Back in the DAM World

People that work in the area of digital asset management (DAM), know that being interviewed on “Another DAM Podcast” is much like it was being Johnny Carson’s first guest of the evening on The Tonight Show.

I had been away from the DAM world for a spell; thus it was quite the honor to join Henrik de Gyor to chat about my DAM self.

The interview is about 19 minutes. The origin stories, and explanations, of “preventing digital liability” and “preserving brand security” begin at 3:40 and 6:40, respectively.

It’s good to be back in the DAM world.

Please see my earlier blog posts for more about avoiding the digital liability and preserving brand security.

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Punched Out

Several years ago I was talking with my oldest brother, who was then in his 20th year with an insurance giant.

I was in my 3rd year with an advertising agency. I absolutely loved what I was doing—supporting 50 creative department users, and keeping the server alive— though I couldn’t tolerate the deplorable way in which senior leadership treated many of their employees.

I described the environment to my brother and told him I was planning to leave the company.

His executive-level advice was “You just have to learn to roll with the punches.”

My response “I’ve rolled with their punches, I’ve ducked their punches, I’ve counter-punched when appropriate. I’m good at all of the above. I just prefer corporate cultures where there’s not so much f’ing  punching.”

I can’t help but wonder how many people who are among those who are leaving jobs during The Great Migration were perfectly happy with their pay/benefits, commute time, etc. but are seeking a low-punch (or no-punch) work culture.

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Batter Up!

I worked for a startup in my mid 20s. They had a good business model, that was often overshadowed by hare-brained ideas and  and  unrealistic revenue streams (they weren’t charging enough), and unnecessary purchases (mostly electronics and impractical software).

In about the fifth month, my paychecks started to bounce. The owner promptly fixed the first few of these.  Then came delays and promises. And the normalization of not getting checks, at least not getting a check from an account with money.

A Friday ritual was to get a paycheck with assurance that it  would “be good on Monday.”

Sometimes that was true, sometimes not.

What made things even worse about 13 months into my tenure at was  that he hired a local artist to paint a two-story mural on all four walls of our office’s entrance way.

Let’s just say that the commission to which the artist agreed was roughly  equal to the amount of 10 of my paychecks.

My checks started bouncing at an accelerated pace.

One  Friday in early March, when I was already down 6 paychecks,  I was given a  new check with the expected, and meaningless  promise that it would be good on Monday. The few seconds that it took to put my hand out for the piece of paper, then nod at the weekly promise was so exhausting that I felt like quitting on the spot.

I began mulling over my departure, and continued to do so over the weekend. That Sunday evening, I decided that if my check wasn’t good, I would be done.

Though moments later I began to doubt that I would do that. I decided that I would delay my Monday arrival until after 9, when my boss’s bank opened and I could check on the available funds.

Before the bank  opened,  my friend, then in graduate school and on spring break, called and said “Tigers v. Red Sox in Lakeland (Florida), let’s go!”

I told him I’d call him back. I then called the bank and found out the check wouldn’t clear.

Lucky 7.

I realized at the point, that I was under no obligation to go to work that day.

I called my friend back and said, “Batter up!” Soon we were on Interstate 75 (southbound).

We had misread the schedule, and the Tigers game was actually a night game. Thus, we headed to Sarasota for a Phillies  game but learned it was sold out.

We decided to hang out in the area until the Tigers game started. We got home really late. I thought of heading to work Tuesday. I was bloody tired, but that never stopped me before.

What did stop me was a 9 am call to the bank to find out that my check would not clear. I went back to sleep.

I never went back to work for the company. Though I did show up at the office one night after hours, and I told him that I had let myself in. And that  I was going to keep my office key,  because until he paid me off,  I was a partial owner of the organization.

I let him know, that I had come to the office that night to write some cover letters, and that I would likely be doing that periodically.

He said “Knock yourself out.”

We trusted each other in many areas. Though I could no longer trust him to pay me, and he finally understood that it was unreasonable to expect my services when there was no compensation in return.


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SharePoint at West Point

In 1998, a mid-priced hotel chain launched an ad campaign that featured a memorable, oft-repeated, catchphrase.

I knew that if I ever stayed in one of their rooms, that I would be comedically obligated to use the catch phrase in a professional situation.

It’s my nature.

A decade later, my company booked a room for me in that hotel chain (the one with the memorable catchphrase). The hotel was a short drive from The US Military Academy at West Point, where I would lead software-training sessions over the following two days.

Cadet Chapel at West Point

I ached to use the line, but didn’t know if West Point was the appropriate venue.

I wasn’t worried about decorum as much as the fact that the hotel was so close to the campus. SOMEBODY, maybe a 100 people, probably had already tried that line before.

At the last nanosecond, I decided to deploy the catch phrase. I could deal with the groans, the side-eye glances, or even an order to do pushups.

After I was introduced, I looked around the room—at the captains, lieutenant colonels, and civilians seated at conference tables arranged in a giant ”U” shape.

I took a deep breath and I began my session:

”I don’t know anything about SharePoint, but I DID stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

I was surprised about how well the line was received. Apparently nobody had used that line in the presence of these audience members.

This was one of the most-formal settings in which I’d ever presented, yet I had never felt more at ease.

What was your most memorable icebreaker?

Holiday Inn Express Rodeo Clown Commercial
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