Work inspiration with
Brian Casel

  • Brian Casel

    Brian Casel

    Web designer by trade, writer (casjam.com)

I'm Brian Casel. I'm a web designer by trade, but lately my focus is on teaching freelancers and bootstrapped founders how to level up.  I write and teach at casjam.com.

I also run my productized services, Restaurant Engine and Hotel Propeller, which are a niche web design products for the hospitality industry.

What inspired you to become a web designer?

I've been tinkering with HTML since the Geocities days :)  At first, it started with me making an amateur website for my band in college.

I actually went to school for audio engineering and always wanted to get into music production as a career.  But after college, I had a hard time breaking into the music industry, so I followed my other passion, the web.

What I love about the web (and music production too) is it merges creativity and technology.  I also love having an impact on the experience of others, whether it's creating a user experience on the web or teaching someone a new skill that will help them level up, or creating an audio/visual experience.

What software do you use to organize your work?

These days, most of my work is somewhere in my Gmail account.  I also like Trello as an organizational tool for planning projects and to-dos.

What is your ideal work environment?

I do love my office because it gives me the separation that I need to actually be productive.  Work/life balance and all that...

But I also need to spend half my week working elsewhere.  I work from the coffee shop a lot, and occasionally on my back deck at home.  I hate "commuting" to the same desk every single day, and luckily I don't have to do that.

Where does your work inspiration come from?

Since my work today involves selling a product or growing an audience (or both), my inspiration comes from customers and from the people in my audience.

Nothing inspires me to write a blog post more than reading email replies to my weekly newsletter.

And nothing inspires me to improve our products more than seeing our customers getting real value from them.

Who are the designers you admire most?

Not necessarily designers, but here are a few names that made an impact on me in recent years.  There are countless others, especially those I collaborate with and "talk shop" with on a daily basis.

  • Steve Jobs
  • Jason Fried
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Jeffrey Zeldman
  • Seth Godin