Why Apple Should Not Buy Nintendo

They really shouldn’t. I want to set expectations up front, and when you’re talking about either Apple or Nintendo, people (myself included) are going to have Opinions. But let’s back up a bit first.

The ideal

A good merger is one where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By that, I mean that the two companies coming together amplify each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses.1 The best mergers will emphasize the second more than the first.

Let’s look at the Apple-NeXT merger in 1996 as an example of a successful merger. NeXT was a small company that made what they considered to be the best operating system in the world, NeXTSTEP. Their computer, the NeXTcube, was used for a variety of advanced computer uses, most notably by Tim Berners-Lee to create the first web server and web browser. They also had Steve Jobs, arguably one of the best business leaders in the industry. By 1996, though, they had dropped their hardware division and were only selling their software to run on conventional PCs as a replacement for Windows.

Apple at this time was in trouble. They made what they considered to be the best computers in the world, but they were lagging behind in the software race. They had tried and failed to develop their own modern operating system, and were in serious danger of losing the personal computer market to Windows 95. Their management was unfocused and unable to bring the different factions within Apple to work together.

Apple and NeXT shared the common goal of making the best products they could. NeXT had a solid operating system but couldn’t convince people to give up Windows to use it. Apple had strong hardware but their software hadn’t evolved enough to take advantage of that hardware. At its core, the merger brought the two companies together on their common goal, with Apple supplying the hardware NeXT needed and NeXT supplying the software and management Apple needed.

The end result? The immediate change with Apple was the influx of good management from NeXT, particularly Steve Jobs. The software team at Apple immediately began work on newer versions of the existing Mac OS (versions 8 and 9) that bought Apple enough time to get the new, NeXTSTEP-based Mac OS out the door as Mac OS X. The advanced operating system not only improved performance on Apple’s existing hardware, but allowed them to switch to a completely different type of hardware when they needed to. On top of that, OS X was versatile enough that Apple would eventually use it to power the iPhone and iPad.

Over 15 years later, that $400 million investment is still paying off. That’s a good merger.

The reality

So where are Apple and Nintendo today? What are their strengths and weakness that would make-or-break our hypothetical merger?

The Apple of today prides itself on a–dare I say it–magical marriage of hardware and software. The design ideal is that when you see their work, whether hardware or software, it is beautiful; but when you need to actually do work, the hardware and software become almost invisible compared to what you are doing.

However, Apple has traditionally not been good at games. Not many people know of their attempt at making a game console with Bandai, and for good reason: it wasn’t good. Gaming on the Mac has always been a second-class citizen, and companies like Valve have only begun targeting the Mac in the past few years. Games are very popular on iOS devices, but those games are not significantly tied to iOS itself. As Ben Thompson writes:

  • Games take over the whole screen; this means that tailoring a game to fit a particular platform’s look and feel isn’t important
  • There is an entire industry devoted to providing cross-platform compatibility from day one. Most game developers are targeting game engines such as Unity, not iOS or Android. This is acceptable because of point one

Nintendo is committed to making the best gaming experiences possible, then making them better. In the past, this has led them to create some of the most beloved franchises in the video game world, including Super Mario, Zelda, Kirby, and Pokémon. In recent years, this has meant pursuing new hardware: not only the gyroscope for the Wii and the touchscreen for the DS but also things like the DK Bongos for the GameCube, the microphone for the DS, and the stereo camera on the 3DS. For every hardware feature Nintendo releases, there is a game like Wii Sports, WarioWare, or Donkey Konga designed specifically to get the most fun from that feature.

The current Nintendo is a victim of a changing landscape. They lost mindshare and marketshare of hobbyist2 gamers to Sony and Microsoft, and their (smart) response was to pursue the mainstream market with the Wii and DS. This strategy paid off until iOS and Android devices began capturing mindshare and marketshare in the mainstream with free-to-play casual games among other benefits. Their efforts to woo both markets with the Wii U and 3DS have been decent, but some worry it won’t be enough to keep the company around.

The dream

So what happens if we bring the two companies together? Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Apple uses some of its cash horde and buys Nintendo outright.

From day one, Apple has a large library of exclusive games for its platform, games that are fun and that people want to play; and Nintendo is essentially guaranteed a place in the new smartphone world. Nintendo can, with some effort, create versions of classic games from its library for iOS, accessable to a massive audience that would easily pay the current asking prices of $3-5 each. These games would obviously not be available for any other smartphone or tablet platform, increasing the value of iOS both to consumers who want to play Nintendo games and to developers who want to reach those consumers.

Going forward, Nintendo can help Apple to move its platform forward much like they have with their own platforms in the past. Possibilities dreamed up by the iOS platform team can be made concrete by Nintendo’s game team. Both companies thrived in the past by pushing the integration of hardware and software, and having both companies push each other could bring out the absolute best in both. If Apple does release an app-capable Apple TV as rumored, a library of Nintendo games would only help sell the device.

Let’s not leave hardware out of the equation. A Jony Ive-designed game console would be great for publicity, but Nintendo could gain more immediate benefits from Apple’s supply chain. Apple has incredible buying power when it comes to quality components, especially solid-state storage and touch screens. A (relatively) quick update to the 3DS and Wii U touch screens would elevate the quality of those devices, and that is an area that Apple has made itself an expert in.

This, of course, assumes there are no cultural issues with the merger. Part of what made the Apple-NeXT merger so successful was the understanding that NeXT management was essentially taking over Apple. If the hardware or software teams at the two companies aren’t able to find common ground with each other, the best talent could walk out the door and the resulting company would be far worse off than either company would have been separate. This could be a moot point; desperation on either side has a way of forcing compromise where it wasn’t thought possible.

But that’s not why I think it wouldn’t work.

The problem

The best mergers amplify shared strengths and compensate for weaknesses. The worst mergers amplify shared weaknesses. And Apple and Nintendo share a similar weakness: online services.

One of Apple’s biggest competetors moving forward is Google. Google was born on the web, and as such, Google understands the web on a near-instinctual level. Servers talking to servers talking to phones is a beginning requirement for a product, not an idea tacked on halfway through the process. More importantly, they know how people use the web. They know how many people leave if search slows down less than half a second. They know how to give users email, file storage, online document editing, and keep it all in sync. Apple’s previous online service, MobileMe, was not well received. Their new service, iCloud, is an attempt to modernize the service and make it more reliable, but the reality falls short of the ideal.

One of Nintendo’s biggest competitors moving forward is Microsoft. The Xbox is a powerful game machine on its own, but its biggest strength is the Xbox Live service. Every Xbox Live game ties into the same online infrastructure, allowing individual players to define their friends once (using easy-to-remember names) and play with them in every game. This is something Microsoft has fought for from the beginning of the service. Most importantly, the interactions and purchases in Xbox Live are defined around people. Contrast this with Nintendo, which bases its interactions around devices. Social connections are made by exchanging device-specific friend codes which have all the joy and personality of 16-digit phone numbers. Purchases and friend lists are device-dependent, so replacing a console outside of a warranty repair means losing your entire library of downloaded games.

Knowing all this, how appealing does it sound to know that the company that brought you MobileMe is merging with the company that brought you friend codes?

To be fair, both Apple and Nintendo are learning in this area. Apple’s iCloud service is getting better, but it will be some time before developers (and their users) begin to trust the service. Nintendo is slowly making improvements to their online service, but they would still rather shut down a service than see it misused.

Both companies, still approach the internet the same way they approach products: slowly and deliberately. This often leads to them missing a crucial component of what their customers actually want. A merger would make this worse, not better, as companies (just like people) lean on what they know during times of transition. A merger would deny both companies the opportunity to truly learn and understand online services in the modern, connected world.

Which stinks because I really want to play Pokémon on my iPhone.

  1. It’s a lot like marriage in that regard, but that’s a topic for another day. 

  2. Some places call them “hardcore” or “serious” gamers, but the basic idea is people who pursue gaming like most people pursue hobbies: investing more time and money than average and knowing more about the subject than most people. 

The Voice

It was the middle of the night in the middle of winter my freshman year when God spoke to me.

I was skirting the edge of depression and worrying about the future. In this particular case I had worked up the courage to walk across campus to see if some girls I had been hanging out with were around. They weren’t. On the way back to my side of campus I stopped at the lake to calm myself. The part of my brain that I should never listen to (yet always do) was yelling again about how much trouble my future was in. In this case, it was how my fear of approaching women and my general personality and just absolutely everything about me was going to mean that I was not going to find my wife at college even though most people do and that meant I was never going to find a wife in general and so on.

So I went down to the lake to pray.

Now, when I say “pray,” you should read “talked and sometimes yelled out loud at God because there was no one else to listen.” It was more than a little irreverent, but it was what I needed. I poured out everything: how anxious I was about the future, how I was afraid that even if God brought the right person into my life I’d be too stupid to notice her, how lonely I was, and how afraid I was that I’d always be lonely. And while I didn’t hear a voice, my thoughts went in a direction that was completely different from where they were going.

In that moment, it was like God took the scared, freaking out child that I was, took him gently by the shoulders, knelt down, looked him in the eyes, and said, “Evan, I have been watching out for you your entire life. Why would I stop now, especially on something that is this important to you?”

I was still scared. But a lot less freaked out. And—spoiler alert—I found her.

This week, I’ve been skirting the edge of depression (maybe more than skirting, to be honest) and worrying about the future. In this particular case, I’ve been without a job for three months now. I’ve been searching and interviewing, and I’ve been subject to the usual delays and pitfalls of a job search. Despite my relative success at keeping myself busy with a nice side project, I’ve been giving into panic more than I care to admit. The part of my brain that I should never listen to (yet always do) is yelling again about how much trouble my future is in. In this case, it’s how my lack of what I perceive as a robust background is going to mean I can’t get a job and if I do get a job is it going to be one that I will enjoy and not just show up to and will I really be able to do the job if I do get it and so on.

Time to go down to the park to pray, but somehow I don’t think the message has changed.

I Tried To Make a Good “Blackbaud” Pun To Title This Post But Nothing Can Top “Raisers Edge”

Today was my last official day at Blackbaud. Never you mind that I haven’t done any work for them since I got the news two and a half weeks ago. I knew a lot of great people there, and I will miss working with all of them.

I want to be clear right now: there are no hard feelings on this end. Maybe someday later I’ll post some navel gazing and tell all of you in Internet-land just how I’m feeling right now, but suffice it to say this is a beginning, not an ending. I’m chasing down some leads here in the Greenville area, but if you know of anything that fits my resume please get in touch.

If you’re thinking about working at Blackbaud and you’ve ended up here by some happenstance, let me tell you to give them a shot. The people you work with and report to make or break your experience, and all of the managers I’ve worked under have been great. They’ve congratulated me on successes, given me a push when I needed it (and I have needed several), and taken an interest in me as a person, not just an asset. They have set a high standard for anyone else I will be working for.

So now we get to wade elbow-deep in the cesspit that is free-market insurance (until I get a full-time job). It’s not as bad as I was afraid it would be, but it still leaves much to be desired. I’m finishing up my iOS self-study program; no idea when I’ll get an app in the store, though you can bet I’ll post here when I do. All that to say, to those that have supported us, thanks. We’re ok, but we might ask for help. In the form of cookies.

My God is so big…

Edit: Altru: no faults. (Thanks, Brittany!)

There’s a Difference, Guys.

Apple didn’t sue Samsung because they had a touchscreen phone. They didn’t sue because of rounded rectangles. They didn’t sue because of icons arranged in a grid.

Palm added all those together to get WebOS, which was easily distinguishable from iOS.

Microsoft added all those together (save rounded corners) to get Windows Phone 7, which was easily distinguishable from iOS.

Google added all those together and made the Nexus series of Android-powered phones that were easily distinguishable from iOS-powered iPhones.

Samsung added all those things together and arranged them to be as similar to the iPhone as possible. They ignored advice from Google warning them not to do so. Instead of pouring creative effort into improving on what iOS had to offer, they focused on copying what iOS had to offer.

That is why Apple took then to court, and that is why they lost.

This Kony 2012 Stuff

Having kept track of or been involved with Invisible Children in one way or another since 2006, I’m excited to see their latest video getting so much attention.

Having kept track of or been involved with Invisible Children in one way or another since 2006, it’s easy for me to believe the recent accusations against them.

I do not have a firm opinion on this nor the time to properly formulate one.

So Long…

There’s about 3 hours left in 2011 here in South Carolina. I’m probably going to do some new years survey thing in the next 24 hours or so. But for right now, I’d like to end this year. And so…

To everyone, my friends, my family, my co-workers, my wife, my God: I have not been all I could have been this year. I have probably let you down at some point this year, and for that I truly apologize. I don’t regret this year; there have been some amazing memories and triumphs this year. But right now I’m painfully aware of my shortcomings. This hasn’t been brought on by one particular thing; it’s just some general depression and anxiety I’m dealing with. And right now I want nothing more than to leave all… (gestures to all of that) this in 2011. In the past.

So here’s to a new leaf, a new beginning. God’s grace is new every day, including tomorrow. Happy new year, everyone; I’ll see you in 2012.

Much Ado About Money

In light of recent jackwagonry put forth by Bank of America (and despite them abandoning said plans), the Hildreths have decided that though there’s pain in our chests we still wish them the best, with a… you know the song. So where do we move our money to?

What follows is by no means a comprehensive analysis. This is a basic comparison based on our financial needs, and it is offered up in the hopes that it will be useful. It is not intended to be sound financial advice.

The assumptions are as follows: we have direct deposit. We will use the debit card constantly, but will make occasional trips to the ATM. We will be paperless as much as possible. Minimum balance requirements stink. And we would like to feel… valued.

These assumptions excluded some banks that would otherwise be considered. For example, TD Bank requires a “low” minimum balance on all their worthwhile checking accounts, and Wachovia/Wells Fargo seems to be following the same path Bank of America is going down. Also, for the two of you reading that don’t know, I live in Greenville, SC, so the available banks depend on that.

Last note: the information on bailout funds can be found at ProPublica. Ready? Then let’s go.

The Status Quo: Bank of America

  • Interest: none
  • Free Checks: none
  • Free ATM Usage: Bank of America only
  • Branches: Plenty
  • Online Tools: Good
  • Deposit Options: Branch, ATM
  • Bailout Received / Returned: $45B/$45B

Included as a point of reference. It’s not bad, especially when you consider the cash-counting, check-scanning ATMs that have saved my bacon countless times. They got a large amount of TARP funding, but to their credit paid it all back. Now that they won’t be charging for a debit card there isn’t an urgent need to switch, but as you’ll see, other banks offer so much more.

The Tracy Jordan: Ally Bank

  • Interest: yes
  • Free Checks: unlimited
  • Free ATM Usage: unlimited
  • Branches: none
  • Online Tools: good
  • Deposit Options: Scanner, Mail
  • Bailout Received / Returned: $16B/$3B

I want to like Ally. I really do. I mean, seriously, withdraw from any ATM, get unlimited checks, deposit from your computer, earn interest. They even offer cash back rewards for using your debit card. So what’s the dealbreaker? The fact that Ally is the bank arm of GMAC, the former financing arm of General Motors. Feature-wise, they’re awesome, but their bailout status doesn’t inspire much confidence.

The Mom and Pop: CPM Federal Credit Union

  • Interest: with $200 minimum balance
  • Free Checks: 3 boxes per year
  • Free ATM Usage: Co-Op Network
  • Branches: a few
  • Online Tools: Barely
  • Deposit Options: Branch
  • Bailout Received / Returned: none

I’ve already got a savings account (and therefore a membership) with CPM, and they’ve been nothing but helpful. I’ve got no qualms about the financial stability of the organization; my hesitations lie in my ability to use them for my day-to-day banking and the quality of their online tools. They’re contenders.

The Bundle: USAA

  • Interest: with $1000 minimum balance
  • Free Checks: unlimited
  • Free ATM Usage: 10 visits/month, refund $15/month in fees
  • Branches: none
  • Online Tools: excellent
  • Deposit Options: Mail, UPS Store, Scanner and iOS app (if insurance customer or have credit card)
  • Bailout Received / Returned: none

USAA insurance is like an exclusive club. The company was formed to support armed services personnel and their families, which I respect. I received my eligibility from my parents who received their eligibility from their parents who were in the military. We currently use them for auto insurance, and every conversation with every other insurance salesperson has died as soon as they found out. It’s that good.

Why the long story? The best features of the USAA bank (deposit from iOS app) are only available to insurance and credit card customers. This wouldn’t be an issue, except that we may soon be forced to change insurance companies due to South Carolina becoming the equivalent of e.coli-infested raw meat in the insurance world1. However, the ability to make deposits at a UPS store almost makes up for this.

The Unexpected: State Farm Bank

  • Interest: with $2500 minimum balance
  • Free Checks: first box
  • Free ATM Usage: unlimited
  • Branches: none
  • Online Tools: yes
  • Deposit Options: Scanner, iOS app, Mail
  • Bailout Received / Returned: none

Did you know State Farm had a bank? Yeah, neither did I. And feature-for-feature, they’re not half bad. They’ve got unlimited where it counts (ATM usage), though their conditions for interest are a little high. It’s hard to judge their online tools; the glimpse I was able to see wasn’t particularly impressive. If we for sure wanted an online bank, they’d be a serious contender, but as it there’s just not enough info out there.

The Tuxedo: South Carolina Bank and Trust

  • Interest: yes
  • Free Checks: none
  • Free ATM Usage: unlimited SCBT, refund 3/month out-of-network
  • Branches: a few
  • Online Tools: yes
  • Deposit Options: Branch
  • Bailout Received / Returned: $65M/$65M

This is the current frontrunner. They offer interest with all of our prerequisites and they have an option for using other banks’ ATMs. They’ve only got a few branches in the area, and only one of them is convenient, and even it is hard to get to (on the second floor of an office building with no clear direction). They did receive TARP funds, but it’s less than 1/100th of what Bank of America got and it was all paid back. Most impressive to me is their graphic design on their brochures and web site: it’s clean, fresh, and classy. While money is not made with marketing alone, the fact is they care about their image more than other banks on this list, and that speaks volumes to me about the kind of approach they take to customer service.

That said, there are some misgivings. The 3 other ATM visits per month is never actually found on their website; that information came from the tellers at the bank. Being able to talk to someone in person is a great asset, but is having one fairly inconvenient branch that much better than having no branches at all? And while their TARP funding is significantly less than most other banks in the area, the fact that it seemed necessary is (only a little) disconcerting.

The Wildcard: Simple

  • Interest: yes
  • Free Checks: ???
  • Free ATM Usage: Allpoint network
  • Branches: none
  • Online Tools: Yes. Very yes.
  • Deposit Options: iOS app
  • Bailout Received / Returned: n/a

If you haven’t heard of Simple (formerly BankSimple), get on the internet. Their approach is a little different: instead of holding your money, they act as a services company that gives you (extremely convenient) access to your money stored at a “partner bank.” You still get FDIC insurance, and all your interactions are with Simple; the difference is more technical than practical. So far, they look beautiful. They promise to have a superior online experience, including being able to see your “safe to spend” balance at a glance.

So why the wildcard? Simply put, there’s a lot we don’t know. They haven’t launched to the public yet, and their website is scarce on details. No word on their partner bank, and it appears that they’ll be using the Allpoint ATM network though that’s not explicitly mentioned on their website.2 No idea on paper checks (will you have to mail them from the site or can you order them?). One thing that is mentioned in their FAQ is that they currently do not support joint accounts, which kind of kills the idea a married couple using it.

What does it mean?!

Not sure. Like I said, this is a comparison based on our market and with our specific needs. If you’re facing a similar decision, I hope you can use this as a jumping-off point for your own research. If you have any issues, addendums, or comments of your own, feel free to send me an email. Personally, I still have high hopes for Simple, but they can’t be a contender until the service matures and gains credibility. To their credit, they know that and aren’t opening the service up until they get things straight. And it didn’t take Square long to get to the same point.

  1. USAA is not writing new property insurance (renters and homowners) policies in South Carolina unless you are a military family. Took me several phone calls to find that out; their website was unhelpful and so were the first 3 people I talked to. We eventually went with Allstate for renters insurance, but when it came time to get a homowners policy, guess what? They’re only writing new policies in SC if you have car insurance with them. See above note on how awesome USAA car insurance is. We eventually went with State Farm, but in order to lower our deductable we need to get car insurance with them as well. 

  2. The Simple website uses the phrases “largest nationwide ATM network” and “40,000 ATMs” multiple times. Google brings up Allpoint as the first non-ad listing. 

The Late Unpleasantness

Have a few brief thoughts on this whole Bin Laden kerfluffle that are too long for twitter, so here goes.

  • At the Phillies/Mets game the news broke in the bottom of the 8th, prompting a spontaneous chant of “USA! USA!” that got the crowd excited and utterly confused the players. Why one of the players didn’t turn around and ask someone in the stands is beyond me (unless there’s an MLB rule against it or something).
  • There’s lots of scripture being tossed around twitter right now. Most of it is a variation of God not taking pleasure in the death of the wicked, but there is also the occasional “when the wicked perish there are shouts of joy.”
  • The most balanced take so far is probably Derek Webb’s:

don’t celebrate death, celebrate justice

And now I should get back to work.

File Sharing Rant

I’ve largely taken a back seat on the whole file sharing debate. However, now that I actually have a self-published work I feel it is time for me to make a public stance. Here goes…

I’m going to have to agree with John Gruber’s assessment of Richard Stallman’s latest essay:

I waver between rolling my eyes at Stallman’s kookiness and admiring his singleminded determination.

In my case, however1, Stallman’s kookiness extends to a large portion of the Free Software Foundation’s philosophies. Above all else, the FSF champions the right to modify and redistribute software. I have no problem with this goal as I will often promote a free or open source program (which apparently are not the same) when it is a viable alternative to a commercial program. I use WordPress instead of ExpressionEngine. I use The GIMP instead of Photoshop. But I use Safari instead of Firefox because I find Safari to be faster on my Mac. In my case, I am willing to give up a “freedom” that I don’t really use (the ability to modify the source code) in exchange for a more pleasant computing experience.

It is Richard Stallman’s opinion on creative works that I find unacceptable2. Never mind that because not all Creative Commons licenses are free he refuses to endorse any of them (he, of course, suggests the GPL). What is dangerous is that he equates creative works such as movies and music with information and file sharing with the general term “sharing.” In doing so, Stallman shows his background as a computer scientist. A program is written to solve a problem; the FSF’s arguments that there are more benefits to releasing the source are valid here largely because the program can benefit from the scientific method. Information wants to be free, and the solution to the problem (the program) is simply another form of information.

A creative work, however, is not simply information. It does not consist of simple facts or present a solution to an established problem. It is, when done properly, a reflection of the author or artist’s heart. It can be anything from a commentary on society to a rewrite of a poorly done movie to an attempt to reconcile temporal existence with eternal life. As such, creative works cannot be held to the same standards as computer programs, and vice versa.

Equating creative works to information reduces the author’s creative expression to its digital format, an act of language that cheapens the work even more than the term content. And distributing digital creative works over file sharing is not simply sharing, it is copying. Like anything distributed over the internet, the digital information is copied, not moved, from one computer to another. Loaning a CD or a book to a friend is sharing, since while one is in possession of it the other is not. File sharing creates copies, so that both are in possession at the same time. While not necessarily the same as theft, this cannot, by any reasonable definition, be considered sharing.

This is not to say I am against file sharing as a whole. There are hundreds of out-of-print and hard-to-find works that can benefit from file sharing in order to preserve their value to society. Also, it can be used by lesser known artists to encourage the viral word-of-mouth growth that is essential to growing a fanbase. This is the aim of Creative Commons, and I am disappointed that a man committed to “freedom” refuses to acknowledge the benefits of such a system.

1 John Gruber may agree with me, but I won’t presume to speak for him.

2 Yes, it’s a Wayback Machine link. The post as linked from the original slashdot article no longer exists.

Next To Godliness

I had a job satisfaction crisis earlier in the week. In reality it was more of a life satisfaction crisis, but a crisis of that kind is usually called a “mid-life crisis” and isn’t supposed to come until you’re 32, not 23. Besides, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it led to a realization that, while not completely positive, is better than the depths of despair.

This particular crisis was instigated by the realization that I’m spending a third of my time on a project that isn’t mine. I knew that going in. That’s what comes with any job where you aren’t self-employed. Duh. I figured I’d make up for it with my spare time projects like I had been doing in college. For a while I did that, and I managed to get my album out the door in the process. And then it stopped.

Normally around this point I’d say something to the effect of ‘I have no idea why I stopped.’ But now I do. See, I’ve finally realized that I work best creatively in a clean environment. And my room is a mess. But logically it makes sense. Why does my room get in a mess? Because I don’t feel like I have the energy to put things in their proper place. In other words, if my life is a mess, my room is a mess. So if my room is a mess, I feel like my life is a mess and therefore cannot focus my creative energy appropriately.

Right now, my room is a mess. That’s about to change. Brittany, hold me to that.