Ryan Freng

My day job is creative director and owner of Backflip Films, a video production house.

My most memorable caffeine falls into two categories: one on a trip and one in my everyday life.

The trip was to the Boundary Waters with some friends. We were roughing it, paddling and portaging for hours on end and it was great to end the day sitting on a hill in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the sunset and having a cup of coffee in the wilderness.

The everyday coffee was with my wife, Monica. We have four young kids and one morning she called me at the studio and invited me out for coffee. It was just an ordinary morning—kind of the opposite of the Boundary Waters trip—but so good to relax and enjoy an adult conversation with her.

My current caffeine of choice when I’m having coffee out is a latte. I travel a lot for work and I never know what I’m going to get when I go to different places. I figure that when you cut pretty much any kind of coffee with milk, it’s hard to go wrong!

My favorite place for caffeine is Rosie’s in Monona. The people are great, the coffee is wonderful and the location is convenient—it’s right around the corner from my kids’ school.

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist. I feel like we’ve had very similar lives: growing up as “nerds” and realizing as adults that it’s actually pretty cool to be a nerd. He has a great podcast series—he’s likely interviewed pretty much anyone you’ve ever wanted to learn more about. I enjoy that his interviews are less about marketing and more about the people. I really admire his work and what he’s built.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: Getting past misconceptions and the misunderstandings that they lead to. A lack of communication seems to be at a heart of so many of the world’s problems—and the ones happening in our own lives with our literal neighbors. What if we could just sit down over a cup of coffee and hash things out? I think we can each achieve change within our own sphere of influence and should look for ways to do that. Maybe we’re not solving a problem, maybe we’re just becoming better informed or spurring others to action. But it’s good to ask ourselves, “How can I do something?”