With Sudden Success Comes Raw Terror and Exhaustion

A few years back there was a TV advertisement for a shipping company — I don't recall whether it was FedEx or UPS or one of the others. It showed a small business taking their web site live to advertise and sell their product. The ad shows them reacting with joy as they start to get orders, and then disbelief and eventually terror as the orders quickly pile up beyond what they had anticipated and beyond their capacity to process — which is why they needed the shipping company's services, of course.

What would that be like in real life for a small or start-up company?

Find out at Curious Business, Ken Parker's blog about running a small online business. I've known Ken online for years. Ken opened Curio City, his online ship of quirky and fun gifts, a while back. He experienced how the internet could give you a profitable put exhausting kick in the ass when the New York Times profiled one of his products and his traffic spiked like mad. Ken's observations about the aftermath are a fascinating window into what it's like to run a small online business, and how that business changes when it gets noticed in a big way. Major congrats are due to Ken. Gore Vidal said memorably "It is not enough that I succeed, others must fail" — a sentiment that I often thought was at the heart of fondness for trial lawyering. But Ken's success at Curio City makes me warm and fuzzy.

In Texas, They Don't Need Six Degrees of Separation

As long as I'm cheerfully pimping Patrick's posts, I would be remiss not to call your attention to this excellent piece about how the circle of life works in the Lone Star State — drunk driver causes fatal crash, she ups and sues the driver she rear ended, the lawyer who represents her gets cases appointed to her by her daddy, who happens to be a judge . . . . you get the picture. Texas lawblogger Mark Bennett has a great follow-up.

While you are at it, take a look and see how a discussion of the blame-the-video-game industry culminates in Patrick committing a Unabomberesque federal crime against me.

Patrick Hits The Big Time

Huge congrats to Patrick, who blogs here at at his own blog Social Services for Feral Children. He's been selected as a guest blogger this week at Overlawyered, which is a great coup for both Overlawyered and for Patrick. Though I've never met Patrick in person, I'm happy to count him as a friend as well as a co-blogger, and I'm thrilled that he's hitting what we isn't-the-legal-system-ridiculous bloggers regard as the big time. I you haven't bookmarked both Patrick's site and Overlawyered, you are missing out.

Bill Harris at Newsweek On Armageddon Empires

Major congrats are due to friend and blogger Bill Harris of Dubious Quality, who has scored a monthly guest column at Newsweek's gaming blog, Level Up. Here's Bill at Level Up talking about Armageddon Empires, an indie post-apocalypse turn-based strategy game that deserves attention in its own right. I haven't played the game yet, but Bill's reviews have put it on my short list. Kudos to Bill.

The Artful Writer Is Back Up

Craig Mazin's site The Artful Writer is back up after a hiatus with a snazzy new design. Craig, a writer/director/producer, offers useful and entertaining thoughts on the art of screenwriting (much of which is applicable elsewhere) and lots of inside-baseball stuff on the business of being a Hollywood writer. Plus, he's promised to offer an after-action-report on the writer's strike. Check it out.

Craig's also funny in person, and good to have around if you want someone who will throw down in an argument no matter how hideously inappropriate that would seem in light of the social setting. I've enjoyed the benefit of that tendency at one toddler-infested holiday brunch and am scheming to see if I can arrange it at a baptism or wake or something.

Edit: Part One of his discussion of the strike is now up.

Congrats to Craig at The Artful Writer

Major congrats are due to my friend Craig Mazin over at The Artful Writer, an increasingly successful screenwriter, director, and producer and a very funny guy. Our sons are in a playgroup together, which is how we met. Craig is like unto a god among men — not because he has an IMDB page, but because if he tells his wife he doesn't want to go to a social event, then he doesn't have to go.

Anyway, The Artful Writer has long been a great source for thoughts about writing in general, screenwriting and comedy writing in particular, and Craig's take on the industry. Right now it has great coverage of the looming writer's strike from Craig's perspective. It recently got flattering writeup in the Wall Street Journal, and he's been on several radio shows recently. Meanwhile, I think we got linked in a forum post on a gaming site.

His blog is highly recommended. Check it out.