Join Ze Frank for an in-depth discussion in this video Tools & collaboration, part of Creative Inspirations: Ze Frank, Comedic Digital Savant.
(Music playing.) There's a whole range of projects that I do now where I just don't have the specialized knowledge and realistically, it would be ridiculous for me to try to learn it on my own. And not only that but the pool of labor or interested people out there is so much larger now. So, if I want to do a project that involves something having to do with sound, like I did this project where I opened up a hotline for people to call in with emotional pain and then instead of doing this next step which is to take those voice mails and then cut them up into little chunks of sound that DJs could use, I just put out a notice on Twitter and I asked whether there were DJs that were interested in working on this project with me.
And there were plenty, one in particular who did a lion's share of the work and it usually turns out that way that there's one person who you really connect with or that connects with the work that you're doing. It's the same thing especially in programming. I've taught myself pretty much everything that I know how to do, but there's a point at which you have to start asking yourself whether it's worth the time to continue your quest to do everything by yourself.
And I found that in order to really facilitate fun, engaging creativity in the world of programming, you have to find people who are super good at it and so prepared that their minds can be split between the fun, creative part and the stuff that they're just good at. In my case, I, and I think a lot of people out there that are my age and older, lived through this time where there was this massive proliferation in toolsets.
There was new stuff, new tools popping up and new opportunities to use those tools. You just couldn't become an expert in something and you also had to try to gain your confidence about yourself from a different set of rules than the "I'm an expert" rule set. So there was a time where I would have said, the best thing that you can possibly do is be tool agnostic. Like, don't care what the tool is. You want an end result and you find the tool that's appropriate and who cares if you're good at it or not? Just open the damn box and start fiddling around.
I don't know how successful you're going to be anymore because the tools are a lot more expensive. It's not-- there isn't freeware everywhere as there used to be and it's not as easy to crack a lot of the licenses. So, I think that the next sort of phase is it has to do with collaboration. It has to do with finding people that embody those specialized skill sets and I think that that social aspect of becoming a lot more fluent in the dynamics of collaboration.
And not just within an organization but out into the world, out into the world of hiring people that you never meet, is going to become very important. And certainly that's what I'm trying to do a lot more of, is recognizing that my exuberance has its limits and that I just can't. There's a whole range of experience that I can't have as an individual that I am going to have to reach out for.