In the spring of 2020, the publish date of BIG ENOUGH was pushed to the fall and I suddenly had unexpected time on my hands. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and over 1,000 Americans were dying per day. I felt the need to do something.
Being a producer of explainer videos, I put a lot of effort into explaining the issues I thought were most important. For these videos, I chose to use a format I call “Readable” videos. They have no voice-over and use words on the screen to tell a quick story. They work without sound are accessible to people with hearing impairments.
When we made the videos, I didn’t think they’d be needed for too long. It almost seemed that the messages were coming late in the evolution of the pandemic. Sadly, I was wrong. Today, four months later, they are needed more than ever. The videos we produced are below. They are also provided for free in the form of a COVID Communication Kit.
Building a business inevitably comes with a personal cost. For many, that cost is debt, long hours, and reduced quality of life. Years of toil are traded for a shot at striking gold and the allure is undeniable. The risk can seem worth the rewards and I applaud those who choose to take it.
But I also believe that now is the time for a new perspective that challenges traditional notions of business success and respectability. Who is to say that a small, sustainable business is less successful than a big, growing one? Is an entrepreneur who values quality of life less respectable?
I created the 47-second video below to explain this new version of success and the value of building a business that grows what matters to you.
Writing a book is only one part of being an author. To make your book successful, you must also promote it and work to get it noticed. One of the most powerful methods is a pre-order campaign, which means encouraging people in your personal network to pre-order the book.
The question becomes: Why do pre-orders matter? The answer deserves a clear explanation, so I made the 90-second video below as a resource for any author or publisher. Please feel free to share it or use it in your campaign.
One of the side-effects of being known as an explainer is the tendency for people to pay close attention to how I explain ideas large and small. I can imagine them asking a question and then waiting to see what amazing analogy I can pull out of my hat. Of course, like asking a comedian to be funny, it doesn’t typically work that way. The explanations that support my livelihood take many hours to craft.
Now that I have a book coming out, I’m facing another kind of explanation challenge in the form of explaining Big Enough. It seems like every time I write about it, I take a slightly different path and I’m constantly wondering if I’ve stumbled upon the one explanation that works best.
Common Craft Co-founder Lee LeFever has a new book arriving in May 2020. The book is called Big Enough and it tells the story of building Common Craft to be an intentionally small company over the last decade. If you’re curious about the company behind the videos and saner, healthier approaches to entrepreneurship, you’ll love it
Like so many before it, this little promotion will come and go. And that’s the problem. I could craft the best, more productive summary and never know if it hit the mark. Further, because it’s for a specific audience, there’s no guarantee it will work in other contexts. Such is life as an explainer. I find solace in the fact that each time I write about the book, I’m practicing and hopefully, getting better each time.
I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.