Worrying about what other people think of you kills innovation, creation and doing things that really matter

Have an opinion. An idea. And let people know about it. Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Some people don’t like me.

It’s taken many, many years. But I accept this fact now.

Until maybe sixth or seventh grade I was blissfully unaware. I would just be me, however weird or annoying that might be, and I didn’t think twice that maybe someone didn’t like it. Or me.

At a certain point, your brain changes and all of a sudden the only thing that matters is acceptance. You want to fit in. You need to fit in.

I played piano since I was seven and was really good at it. Later, I found it out it wasn’t…

Society, Politics, Work and the Changes at Basecamp

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I run a small creative agency in San Francisco. We went fully remote as of the first lockdown order in March of 2020. The first “policy” we implemented was a 30 minute all-agency video call every day at 10am. The intent was to discuss our current projects, talk about who was working on what, and make sure everyone had what they needed for the workday.

(The second policy was to eliminate Asana and Slack and move to Basecamp).

What this call very quickly became is an hour-long conversation filled with wide-ranging topics from mountain bikes to TV (remember Tiger King?)…

Negativity is easy. Negativity is an excuse. Negativity is a weapon. It shouldn’t be cool.

It’s easy to make fun of positive affirmations. Harder, though, when there’s a kid in the picture.


You can be either positive, or negative.

My last year of elementary school was in 6th grade. When I started 7th grade, the school district I was in built a new Junior High School (what most call “Middle School” now). My 7th grade was essentially at double capacity, so I only went to class in the afternoons as they built the new school. My parents both worked, so in the mornings I formed a soap-opera watching habit. All My Children was my favorite. Weird, in hindsight.

As the new school was close to completion, my class visited for a…

Your friend. Your nemesis.

Football season is here. I love football. I love watching football. I don’t watch a lot of TV otherwise– beyond maybe some long-running reality TV shows like Top Chef, Survivor or Amazing Race. (I do have a slight addiction to guitar videos on YouTube, but that’s another story.)

Now that I’ve got college football games on Saturday and NFL on Sunday, I can end up on the couch for a long time. I love football, but for whatever reason, after a few hours on the couch I inevitably get depressed.

Something happens in my body first then it hits my…

Reflecting on what I’ve learned 5 years later.

I believe this was Day Two. At a Developer Conference in Mexico City. For the record, I’m not really that short, it’s just that everyone with me is so tall.

It was almost exactly 5 years ago this week that I returned from a 21-day journey around the world.

There were four of us on this journey. Together we met, interviewed and filmed developers, engineers and educators. These hard-working, passionate people were building amazing software and hardware in 7 different cities across the globe.

How to achieve more, better and faster– by leveraging your greatest innate human ability

Here I am hard at work making great plans. And avoiding actually doing the work. (Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash)

After many years of research, trial, and error, I believe I’ve found the ultimate system for getting things done.

Some background first.

In my home I have several boxes filled with, mostly, old technology that I have planned to sell on eBay for many years. Like bitcoin, the value of those boxes keeps going down. Most of it is probably worth next to nothing now. (Anyone in the market for a Sony Discman Portable CD player?)

I also have several items in my attic that I bought on eBay. “Future projects.” One example- an original Bridgestone MB-1 mountain bike frame…

The freelance economy and its ups and downs

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I’m in the stat room* at the second-largest agency in Chicago. I’m a recently hired junior creative. I start talking to the guy next to me. He’s a freelance art director. And he tells me the story about how he created the Apple logo.

During the same time period I am also freelancing, even though I’m full time at this agency. On nights and weekends I’m helping with new business projects for an ex-agency creative director named Carlos Segura, who is starting his own design studio.

Hiring freelance talent (or being a freelancer, even on the side) is nothing new…

Good things happen when you face the worst things that can happen.

Photo by William Hook on Unsplash

Sometimes I really hate bees.

Like the other day when one flew right into my face and bounced around inside my sunglasses. My immediate instinct, of course, was to swat it away violently.

Problem was, at this same time I was heading down a steep dirt trail on my mountain bike.

I swatted at it with my right hand. Simultaneously, my left hand jerked my handlebar backwards.

I knew I was going down. I just didn’t know where yet. As I looked up I realized I was not going down on the trail, but off the side of the trail…

Discovering how to do what’s right for you.

Wax on. Wax off. This is a Foundational Process.

I go to the car wash about every other week. It’s one of those where you drive in and wash the car yourself.

In each stall, a pressure sprayer and foaming brush is provided. Also provided is the feeling of panic when your car is still soapy and there is only one minute left to rinse it off. This happens no matter how many coins you put into the machine.

I am obsessive about washing my car by hand.

I scrub every inch.

I have a system.

I want to remove every single piece of dust and dirt.

My dad…

Working in restaurants, Chef’s Table and seeking truth in perfection.

Grant Achatz of Alinea. Watch his episode of Chef’s Table. Genius.

I was 14 when I started my first restaurant job. I began as a dishwasher, moved my way up to busboy, then made it to line cook.

One of the first things you learn working in a restaurant is how to actually work. No one else is going to wash those dishes for you. Or mop the floors. Or clean your station. Or empty the grease traps. If you don’t do these things, you’re fired. Simple as that. (Yes, I was fired from at least one restaurant job. I worked in four between the ages of 14 and 18).


Kevin Gammon

Owner/Creative/Strategy at Teak in San Francisco + Re-heater of Coffee

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