The Zen Room

San Francisco Designers Meet ZenCash

Yan-David & Andi

Designers don’t want to think about whether they’ll get paid or not—nor do they want to waste time on the messy operational stuff. They just want to focus on doing great work.

That was one of the big takeaways at last week’s talk for The Design Business, a new event series for Bay Area designers, which ZenCash proudly sponsors. There are a lot of events out there on design techniques and trends, but The Design Business is all about giving designers tools to manage the business side of their careers.

The talk explored the pros and cons of going the freelance vs. full-time with long-time freelancer Andi Galpern going head-to-head with Yan-David Erlich who has worked at Google & Microsoft—and sold two companies to LinkedIn & Qualcomm.

While there were no throw downs, the discussion gave the audience some great nuggets to mull over. One takeaway? Especially if you venture out on your own, there’s a whole lot more of the logistical, messy, behind-the-scenes stuff to consider. Accounting and dealing with receivables management often ranks high on that list.

Giving away some ZenCash schwag

It is always a joy to be in a room full of people who are dealing (often daily) with the problem we’re out to solve. It is funny how when this topic comes up, each person has a story about getting stiffed.

There was the guy I spoke to who was stiffed by a big-name brand for hundreds of days. Another had an invoice that was only slightly overdue but was starting to really hurt cash flow.

Conclusion: whether you are Yves Behar, or just a dabbling young designer, you are not immune to late paying customers. Many that I spoke with were genuinely relieved to hear there’s a solution.

Big thanks to the 50 or so designers who made it out despite a torrential downpour and some awe-inducing lightning (seriously, wow). Props also to Andi for having us, the crew at Wix Lounge for hosting, and Rosamunde Sausage Grill for supplying some darn fine grub.

Stay in the loop on future Design Business talks:

Follow along on Twitter: @sfdesignbiz.

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