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In which Hank talks about the attitiudes and resources he has now that make it easier to make cool things exist. - ready now!


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A Bunny
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Good morning, John. I very much enjoy making things. And I think that most people enjoy making things- making songs, making scarves, making video blogs, making books, making it rain like Roger... People that like, take things that are inside of their head and make them real in the real world. And this is hard, but I've been doing it for a while now and I'm getting better at it. I think that's because of a combination of attitudes and resources that I now have. And for other people who want to make things and are maybe have a hard time doing it, I wanted to share my process in the form of a case study:, which I launched last night. I had the idea over a year ago, and the process of having and idea is very "plllblkdsj." That just has to happen. I liked the idea though, because it had a lot of the things that I need for good ideas. One: It promotes something that I love: reading. Two: Through advertising, it could potentially actually employ a writer. And I would love to be responsible for a writer having a job. Three: It seemed kind of Nerdfightastic. It seemed kinda like something that Nerdfighters would enjoy. But first, before nerdfighteria, I had to explain the idea to Katherine. Katherine is my wife and she is also my number one wall at which to throw ideas, and if they stick to her, then this is a very good sign. She's smart enough and loving enough to be both quick and entirely merciless. Now we have approached the most interesting part of the process for me. I took my initial feedback and I put it in my head with the idea and sat there. During the process, you have lots of great ideas about the idea and how to make the idea perfect. What's not happening is the idea is not actually becoming real. It's just becoming cooler inside of your brain. We call this brain crack, and Ze Frank has freed me from my addiction to it. So, I brain-cracked this idea for like a year, and then I went to LeakyCon, where I got re-inspired about books and adaptations and how people should read the book first. I needed a domain name, went to, begrudgingly settled on a domain name that had a number in it, and this may not have been the best decision in the world, but I want to emphasize that it WAS a decision. Making an imperfect decision is far, far better than not making a decision, which is the worst possible decision you could make. Then I went into my design software, Fireworks, and I made up a logo and I tweeted it and I put it on my Tumblr. And lots of people gave me great feedback and tons of amazing genius ideas about how to make readit1st better. And I ignored all of them. Readit1st needs one thing: to do its job, it needs a newsletter. And so that's all we did to start. We also went through about a dozen logo incarnations on Tumblr which was a really rewarding critique for me. And then I, executive decision, settled on a logo which we are now stuck with-- not because it was the best logo possible, but because we need to move on! Then I designed a website around the logo all by myself. I did this because I'm a passable designer. And then because I'm no longer a passable HTML coder, I sent it off to a company called psd2html which changed my design into an actual webpage. Then I suckered a friend of mine, Sam Rudge, into making the code that makes the whole site work. And then I suckered my brother, John Green into, uh, writing the write few editions of the readit1st newsletter. The first one will be going out Friday morning. Never worry about asking people to do favors for you, especially when they're not huge, gigantic hunks of time. BUT! If money starts to exist with a project, always remember those people who helped you and reward them for that. With money. Do I need to say that? Reward them with money! I do not know if this is a good idea. That's the thing about ideas. You will never know if it's a good idea until you make it real! And when the world doesn't like the idea, that is called failure. And it sounds and it feels SO much worse than it is! I now have a lot of failures under my belt, and I don't mind so much anymore. It's an amazing way to feel if you want to create things. I mean, obviously success is much more enjoyable, but if you're so afraid of the failure that you never do it, your chances of success are NONE. And of course I want all of Nerdfighteria to sign up for readit1st, but I also want you to know that this isn't something I created for Nerdfighters. I created it for the world. What I did was I created it WITH Nerdfighters. And I really believe that. I really believe I couldn't have done any of this if I didn't have a resource that no one else in the world has-- except for John Green. A group of intelligent, interesting, interested, savvy, tumblogging, made-of-awesome people. Thanks, not just for this, but for everything that we've created together. Everyone can go and sign up for now, and don't forget to tell your friends. John, I will see you on Friday.