JD Hooge of Instrument, an interactive agency (and much, much more) in Portland, gave a presentation on the background, going ons, as well as some core principles of the agency at this month’s Creative Mornings PDX. While Hooge started the presentation with a quick rip on himself for being “boring,” that was definitely not the case.

The noticeably tired father of twins and partner at Instrument mustered up the energy to let us in on some bits of golden info dug out of his personal log of “10,000 hours” of interactive experience.

Aha! moments for me included:

Earn trust, then build trust, then be completely honest.

To get to a point in a client relationship where you can be bluntly and boldly honest leads to meaningful, and much more rewarding business. I dig it.

Keeping it personal and staying personal.

Internal or personal project work can act as a catalyst to promote constant skill sharpening. This in turn makes client work and your main business all that much better. I saw it as a cycle in my head.

Identifying the small idea.

Yeah, there are clients who will hunt for the right team to help them put wings on a big idea and take flight. Sometimes it’s the small ideas that, done well, can lead to very meaningful, successful things. There are plenty of business juggernauts that started as “a couple dudes working on things in a garage.” So true.

You've got to try it if you haven't.

Much thanks to Tsilli Pines and the Creative Mornings PDX crew and supporters for having all of these inspiring presentations. Thanks to JD Hooge for taking the time to speak to a very energetic Portland design crown. It definitely keeps the momentum going through this winter!

Hope to attend next month’s presentation. Until then, I’ll be working the crap out of those small ideas.