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In this episode, we get to speak with King of Web Standards, Jeffrey Zeldman. We discuss the current situation with COVID and how it is impacting our lives at work. We also dive into Jeffrey’s background and lessons from his career journey. Then we chat about believing in yourself, making your own opportunities, and building a better bat cave.
- Auth0 https://auth0.com
- Auth0 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/auth0
- Auth0 on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/auth0
- Auth0 Avocado Labs online meetup events: https://avocadolabs.dev/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/zeldman
- Website: https://www.zeldman.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zeldman/
- Everything Apart:
- Front End Nerdery Podcast – Season 1, Episode 1, Part 1 – Jeffrey Zeldman: https://youtu.be/ada-9KYpv3w
- The Big Web Show – https://5by5.tv/bigwebshow
- Jeffrey Zeldman 20 years of Web Design and Community – an intimate portrait by lynda.com: https://vimeo.com/219302853
- Founder Emeritus of Happy Cog: http://www.happycog.com/
- In which I am vaccinated:
Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome to thunder nerds. I am
[00:00:27] Frederick: [00:00:27] Brian Hinton. I'm Frederick Phillip Von, Weiss. And thank you for consuming the thunder nerds, a conversation with the people behind the technology. That love what they do to do
[00:00:38] Brian: [00:00:38] and do tech. Good.
[00:00:42] Frederick: [00:00:42] Hey everybody. Thank you so much for joining us on our first episode of season six.
[00:00:46] Really appreciate it. Brian, go ahead and take us off. Yeah, I
[00:00:50] Brian: [00:00:50] think this season sponsor again, coming back again is Auth0. Uh, they make unified log-ins for apps, uh, easy, uh, and uh, all, I didn't make a custom secure and standards based unified in by. Providing authentication and authorization as a service, you can find out more often xero.com and there they have a lot of, uh, uh, other outlets like youtube.com, auth auth zero for a great developer resources, their Twitch channel, uh, Twitch TV for slash Auth0 for some great live streams.
[00:01:21] And, uh, they also have avocado labs for an online destination for a meetup events organized by their advocates at. I have an avocado labs.dev. Thank you again. Yeah.
[00:01:34] Frederick: [00:01:34] Yeah. Thank you Auth0. I really appreciate it. So with, uh, all the ados being further now, let's go ahead and get to our amazing guests. We have designer author, educator, the King of web standards, and a person apart from the rest.
[00:01:51] Jeffrey. Zeldman welcome to the show,
[00:01:53] Jeffrey: [00:01:53] Jeffrey. Thanks Frederick. Uh, thanks, Brian. It's awesome to be here. I
[00:01:59] Frederick: [00:01:59] really appreciate you being here. Uh, Jeffrey, why don't we first start off with something topical, which is, uh, everything going on with, with the COVID we're still experiencing this. It's it's hard for a lot of people to even get a vaccine.
[00:02:13] And, uh, for a lot of us, it's just not obtainable at the moment with age and, and whatnot or jobs. And certainly a it's probably going to the right people at the moment, but you you've received now the, the, the two doses, uh, love to hear your experience and want to know how the knee's doing.
[00:02:29] Jeffrey: [00:02:29] Thank you. Uh, I got two doses cause I'm old and, uh, I mean, there's a whole lot of frontline workers who haven't gotten it.
[00:02:40] Um, people with unglamorous jobs like janitors, who haven't gotten it, uh, food delivery, people, mail people that's wrong. They should have gotten it first. I get it because I have the privilege that I, you know, I work at automatic. Uh, makers of WordPress and so forth, uh, wordpress.com and, uh, I have the privilege to work remotely so I could have waited.
[00:03:10] I also have read, like, if, if you qualify, you should go get it. Um, you're not actually helping people. If you decide it's not up to you, you basically, when your lottery's called, he just go. So I went, um, and I'm also glad to have had the second one, had it just a few days ago. Doing. Okay. Um, so the experience is you in New York, the experiences there's 50 websites.
[00:04:17] And if it's, you know, What if it's not going to be like, they're doing it in a hospital on my block, but I can't go to that one. You know, it's like, I, I go to another borough. So I've been, I've been to, uh, another neighborhood and other borough, the first one they got, they, you know, it's, it's, uh, It was sad to see.
[00:04:42] There were people who had trouble, difficulty walking and so forth, and they hadn't really set up for them. It's still, you know, it's a work in progress. Um, on the other hand,
[00:04:54] Brian: [00:04:54] and you got COVID to write a blog about it in
[00:05:00] Jeffrey: [00:05:00] late February, in late February of last year. Came down with it for three weeks, I denied that.
[00:05:06] It was COVID like, I was sure it was something else. I was already working remotely and I wasn't going out. So I quarantined without really thinking about it. But, but, uh, then I saw the doctor and said, yeah, he said, yeah, that's it. Um, I had it for about four months. Um, I'm still in recovery.
[00:05:30] I breathe like Darth Vader when I'm carrying groceries. I can't really, if I walk more than a block, I'm tired. Uh, so that's the first thing. The second thing is there's some weird neurological stuff for me. Like this morning, I was looking in. I was looking at five bottles of medicine and a medicine chest, except there were only four, but I saw five and then I went, but I know there's four and then I saw four.
[00:05:59] So I'm not dyslexic. My daughter is sure. My brother is sure. My dad was my daughter's mom is, it was over-determined. I never had that. My problems with math were emotional. Like, you know, like, I didn't want to, I didn't like math as a creative. I don't want to do math. Maths for nerds. Yeah. Well, no, I didn't mind.
[00:06:26] I didn't mind being a nerd at all. Yeah, no. Yeah.
[00:06:31] Frederick: [00:06:31] I just meant the little kid thing, you know, as a little kid.
[00:06:36] Jeffrey: [00:06:36] Absolutely. I, I, we could probably spend an hour on that, but, but anyways, there's, there's stuff. There's like some neurological damage. I don't really know the extent of it. I get, I have to take a nap every day, then again, I'm old.
[00:06:52] So you know how much of this is would have happened anyway, I don't know.
[00:06:58] Frederick: [00:06:58] I wouldn't say you're you're that old, but I mean, yeah. Having an app is very nice, but, but yeah, the brain fog, the brain fog for people is, seems like a very real thing. And a lot of people are experiencing that. And, um, uh, yeah, I, I couldn't imagine.
[00:07:15] What about the, the, the post kind of, um, Uh, experience like, do you, do you, are you, do you have any kind of like a depression from it or are you suffering anything from like, Oh, this, this, this brain fog is just bringing me down. It's it's, it's hard to concentrate,
[00:07:31] Jeffrey: [00:07:31] etc . No, I, um, I'm really a survivor by personality and I've overcome things in the past.
[00:07:41] And so I'm really grateful to be alive. I know people who died. I know people who are much more incapacitated. I really glass half full I'm I'm I I'm lucky to have a job. I'm lucky I can, you know, do my conference as well. And I can do what I need to do. I can take care of my kid. I'm a, I'm a home body with an anxiety disorder.
[00:08:14] So being stuck at home, doesn't bother me and my kids here. So, and, and her mom lives very close by. So. Uh, all that is good. I, I think there's, I hate to say there's silver linings because especially for people who've lost them, buddy. It sounds incredibly callous to go, Hey, it hasn't been so bad, you know, it's been terrible.
[00:08:40] That's horrible. But, um, but spending extra time with your family because the schools closed during the day, not a bad thing.
[00:08:50] Brian: [00:08:50] Yeah. I mean, we all have our own contexts in our own world and our own difficulties and trials and tribulations. So I think that's understandable. And I love all your, of all your titles for the world's shittiest vacation.
[00:09:02] Jeffrey: [00:09:02] totally true. I
[00:09:05] Brian: [00:09:05] say that
[00:09:09] Jeffrey: [00:09:09] we're having spaghetti again possible to have too much spaghetti.
[00:09:15] Brian: [00:09:15] I thought it was,
[00:09:16] Frederick: [00:09:16] uh, uh, uh, pretty interesting too. I dunno. Interesting. Maybe is the right word, but it sucked that you have that issue with your, your, I think your air condition went out, like ruined your floors while you're like deep in the sickness.
[00:09:30] Jeffrey: [00:09:30] Yeah. Yeah. So I lay there, I lay there with a flooded floor for a couple of months. It wasn't old enough. She couldn't really, but, so, so then I had a guy come in. But it was a class. Did you ever watch Mr. Blandings builds his dream house or you ever just listen to a comedian, do a monologue about, I mean, once you get an expert in it and they know when you don't know, right.
[00:09:55] Brian: [00:09:55] All these
[00:09:55] Jeffrey: [00:09:55] other problems. Yeah. And you know, it's, well, it's really what it is. So it ended up being much more expensive and I have really good insurance, but it's America. So like they said, That's great. You have it's cost $7,000. That's terrific. You're fully covered. I'm like, Oh, thank goodness. And they're like, we'll cover $2,000 of it because 5,000.
[00:10:22] I'm like, yeah. You know, but you know, so, but now I have a floor, so that's nice. And I love that floor and I've kind of swept everything that was in my room into a corner of the living room that I don't look at. And, um, there's basically a S what used to be a dining room area is now just a storage unit. I don't go there.
[00:10:47] I don't look at it. It's depressing. Uh, but my room, it looks like a Japanese monastery. There's like, there's a bed, there's a little statue. There's a Bureau, a light, that's it. And, and it's great. I have a lot of peace. In that room. Yeah. Um, I, I would, I wanted to make a point, which is I'm fortunate to work at a good company, but, um, I think there are people coming back with brain fog and other problems who are then getting not where I work, but at other companies where they're sort of getting pushed out of their position.
[00:11:33] Because they make mistakes. This is the third time you've made that mistake. Or do you know what I mean? You're not paying attention. You're not learning. We changed that process last week. I think managers, if they're listening, like managers need to be a little extra sensitive right now and supportive, I think many are, but, but if there's somebody who, and if there's somebody who feels like.
[00:12:02] They're having issues, which are not their fault, which are purely neurological and because they had COVID, but they're getting punished. Like they're a scofflaw or like they're just not doing their job. I think it's okay for them to request a little support. I think it's really important for companies to do that right now.
[00:12:28] Frederick: [00:12:28] Yeah, that's, that's a really great point because as you said, so many people are coming back and w w having these, these issues that it's, it's not. Uh, fault or anyone's fault. Um, I, you know, that's a different discussion, but yeah. Uh, w we need to be a little bit more understanding and caring to help everyone get adjusted and see where things go.
[00:12:53] I mean, it's, we're still probably a good year off from getting to a, some kind of. Level of normal. Um, maybe sooner, I don't know. It's certainly not the fastest to get these vaccine vaccines out there for, um, for people. I mean, as you see right now, it's people are fighting. I read on, on the news the other day that, uh, there was two people in Florida that go Florida that dressed up like elderly people.
[00:13:21] So they could sneak in and get vaccines. Oh God.
[00:13:25] Jeffrey: [00:13:25] And it works. It
[00:13:27] Frederick: [00:13:27] works. And it worked, they got the
[00:13:28] Jeffrey: [00:13:28] vaccine. Don't you have to show it births.
[00:13:32] Frederick: [00:13:32] No, no, no. We're talking about
[00:13:33] Jeffrey: [00:13:33] Florida gentlemen. Yeah, because in New York you have to show like your age or that you have a job. Like you have a job actually in New York.
[00:13:42] They're really good with frontline workers, medical, frontline workers. If you show that you're a medical frontline worker, you know you, but you out. Okay. So Florida, you just walk in and. That's bizarre. Yeah.
[00:13:54] Frederick: [00:13:54] In Florida, you walk in you're you, you know, you pass them a beer and it's like, cool. All right. I can say that.
[00:14:00] Cause I'm from Florida. It's everything's okay.
[00:14:02] Brian: [00:14:02] Everything's very lenient. Yes, same, same here. Um, I'd like to transition a little bit into your background, Jeffrey, but I want to read a quick quote, uh, before we do that, um, I would recommend this browser to any Mac user. In fact, I'd recommend it to anybody.
[00:14:21] Because I believe it is the most standards, conformant browser, or at least by any company. So far on any computing platform, it's a win for designers and a win for people who use the web. And that is a first and that was you. Of course. And I E five was the browser, which just, uh, I say that just to highlight, you know, how, how long you've been in the field, how much, how the contribution over the years?
[00:14:42] Um, not because five is good anymore, but back then it was
[00:14:47] Jeffrey: [00:14:47] Mac, Mac Mac. Yes, correct. Yeah. So, um, the, the lead developer behind that and behind the Tasman rendering engine, Tajik shellac became a friend of mine and he'd been involved in web standards for a long time. And he made the horrible mistake of supporting web standards before this company had fully aligned around that objective.
[00:15:13] Um, and that's not the fault Microsoft, they were ahead of the game versus Netscape. Right. Um, at the time, but, uh, it was the first time somebody had really tried to, I can't, there's a weird thing with the, in the beginning of CSS, nobody except possibly Eric Meyer. Really knew how it should work because there was no, it was a chicken and egg problem, so, right.
[00:15:43] So hope humbly and Burt, Bose created CSS CSS one and no browser supported it because it was in their minds. And they said, this is how it should work, but what did that mean? And so they were test suites, but you know, that's, it's a. I mean, it's a process, like a creative process, like, um, making a movie and you start with a script and then there's story boards.
[00:16:10] And then when you're actually building the models, you find out that the mountain doesn't relate to, it looked great in the storyboard, but. When it's actually made of clay and it's putting the background of the shot, it doesn't work. So you have to rethink that. And, and that's, you know, web the web standards, design saga was a lot like that.
[00:16:27] There were a lot of great ideas, but then a lot of things, you know, when you dream, you know who a character is, but you know how dreams like leave blanks. Like, it's not always like, that's why movie scenes of dreams never work because they shoot every pixel, obviously. So you can see every detail of the doctors' beard and his freckles and the ward on his nose.
[00:16:54] But in real, you know, in the real world, in your dream, Maybe there's just a medical gown floats by, or who knows what some synapse is fired. And you think so web, uh, web standards in quotations were a lot like that. CSS was a lot like that. This is what we think it should do. I had a book, I don't remember the author now.
[00:17:13] I feel really bad. It was the first DSS book I got in 1996. And it was, here's what we think that should do. Here's what we think will happen. Oh, man, I, I apologize profoundly to this author, but the other, it was, it was, it was guesses. And then he was sort of in Photoshop faking screens, like I think get on a look like this and I think this is what flow will do.
[00:17:40] Um, but the other thing, even when I five Mac came out. For a long time, I was still doing layouts as tables. So basically I would use symbol column their tables because how do you make columns and CSS? Wasn't it, wasn't part of the original specification. The fact that really wasn't part of the specification until CSS grid, like, you know, a few years ago.
[00:18:08] So basically for a long time, we've been getting by on hacks. Oh,
[00:18:12] Brian: [00:18:12] yeah, definitely. We have floats and clear fix. Yeah, it's weird
[00:18:16] Jeffrey: [00:18:16] because there's a hypocrisy. I don't know if you could, progress is exactly the perfect word, but there's a contradiction, maybe a slight about it and we're like, no, you shouldn't do it that way.
[00:18:26] There's standards. Oh, so what's the standard for layout? Well, um, use floats, but aren't they supposed to be used for shut up. Yes, that's the
[00:18:38] Brian: [00:18:38] So
[00:18:39] Frederick: [00:18:39] go ahead. I have some images for your, a rounded corners in your table.
[00:18:43] Brian: [00:18:43] Okay.
[00:18:43] Jeffrey: [00:18:43] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those
[00:18:44] Brian: [00:18:44] were, those were those days.
[00:18:47] Jeffrey: [00:18:47] Doug Bowman, there was a whole generation of wonderful Doug Bowman, Dan Cedar home.
[00:18:54] Um, Dave Shay just really, really talented people who came up with. You know, Dave, Dave, Doug Bowman was like, you know, the rounded corners in, in before we had responsive design, but we had like liquid design, like flexible design. How could you make the rounded corner? And then. Allow that tab to get one now it's you don't even think about it, but then it was, there were so many layers and you'd be like, Oh, I'm so glad I got rid of cable table layouts.
[00:19:27] Now I just have 7,000 gifts and spans and I'm using a childlike demean ad, this rounded corner, like just, you know,
[00:19:37] Frederick: [00:19:37] It goes back to the ax conversation. I, every once in a while too, I get this, uh, this kind of PSD where, where I'm like, ah, can I actually do that? I'm like constantly on, can I use? And I'm like, Oh yeah, yeah, that, that does exist.
[00:19:49] Brian: [00:19:49] Just checking.
[00:19:50] Jeffrey: [00:19:50] So I, I love, can I use what a wonderful public service, but I also hate can I use, um, my, my. My conference partner, Eric Meyer, a genius also would have charts of like here's, you know, here's how the 5.0 browser support on various platforms support various or, um, Peter Paul coughed is another like, like brilliant person who would make these charts of what worked and didn't and various browsers.
[00:20:21] And I was just like, well, the reason, so the reason I loved it was, you know, without that we couldn't do our jobs. And the reason I hated it was it's a standard it's just supposed to work. I hated that we had, you know, that's very childish in a way, because time takes time.
[00:20:37] Brian: [00:20:37] Yeah. And it's like the chicken legs thing too, because like, if you see, Oh, it's not supported and no one's doing it in the browser, like Waldo is doing it.
[00:20:45] We don't need to support it.
[00:20:51] Jeffrey: [00:20:51] has, has things in it. Not because they're well considered best practices, but because, well, this is what, this is what 50 developers were doing. That you know, that Hicks Ian Hicks and followed. He said, well, they're all calling it content area. So it's not going to be called content area or whatever. Do you know what I mean?
[00:21:11] Um, So it made sense pave the cow paths. It made sense to go let's make standards the way people are really using this stuff. But there was probably an intermediary step where it would have been nice to be asked and go, Oh, well, if you're doing that, let's have a conversation. Probably these conversations take seven years and that's the W3C and people were restless, which again is why.
[00:21:41] Brian: [00:21:41] Yeah.
[00:21:43] Frederick: [00:21:43] Oh, yeah. Just wanted to get, get caught up on here. Yeah. It took a class in college, uh, and school used Mac, uh back in 2003. Yeah. We've all been there.
[00:21:58] Brian: [00:21:58] Three hours
[00:22:00] Frederick: [00:22:00] or the tower? No, no, no. They, they were the tower. I think they went up to the towers were up to. G for
[00:22:08] Brian: [00:22:08] the colorful towers. If I remember correctly,
[00:22:11] Frederick: [00:22:11] I don't think the were, I think they were just the gray towers
[00:22:16] Jeffrey: [00:22:16] or the iMac, right?
[00:22:18] Yeah, it was before.
[00:22:19] Frederick: [00:22:19] No, no, no, no. It was during
[00:22:21] Jeffrey: [00:22:21] the iMac, but the iMac, the original iMac was very underpowered was like a consumer model. So it was like, if you're doing video editing, you need the G three. Uh, but if you're a school. By an iMac badly by
[00:22:36] Brian: [00:22:36] an iMac.
[00:22:37] Frederick: [00:22:37] Yeah. If you were a professional, you went for a you were like, Oh yeah, you know, I'm, I'm really doing some stuff.
[00:22:44] Jeffrey: [00:22:44] Or if you were broke, you went for a clone, which is what I did. And I was very mad at Steve jobs when he came there's no more clones.
[00:22:55] Brian: [00:22:55] They were colorful egg shaped. I was right. There were the colorful ones. Yeah, the handles,
[00:23:00] Jeffrey: [00:23:00] I think. Do you have a screenshot? I'm
[00:23:04] Brian: [00:23:04] just quoting Todd here. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, speaking to though, I mean, we're talking about web standards.
[00:23:10] I mean, you were, you know, you're heavily involved in the web standards project, you know, stop, start all that. I didn't know that you were briefly were a reporter. How did, do you Trent, like, what was your transition into doing web development? Like
[00:23:24] Jeffrey: [00:23:24] what, what was your as another step in? But, so I failed at a lot of jobs, right.
[00:23:31] And I think you're supposed to. Um, I, I learned something from every failure, like failure is great. Um, but, uh, so, okay. So there was a paper called city paper in Washington and Baltimore, and I was living in Washington, DC, and I went in with something I'd written and they said they weren't interested. And then, uh, The editor quit the paper.
[00:23:58] And he took all his loyal writers with them. So all the writers left the paper. And so the new editor and chief were the owners and hired. He was calling people and going, Hey, can you still write for the paper? And they're like, no, I'm loyal to so-and-so and we're going to do it. So in desperation, he started going through their mortgage rejected stuff.
[00:24:16] He liked my thing. And he said, come in. He said, would you, would you write for us? I said, yes, but I want to call them. And blah, blah, blah. And I, and I got, so I got this music home. I was, I was also a musician at the time and there was a big, well, there was a really interesting, um, early hip hop scene. Uh, and there was a really interesting hardcore scene, both happening in DC.
[00:24:40] And I thought nobody's really covering the hip hop scene was called Gogo. It was like a, sort of a swing beat. That was, it was started with kids at alleys getting hitting drums. Uh, and, and nobody was covering with stuff. So I said, I would cover it. And I had this column, which they called killer Hertz. And that was so I leveraged the editor's desperation.
[00:25:03] Not that I was like a strike breaker or anything, but just like, this was my chance. I took my chance. And after I'd been doing that for about a year, Richard Harrington, the Washington post contacted me and said, we'd like you to write for us. And I was like, Oh my God, you guys published, you know, you broke Watergate.
[00:25:21] Oh my heavens God, this is an amazing opportunity. Sure. I'll do it. Um, so I was doing it, but I was getting $35 an article and I would have, uh, you know, 20 minutes to write the article. And they made me cover like three dog night and Bruce Springsteen and groups like that, like touring groups from the sixties.
[00:25:41] And I'm not putting those groups down on the, certainly not putting down Bruce Springsteen, but I kept saying we have this local scene that I'd like to cover, like rolling stone. Does this cream magazine does this, there's already publications out there that cover from my point of view, there were already publications that covered.
[00:26:01] Mainstream successful rock. And I wanted to cover this other thing. And from their point of view, Our readers in Alexandria, Virginia, who live in the suburbs, uh, you know, and commute to work in, in DC. They don't really care about some punk group in DC. They want to hear about their Springsteen. So that made sense.
[00:26:21] Anyway, they fired me. I bought before they fought that they fired me without explanation, but before they did, I had started freelancing at an ad agency just because I was not making a living at $35 an article and the ad age one day. There was a news. There was a Washington post article by me here, 21.
[00:26:42] And right next to, it was an ad that I had worked on. And I was like, this is a sign from God. Like, this is a weird coincidence. And the ad sucked. Don't like, it, it was my early at, I was terrible, but I was getting a salary there. And so I went, I have to, so when they fired me, it was kind of like, well, that's easy.
[00:27:06] That decision is easy. So I, I was a journalist and I, and I, then I became a, an ad person. And when I moved to New York, there was no internet yet. And I got into advertising and I really, uh, struggled there. I'm creative, but I think to really succeed at something well, you need luck and privilege and opportunity.
[00:27:31] There's lots of stuff that happens. But you also need passion. And I enjoyed advertising like a critic. I enjoyed ads from the sixties, you know, from the golden age of advertising, I was fascinated by the stories. I enjoyed the work, but I wanted to go home at night and it wasn't for people who wanted to go home at night.
[00:27:53] It was like work seven days a week. You know, if you're not willing to come in Saturday, don't bother showing up on Sunday. So, um, so, and I work, I also, because I started in DC, when I came to New York, they were like, yeah, you worked at a regional agency. So you're already on a bad career path. You can't, you can't work at a good agency.
[00:28:18] It was like, they almost like the Soviet union. You're going to be a ballerina and you're going to be a worker. And that's that. And so I wasn't a ballerina. I was a worker. It was basically, I could work at someplace. That made money and did boring ads and places would hire me almost as the loyal opposition, like bad agencies would hire me and pay me a living salary.
[00:28:41] And I would do work that didn't get produced to scare their clients back into the mediocrity that they were selling. So they'd say, well, here's the segment. And his partner came up with this. Edgy idea. Oh, see, you don't really like that. Well, that's okay. Because Chuck over here and his team came up with this very safe ad about, you know, for the seafood lover in you or, you know, only for the mind, you know, I like, I, I did, uh, an ad from an altar.
[00:29:13] Don't write your life story in pencil for this. Um, Point and shoot camera that use 35 millimeter technology, which was new that point and shoot, but with 35 millimeter, that was amazing. That's standard now, but it was amazing then. So I wrote like, don't, don't regulate you wouldn't write your life story in pencil.
[00:29:32] And what they bought was only from Mormon, ultra magic. From this other team that did like super stay safe stuff. I'm not saying I wrote the best ad in the world, but there was thought in the end. So I was frustrated there. Then one day I'm in an ad agency, uh, with and Warner brothers is the client and they say, Hey, can you make websites?
[00:29:53] Don Buckley was the VP. And I, we just lied and said, we could, we'd never seen a website. I'd never seen a website. And I was like, strictly from AOL at that point. Right. That was like, AOL has, you know, graphic design and the web looks terrible, but, but we, um, we were ignorant enough to do all the wrong things and have like full screen.
[00:30:17] Backgrounds and all kinds of stuff that a lot of, we had a flash intro before there was flash. We had like an animated intro. Um, I worked with Alec Polycon Steve McCarran, two really super talented art directors. And the three of us just locked ourselves in Steve's office for like three months, refuse to work on anything else.
[00:30:41] And after that, as soon as that was out, um, I've made a personal site. And one of the things I started doing was explaining how to do web stuff, because I thought everybody's going to want to do this. Every artist, musician, writer, everyone on the planet, every political person, every person who, who, um, can't get their point of view out.
[00:31:04] I was in love with the democratizing idea of it. I still am. Despite the dangerous that we're discovering with. All that. And, uh, and I, I wrote a thing called ask Dr. Webb, which was this first early primitive, how to do web stuff, web design stuff, Mo which have terrible advice, like table layouts and all the things we don't do now, but good for the time it was, it was okay for the time.
[00:31:31] And also the other thing, I love it throughout the web. Um, a week after we launched the site clients, very happy. Doug Buckley, the director, Joel, Schumacher's very happy. It was for Batman forever. He's like, Oh, it's better than a movie. I'm like, Nope, it's not, but thank you. That's a great compliment.
[00:31:51] Obviously it's not better than the movie, but, um, the text was wall to wall because there were no gutters. And then I discovered this website called a web walk by David Siegel. Uh, where he said you could make gutters by turning on, uh, like cell padding and tables and turning off the display of the borders of that.
[00:32:19] So I get it. And I, I sweet talked to a producer at Warner brothers and said, can I just go back up there online? I edited the files online in fetch, and I was like, But what a thrill to change something alive that like half a million people we're looking at also we're 1 million web users and we had half a million unique visitors.
[00:32:43] So. Like I'll never be that successful again, it was the first project and I was like half the web, half the web used it. It was for a week. It was the Facebook of its day, you
[00:32:54] Frederick: [00:32:54] know? Yeah. You, you, you built a, you built a better back cave is what I, what I've, uh, got from that story. I love how everything like, like.
[00:33:03] They didn't, they didn't even know that they could make a website. You guys didn't know you could make a website. And then you, even when I think you were pitching against another company too, and like in the middle, middle of the meeting, you stood up because they were like, eh, Batman is going to come out and he's going to say, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:33:18] And you're like that man doesn't dock. Yeah,
[00:33:20] Jeffrey: [00:33:20] that's right. I was like, yeah, that man doesn't talk. They just blurted it out, which is totally rude. I never should have done that, but, but. You know, and if they, if they could have totally wanted, they could have said we're going to use a Perl script and we're going, like they could have like, so surpassed us on technology and experience.
[00:33:42] They could have talked about early interactive strategies of 1995 and, and kicked our butts. But, um, but as in this, in this pitch, in this fight between the two rival potential builders, They said, Batman swings out on a vine and says, hi, I'm Batman. And I went Batman, like, how could you pimp Batman like that?
[00:34:08] How can you misjudge the character? He didn't even talk in the movie. He's like, like he's, you know, he's five angry words. Like the kind of Batman that we had there. And so, um, and the client, we just like looked at, it was like, Oh, it's done. One of the greatest things I learned as a designer is like, what?
[00:34:29] You, there's a moment. There's a moment in almost every meeting where if you say the right thing, everything else follows. You can really not always, but sometimes you can get alignment. You can get buy in, you can sell a work. They by listening. And hearing that one really important thing that you just have to comment on it again, it's a passionate thing, right?
[00:34:57] A lot of times designers go, why do I have to sit in this meeting? It's so boring or I hate to present my work or, you know, Oh my God. Yeah. Look at that. That's
[00:35:08] Brian: [00:35:08] that's the website.
[00:35:11] Jeffrey: [00:35:11] That's the website that I love.
[00:35:14] Frederick: [00:35:14] I love the navigation at the bottom. Yeah,
[00:35:17] Jeffrey: [00:35:17] that was, you know, that, and that was inspired by, uh, CD ROMs.
[00:35:22] It was inspired by America. Online. Cute navigation was a really people. Hadn't done it on the web. But so we did it on the web because, um, well, one of us was a gamer and was really a CD ROMs, uh, uh, and just digital design generally. So it was bringing a lot of stuff that, uh, some thinking from digital design into the web for the first time and to do that, that's all a, um, an image map.
[00:35:58] Right where it's a giant image and it's clickable, and this relies on everyone having the same size monitor, right. Or everyone having the same six 40 by four 80 dimensions, regardless of their pixel size. You know, if you had a bigger monitor, the pixels were just bigger, but, um, yeah. And. It's kind of obvious, right?
[00:36:22] The text files are in the library, the downloadable videos that were 300 by 200 pixels that took an hour or two to download like a few seconds, um, at the time with 14, four modems and 28, eight modems. But, uh, I mean, it was magical and I think just. Also I took, um, I took a Nicole Kidman photo that was like three megs in Photoshop, which before Photoshop had layers, just because of, you know, it was a very high quality photo and I reduced it to like a 4k Gif.
[00:37:00] And just the idea that you could take something. So resource-intensive and make it so light and transportable. I mean, easily, the 4k Jeff didn't look anywhere near as good as the four megabyte Photoshop file or the. You know, half Meg JPEG, but it was accessible. It was, it was, well, it w yeah, it was accessible in, in the broader sense, the broader sense.
[00:37:30] Frederick: [00:37:30] And in the time too, I really enjoy to the whole, um, uh, uh, Part of the story where it's, you know, everybody said, ah, yeah, of course we could do it. Yeah, of course we could do it. You know, it's kind of the, um, the, the, like the fake it till you make it kind of thing where it's like, but it's not about faking it.
[00:37:49] I, I really don't like that term. It's more about just kind of accepting that you could be, um, You, you could take something on and try it and be, you know, just let yourself be vulnerable, be the worst at something and accept that. And because that's where all learning starts, right. A blank slate and just accepting you, you know, you might be the worst at it, but you could say, yeah, I can do it.
[00:38:10] And you learn how to do it. And you put out this great project and look where it led. So, you know, I think. Accepting things and, and, and saying, you know, let me try this. And who knows where that can lead obviously, with, with your story that led somewhere
[00:38:27] Jeffrey: [00:38:27] great. Frederick, almost everyone I know from who started when I did or who started with eight and five years of that, everybody faked it.
[00:38:35] So they could, they made it because we were, nobody knew anything. Nobody knew anything. There was nothing. Also, uh, I mean, where I work now, uh, automatically hit, we have a creed sounds weird, but we have a creative, like beliefs that we basically subscribe to when we're thinking of working there. And it's no problem is insurmountable given enough time and effort.
[00:39:02] No problem is insurmountable and I will always keep learning. And I think those two things are at the start of my career and they've still like, that's how I live every day. Like, like, I don't. I think we can do it was advertising speak for, we are confident that with our abilities and with the available information, we can learn what we need to learn to make something great for you.
[00:39:29] Frederick: [00:39:29] Be endlessly resourceful. If you, if you look in yourself and you're determined, you can, you can do it. You can do anything.
[00:39:36] Jeffrey: [00:39:36] And I know so many people who have overcome all kinds of disabilities overcome coming from poverty. It doesn't mean that everyone gets to, or that someone who, who can't overcome an obstacle is deficient not saying that, but, but I was saying that, um, I'm inspired by people who overcome things, overcome obstacles, and I think that's part of the life journey.
[00:40:00] We all have one way or another, right?
[00:40:03] Frederick: [00:40:03] Yeah, absolutely. And it makes me, uh, kind of transitioned into your, your career journey a little bit. I think we could touch on it because in my research it seemed that your, your, your, your whole journey is a combination of a few factors, right? It's it's the chance you, you kind of were in the right place at the right time with, with, uh, the way the web was.
[00:40:22] Um, you took responsibility, you took ownership for the way things were and try to. Uh, help everybody out. Um, you know, you, you were, you were relatable, you were the, you know, somebody just trying to do it, just like everybody else and a blue beanie, um, you know, you, you were there. So I, I believe that, you know, there there's many lessons here.
[00:40:40] It's, it's about keeping your eyes open. It's about, um, being able to, um, Uh, look around and try to find opportunities. Um, so I wanted to ask you, um, what was, what what's some of the current opportunities now that, that you might see in the, in the industry that, that kind of go back, uh, aligned with what, where you came from and how you started?
[00:41:02] Like, is it, um, like voice technology? Is it, is it something else?
[00:41:06] Jeffrey: [00:41:06] Oh,
[00:41:10] I think, okay. Man my brain, I'm thinking faster than I can speak. Um, it's a wonderful question. I think there's a real opportunity in our industry to make user experience, not user exploitation. So that's first, I think there's an opportunity to look at a lot of, we've gotten really good at some wonderful patterns.
[00:41:38] Removing friction, making it easier for people to shop, making it easier for people to get information. We've also come up with a lot of, uh, addictive, destructive, uh, patterns. Right? We know how to make it almost impossible for someone just stop paying a monthly fee because it's so hard or making them almost impossible for them to return the product, even though by the letter of the law.
[00:42:05] We say you can return the product for a refund there. We know how to make that so difficult that people, many people give up and just end up throwing the thing away and throwing their money away, um, patterns and patterns. We know. Yeah, there's a lot of anti-patterns. We know them. There's a lot of, uh, dopamine driven experiences, which I'm as addicted to as anyone else.
[00:42:31] Uh, but we have the chance to. Do better as an industry. So that's one thing. Um, also accessibility is something that. It's super important. It's still observed mainly in the breach. It's something people talk about and companies now give lip service to, but it's kind of like, like diversity and everything else.
[00:42:56] It's the company wants to do a better job. They know they should do a better job. They talk about it. They have pamphlets, they'll say, Hey, this is the law. And we believe in it, but they're still screwing up. So there's an opportunity. Um, To make more accessible experiences. And when you bring up voice control and stuff like that, all of that works together because as you're designing an experience, that's that that's voice amenable that can be controlled by the voice or by the movements of head things that you do for accessibility.
[00:43:31] Now may end up being something that works for a non-disabled driver. Who who makes something happen by moving their head later? Um, things that you do with voice commands to help a person who is, um, physical, whose who's our hands are disabled, uh, may end up making an experience that a gamer or a television viewer can, can use in their home making something like Alexa.
[00:43:58] So it all overlaps the multi-device universe, the need for, uh, Con four have basic conscience structures that are still, that are accessible and structured in a way that content is still find-able all that stuff's really important. And there's kind of a civil war right now. Oh man, I'm sorry. I said that there's kind of a war, but not the one you're thinking of.
[00:44:26] There's a war between we can make stuff. That's so awesome by grabbing the power of these platforms. These complex platforms and we can make stuff that's awesome by starting simple and building an accessible experience first and then layering in. So, so, um, progressive enhancement, the idea that you layer on top of a basic, uh, accessible experience that you layer, um, levels of additional, uh, experience.
[00:45:03] Maybe visual, maybe some, some, uh, you know, maybe, um, touch, but it works without touch or it works without a mouse. Like, there's that, but there's also. A lot of stuff getting built right now where people feel like it's gotta be like an app and it's gotta be the kind of app that works for 80% of our users.
[00:45:23] And it's gotta be, you know, it's gotta be, there's always been a war between, um, uh, conflict, attention and interesting tension, not a war, an interesting tension between pushing the envelope on exploration and discovery and making something new and cool. Like we did when we made Batman forever. But if I go back, that was a completely inaccessible site and you had to have Netscape 1.1 to see it, but, but it pushed boundaries and going back to excuse me to the tried and true things that something should work.
[00:46:01] For everyone, regardless of their device, regardless of the size of the screen, regardless of their abilities, regardless of their cognitive abilities. Um, so I think there's a real opportunity there. I think web design and development product design is really hard and complicated right now. I, the. The days when you could open fetch and drag a few files to a server, which I missed those days are gone because our stuff is more complicated and more capable, but, but we're trading off.
[00:46:42] Alert, we're trading it off for a high learning curve. I don't know how you start now. And I worry too that like a bootcamp that prepares you, like you come in, you know nothing, and they're going to train you with everything. You know, they're going to know like now you know how to use react and you know how to use bootstrap and you need to know how to use these five other things, but you don't have the basics.
[00:47:03] So it's almost like giving people 12 fonts and illustrator. But not teaching them a graphic design. So I feel there's an opportunity for educators. If you're a generalist and you feel, if you're a generalist, you may think, Oh, I can't, I, you know, I don't know, react. I don't know this, that the other, no one will hire me as an engineer, but maybe they'll hire you as a product product owner.
[00:47:29] As a product designer, as a product developer, being a generalist is still an important thing in companies, um, in agencies. So being a specialist is a great way to go. And being a generalist is a great way to go. Depends on whether you're happier, figuring out the experience and brand of a product or whether you're happier, fine tuning the details, right.
[00:47:53] Of a particular aspect or particular niche of it. Yeah, I've definitely
[00:47:58] Brian: [00:47:58] seen that with, uh, bootcamp, uh, people I've interviewed cause I'm a manager at my organization and I'll a lot of people who go through the boot camps. I, I like to compare it to this. Like it's like getting a microwave dinner. Um, and you can put it in the microwave and you make it, and you have your food as opposed to chopping up the ingredients and, you know, knowing salt and pepper and you know, the spices, what do you put in, um, you know, bootcamps?
[00:48:24] I think they're amazing. Uh, I wish back when, in my day there are things like that, but yeah. They do. I, I, they, I caution anyone going into them, you know, learn the basics to like, you know, take what they're teaching you and go above and beyond that,
[00:48:39] Frederick: [00:48:39] you mentioned the same kind of thing the other day on when you were talking.
[00:48:42] I think you were, had a interview with Dan the other day where you're talking about how it was easy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. Jeffrey, when you were talking about like Rachel Andrew's, like when she first got into CSS and how back in the day, it was a lot easier to get into something like, such as that, like CSS and now it's, you know, where do you start?
[00:49:01] Jeffrey: [00:49:01] Right. There's um, during a pandemic and with childcare going back to home and, um, There's a wonderful opportunity for parents maybe who are looking to transition to new work, to learn and, and work remotely on the web. But the web is so complicated that if you just starting, I don't know how you do that.
[00:49:30] And I, I do quote, my friend, Rachel, Andrew, who was a young mom. Um, and became a web designer and it was possible to do that back then, what you know, with your baby in one arm and your fingers on the other hand, on the keyboard. Um, and I think that's, that's harder now. I, I hate the idea that we're losing that.
[00:49:53] I hate the idea. I love the view source. Like when I was teaching people how to do stuff, I was telling them what I'd observed in view source as much as anything else, you know, I look at, so how did so-and-so do this? How did they get those two things you align or,
[00:50:09] Frederick: [00:50:09] uh, that's an interesting, it was like the inspector.
[00:50:12] Now you would like pop up in the inspector for now
[00:50:14] Jeffrey: [00:50:14] the inspector everything's so complicated and we've replaced like millions of cable sales with millions of gives and, and. Yeah. Yeah. And
[00:50:26] Brian: [00:50:26] class names that are like, like, what does this even do? I didn't want to say one other thing with accessibility. I kind of feel like to me, it compares because I I've been doing my best to learn it and I'm going to get certified and everything myself, but it, it, it kind of seems from my research and trying to learn things.
[00:50:50] The beginning days of the web and some weird ways where it's not documented well, the guidelines are kind of loose, uh, all the screen and the browser support some of this, some of that. Um, so it's really, um, I encourage anyone who has even a glimmer of interest in doing web development, learn accessibility, uh, you know, along with everything else.
[00:51:12] Jeffrey: [00:51:12] So it's not automated. I mean, there are automated tools and all that. The first. The first, uh, will CAG WCA G uh, uh, accessibility standards were a bit loose and open to interpretation, um, and people complained. So they made the second set of guidelines that are much more, you know, the candle power of, you know, how many lumens of contrast is, is sufficient and all that stuff.
[00:51:48] And, you know, that's not perfect either because it's possible to comply with every one of those requirements that make something inaccessible it's possible to have. Right. It's possible to have all texts and all these things that are inaccessible for some, and yet still being accessible. So it still requires judgment, like anything interesting.
[00:52:09] Right? You can't, you can't automate being a doctor. You can't automate being an attorney. Right. Uh, I think web and product design and development are things that require, I'm not talking about the complexity of the platforms and all that other stuff I'm talking about doing it well, doing anything well, whether it's play basketball, play the violin or designing web experiences, whatever it is, it requires human judgment taste thoughtfulness.
[00:52:45] Experimentation willing to learn a willingness to learn, willingness to fail, um, working with people, not designing for people, but designing with people. Um, so yeah, I think, I think there's a lot of opportunity there. Yeah, because the web is for everybody. The web is for everybody that that's the
[00:53:07] Frederick: [00:53:07] nature of it.
[00:53:08] Jeffrey, we're getting really close to the end. I just, I would feel bad if we didn't talk about the, uh, event apart events coming up. Uh, yeah.
[00:53:19] Jeffrey: [00:53:19] Yeah,
[00:53:20] Frederick: [00:53:20] sure. Do you mind if we just touch on that really quick, if you want to talk about it?
[00:53:24] Jeffrey: [00:53:24] Sure, absolutely. So, um, We, uh, Eric Meyer and I, with our staff, uh, you know, Toby Molina, Marci Eversole, um, And we, uh, we made this conference, uh, and we used to do six shows a year, um, in various cities with 12 speakers and they would be the best speakers we could find.
[00:53:49] Um, if you could put it, if you could put that screen up again and scroll down a bit, and then since COVID, um, Is it possible? Oh no, you can't artwork. Okay. I appreciate the art. That's awesome. It's an event, a part.com, but we have, uh, 16 speakers over three days. They're like the best speakers we can find.
[00:54:11] We curate the heck out of the experience because we're experienced designers. So the day starts maybe, you know, with. It's musical. It's like listening to a good playlist or like watching a story there. You know, it starts maybe with a really good general topic and then moves into a stream of learning something.
[00:54:31] We, we serve developers as well as designers. It's a front end UX conference, so it's not. There are interaction, design conferences that are very good. There are UX conferences. There are very good. There are front end code conferences that are very good, but this is a holistic conference. It's for it's everything.
[00:54:53] And you know, Eric and I, before we started this conference, we'd both done hundreds of speaking gigs, like literally, uh, and. I used to watch other conferences and learn from them. Um, what makes a good conference? And one thing we both agreed, we used to meet at South by Southwest every year, um, and have brunch, which was fantastic.
[00:55:20] And I was just getting to know Eric and we always said, We love South by Southwest for all the content it's putting on. But man, today I have to choose between four things I want to see that are all on at the same time. And then when I talk and I can only see one of them. Um, wouldn't it be great to have a purely linear conference where everyone sits in the same room for the same, and everybody sees the same thing, no breakouts, nothing.
[00:55:46] So that everyone's taught, there's a topography session. Everybody, everybody sees it. There's a responsive design. What we didn't know about that then, but, but you know what I mean, whatever it is, everybody shares it together. That was our idea. Now that, you know, it's now kind of. It's become a standard in its way.
[00:56:04] There are other one track conferences and that's cool, but it's a one track holistic conference, curated musically with the best speakers we can find with things, um, best practices, things that are coming down, the pike, things that are a bit experimental, but won't be soon. I mean, Rachel Andrew was teaching CSS grid at our show four years ago.
[00:56:29] And Jen Simmons was doing advanced layout and, uh, Ethan Marcotte debuted. Responsive web design on our stage. Um, Kristina Halvorson was on our stage talking about content strategy 12 years ago. So a lot of things that become standards because it's a good place to learn. What's coming.
[00:56:51] Brian: [00:56:51] I love about it is the diversity too.
[00:56:54] And I'm a big, I'm a big believer to have one track. I like, I hate, he used the word hate. I shouldn't use it, but I don't like a multi-track. Conferences. Cause it's always like that one that I want to see over here. And then one over here I want to see. And I'm like, ah, which one do I go to?
[00:57:12] Jeffrey: [00:57:12] And then, and then when you share with your, with other people afterwards, you go, did you see what Alice so-and-so said?
[00:57:20] You see what Brian says? No. So this way everybody, you get to network with people, who've all had the same experience.
[00:57:28] Frederick: [00:57:28] I think you're also, and correct me if I'm wrong, Jeffrey, there you're there. We're providing a promotion. Like you. You get a copy of, uh, the, the new, the new book, um, when you buy a ticket,
[00:57:38] Jeffrey: [00:57:38] if you, if you buy.
[00:57:40] Yeah. It's Dan Cedar homes and senior homes find new book. Uh, 20 bits. I learned about design and business and community. Uh, Dan is a wonderful writer who just amazing personality, really challenged, even did illustrations for this one, but it's so it's, it's the, you get a free copy of the digital. We don't, we don't mail you this, we, you get the free copy of the digital, if you buy a ticket, uh, this month to, to, uh, that three-day show.
[00:58:15] Excellent. Yeah. And it's it's uh, so. Live, you get donuts, live there, snacks and meals, hot meals all day long and all this stuff that we can't do it but digitally. But what we can do, you're watching someone give a presentation and you're also communicating with them. Uh, on, uh, in a conversation channel. So, Oh, Todd Libby says ag events are a great time.
[00:58:43] We'll have a virtual. Thank you, Todd. Let me talk. Libby has been to many of these, so very much so thank you very much. And y'all have been, uh, We did a, a booth with you with you folks a few years ago. So I hope we can do that again soon. Cause that's,
[00:59:00] Frederick: [00:59:00] that was, that was so much fun. I, I really wanted to come up and say hi to you, but I think me and you both suffer from the same, uh, resting beanie mug.
[00:59:09] Uh, so I was like, Oh, I don't know if I should say hi. I was a little intimidated.
[00:59:13] Jeffrey: [00:59:13] I love meeting people, but then I get, I get like now I have to go lie down in my room. Aye. Aye. Aye. Okay. And so, yeah, so the, the silver lining of the pandemic is I don't have to go out as much and everyone else is going like, man, I miss, I miss.
[00:59:32] I miss restaurants. I miss looking at my favorite scenery and everything, but, uh, but there's something nice about like rolling out of bed, rolling over to the computer, rolling back to bed, my weird little hermit brain kind of Jake's that. So. Yeah. So, yeah, but it'll be great when we can do the live shows again, for sure.
[00:59:52] But we're trying, we're trying to make the digital experience as close to it as we can and having some success, I think,
[00:59:59] Brian: [00:59:59] yeah. I definitely miss the, uh, live conferences and the like, but what I don't want to miss right before the end of the show, we like to have a little segment. We call lightening questions where we each ask you a quick question.
[01:00:11] Um, and there's the lightning. And so I'll, I'll. I'll kick it off. Um, so if, if you were in the circus, would you rather be the person with their head in the lion's mouth or that gets shot out of a cannon?
[01:00:31] Jeffrey: [01:00:31] I don't want to be in a circus. It's cruel to animals. That's I think
[01:00:35] Brian: [01:00:35] that's a good answer. It's good answer.
[01:00:38] Frederick: [01:00:38] Jeffrey. What song stuck in your head right now?
[01:00:43] Jeffrey: [01:00:43] Ben down the branches by Tom waits because it's just heartbreaking song.
[01:00:51] Brian: [01:00:51] It's so good. What, what chore do you absolutely hate doing? Like you're like, you don't want
[01:00:56] Jeffrey: [01:00:56] to do that one.
[01:00:58] Picking up Kleenexes from the floor, how they got there. I will say
[01:01:07] Frederick: [01:01:07] Jeffrey blood. Money's my favorite album. Which one's your favorite song mates
[01:01:11] Jeffrey: [01:01:11] right now for Tom waits? I would say, um, um, Orphans brawlers and, uh, bastards. Yeah, it's just, and then, um, also a really old album that he did, um, called foreign affairs, um, especially side one.
[01:01:29] Yeah. The seventies were completely different sounds and he has a duet with. With that Midler, but it's like , since you live, John, just like he's looking at this weird 150 year old drunk singing to a cigar singing to a cheap cigar, like coming out of a it's just, I don't know. It's beautiful.
[01:01:51] Brian: [01:01:51] It's beautiful.
[01:01:53] So, so where do you mind not waiting? So you're waiting somewhere and you're like, you're I'm okay. Waiting
[01:01:58] Jeffrey: [01:01:58] here. Um, I didn't mind waiting for my shot. Nope. That is a very good one. You know what? Happy to be here. It's okay. Um, also, this is weird when I travel, I don't mind sitting in the car. In fact, I start to get like addicted to being like, if I'm in a, uh, If I'm in a Lyft or a taxi on my way to the airport at a certain point, I just wished that the taxi ride would go on forever.
[01:02:28] I don't know why it's bizarre. And when on, on a flight, um, I'd get off again. Like I'm taking, uh, some kind of transportation to the hotel and I start to wish I didn't have to go to the hotel. I started wish I could just stay on the train forever. I don't mind. Three, four hour train rides that like, um, So, I don't know.
[01:02:48] It's weird. Um, I hate sitting in an airport. And, uh, yeah, and I hate taking a really long time to cook. Uh, I'm really good at recipes that I could make in about five minutes and bad at anything else.
[01:03:08] Frederick: [01:03:08] Uh, Jeffrey, let me ask you, I know you were in a band called the insect surfers and correct me if I'm wrong, but what instrument are you playing?
[01:03:16] Do you still play now? And, uh, do you have any kind of musical aspirations that, that, that you have?
[01:03:21] Jeffrey: [01:03:21] I still play keyboards. I've played them since I was eight. Um, I should be a lot better, but I, I don't really play much anymore. I was more of a composer. Um, had I, I gave up on music, uh, when I was 29, I was just like, okay, I can't make a living with this.
[01:03:41] I think like, like most people, um, the amount of drive that you need, uh, and also you should feel like you have no other options. If you have another talent. It's so much easier to get paid for any other talent, regardless if you're a mediocre accountant and a pretty damn good keyboard player, you're better off as an accountant.
[01:04:04] Like there's more work for you and I'm not putting accountants down. I'm just saying if you're an okay. If you're an okay designer. And design is creative and I love design, but if you're an okay designer, there's more work for you then if you're a really good musician, but not great, like you have to be so great.
[01:04:21] He might have more fun as the musician. And then, and then to have something very unique and personnel, like you have to be Prince or Bowie or, or, um, Tom, Tom waits. I'm not gonna, I'm not even going to go on and yeah, go ahead.
[01:04:39] Brian: [01:04:39] What w my, my last question for you, uh, what fact amazes you, when you think about it?
[01:04:48] Jeffrey: [01:04:48] We're all made of stars.
[01:04:51] Frederick: [01:04:51] That's a good one. Yeah. Um, my, my last, uh, fast question lightning question here is, uh, Jeffrey. What are, are those novels that you wrote? Are they out there somewhere? I
[01:05:04] Jeffrey: [01:05:04] read books in my twenties. Uh, I finished, um, two of them. They were terrible. I lived in a complete fantasy world.
[01:05:15] Um, my daughter is brilliant and she says, she's weird. And I say, no, you're creative, but. Honestly, I was weird. Uh, I am creative, but yeah, I have to accept, like, we're all weird and that's, that's fine. You know, I don't think Tim Burton was popular as a child and that's okay. Like not, not saying we're as good as he is just saying in our own special way.
[01:05:43] We're also awesome. I think everyone, you know, so, so. Yeah, that was a weird answer. Was it, was that a complete answer? I'm not sure. That was a complete answer.
[01:05:57] Frederick: [01:05:57] That brings me to that a Netflix show. That's coming out with Tim Burton. He's doing a Wednesday Adam show on Netflix. I've actually just got announced yesterday.
[01:06:06] Brian: [01:06:06] I know.
[01:06:08] Jeffrey: [01:06:08] But, but no matter how good it is, um, it's always going to be Christina Ricci for me. You know, Christina Ricci is going to say Adam's like, I don't know how you could talk to that. Yeah,
[01:06:19] Brian: [01:06:19] pretty
[01:06:19] Jeffrey: [01:06:19] impossible. Then again, I liked the show Hannibal and I think Matt's Madsen. What's his name? Matt. He made me forget while I was watching that show.
[01:06:30] He made me forget, um, the brilliant British actor.
[01:06:34] Frederick: [01:06:34] He's amazing. Brian's you got any more? Uh,
[01:06:38] Brian: [01:06:38] no, no, that's it. I mean, all I want to say is, you know, time is more valuable than anything else, and I really appreciate that. You know, you shared some of yours with us this morning, so
[01:06:47] Jeffrey: [01:06:47] thank you for that. You all have a, you have a great show.
[01:06:50] You're wonderful interviewers, really nice people. I'm wishing you all the best. And, uh, Thank you, sir.
[01:07:00] Frederick: [01:07:00] Jeffrey J the last thing we like to ask people is if you have any kind of parting advice for the audience,
[01:07:07] Jeffrey: [01:07:07] uh, I, I would say, uh, no problem is insurmountable and I would take it right from, uh, you know, trust yourself.
[01:07:17] Uh, we all have, um, We all have imposter syndrome. Everyone has imposter syndrome. Everyone feels like they're faking it. Um, we're all faking. It. It's like parenting or anything else. You've figured it out on the job. There's no manual. And no matter how much trading you have, the still there's unique stuff that you're going to contribute that no one else can.
[01:07:40] So believe it yourself. If people. If you're looking for a job and people don't get you and you're not getting hired, that's on them because there is something that's perfect for you. That's something that only you can do and nobody can do as well as you and find it or make it, but believe in yourself and don't be discouraged.
[01:08:01] That's what I would say.
[01:08:02] Brian: [01:08:02] Awesome.
[01:08:03] Frederick: [01:08:03] Sounds great. Thank you so much, Jeffrey again. Thanks for being on the show. I, I forgot I was going to have my blue hat on for the, uh, For, for the, for the questions, but, uh, I thought I'd support. Yes.
[01:08:16] Jeffrey: [01:08:16] I'm making a fake one here in the gray
[01:08:19] Brian: [01:08:19] one. Sorry,
[01:08:21] Frederick: [01:08:21] but yeah, Jeffrey Zelma.
[01:08:23] Thank you so much for being on the show. Really appreciate it. And thanks everybody for watching, uh, catch you next time. Thanks all. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks Jeffrey.