By Eric on 2006-05-19

Part 8 of the publishing series.

8. Thinking ahead – thanks for the idea…

Poketo asked this question:

With all of the things on your plate… mag, store, restaurant, and chilling out… daily stuff seems to consume. how do you make time and what is your approach to ‘thinking ahead’, taking GR where its been and where its going? Now, it’s late nite talk show time :)

For Giant Robot, thinking ahead isn’t exactly part of the program. There are two ways to go about growing just about anything. It’s force feeding it, and pushing growth, which is sort of like steroids via marketing and getting whatever you’re doing out there in a hurry. It’s the notion of forcing a square into a circle. The second way, is to go organic, which is good and bad. In GR’s case, we grow as we go. There’s no five year plan, marketing plan, or growth plan. Nothing is written down and nothing is deliberate. However, we do care about where we’re going, but we don’t exactly plan it.

Souther Salazar is having a show at GR NYC, where I’m at right now. If you know Souther, you can pretty much guess that he doesn’t plan too far ahead. It works for him.

The last entry was about diversifying. We did that without planning it. As we saw needs, we tried to fill them. The needs weren’t public needs, but they were our own needs. The first store opened in 2001 because our webstore was overgrowing it’s space. We needed a place to put our goods, and a store was a logical way to deal with that. The second store happened when our first store got overpacked, and the art exhibitions we wanted to have required more space. We opened GR2 in 2003. The restaurant was a little different. I ate at the udon shop which was the previous occupant of the gr/eats space. One day I ate there, and they told me they were closing down. The next day, we decided to try our hand at opening a restaurant, and that was an idea until I ate udon that one day.

Thinking ahead for GR isn’t a big concern. It may be something important for others, since without a plan, you won’t be able to borrow or get investment. Who’s going to believe that you’ll spend their money without blowing it? For us, these kinds of plans aren’t our style. Right now, we’re happy with the direction things are moving, and we’re letting time, the changes outside of us, and our own needs dictate a little of our direction. The only plan I have now is to keep on going, and that’s actually a long term plan.

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