To be honest, in preparing for this article I started searching inspirational quotes related to momentum and my favorite came from the great Woody Allen who once said…
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen
I heart Woody Allen and I heart this quote. While I personally believe there are Bigger aspects that make up our lives and how we measure success, I think Woody was dead on with the power of just showing up, but even more so when you consider the power of a group of individuals showing up as a team.
The Mertz Productions LLC event back in 2011
This led me to reflect on the time I was backstage directing and switching cameras on a Mertz Productions LLC gig in Miami. At that point I was loving my freelance career as a live video director but anxious at the same time. I wanted to have a larger hand in the production process but was not sure what to do or how to do it. As with every show, the cue sheets just kept coming… version after version. Frustrated, I jumped on the production channel and said “this is getting dumb… there should be an app for a digital cue sheet or something!” Silence. Did I just piss off my boss? 🙂 Then my stage manager Sandy responded, “You know what StevieB… your right.” That simple frustration paired with confirmation was the snowball that started rolling down the hill. I immediately started to photoshop out concepts backstage. By the end of the gig, I was presenting visuals to the production team and getting feedback.
We are now in our 3rd iteration of the Shoflo platform and continue to strengthen the core Shoflo functionality with a code base that allows us to build and deploy new features even faster. And, we have re-designed Shoflo to be responsive for all mobile devices – both tablet and phones.Fast forward 3 years and Shoflo now has 300+ productions companies registered and 1,500+ shows created. There are over 1,400 production techs, producers, show ops and stage managers that have and use Shoflo on their gigs. And its not just our customers and industry usage that has grown – the Shoflo team has grown as well. We started with an idea in my small little head and now Shoflo is a full team with my technical co-founder TJ Krusinski, a total of 3 software engineers, 2 account executives and multiple contractors. In the last 12 months our user base has nearly doubled, we raised capital investment and released our latest iteration of the software. The growth has been amazing to watch and be a part of.
Shoflo CUE at a TEK Productions staging meeting, Hard Rock Live 2014
I am excited and honored to be able to build things for this industry. The Shoflo team “shows up” daily. In our daily white board and strategy meetings we talk about the stage managers, the producers, the video and audio techs… we talk about you. We want to build things that make your life easier, that make the processes better, that remove the noise.As we turn the corner into this next year, I am excited to continue showing up as part of this team and part of this industry. As a freelance video director the past 15 years, I lived and breathed the daily life of the live entertainment industry. Sometimes I even cut (directed) corporate CEO presentations in my sleep 🙂 This industry is very special and very unique. It is a big industry, but powered by a small family of freelancers and staffers that are very skilled and very niche in our jobs. A family and industry that travels from city to city, week to week and sets up camp, rehearses and executes events filled with endless variables that we all just manage and do whatever it takes to make the show happen. Sometimes shows are snoozers and sometimes they are exciting. Sometimes they have relentless schedules and sometimes they are easy gigs with ample time for hot tubs, golf and epic dinner meals out. Either way, it’s an industry that is very hidden and very special to me.
I showed up. The Shoflo team shows ups. Customers have and continue to show up. The snowball is moving and it’s growing fast. You continue to confirm that this industry has needs and that Shoflo is capable of solving them. There is so much more coming in the next 12 months and I want to tell you all about it… but in due time. For now, know that we have a full size, dedicated team that is making CUE stronger and better every day. And know that we have some really amazing things coming for you in 2015!Our first offer is CUE, an app that allows production crews to build, rehearse and run production cues in real time. We chose the cue sheet because it is the cornerstone document on every production. We are making it better every day because you keep letting us know what is kicking butt, what is making your lives better and what else we could be doing with it. It’s amazing and I thank you!
Happy Thanks Giving to you and your family (show crew and personal), Merry Christmas and I’ll see you down the road!