I’ve been thinking of different fun projects, one that stuck is a blog and possible video program that focuses on running a creative studio. This will cover business, clients, technology and all focus on our category of work. While i’m still learning everyday, I want to give back to the community i’m fortunate to be a part of. Please comment, share and provide overall feedback on the topics you’d like to see.

Without further delay, let’s start with the top reasons you’re likely losing out on jobs.

Over the last 10 years of pitching to clients as small as a 1 man shop and as large as fortune 50 companies i’ve learned what works and what most certainly shoots you in the foot. Before we dive in, I just want to mention there are some instances where 1 or even all of these may be okay, but mainly.. they are not!

1. The “instant business card”

You know the scene, you’re at an event or bump into a business owner and immediately think “they need my business card in order to really think of working with me”. Problem is, you immediately come off as pushy and instant sales mode. Rather than push your card, why not talk to them a bit, get to know their current struggles and propose some solutions. Then if the conversation goes well, hand them your card and ask for theirs to follow up. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) give every girl your number at the bar, don’t throw your business card around hoping it sticks.

2. Immediately trying to sell

When talking with a prospect your first order of business should not be to sell them (crazy I know, but stay with me). Instead you should listen to what they say, what works, what doesn’t, basically just get a read of the conversation. Then once you have enough information you can propose a plan (practice this) and almost always, you’ll land the sale. If you immediately come in trying to sell, you’ll alienate the prospect, they’ll go on the defensive and its a lose/lose.

3. No work to back up your words

The best salesman in the world will come to a point when they have to show what can be done for a prospect. In web/mobile work this is achieved by showing your portfolio of prior work. However when starting out you likely do not have one. Rather than get frustrated, work to build your portfolio. Start with small projects, use those to get slightly bigger projects and with hard work you’ll have a portfolio that speaks louder than you ever can.

4. The “I’m the best in the world” mentality

Being an expert in your field is awesome, throwing that at prospects however is not always great. The overall goal of an initial sales opportunity is to speak less and listen more. If you plan to ram your ideas and process down the clients throat, then maybe you should sell goods instead of services. While the sales tactics are pretty much identical (we solve a problem), the message needs to be delivered in a non-bragging way.

5. Leaving customers with a “bad taste” in their mouth

This one is a bit different than the other 4, simply because it is very hard to overcome. A reputation is built over years of hard work but can be ruined in one instant. Your goal should be to protect your reputation at all costs, however sometimes a client relationship goes sour. The problem is especially in small business communities, owners know each other and word can spread quick.

There you go, work on your delivery, get that portfolio packed (with quality work), listen more and you’ll most certainly land more jobs.


Photo Credit: B.Davis Photography

Time certainly flies, i’ve now owned the M3 for a little over one year. In that year i’ve spent money on track days, autocross events, rallies, car shows, repairs, mods, ticket :( and insurance. I figured I would take a moment and go over my experiences with each category.

Taking the M3 to it’s natural habitat… the track!

Earlier this year I was invited to a Porsche sponsored track day at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. This was my first time going to a track (besides NASCAR) and naturally the first time i’d be taking my car on the track. After a quick classroom session, we strapped on our helmets, got in and did some follow the leader style track driving. The amount of knowledge I gathered in a few short runs was mind-melting. I recommend anyone interested in sports cars to attend at least one track day in their life.

Photo Credit: Porsche of Westwood

Autocross took a back seat

Here we are in August and i’ve only attended one autocross event. This is due in part to work obligations, family trips and attending more community driven events (car shows and rides) that in previous years. I did manage to get my only ticket on the way to that autocross event though, so that will be a memorable event, for all the wrong reasons.

Rallies and Car Shows

Something about cars, octane, coffee (which I do not drink) and great people makes Cars & Coffee a great way to spend a Saturday morning. I’m very fortunate to live about 15 minutes from Larz Anderson Auto Museum which hosts the greatest C&C in the area. Over the year i’ve made some great friends, contacts and even landed a few clients.

In addition to C&C, i’ve also attended a few car rallies, which is basically an event that car folks gather, drive to a destination and grab some food. It’s not a race or a timed event, once again great people and nice cars. What’s not to love?

3 Day Rally Upcoming

Next week my wife and I will be attending our first multi-day rally to Canada. It will be quite the adventure, once again awesome cars and great people. One thing cars has created is a bond with other owners that no other hobby i’ve had seemed to.

Cost of Ownership

Aside from the track day and other car events, the TCO (total cost of ownership) on the M3 has been much higher than any of my other cars. However its all relative. Here is a short list of what i’ve had to do maintenance wise:

– Flush the differential fluid
– Replace side skirt
– 3x oil changes
– Repair adaptive headlights
– Replace inside trim pieces
– Wiper blades
– Tires (these go quick!)

As you can see, more than a typical family sedan, but the SPG (smiles per gallon) far outweigh the TCO for the past year.

Planned to Mod the M3 Over Time

Well I had planned to slowly mod the car over a few years of ownership, but that didn’t really work so well. In the past year i’ve changed the lights, intake, ECU tune, exhaust, tint and exterior trim pieces… to name a few. Part of the reason for modding was because i’m impatient, but it also allowed me to spend time looking over the car, working on it myself and just enjoying ownership more. I think i’m done modding for this season, but have already started a list for 2016.

What’s Next?

I’m at a crossroads right now, I want to keep the M3 a few more years, however the warranty expires in late 2016. Which of course means the cost for the years following will be much higher. I’d also like to try other cars, so far I have my eye on a few Porsches, Mercedes and even some older Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s. I guess time will tell on how long the M3 will be in the garage.

Bonus item: Washing, waxing and detailing is quite a lot of fun. Especially because I just learned about Chemical Guys products and all their gadgets. Here is a photo after hitting the car with a soap cannon.

As some of you know I just returned from a vacation to Florida with my family. However this vacation was a little different. Rather than spend a few weeks at Disney and other attractions, we rented a car and decided to drive to local beaches, Miami and Key West. Overall we enjoyed Miami, good food, nice cars, okay beaches (more on this later) and nice atmosphere.

From Miami we drove to Key West and while it was great seeing the southern most point (the Buoy), Key West really didn’t live up to our expectations. We did enjoy it, just not as much as I had hoped. The highlight of this portion of the trip was visiting the Key West Pie Company (from CNBCs The Profit), which as you’d imagine has amazing key lime pie.

Rather than staying in Key West we drove back to Orlando in about 7 hours and started the second half of our vacation. When the time came to visit Disney and other parks I decided to leave the camera, GoPro and iPhone photography at home. Reason being, I wanted to experience the vacation as it happened. The result? A much more enjoyable and connected vacation with my family. While looking at photos of Space Mountain and Mickey spotting is fun, i’ve found social media and FOMO results in our actually missing the true point of an vacation/event. We do of course have some photos from key moments and I know my wife took some candid photos.

Now, the other goal of this vacation was to visit various beaches throughout Florida and I can say we accomplished that. We swam/sunned at beaches in Venice, Miami, Key West and Sarasota. For Venice, our favorite beach was Caspersen, an out-of-the-way beach just beside an airport. This beach had lovely water, a seafood restaurant and great sand (though very hot in July!). Miami beaches were okay, though crowded and dirty overall. For Key West, our first beach was closed because of Red Tide but we did find a nice family beach, Fort Zachary Taylor which had food, picnic tables and massive amounts of beachfront.

The best beach out of all of those was actually one in Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach. This had Caribbean white sand, a large beach front for visitors, food onsite, facilities and a playground for kids. We ended up spending about 5 hours at this beach and cannot wait to go back on our next vacation.

Overall this vacation was a blast, a little deviation (both the photos and inner-state travel) but one i’m glad we did. I look forward to taking similar vacations in other places around this country. The goal of a vacation is to have fun, not just visit the main attractions everyone does. All told in 10 days we drove over 2500 miles and visited 7 towns/cities throughout Florida.

Last week I had the immense pleasure to be featured on the Busy Creator podcast, hosted by Prescott Perez Fox. Not only did I have the opportunity to speak about the company, technology and general business. I also was able to chat with a longtime e-friend of mine. Prescott and I have been friends for about 10 years, back to our PhotoshopCafe days. It was great catching up with an old friend and being able to share some projects/workflows for PixelBit.

I welcome you to have a listen, share and post your thoughts. This was my first podcast, so I later learned a few audio oddities that i’ll be sure to incorporate, should I be featured on another podcast.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 3.00.15 PM

As most of you guys know, TestFlight was the best mobile testing and distribution platform for iOS developers. Well, that is now a thing of the past as Apple has shut down testflightapp.com in favor of their internal testing process. One of the biggest gripes with the internal process is your app must go through review in order to be deployed to testers.

After TestFlight went offline we had to pick another mobile testing platform. We tried out a few different ones, but overall found HockeyApp to be the most robust. Even-though it does have a monthly fee (TestFlight was free) it wasn’t too bad, basically $10/mo for the first 25 apps. One of the coolest features I found (so far) in HockeyApp is the ability to integrate crash reports and issue trackers. At PixelBit, we use JIRA and to our surprise that is one of the integrated options. After some setup on HockeyApp, configuring a WebHook in JIRA and throwing some errors to test the integration, its all set up and working. Took about 5 minutes from start to finish.

Here is how the integration works. When a crash happens in your app, a notification is sent to HockeyApp. Once the integration is configured this crash log can be sent to JIRA via a webhook and create (or update) a ticket. The crash log, link to the report and high-level information is created in the JIRA ticket. Here is an example crash:



Configuring the process

Basically all you have to do is in HockeyApp visit the App settings (Manage App > Bug Tracker). Log in to your JIRA account, pick your project and make sure you enable “Auto Create Ticket” otherwise a ticket will not be created. Once your project is selected, copy the WebHook URL at the bottom of the screen. Finally, click Save.


Now in JIRA pick your project and go to (Settings > Projects > System). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “WebHooks”. Click “Create a Webhook” and paste that URL from HockeyApp. Finally, make sure “created” is checked under Issues.


That’s it, now you should have integrated issue tracking with HockeyApp and JIRA. HockeyApp does have support for other issue trackers as well. This process is especially useful in multi-person team environments, it allows the developers to stay in sync with crash bugs and removes the tedious step of issue tracking for bugs.

Note: It only seems to alert on the first crash bug for a set, additionally you can exclude some bugs/categories/projects using JIRA JQL.

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