I was just re-reading “Are you obsolete? Why not?” and thinking, “Man, this guy is completely full of crap. Who listens to this noob?”
And then I realized I had written it.
So, then I thought, “Maybe I should give an example. Practice what I preach. Put my money where my mouth is. Show where the rubber meets the road. Eat my own dogfood…”
And then I rattled off about 50 other platitudes, forgot what I was supposed to be doing, went to do something else, and then decided to read some blogs, when I happened upon a post called “Are you obsolete? Why not?”
Having come full circle, I thought I would provide an anecdote to prove that I do, in fact, try to follow my own advice.
So, this client calls me up, today. Someone with whom I have worked for quite some time.
And she asked if I had time to take on a small PowerPoint job.
I confirmed that I did, and she sent me the specs for the job. She also intimated that they were on an extremely tight timeline.
We got on the phone and started talking through the job, reviewing the existing PDF comp, and scoping the effort required to transform the PDF into an animated PowerPoint presentation.
And that’s when it dawned on me: For what they were doing–in the timeline they were trying to do it–PowerPoint was far from a necessary evil.
“You know,” I said. “The animation in this presentation is fairly unnecessary. It’s going to add time and cost to the project, and you’re working on a tight timeline and set budget.
“If you’re not married to the movement, you may be able to fake this, pretty easily.”
At which point, I talked her through the “full screen” option for Adobe Acrobat.
“To the audience, no one will be able to tell that you’re not presenting from PowerPoint. And that way you won’t waste all the time getting the presentation into PowerPoint. Once your designer is done, the presentation is done.”
She decided to take that recommendation back to the team.
And guess what? I lost the project.
“We’re going to use the full-screen option,” she said. “So there’s nothing for you to do.”
Ta dah! I made myself obsolete.
And the client gained some much needed time and saved a good chunk of budget.
But, fear not, gentle reader. This isn’t some sad foreign film. No, no. There’s a happy ending. It seems there’s another PowerPoint project that may have my name on it.