Andrew Bourland: The Power of Interaction

April 20, 2006

My brother, Andy, has had his own blog for quite some time. Although he’s on a hiatus from blogging of late, I’m lifting a post from his blog that I found stimulating. Each of us is different in what stimulates us creatively. I have avoided “artist colonies” as I’m perfectly happy working at home. And if I need to get away, my favorite retreat has been to go to Palm Springs, alone, and work for 3 to 5 days solid. And then come back home. Andy has some health isssues that require that he leave his cold climate in New England from January through March. If any of you would like to contact him directly, go to and find the contact information there. RB

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Andrew BourlandThe last two weeks have been somewhat dead for me, intellectually… I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. I haven’t posted to my blog on any regular basis. I just haven’t felt like I’ve had anything to say.

To be sure, I’ve been a bit lonely. I’m down to my last two weeks here in Santa Barbara, where I am wintering to avoid the brutal New England winters that landed me in the hospital 4 times by this time last year. Well, I’m glad to say that my health has been great. I’ve responded well to the warmer climes of California.

But with the exception of the times that my family members come out to see me (my wife will be joining me later this afternoon to spend the weekend), I’ve been lonely as hell.

That being the case, my creative juices haven’t been flowing as they normally do.

And then yesterday, I attended the BlogBusiness Summit in LA. I had the chance to meet with my old friend, Steve Brobach, who cofounded and ran ThunderLizard Productions — an event company which used to conduct events like Web Advertising ‘97, where I got my baptism into the business that would ultimately become the ClickZ Network.

Steve and I had lunch together where we reminisced a bit about the old days, but more importantly started to discuss the opportunities, both current and upcoming within the spheres we operate in. The brain which had been so dead for the last couple of weeks kicked in to full gear, and once again I found myself brimming with good ideas which were helpful not only to Steve, but to me as well.

Walking away from our meeting I thought to myself, “I couldn’t have thought that up on my own”.

And it’s true. In the solitude I have spent over the past couple of months, my mind could not have operated on that high octane level.

I can point to several times since I’ve gotten here in Santa Barbara when my mind has been clicking on all cylinders, and every single time has centered around a time that I met in person with a colleague I respect and did some full blown brainstorming.

I look back on my past failures and successes as a businessman, and can say with certainty that lengthy periods of isolation have led me to failure, while frequent interactions with respected colleagues and partners have led to tremendous success.

I simply function better that way, even if I am an introvert.

I feel this lesson learned quite palpably, if that’s the word for it.

In anticipating my return to the cold climes of New England, I need to plan to have regular meetings with really smart people whom I respect to keep me moving forward. Otherwise, I end up going through lengthy dry spells just as I have over the past couple of weeks.

My wife arrives at the airport not too long from now, so I need to wrap this up and prepare for a joyous reunion.

Andrew Bourland

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