Life Lessons: Sean O'Reilly

Find and conquer your personal Kryptonite

Sean O'Reilly: CEO, Arcana Studio Inc.

 

Sean O'Reilly, a self-proclaimed comic-book geek, says the greatest lessons he has learned come from superheroes.

For example, the Arcana Studio Inc. CEO pointed out that even Superman has a weakness – Kryptonite – so it's important for everyone to figure out his or her own Kryptonite.

"For me, it's organization and time management," he said. "That's my Kryptonite."

Arcana produces comic books, graphic novels and animation, and O'Reilly said a large part of that work is content management. With tens of thousands of pages of artwork, countless points of related data and hundreds of freelancers and employees to keep track of, dealing with all this information was, at one point, "next to impossible."

O'Reilly pointed to one incident as an example of when lack of organization can have major repercussions. He was in L.A. when he received an offer from someone who wanted to make a movie out of one of the company's titles.

"I wasn't sure if I could accept the offer until I went through our contracts," he said. "I couldn't remember the ownership."

Luckily, the deal went through, but O'Reilly said that not having the information delayed the project unnecessarily.

He realized that, although he had tried in the past to get all this information organized, he hadn't been successful – and that this was one of his weaknesses.

In 2010, O'Reilly decided to deal with it. He started reading articles about managing information, different technologies that could help and how others have dealt with it. He even read Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Arcana subsequently created its own content-management system – an online database – using MySQL. The company also now takes advantage of technologies such as Google Drive to track and share information. O'Reilly says it has paid off.

Arcana was producing a TV series called Kagagi, and the editor emailed to say he needed a 100-megabyte file immediately. O'Reilly was at the PNE watching a show.

"I pulled up my Google app, I just touched the file and put in his email address. Click, done."

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