Paint + MyPerfectColor07.30.19
When I worked at Amazon, I worked with a guy named Jason Shaw -- and since leaving Amazon, he became one of many startup founders, only unlike many of the more tech focused startups that I come across, his dealt with something much more physical... paint.
I somewhat recently renovated my place and as anyone who has gone through renovations could tell you, the scale and scope of decisions one has to make -- almost all of which likely involve things that one likely has never thought of -- is immense. There are, what? Hundreds, maybe thousands of, I don't know, options for door handles? This extends from the absolute mundane like a faucet to the more typical, like appliances.
I worked with an interior designer and as we were finishing up, Susan asked if I had thought of paint. The answer was no. I certainly had not. But I definitely wanted something beyond just the typical white walls that envelop so many homes. I'm a very visual person but also felt somewhat ill-equipped to pick out colors. It's a little silly in hindsight, but I think a natural worry would be to paint a room the "wrong" color and then essentially be stuck with that color and have that color, in your face, all the time.
This process though, getting samples, seeing samples against a wall, making adjustments, etc. -- was extremely useful and resulted in a very warm and creative home. Even the rooms where I do have white, it's a softer variant of white which fits perfectly with how I wanted the room to feel.
It's sort of with that context that I looked at MyPerfectColor -- I thought this case study at the bottom of this web page really crystallized it for me [link]. In my garage is a storage unit that basically is filled with cans and cans of paint. Why? Well, beyond having some leftover paint from the renovations -- it's also there in case I ever need to do some touchup or just want to know what color something is / was. I'm not trying to sound like a commercial for my former colleague's startup, but it's kind of great that there's an option beyond, "Don't lose this [can of paint]." in case I actually need a paint color in the future.
I think it's funny as I think about it -- paint color is something that can be completely overwhelming. If you've ever been to that section of Home Depot and start flipping through swatches, it's like, "Who knew there could be so many shades of white?" But it's like you want the twin sides -- you want a large, but not overwhelming number of relatively standard colors, and then you want -- essentially, the ability to get any color. Matching, but also, let's say you know you want some variant of orange, but you want to very precisely dial in the shade or type of orange. So in that scenario, having a half dozen swatches won't cut it.
Another friend and I were discussing startups the other day -- but we were specifically discussing non-tech startups. (The one we were talking about is one that's popular out here in L.A. called StretchLab.) As much as I've loved and benefitted from pure digital / tech startups, there's something great in seeing innovation in the things that we see and touch every day.