I make media.
I’m fortunate that doing something I love has become my career. In 2003, I founded Common Craft and it has employed me as a media maker ever since.
More than anything, I am a writer. Sometimes my words become scripts for Common Craft videos, chapters in a book or issues of a newsletter. Other times, they’re used for mediocre attempts at humor in text messages. I wield my words with great care and benefit from having my wife, Sachi, as my editor.
Most people consider me personable and easy-going. I smile a lot, maybe too much. My natural setting is optimistic and generally happy, with a side of anxiety. If we met in person, I would ask you a lot of questions.
I try to live my life with great intention and a focus on quality. To me, this means remaining in control of my time and being willing to take risks and accept trade-offs in order to craft the life I want.
I have a deep and abiding connection to the pacific northwest of the US. I moved from Charleston, South Carolina to Seattle in 1998 and never looked back. In 2019, we moved even further northwest to an island off the coast of Washington State called Orcas Island. A wooded, mountainous place, surrounded by the waters of the Salish Sea, is where we’ve chosen to be.
1973 – Born Winston-Salem, NC, USA
1998 – Earns Master’s Degree (MHA)
1998 – Moves to Seattle
2000 – Creates & Manages Online Community of Customers
2002 – Becomes a Blogger
2003 – Founds Common Craft
2004 – Marries Sachi
2007 – Establishes Explainer Video Genre
2012 – Publishes The Art of Explanation
2015 – Launches Explainer Academy
2019 – Moves to Orcas Island, WA
2020 – Publishes Big Enough (in May)
10 Things About Me
- My middle name is “Omar”, making my initials “LOL”.
- I grew up on my family’s goldfish farm in Kernersville, North Carolina.
- I have two dogs, Maybe and Piper.
- I was in a car wreck in high school and a piece of glass remains in my cheek.
- I once traveled overland from Beijing to the west coast of Norway.
- I swing a baseball bat left-handed, but play tennis right-handed.
- My first car was a 1984 Honda Prelude.
- My first concert was Prince’s Purple Rain tour.
- The first CD I purchased was “Easy-E – Easy Does It”
- I’ve seen the band Phish over 50 times
About Common Craft
Common Craft is the company I’ve run since 2003. In 2007, my wife and partner, Sachi, joined the company and it became greater than the sum of its parts.
As an experiment, we started making animated videos that explained technology and social media. Those videos, made with paper cut-outs and a whiteboard, were viral hits and are now known as the first explainer videos of the YouTube era.
Since that time, Common Craft has been our laboratory. We’ve experimented with multiple business models and technologies as we searched for a balance between entrepreneurship and quality of life.
Today, Common Craft is primarily a membership service for educators. Our growing library of original videos is used by educators in over 50 countries. The story of Common Craft is told in my book Big Enough.
About Explainer Academy
Explainer Academy is an online school focused on communication and explanation skills. I teach the courses, which are online and self-paced.
The idea for the Explainer Academy came from Common Craft members who wanted to learn how to create videos similar to our own. That’s why the Explainer Academy exists. We want to help people use explainer videos to solve problems.
My newsletter tells the stories behind my big projects. You’ll learn how I work, think, and play.