Childhood cancer and a sound designer

What raising $360K for sick children has to do with collaborating with a sound designer

They couldn’t be further apart.

Last month, as I was wrapping a project, I had a very unusual conversation with Jimenez. Diego Jimenez and I go way back, he is a sound designer and one of our close collaborators.  Common topics are: Soccer, film scores, bands... did I mention soccer? But, if there's something I'm sure of is that helping sick children wasn't one of them.

He was like, "Hey bro, can you help me  with a small donation to help some people out?"

"Yeah, man, 100%," I replied, but I must admit it took me a bit by surprise.

At the moment he just kept it very basic and just mentioned that it was to help some children from St. Jude Children Hospital. It made me curious. Where did this come from?

After asking one too many questions, he told me that he was also running the TCS New York City Marathon and donating his share of the project we were working on to St. Jude Heroes. That was my second "wow."

A few days ago I got this message on Facebook from him:

"I just reach the goal for my St Jude Children's Hospital Fundraising. I want to thank you all on behalf of the Kids of St Jude, all those who are part of this amazing cause. We raised a total of $3,500, and not only that, we, the St Jude Heroes that are participating in the 2014 TCS NYC Marathon, raised more than $360.000 total, THANK YOU, thanks so much."

Today Jimenez is not only known for wearing his yellow Colombian soccer jersey or for winning a Telly Award for Best/Sound design on the short film Human Revolution, but for being the guy who challenged all of us to become a better person and do more with our lives.

So, Jimenez, don't thank us.

Thank you.

Diego Jimenez, Sound Designer at Hobo Audio.

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Ricardo Ceballos Producer Director

Illustration by Marc Anderson

iSummit: Digital and Humans

iSummit took place in Orlando the last couple days of September. The conference, focused on all things digital, lasted a day and half with participating speakers from Mashable, Y-Combinator, and Disruption Corporation, to name a few.

Topics ran far and wide, but even though it is a conference on digital, it is crazy how it all goes back to basics and human relationships. There were a couple topics that were recurring in several talks, and although they aren't new by any means, it is incredibly important to make sure we're on top of them.



The 'why' you do things is huge (right, Simon?), it is what will inspire others to connect with what you do at an emotional level, but before you can inspire people, they need to understand what is that you do in the first place. "Less is more" is way harder than it sounds, and yes, achieving clarity can be a really hard thing.

Ultimately the goal is to be able to communicate what you do to anyone (including those outside your industry). A great way to test if you have this part down is to be able to explain it to your mom. If you're having a hard time doing this, the blame is not on her. Amber Horsburgh, Strategist at Big Spaceship, is no stranger to this concept, she put together a killer deck to Explain Digital Strategy to your Mum.

So go ahead, feel free to allow technical terms and buzz words rot, and start cultivating fluency in a language we all understand: plain language.




As sweet as it sounds, without building trust, there is no way you'll ever make money while you sleep. All of these help build it: clarity (do you sense a pattern here?), coherence, credibility. In essence, as Oli Gardner so philosophically captured, we all have a "bullshit detector" and the goal is to get through it unscathed.

A great way to build trust while you sleep is to blog. Basecamp, the artist formerly known as 37Signals, started a blog back in the day when they used to be a web design firm. They shared their expertise and managed to develop an important base of readers. Those supporters were the ones eager to start trying out Basecamp's products in the beginning, because they already knew them and liked them.

If you aren't blogging or if you are and your main goal isn't to build trust, taking 5 mins to read this could prove to be 5 minutes well spent: Why You Aren't Blogging.



Here is a short but sweet list of those who were exceptional. Watch out for them in case you get a chance to listen to them in the future:

Not only do these people know their stuff, they also know how to deliver it to a crowd.


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Vanessa Vela is a Strategist at MUUTE and a 'fúbol' aficionado.

Illustration by Fabricio Marques