If you read The New York Observer, you might have seen Mike Bodge featured in a story about his first-hand account of a tech company’s tactics for recruiting. You can read the account on his blog. He’s also the man behind NSKYC.com, Chirp Clock, Has The Best and numerous other projects that you may have used on Facebook in the past. And when you finally finish checking out and playing with all the projects that he’s done, you can hop over to his dog’s site Madison Mcnuggets for a bit of comic relief. He’s a busy guy, but I wrangled him into answering our infamous 8 questions.
What are you currently working on?
Jesus, a lot of stuff. My time is split between client stuff and some of my own personal projects I have brewing. Client side I’m currently working on all of the interactive work for a new product with a nameless big brand. The site leverages 5 different social networks into one big mapped out visualization. Also I am working with YouTube on an interesting new way of consuming curated videos. Both should be out by August.
I also have a few startups I’m trying to get off the ground and I’m also doing some updates to NSKYC that should be released in a few weeks. Oh, and some really simple t-shirts.
Not sure how I’ll get any of this stuff done but I’m hoping it’ll all come together.
Where do you find inspiration?
I get all my inspiration through twitter by following people who make amazing work and sites that link to great stuff. Generally I get inspired whenever someone makes something that makes me furious or jealous. Being angry that someone made something amazing is the best way to get a fire lit under your ass.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?
I would always tell people that I wanted to make music videos. I think anyone growing up in the 80′s and 90′s were entranced by MTV and who wouldn’t want to make a video like this where booties are clapping and guys are doing donuts in $250,000 cars? Eventually I got sucked into computers and making interactive sites instead of straight video. I did make some really successful straight up music videos for people like Adam Freeland which got like 20 million views BEFORE youtube existed. That was kind of nuts for me because I was 19.
YouTube is fun and people have been doing some interesting interactive music videos, so I don’t think the art is dead.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m obsessed with New York but also obsessed with the possibility of not living in New York. This place has everything, but it’s a bit much sometimes. I’m reading a book written by this guy that decided to realize his dream of moving from New York to Paris. He writes about how different the cultures are and what it feels like to be somewhere that you don’t totally belong, but also living a dream that can’t really be reality. He writes about a phenomenon called Paris Syndrome where Japanese tourists would arrive in Paris with such romantic expectations that the city could never possibly live up to. The tourists were so disappointed that they would have mental breakdowns and have to immediately fly back home.
How would you describe your job?
I just tell people I make websites. It’s not an impressive thing to say because everyone makes websites, but that’s really what I do. Some jerks love to make up sh*t like “I’m a social media focused entrepreneur, ninja, and CEO of a fledging startup that does blah blah blah.” Who cares? You make websites buddy.
I wake up at 6:45 and eat some crappy greek yogurt and walk the dog around for a bit so she can dirty the sidewalk. I then travel into manhattan to go to the gym. There are gyms in my hood, but this gym in the city has a very large man that will rip my head off if I don’t show up. That’s the only kind of motivation that works on me. Never anger large men. After that it’s about 10am and I and head home, shower and end up working from noonish to 7pm.
When you work by yourself you can be a bit flexible with your hours, as long as you are honest with yourself when you’ll actually get the work done. If I am programming something I know I’ll need at least 3-4 hours straight of uninterrupted time to dive in so I’ll schedule all client calls and bullshit email writing to the beginning or end of my day. Since I’m already juggling so much stuff I try to focus only on 1-2 things a day. The Action Method pads have been good to me. It’s the only thing I use paper for.
I rarely work late anymore unless it’s an extreme deadline crunch. It’s just not good for anyone. It’s odd that I’ve gone from being a night owl when I was younger to being a morning person when I’m older.
Is there any company or person who you’d like to work with?
I’ve worked with a lot of interesting companies but it usually comes down to the people at the companies that make it a fun experience. I remember opening up a vector of the Nike logo in illustrator once and crapping my pants because I convinced myself that Nike was the pinnacle of working with a brand. Those experiences are never as satisfying as you imagine.
I’ve loved Michael Paul Young’s design work at WeWorkForThem/YouWorkForThem since forever. Grant Achatz is a mad scientist genius and I’d love to make something with him, God knows what though. I am really into the “internet art” stuff, especially the internet stylings of Mr. Rafael Rozendaal. I have some really talented friends that I’ve never gotten to work with like OKFocus, Noah Kalina, and Paul Octavious.
Visit Mike Bodge’s website at BOD.GE