How often do people who do what we do get an email or text message that starts that way? On the one hand, I guess it's flattering. Someone thinks highly enough of you, your work, your thinking, etc to ask you to help them out. They think of you because they respect your work! That's nice. They respect your work so much that they believe you'll be able to just dash something off quickly and for free. That's not as nice.

I could go on and on about how disrespectful or annoying these requests are but, in this case, I had some time and I used this "project as a creative exercise. What can you do in a day if you trust your initial thoughts and go?


Like I said, this request came from a friend who I respect. We worked together years ago and can be completely honest with each other. So, when he initially asked if I could "help him out" even though "there is no budget" I was able to tell him - "uh, probably not."

I'm always surprised that these requests seem to come from the most senior people I know. People who probably understand that to do this work right, it takes time and a real commitment of resources.