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Written by
John McElroy
Written on
20 Sep 2017
Published in
Categories are coming soon

Suppose your production business increased ten-fold in the course of a month.

Several years ago, my business did just that. It blew up overnight. I'd been exclusively a producer of boutique productions, someone with a solid reputation and client base. All of a sudden, I was the operator of a volume-based company specializing in solid-value, medium-cost programs (using SAG-AFTRA talent). The number of projects on our plate exploded from roughly fifty titles a year to more than five hundred.

Great, right? Well . . . yes, in a lot of ways. But ramping up that quickly and broadly? That put the hurt on.

MBAs greet new businesses with plans, charts, and spreadsheets. I don't have an MBA. I just say "yes" and figure it out as I go. (Not optimal, but that's how I roll.) To put it mildly, this new challenge took a lot of figuring. And stumbling. And recovering from stumbling. Then stumbling again and finally getting this or that part of the process right. But more than anything, it took trusting. If I was going to get anything done, I'd have to ask people I knew and respected for help. So I that's what I did, and it went superbly. I was able to assemble a functional network of narrators, studios, editors, mastering engineers, and others. And we got big things done. People repaid trust with great work.

I had the team, now I needed a boost from technology--and I found it in Dropbox. This great app allowed us to organize and move content around the country quickly and effectively. We were dealing with thousands of files from dozens of suppliers. That requires an elegant, intuitive tool--and Dropbox provided that in spades. To this day, I can't imagine how my work life would function without it.

Team. Check. Dropbox. Check. Now the source of crazy that drove me to Erggo: email. (Sigh . . .) Email: the bane of my existence. Two hundred fifty to three hundred messages a day that require responses. Dante couldn't have come up with a worse fate for traitors. Why me? Every day, all day, the emails flooded in: different threads, different sources, asking for disparate information in a variety of ways. Some legitimate, intelligent requests, others redundant, misinformed. Long. Short. Important. Trivial. They washed over me in a wave. I tried color-coding and smart mailboxes, and that helped somewhat. But the experience was as unpleasant as anything I've experienced in my work life. In the end, email was making me into a crazy.

My not-so-profound insight: Email has its limits. Under the right conditions, it will drive you into gibbering fits of lunacy. Seriously.

That's (in part) the genesis of Erggo. Email was driving me nuts, and I needed a cure. I wanted a way to direct messages through project channels. I needed hubs where team members could find all the data and assets necessary to accomplish the tasks at hand. And I needed people, the most valuable resource of all. I had to find a way to locate the right talent and pull them aboard my projects.

And that's what our team is developing. Erggo is the tool that any busy project manager wants and needs. If nothing else, we're creating it to keep you sane.

My brush with madness is only part of what guided our development. The value proposition for the creative talent on the platform grew from saner thoughts. I'll write about them elsewhere. 

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