 
  • The follow-up email sent yesterday by Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena was focussed on the actions of the company’s dedicated employees. It wasn’t, “Hey, we’re so great,” so much as, “Hey, our people are great, they really laid it out there for our customers, and we’re proud of them.” Subtle but important difference.
  • The email also included a reminder that many are still suffering and a link to donate to hurricane relief. 

In short,

How likely am I to remain a Squarespace customer? Very likely. 

How likely am I to recommend Squarespace? Very likely.