Frequently asked questions.

Who are you?

My name’s Ted Pearlman. I’m married to Allison, an architect. We live in Denver, Colorado, with our ridiculous sixth-grader, Oscar, who likes to make tiny dimetrodons out of hot glue, and Mabel, our couch potato Newfoundland pup.

Tatou, the Newfoundland who ruled the house before Mabel, is a little bit famous on the Internet for how he made Oscar giggle.

Resume-wise, I have a BA in Music (Cornell 90), am a certified Gordon communications trainer, and spent many years in the tech industry with companies like Sony and IBM

Way back in 2007, I spearheaded something called the Denver Urban Core Cohousing Initiative. I talked about it on Colorado Public Radio and, somehow, the interview is still online. It gives a bit of a sense of me.

If you’re curious how I make a living these days, there’s info here.

I also run a Denver food & conversation project called Honselgen.

If an eagle and a tiger had a human baby that was then raised by ninjas, it would be Ted.

Allan Branch
Founder of Less Everything

How can I tell a story, too?

Logistics.

It all happens over the phone. It rarely takes more than 7 minutes. And usually takes less than 4.

After I record your story, I’ll put it up on its own page and send you the URL so you can share it.

It’s free. And there is no advertising.

What to talk about.

Basically, I’d like you to tell me a story that has this basic format:

If not for [person], I wouldn’t [positive outcome], [positive outcome], etc.”

The easiest way to explain this is to listen to one of these stories. Like this one below…

If not for Byron Caine…“
From Robert Ouimet in Vancouver

I typically have the interviewee start by telling me about the person. We record that opening If not for…” statement afterwards. During the editing process, I relocate the If not for…” statement to the beginning.

It makes telling your story really easy.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, beforehand. You can also read answers to common questions on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Who can I tell a story about?

You can tell a story about anyone who’s had an indelibly positive effect on your life — your mom, your college advisor, John Cassavetes, your crazy nextdoor neighbor Ethel, a person you overheard on the Subway whose name you never learned — it’s totally up to you.

How much does this cost?

It’s entirely free for both storytellers and listeners.

Will there be any ads on my story?

We don’t and never will have advertising of any kind.

How can this be free AND ad-free?

I’m bankrolling it myself. If it takes off, we’ll pay the bills with donations.

How long should my story be?

Most people’s stories are between 90 seconds and 5 minutes. But if you have a longer story, I’m happy to accomodate!

How many stories can I tell?

You can tell as many stories as you like.

Can I embed a story on my website?

My developers are working on that as we speak. If you want to be notified when that’s available, contact me.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a professional connector.

I help a very specific breed of CEOs connect with subject matter experts, creative contractors, and advisors who can help them and their companies.

I work on retainer for each client. When one of them comes to me with a challenge, my job is to ask a lot of questions, get a handle on the challenge’s fundamentals, and figure out what single person is most likely to set that client on a course to getting the challenge tackled.

In 2014, I arranged for Michelle Rowley, a noted software development advocate from Portland with deep and broad relationships in a particular tech sector to meetup in Toronto with an Israeli firm in that same sector seeking to gain a foothold in North America.

The type of CEOs I work with.

The vast majority of my clients are in tech and have the Myers-Briggs type ENFP. I’ve always found the ENFP connective tissue of my clientele fascinating, especially since ENFP CEOs are pretty rare (they make up only about 7% of all CEOs).

I’m not certain why nearly all of my clients are ENFP CEOs, but I have a working theory…

Why I think my clients and I enjoy working together.

ENFP CEOs are disinterested in managing details. They don’t like hierarchical power structures. They’re sincerely empathetic and eager to develop humane relationships with their employees and collaborators. Business, to them, isn’t about making money. It’s about creating and collaborating on something of meaning.

Unless a client of mine happens to be the foremost expert on the type of challenge they are facing, their instinct is to find WHO can tackle the problem most effectively. They’d see working on it themselves as a gross misallocation of resources, as it would take them away from their focus on the mission of the company. (This is the opposite instinct of most CEOs — usually INTJs and ENTJs — who almost always seek to tackle the challenge themselves.)

In 2015, I introduced Phil Caravaggio to Rodrigo Corral. Together, they designed and edited Ray Dalio’s New York Times Bestseller, Principles.

There’s only one problem with being willing to delegate the tackling of a challenge to a person better qualified than you. It creates a secondary challenge of finding that person.

That’s where I come in.

How I got into this line of work.

In 2012, the CEO of Precision Nutrition, Phil Caravaggio, who I’d never met before, called me up out of the blue and asked me if I could connect him with a new, interim CTO.

A few hours before Phil reached out to me, I’d left a comment on a Signal v Noise blog post that asked their readers to help them find a solution to a thorny office architectural acoustics problem.

I grew up as a musician and knew a little bit about acoustics — just enough that I could tell his audience wasn’t going to provide him with the best solution. They were doing their darnedest to help, but this particular problem clearly needed a bonafide expert in architectural acoustics. In my comment, I offered to connect them with one. (The person I advised them to use was Russ Berger.)

Phil was a fan of Signal v Noise, too, read my comment, and thought I might be able to help.

It wasn’t long after starting to work with Phil — still my favorite client — that I decided to quit my other gig and hang out my shingle as a professional connector. Best career decision I’ve ever made.

In 2015, Phil was looking for a way to communicate his leadership style to several high-profile potential collaborators. I connected him with Toronto photographer-cinematographer Christopher Wahl and Montréal film editor-director Kara Blake, who made a short film about him.

Though you don’t have to strictly be an ENFP to work with me, being one is often a really good sign. If you’re wondering if you’re an ENFP, you can find out, with a fair degree of accuracy, here.

Important Note: I’m not a headhunter. I don’t find full-time employees. I find outside subject matter experts, creative contractors, and advisors, who come in for a finite period of time to tackle a particular challenge.

Are you hiring?

Not at present. However, if you’d like to send me information about yourself, please do.

Is there an If Not For app?

Not yet. But we’re working on it.