Entrepreneurial Project Management

Guerrilla tips and tactics for getting things done

“When You Set Yourself on Fire . . .

Posted by matteverard on July 11, 2006

People love to come to see you burn.”

–John Wesley

Good leaders know that if you are genuinely amped about your project, you will attract followers. I remember seeing an interview with some early Apple programmers describing how Steve Jobs rallying the troops into a death march with a St. Crispen’s day speech. The pitch: “if you can shave 8 seconds off the boot-up time for millions of people, think of the man-years of productivity gained!”

Leadership = vision + passion + diligence

My buddy, Todd, is showing some great leadership in his latest project to make his first movie…at 35, w/ 3 young kids, and a full-time job (not in LA, not in the movie biz). The best way to describe it is “a love-story-documentary about youths and record stores” and the cultural shift that has come about through digitization (e.g. kids don’t go to record stores anymore and as much as we’ve gained w/ iPods, we’ve lost something, too). Kind of a Dog Town and Z-Boys about Music.

You might say that the idea found Todd and is compelling him to set it free. He’s lit himself on fire and I’ve gathered round to watch. I’m going to post an excerpt from a recent email so you can get a sense the process. (I introduced him to a serious indie-rock legend who happens to be my neighbor, Ron House. His Memorial Day parties are amazing…)

we had a great time at Ron’s place a few weeks back. he dropped some excellent stuff on us, the quality of sound and footage was outstanding (made possible by the very expensive camera). i got some great direction from that discussion as far as the narrative is concerned. maybe even a title: “Pissing off of the Porch – Survival of the Independent Record Store” or something to that effect. i’ve had a few scheduling challenges. had to cancel this weekend’s scheduled trip to the store which sucked. plan is to shoot there, get in-store visual and perhaps some discussion. ron agreed to an on camera walking tour of high st – “show you where everything used to be”. he also invited us to record the TJSA re-union show at little bros in august. so it’s moving along, if a bit slowly. there’s a great story here though, and the more i dig around, the more pertinent it seems. ultimately it comes down to people – and we have interesting and compelling people. i can appreciate the work of directors/producers. even this little thing takes considerable effort, just to keep it in the air.

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One Response to ““When You Set Yourself on Fire . . .”

  1. richard h. said

    You might be interested to know that the quotation that starts “When you set yourself on fire…” is NOT by John Wesley (no way–nothing even like it anywhere in Wesley). It is all over the web, attributed to Wesley (as well as some others), but it is simply internet misinformation, being repeated over and over (which doesn’t make it true).

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