What'd you do when you got up today?
Think about it for a minute. Like think about from the minute you got up to right now when you're reading these words on your screen.
Probably something like wake up, grab phone, scroll endlessly for a little while as you clear your mind, get up, and start your day.
Maybe you showered maybe you got ready for school, then went.
What about yesterday?
Was anything different?
Now think about your days in full.
Like, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.
There's a lot of time in between waking up and going to bed.
But what do you do with it?
Do you know how to make each day individual and productive on their own?
Or do you live the life if repetition.
I'll break down the thought here.
In my min, there's two main types of people.
There's your Algorithmic movers.
Then there's your Heuristic thinkers.
An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instruction down a single pathway to one conclusion . Meaning that within daily tasks, there's essentially an algorithm to solving or completing the tasks.
A hueristic task is the opposite. This is because, well, no set algorithmic path exists for this type of thinking and executing. We have to experiement with possibilities and devise a novem solution.
To bring it to a real life example, working as a store clerk is mainly algorithmic. You do essentially the same task over and over again, you bag things as they get checked out. It's a repetitive process, once you learn how to do it once, you've basically mastered the art. You can't expand the idea of grocery bagging. The only way to grow the horizon of thought there would be to make a special bag that could fit everything, and in that case you'd transition into our next subject.
The heurisitic thinker. This is someone that comes up with something new. This is a type of person that doesn't complete tasks on the algorithmic scale.
The definition for heurisitic as google reads, is as follows
enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves.
"a “hands-on” or interactive heuristic approach to learning"
Look back in time a bit, maybe thirty or so years, most of the work was algorithmic. People worked in assembly lines and turned the same screw the exact same way day in and day out. Most things were found to worst best for the average person if done in routine fashion. People learned in society that they could reduce much of what they did to a script, or a formula, or an equation. Think about it, computer programmers, lawyers, manufacturers, accounting, tons of fields. Then over time people came to learn that most things could be done for cheaper and faster overseas, because over in other countries workers consistantly run algorithms, figuring out the correct answer to solving the task and send it thousands of miles away to be done one thousand times over again. But there's an issue with this in the creative person. Routine work can be outsourced and automated. Artistic, creative work cannot.
Knowledge Is Power.
Make creativity the tool of your future.
How can jobs, projects, or tasks be heurisitc?
Well, lets take OHKAY as an example.
It's both algorithmic and hueristic. But we couldn't be algorithmic if we didn't have hueristic abilities.
We have this brand, and we built a platform, and that's why you're here reading this today. We have the ability to use our minds to create concepts like this one, so that I can go on and type it up and share my mind with you and you're probably hearing my voice (or what you think I sound like) as you read these exacts words on your screen
But as a brand, our job is to be heuristic.
Like every single day I need to do something new. I need to solve tasks. I need to create.
But I have my algorithmic days, too.
Let's look at an OHKAY project for example. Let's take the a OHKAY ONE OF ONE project.
Tasks that are algorithmic will and in an "A"
Tasks that are hueristic will and in a "H"
We think: We want to make new one of one stuff H
We go out and we hand pick 65 items to re-create H
We bring them to our embroidery place and we pick the location and the exact color thread of each item for the logos H
We prepare all the items for embroidery. We lay each item down, put a special material paper inside of the item, clamp the piece with two things called "hoops" and stack them on top of eachother. It's a task we learned once, and we do over and over again. We can never really get better at it, because it's something that is just repetitive A
We put each item in the machine and run it A
The machine puts 8,000 stitches of the selected color into the item over the course of 26 minutes A
We take all the items off, un-hoop them A
We bring all the items a week later to a studio that we rent out, bring models in, shoot photos of the product H
We style each piece differently, make sure each one fits the model correctly, and we capture the essence of the project H
We shoot a photo of every piece, from directly above, laying on a white surface A
We upload all of them into Lightroom and we color correct each one. It's an A task, but since each one has to be color corrected differently to look like the rest of the website, it's a H execution
Go into photoshop, open all 120 photos (front and back of each piece), cut and copy the original photo and paste the piece on a transparent png background. Save each photo as its' own in a folder. Drink a couple cups of coffee while we do this because it takes so many hours A
Put each item online, price it, write description for it A
Release clothes A
Find a unique way to market the project to people and prove to them why it's an important piece of the brand, hoping that people support OHKAY and buy the items H
Processing each order, printing each label, cutting them out, taping them onto the package, folding all the clothes, hand-writing a letter to each customer, adding ten stickers to the order form, putting the piece in the polyester bag, sealing it, and bringing it to the post office Very Algorithmic.
So each project itself has things that run by the script we've written. But most portions of it come from our mind and depend on how we can create new stuff to then run the script on.
So how can YOU become more heuristic?
Step one is understanding the idea of it.
Let's take it back to the first thing I said when I started talking.
What'd you do when you got up today?
Think about it for a minute. Like think about from the minute you got up to right now when you're reading these words on your screen.
Did you do that exact same thing yesterday? Or the day before?
Maybe you did. Maybe you wake up every day at 6:35, eat breakfast, and go to school until 2:35pm.
That's an algorithmic task.
You probably drive the same route to and from school, park in the same spot every day, enter the house in the same door.
That's all a part of your baseline algorithmic day.
Everyone in the world has that baseline algorithmic structure.
But then you have that time slot after school (granted you don't play sports).
You could go home every day and be algorithmic and watch tv and waste your day away until your parents come home, cook dinner, then you go to your room and do your homework then play video games then sleep, then wake up and repeat.
OR, you could start living heurisitically.
In this heuristic mindset, each day is different.
Maybe you think of a big project you want to do. Break it down into a bunch of different compoinents. Think "Ok, do to this, I need to learn this."
Maybe you want to start a brand.
That's a good topic because so many people want to start a brand.
Well guess what, there's no rule-book to making a successful brand.
You need to think heuristically.
You need to take information in. Learn from it. Process it. Evaluate how you can use it to your ability, and create with it.
Maybe you don't know photoshop. Well guess what, rule one in successful branding is knowing graphic design. So you need to sit down, and each day learn a new component of photoshop. Maybe this takes a week or a month, but you need to mater it. So each day you're doing the same concept, you're sitting down thinking about how to better your graphic design skills, but you're learning something new every day. This is, well, until you feel strong enough where you can make graphics and you understand the concepts.
Next step would be making the clothes. Woah, you have no idea how to do that!
You need to sit down and spend another day, or another month learning a new component every day. Maybe it'll take you a week or two to wrap your mind around screen printing, then another week to go out and find someone to help you screen print. Maybe you want to embroider and you need to learn what it's like to make a DST file from a PSD or a JPG. Maybe you can't even export a PSD as a JPG to then open it to make it a DST, well guess what, there's another must-learn-lesson back in photoshop that you gotta learn!
Then woah you have clothes made and you need to learn how to photograph them!
You got a camera but can't use it?
Learn a new component each day.
ISO one day. Shutter speed the next. Exposure, apeture, lenses, F stop. It'll take a few weeks! But eventually you'll learn.
Then when someone needs photos taken, you can do it too.
But you need to then learn how to edit them!
There's a week of learning something new every day in Lightroom!
Similar to photoshop but nothing you learned from photoshop will apply. Sorry! More knowledge time.
Then guess what, you're familiar with graphics, now it's time to buy a domain and make some website.
That's a tough one, but I taught myself when i was 16 and it's really easy once you get the hang of it. But that's an entire month of learning new stuff after school.
Maybe you have a free block in school. Do one of these a day, give it a shot.
Moving away from the brand idea, lets say you want to just learn something new.
And you have an hour a day in school at a computer.
Don't scroll on twitter the entire time. Put your phone down and learn something.
Read the New York Times, see what's going on in the world, educate yourself.
But most importantly, don't be algorithmic! You know what I'm saying?
And I hope that this can inspire each and every one of you to take the idea of heurisitc thinking and apply it to your life early on so that when you're in our shoes at eighteen years old or however old, you're doing huertistic thinking for you jobs.
Now this might get touchy and I don't mean to offend anyone that works algorithmically, but I just want to push the idea of innovation and creativity on your own for a minute.
As a teenager, you need some money. Everyone does. Maybe you like going out with your friends to have dinner on the weekends or you just need money for coffee or whatever. I'm sure there's a hundred reasons you need money as a teenager.
But you're going to grow up around 90% of kids who are going to be algorithmic thinkers and get that algorithmic bagging job. Or they're going to work at Texas Rhodehouse. Or they're going to get a job filing paper. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But I hope that myself, and this idea of OHKAY can inspire you to be that 10% of the kids who know how to make money in hueristic ways.
Make sure whatever job you get, you have some say in. Let's say you do end up working at some store in the mall, right?
Instead of getting paid $10 to simply stock the shelves with clothes, talk to the manager and tell them you want to be in charge of changing the layout of the store to be more visually appealing to customers.
Go home and spend that hour a day looking up retail stores from your favorite brands, or maybe the New York Times has a "top 50 retail experiences" blog or something.
Study how each and every one of those stores is unique in their own way and what about the stores makes it a cool experience.
Walk into work and don't get $10 to stock the shelves, get $10 an hour to redesign the shelves.
Use your creative mind and apply it in every situation you can.
Then maybe after a year you can go off and create an agency or a team of people who go in and get paid $1,000 a job just to redesign retail spaces.
Wouldn't that be nice?
See, for us, and for me in particular, I started the brand when I was young and I always worked to build it up. I never needed a job senior year of highshool or ever in the summer or anything because I had this support system grown on people who believe in the brand and when people buy stuff, it gives me that $10 an hour for personal use, but I also get to keep on creating and keep living my heurisitc day-to-day and I get to grow this brand so that one day, maybe I'll get my own store where you can come in and work for $10 an hour making the interior more visually appealing.
But I also want to push the idea of creating something that can support you financially the same way a $10 an hour job would.
And yeah, a big part of me wishes that when I was 18 I got to work at some resteraunt or something just for the experience of being around other people, but I always looked at it and I am thakful enough to have people see my visions through and support the brand. And there's so many people out there that just buy OHKAY pieces for the look, without even knowing the deep logistics of the brand and that's really really cool to me too, but it's really important to me to do stuff like this so that I can inspire kids like you to be the best, more versatile creative teenager you can be because there's this special want now-adays to be unique and to make money on your own way, and i feel like when I was 16/17 when I started OHKAY in the suburban town in Massachusetts, kids thought I was crazy because it was so foreign to them to think like that.
And hey, guess what, I've said it before and I'll say it again, whenever you try to do something out of the box, in this case you say screw it to the grocery bagging job and you try to make music or clothes or art or become a photographer or whatever you chose to be, people are going to laugh at you and make fun of you.
But guess what, any kid that doesn't like what you're doing, in the cliché sense; anyone "knocking the hustle" is going to be someone from that 90% algorithmic group.
Because once you join this creative world and you base your life around expanding your mind and learning and growing as a creative individual and making money doing what you love, you'll learn that it's against the rules to even think about disrespecting another person getting money on their own way. You know what I mean? Like every kid I know online that gets money from internet stuff, I have the highest level of respect for. Why? Because they didn't need the 9-5 job to make a living. Me and all these other internet kids are out here making stuff and living the way we want to live, because we knew that creativity was the hidden character in the equation. When you take out the algorithmic platform and you leave a big space for creativity in your daily life, you have that chance to make something remarkable. And I certainly hope you do.
The kids that made fun of me in highschool were kids who worked at the local grocery store every day after school. Maybe they were cool in highschool. But now I can make more money in an hour or a night than they do in a month. Why? Because I've always taught myself that creativity trumps algorithm.
And that's the entire point of the brand, behind the scenes I guess.
When I moved to Chicago and found a new creative director for OHKAY, there were a bunch of kids who applied for it and asked to help with the brand. Since I only really had room for one other person to join the team, I asked everyone if they knew how to solve a rubix cube.
My average time is 58.5 seconds. That's an average out of ten trials.
The more basic two people told me they had no clue. The other kid went to his room grabbed his rubix cube and beat me, solving it in 43 seconds.
That's Trey and he calls the shots on a lot of the clothes you guys see created. Everything made by me gets ran through trey and we work on production hands-on together.
Neither of us smoke weed or do drugs or anything, and we eat food on our college meal plan, so both of us just invest 100% of the money we make back into the brand which allows us to do more hueristic creating, working with new products to bring new projects to life in bigger and better scales for people like you so that when you buy this stuff, it's the highest quality we could possibly provide at this point.
Funny thing is, the other two kids both had to get algorithmic jobs this semester near campus because they spent all their money partying and didn't know how to budget correctly.
So I just want to make sure that with this brand, and with this platform, I do everything in my power to inspire you guys.
And I want you to go home from school tomorrow and teach yourself something you don't know. Maybe it'll be hard and you'll have NO CLUE how to do any of it.
But maybe it'll spark an idea that will lead to another which will lead to a third and that'll spiral into your first LLC. Business and then bam you're a highschool business owner and you'll hopefully never work behind a counter in your life.
And if you do live that algorithmic life where you work for $10 an hour, think about what you do at work and think about how you can do the absolute most creative activities at work to better the work enviornment not only for you, but for everyone.
And don't support corporate stuff. I know we spoke about Pacsun and malls earlier when talking about retail experiences and this is off topic but like think about going into Pacsun or Zumies in the mall and spending $80 on a hoodie. That $80 doesn't go to anyone you'll ever meet, or learn from, or listen to. It goes to corporate people overseas who don't care about you, they care about you spending a lot of money on their poorly-indonesian-made hoodie.
So to wrap this up,
Just understand that life is algorithmic at time, but make the other portions of it a creative time for you to learn as much as you possibly can. Because there truly is nothing better than learning to be creative at a young age.
And understand that there are ways to make money being a creative teenager. There's tons of them. And Instagram is a great platform to share these ideas and potentially sell them to people. The internet is awesome and there's so many resources out there and there's so many people doing their own thing, myself included. And I just want you to know that you have the exact same ability that I had. You just need to make something of it and run with it. Take every day one-step-at-a-time and work hard for your creations. And never give up, because once you join the creative 10%, you're never going to want to go back to the algorithmic 90.
If you ever need like anything from me personally or want advice or help with something (don't ask me how to make a brand, learn that for yourself) there's a contact tab somewhere on this website just shoot me an email and I'll get back to you.
But seriously, you've heard a lot of me talking over the past, however long it took you to read this, now go sit down and think of a way you and your friends can make Being You The New Cool.