Monthly Archives

February 2016

Guides
February 28, 2016

Which is better to work at, small companies or big companies?

I’ve worked at companies ranging from 3 guys in a converted garage to a global, publicly traded company with 65,000 employees and everywhere in between, and the honest truth is that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on the company, the individual, and the match between the two. That said, there are some broad patterns that you should be aware of to make sure that you’re picking your moves carefully and don’t end up falling into the Zone Of Pain. What’s the Zone of Pain, you ask?? I’ll tell you in just a minute— but first, let’s get the basics out of the way... THE BIG DIFFERENCE: HOW MANY HATS YOU WILL WEAR In general, the main thing about big companies is that roles are much more rigidly defined. If you’re a graphic designer at a big company, all you will ever do is graphic…
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Reader questions
February 25, 2016

Read questions vol 4: Where can I get an internship that isn’t BORING?

Got a career, school, or business question? Ask it here! James asks: Hi Finn and Co. I am currently a bachelor in Corporate Finance & Accounting (2nd year) and I really am enjoying college. Currently I'm thinking about an internship but it seems the only ads I find are from these huge, "boring" corporations like P&G, Aon etc. How can I find a career path in a creative and less corporate environment? What are some of the best companies for internships? A couple things here… First of all, I would challenge your basic premise here that working for a big corporation is inherently boring or uncreative-- not true at all!! For example I have worked with P&G and they are one of the most innovative, smartest companies on the planet— I probably shouldn’t talk about the details, but I did some seriously crazy, fun, creative stuff for them (and those were…
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Guides
February 23, 2016

How to network without being a douchebag

I was in a bad spot about 15 years ago. I was a 22 year-old college dropout with a burning desire to make a living as a creative professional, but working 50-60 hours a week at a job I hated (a print shop). I was stuck because I couldn’t get anyone to take a chance on me: I had pretty good skills as a self-taught graphic designer, but without a degree or any real experience, I was really struggling to get anyone to give me the time of day. I knew that I would rock it if someone would just give me a chance, but I just couldn’t make it happen— I felt trapped in a life that I hated, and was getting increasingly scared that I’d never find a way out. That changed one day when someone I’d never met came in to the print shop. We had printed…
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Reader questions
February 18, 2016

Reader questions vol 3: How do I grow my apparel company?

Rui asks: Thanks for the input on how to start an apparel brand - I really identified with the steps you mentioned. Now that I've started mine, got some national-wide traction... how do I make it *click*? I want it to become my main job, other than a side-project. 1) Is it by getting distribution? Got any tips? 2) Is it by licensing the products? I feel like I'm over-protecting my brand by avoiding licensing to other countries where I won't know how many units they'll be producing, etc. What are the main guidelines for a licensing deal? Like I said in that post, apparel is a REALLY tough business and there’s no real magic bullet for making it “click” and unlocking growth. It takes TIME— a lot of brands that seem newish have actually been around for a long time: Supreme is 22 years old, Mishka is 13, Stussy is 36,…
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Alumni Profiles
February 16, 2016

Alumni Profile: Colt Cabana of the Art of Wrestling Podcast

Colt Cabana (nee Scott Goldman) is easily one of the most recognizable independent wrestlers at the moment. He’s the creator and host behind The Art of Wrestling, often considered the first wrestling podcast. While Cabana is known to some as “breaking the internet,” he should be known more for his DIY business acumen, which has extended to a fruitful life as an independent wrestler, comic, and world traveler. Cabana is a multi-title holder, guested on both Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and his eponymous TV show, but more importantly, he’s provided the template on how to be a completely self-sufficient DIY pro who hosts a podcast from his studio...APARTMENT. Give us your life story in a few sentences: who are you, what is/was your involvement in DIY culture and what is your "real job"?  Chubby Jewish sports-minded kid from the suburbs of Chicago dreams of being a pro wrestler.  So he…
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Guides
February 15, 2016

Why job titles matter more than (almost) anything else

In contrast to the world of mainstream music, where the artists are put up on a pedestal to be worshipped by fans, in hardcore there's no difference between the guys/girls on stage and the people in the crowd-- we're all on equal footing, and if someone tries to act like a rockstar they get put in their place with the quickness. This “flatness” is one of my favorite parts of punk/hardcore culture, but it can also be a bit of a double-edged sword in that it can make us blind to the times when hierarchy DOES exist. Hardcore might be flat, but the rest of the world usually isn't. In the beginning of my career I never really gave a shit about job titles and hierarchy. Who cares? “No gods, no masters,” right?? I just kind of rolled my eyes and wrote that stuff off as meaningless crap, telling myself that…
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Reader questions
February 6, 2016

Reader Questions vol 2: How to be a writer & should I start a business

Viktor asks: I humbly request your career advice. I have a BA in Software Engineering. I was fed up with IT as a profession in general, right now I'm working in journalism but i want to switch back as the money to time ratio is just way better. Now my question: Should i pursue a stable 20h/week freelance gig to invest the other time into a startup (my own, not working for free) or should i go full corporate and try to climb the established ladder? thanks! Entrepreneurship is awesome, but it's fucking HARD. If you're thinking about it, make VERY sure you know what you're getting yourself into... it's WAY harder than working for someone else. If you don't believe me, ask any small business owner. Some wise words from a former (successful) startup founder on the realities of "entrepreneurshit:" I like to speak about this topic with first-time wantrapreneurs because if you…
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