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Independent Interaction of Sam Wilson

  • Spence

    Awesome concept, love the colors too.

    Sun, September 06, 2009 at 12:20pm
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  • boriski

    excellent article Sam! first time to this site. so well designed and written. congrats on the awards also!

    Mon, September 07, 2009 at 5:51pm
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  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate that.

    Mon, September 07, 2009 at 10:30pm
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  • Connor Sears

    Awesome article Sam! Can’t tell you how much I need to put these principles into practice.

    I’ve always found that surrounding myself with talented and supportive people has resulted in great things. I just need to organize our ideas better!

    I love these artices from you so keep’em coming.

    Tue, September 08, 2009 at 2:18am
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  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks Connor, I think we all (myself included) need to be really vigilant with writing down ideas. First it could be your retirement (or just a lot of fun). Secondly it puts pressure on us to “replace” the ideas now out of our thinking loops with new ones. I’m a big fan of always keeping the pressure on ourselves even when external pressures are low.

    Tue, September 08, 2009 at 12:50pm
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  • Ryan Bollenbach

    Hey, awesome thoughts about collaboration. I was recently talking to my friend about doing some collaberation work but this has changed my perspective.

    It would have been cool if you included some collaberations you did.

    I completely agree, if others aren’t willing to collaborate it’s best to rock the idea solo.

    Thu, October 29, 2009 at 8:36pm
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  • Ashley is so beautiful and fun!  What a great collaborative idea coming to life!

    Wed, December 09, 2009 at 2:28pm
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  • Nabil

    I ‘ve enjoyed reading your article Sam! and the site concept, design and feel are awesome congrats on the award!

    Sat, January 09, 2010 at 5:51pm
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  • Jason

    I really connected with this post, especially the part about choosing carefully. A couple of y ears ago I was involved with two others for an app design project. Me, design and copy,  and the programmer quickly realized the third dude’s contribution was buying pizza. The project died when we realized the parasite-man would just drag us down if we took it any further.

    Fri, September 30, 2011 at 5:13pm
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have your say...

Collaborative thinking

Using my latest collaboration as an example, I cover some basic strategy for pursuing collaborations wisely.

After working recently with Jetpack Dance-Off to launch a word game Phrays, I better understand that we (even as independents) can do the impossible through the simple act of sharing.

Everyone has ideas to offer, but few execute because taking the first step often feels like climbing a mountain. But one person’s mountain is another’s pebble in the path. In this way a complementary team lifts one another to places not reachable individually. So with the right people, you can walk anywhere. That’s collaborative thinking and freelancers need to do more of it.

Tips for effective collaboration

Be ready: write down every idea. Right now, open a document or take out a piece of paper and list every idea. Title each entry and summarize them with only one sentence. If the idea can’t be described easily with one sentence, then consider simplifying the concept.

Make creative but supportive friends. Seek out kindred creative minds in person or online. Be mad scientists together. Sit down (or type) over coffee or tea, wildly speculate about how horse auctions will be conducted fifty years from now. Discuss great ideas and terrible ideas with equal enthusiasm. Have humor and don’t force anything. Only pursue the ideas that really intrigue all collaborating parties.

Have a collaboration-friendly life. Make time to collaborate. If you work fifty hours a week and have three children, then collaboration will be really challenging (but still very doable). Be honest with yourself and your collaborators regarding your availability.

Carefully choose collaborative opportunities. All participants in the project should be necessary i.e. offer something that the collaboration really needs. Similarly, all collaborators should have a stake in the end product. A person that wants you to do all of the work without offering anything valuable (and not just a whip-cracker) isn’t a collaborator, he or she is a parasite.

Just do it already. This is most important. Plan generously but when the time is ripe get started and keep momentum strong on collaborative projects. Know that momentum exists only when visible progress is being made every week.

But careful

Not every idea calls for collaboration. Sometimes you can do something yourself. Sometimes an idea that sounds so awesome isn’t smelling as fresh a few weeks later. But if your idea is strong yet circumstances aren’t ripe for working together, consider outsourcing or pulling the concept off solo. What is important ultimately is that one acts on their ideas and keeps writing new ones down.