I confess, I have been Laazy

Seven months ago I started out on my year-long Remote Year adventure. I had a yearning to see the world, visit exotic places and generally do amazing things with a group of equally crazy and wonderful people. While the travelling has been a total thrill my real motivation was more complex - something I talked about in my very first post.

Today, I am ready to unveil the incredible project I have been working on.

TL;DR; With help from fellow Kaizens, I am launching the private beta for Laazy - an easy-to-use tool that ends the chore of processing and resizing digital photos Go sign up for early free access for blogs and websites.

Career crisis or perhaps just a regular midlife one!

Before joining Remote Year, I comfortably held a senior position at one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. I was good at this job and the company remunerated me adequately. The work was interesting but I wanted to challenge myself more.

Looking back on my whole career, I had always switched from job to job, leaving one role that I no longer liked to pick up the next most appealing presented by recruiters. Before long, I again bemoaned the lack of income. I would stay just longer than was comfortable (usually about 2 years) then repeat the process.

Going around in circles though wasn’t the biggest problem. I was realising that I was solving other people’s problems, not my employers problems, but my employers employers problems (clients, eww!).

My real ambition was to build a product that offered real user value. I have built products and companies for myself in the past which has always felt satisfying but this time, I wanted to create something truly useful (not just the billable kind). It didn’t have to be the next Facebook but if I could solve a problem for a group of people then that was a good start and I could expand from there. …

The lightening bolt

To help me find inspiration, I began this blog partially for writing practice but also as a project to help my ideas flow, until - fingers crossed - lightning struck. Fortunately for me (not so much for this blog), I didn’t have to wait long, not even on my Remote Year but travelling to it.

The blog was going well and I wanted the posts to be visually engaging. While on a long road trip to Serbia, I was preparing some photos for the Serbia post (on my way to join RemoteYear), when the idea hit me. Each blog post needed a main image that had to be resized, cropped, centred, edited, then filed into a growing number of folders. It became messy and time consuming.

Why wasn’t this more simple? I needed:

  • A full size version, the size for the actual top of the post.
  • A tiny thumbnail image for promoting the post on other pages.
  • A medium sized version for promoting the post on the blog homepage and twitter.
  • Finally, a square version cropped and resized for posting on instagram (I know instagram can do this but I prefer not to cede more control than necessary over to the social networks). Different sizes for my blog posts

PostIt note is not a great place to store this sort of thing

What made it worse was I stored all the requisite image dimensions in the digital equivalent of a postIT note.

I am not a designer but I have done a lot of design work in my career. I have a working knowledge of Photoshop and Sketch and whilst editing images is not difficult - it takes an unnecessary amount of time. There had to be a better way.

A problem to solve

So the idea for Laazy was born. Our mission is to make the lives of bloggers, social media power users, website content managers, software developers, photographers, designers and project managers (and many more who I won’t reveal just yet) simpler, easier and more fun. Infact, it’s for anyone who works with media content…for love or money. You can now choose to be smart-laazy.

Most creative tools available today focus on what we call the ‘canvas’ model, which is important when creating original works - but is less useful when basic image processing is required. Laazy differs because we focus on repeatable processes rather than the individual images. So without going into too much technical detail (thanks Nat), go check out Laazy.

Whats next

Laazy is almost ready to welcome users in, but first we are running a free private beta to collect feedback and make any improvements before finally rolling it out. If you think you might be interested in an early access account, sign up for the beta here.

Thanks for your support, Josh