Hollagram: Augmented Reality Cards


Let me say that I am a writer, first and foremost, and know little about augmented and virtual reality beyond what is shown to me. When then am I embarking on a journey to create AR greeting cards?  My brothers are very knowledgeable in building and creating models, animating them, and constructing whole augmented reality and virtual reality games.  I have co-opted their skills to start a new venture known as Hollagram Cards.  We are a fairly new start-up that is testing the waters through Kickstarter.  The challenges have been difficult, but the rewards have been satisfying to say the least.

So what exactly is an augmented reality greeting card and why should you be interested in this?  AR is the part of the wave of the future and is definitely waiting to become more mainstream.  If you look, there are not many AR products out there that are readily available and cheap, save for Snapchat and Pokemon Go.  Other forms of AR require you to purchase expensive glasses just to view it.  It seems that the prices have not yet caught up with consumer demand, for the public does not really understand how it can be applied outside of a game.  Greeting cards can be a great way to introduce people to a stand-alone product that functions and costs the same as any paper card, but have the AR functionality that can be activated via a free, downloadable app.

The greeting card business is frankly over saturated and can range from extremely cheap to expensive and elaborate pop-ups.  There will definitely always be a market for both these spectrum’s, but no one is really offering original, 3-D augmented reality greeting cards.  If we were to step into the future, this is definitely the way to go.  It’s something that has not been seen before on a mass scale and is novel enough to start a new trend in how cards are made.  To be one of the first people to experience an AR card is quite a fun exchange.  Most people have seen pop-up cards, but none have really seen an AR card.  Our cards are more reasonably priced and can achieve the ‘wow’ factor that you are looking for.

We’ve had many bumps and disagreements along the way with this being a family-ran operation, and although we are very new to the scene, our cards speak for themselves.  We have learned a lot about our own personal strengths and weaknesses and also learned how to build a business from the ground up.  It’s exciting to be at the forefront of a new venture that hasn’t been done before.  Because there is no path to follow, we find we must blaze one ourselves, and that has been the hardest challenge.  Hollagram Cards has been a labor of love and we hope you may enjoy it’s fruits as well.




Listen to that restless feeling


Lately at work, I’ve been experiencing that restless feeling of wanting to leave and explore.  It gnaws at you and you fill it with food, distractions, and whatever you can find, but it is still there.  It makes you uneasy and ready to leave, so I did.  I left and the feeling has dissipated.  I felt like that as well in a previous relationship, but kept tucking it away.  I tucked it away for four years until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.  I decided to put some distance between us and it give me a lot of breathing room to assess what I really wanted.  I didn’t understand the feeling at first, but I realize now that it is not something to be ignored.  When you are in a bad situation, you know it and if you can’t come to terms with it, you will still feel restless.  Feeling restless means you want to escape, and a lot of people are in that boat.

You don’t always have to leave, but you should confront that feeling.  Ask why you are feeling restless and tackle the issue.  Leaving does not always solve the problem, so get to the core of it.  If you get that feeling over and over and leave every time only to feel restless, know that there is something missing in you.  Search for what you really desire in a job, a mate, a home, or yourself.  If you find you are trying to outrun yourself, know that nothing will ever satisfy you, so you need to stop and figure it out.  Above all else, listen to yourself and your needs.  If it means letting go, you let go.  If it means reevaluating your priorities, then do so.  If it means you need to do some soul searching, leaving will not work.  You must instead look within.

The secret to a good interview


Ever wonder ‘how did this arrogant prick get the job?’  We’ve all had that moment where we think that because someone wholly unqualified gets to be our boss based off their resume and a great interview.  And so we wonder, what is the secret to a good interview?  Should our resume be in written in iambic pentameter to prove how artsy we are?  Should we dress like a secret service agent to show we’ll fall in line after we get hired?  Good questions indeed, but not really useful, so let’s break it down.  Someone or a panel of people are going to hire you based off of your resume and a 20 minute interview.  If you have a better 20 minutes than the rest, you get the job! That’s it.

For me, there are two types of people: those who interview well and those who do their job well.  Sometimes, interviewers will not hire the people who do their jobs well because they don’t interview well and they lose out on opportunities that go to people who interview well, but may not necessarily have all the skills to do their job well.  I call this the A-hole syndrome.  Some people do interview and do their job well, but A-holes interview extremely well while not knowing what hard work is, so they continue to get jobs while those who do their jobs well get pushed to the side.  This can be very disheartening to people who know they are qualified, but just never get the chance to prove it.

So here is the secret you were promised: it matters more of how you make the interviewer FEEL rather than what your answers are.  Confused?  You should be.  If you’re like me, you know you’re a hard worker but get nervous in high-pressure situations because you are trying the best you can to get through it.  However, the interviewer has no idea how good of a worker I will be.  They only see the fidgety me who is grasping at answers because my heart is beating so fast.  The A-hole, on the other hand, has no nervous tics and smoothly answers each question, which puts the interviewer at ease. When they are at ease, they feel comfortable towards you as you build a rapport with them through smiles and light banter.  See the difference?

Now you know the secret and you’re like ‘I’m screwed!  I can’t just pretend to be an A-hole!’  That’s where you’re wrong.  You can and will pretend to be an A-hole.  People who are socially awkward and shy tend to frown upon ‘pretending’ because they view it as inauthentic and choose to be themselves instead for better or for worse.  I can tell you that it’s okay to pretend because this is something to learn and benefit from.  Go into the interview putting your best face on and be you.  Not jittery interview you, but the relaxed you when you are with your friends.  Your answers are also important, but what is more important is how the interviewer feels about you when you walk away.