I realized recently that I’m often asked about what my job is. I suppose, it’s a common thing to ask someone you’ve just met what they do for a living. It used to be somewhat easier when I worked for a pharma company in marketing (“I’m in marketing at a pharma company.”) or even when I worked at a digital agency as a strategist (“I work for a digital agency.” was all that was needed to move the conversation along most times).
However, I realized that for many people working for startups, it’s a bit harder to explain what they do. It’s doubly difficult because they need to often explain what the company does as well assuming that people haven’t heard of the company. And, trust me, unless you happen to work at a “startup” like Foursquare or Instagram, people haven’t heard of your company.
But the other day, I realized that Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack), the protagonist of classic 80s movie, Say Anything, managed to explain what someone at a startup software/app company actually does. He managed to do this in 1989 long before most people had the Internet in their homes and way back when “pinning” something had more to do with dress alterations versus uncovering new craft or decorating ideas.
So, for all you startup employees looking for a simple way to explain what you do, just point people to the video below and watch Cusack expertly, if unintentionally, portend the future, as he describes an entirely new segment of the economy that no one envisioned back in 1989.
PS: he also predicts the rise of mixed martial arts fighting (as in the UFC). Genius.
About the Author:
I just launched my first app to the App Store! It’s called Graham Gram.
I don’t want to jinx things, but I think it’s going to be huge. It really has the potential to be the next Instagram. It’s got all sorts of great things baked in like virality and sharability and engagement. It really hits on a niche that no one has addressed before, so there’s a real unmet need.
Download it now!
At least that’s what I might have written, if it were actually the case and I really loved marketing buzz words. For the record, I really did make an app, but I don’t think any of the above is true. I made an app just to prove a point.
This post is a manifesto, so stop now if you’re not into them.
Is it just me or are so many new mobile apps out there all trying to do the same thing?
It seems to me like every one of them is out to become “The Next Instagram.” So, it’s no wonder that there are hundreds of photo apps in the App Store that all have the same functionality. Some of these even are promoted by Apple in the envious position of “Featured” apps.
And what do we get from all this?
More apps that let you put a filter on your photos to make them even more awesome. Like this:
It’s the bottom of my shoe, but check out the filter. Doesn’t that make it awesome?
To be clear…I don’t necessarily have anything against Instagram. Good for them. They apparently found something people wanted and something that Facebook wanted even more. But let’s be clear on one thing: you aren’t making “The Next Instagram” when you put out your app that has one hundred-three filters (“you see, most other photo apps only have one hundred filters, so ours is the best…”).
You’ve got photo apps that create images that look like Polaroids. Apps that put one photo and its mirror image next to each other (which I thought already existed…it’s called a mirror). And there are apps that make fancy collages…hundreds of them.
And the “Gram” apps. I tried to count them all, but lost both count and hope around 40. I did find a few gems though. Mirrorgram, Hipstagram (not to be confused with Hipstamatic), Peekiegram, BabyGram, SimpleGram, and (seriously) Carpetgram. Look it up.
Carpetgram was probably the last straw. So, I started out writing this manifesto and I realized that it was a bit lacking. There are a couple of points I wanted to get across, but I wasn’t quite making them strongly enough.
The key points:
- Can we all stop trying to make “The Next Instragram”? That lottery is over and someone already taken home all the prizes. There are probably better places to concentrate your talent.
- It’s getting easier and easier to make an app and get it out the door. So, if you want a standout app, then you’ve got to come with something big.
- There’s apparently a niche in the App Store for everyone.
As I finished my first draft, I could tell that my points weren’t quite being made. It became apparent that a lot of what I was saying made me sound like a bit of a complainer/cynic with a pretty good view from the cheap seats. Then I realized that in order to really make my point, I had to make an app without anyone’s help.
So, that’s what I did.
Coming up with the concept for the app was pretty simple. It seems like photo apps all have to be called something like “<insert word>Gram”, so I stuck with that convention. I focused on trying to come up with the most ridiculous premise for an app, but one that maybe, just for a second, someone might think was real based on all the other things they’ve seen in the App Store lately.
And what could be more ridiculous than Graham Gram? So, that’s what I made.
Graham Gram: The best way to share all of your graham (or gram) related pictures with friends around the world.
Seriously…no bullshit. Head on over to the App Store and download it if you don’t believe that I actually made an app called Graham Gram.
I find Graham Gram no less absurd than any of the other “Gram” apps out there. Think of how many different things in this world relate to either “graham” or “gram.”
Yep…that’s a gramaphone.
Or the more obvious…graham crackers.
So, back to my points for this manifesto.
First, I think we can all agree that creating “The Next Instagram” isn’t a great goal. It’s a great ambition, but creating “The Next Instagram” doesn’t mean that you have to make the same exact thing. In fact, it probably means just the possible.
Second, it really is getting easier and easier to launch an app. While still not a trivial task by any means, more and more people can do it. Heck, I did it. While my coding skills are still at the amateur level, this app got done. It’s in large part thanks to Parse, which is an awesome service that basically can handle the entire “backend” of an app. I also “borrowed” heavily from one of their demo apps and made some modifications to bring you Graham Gram. You can take a shot at making your own by following their tutorial.
15 years ago there were only a handful of people that could make you a website. Today there are tools that let anyone do it. Apps are going that same way. More and more people will be able to do it, so the competition is even tougher, which means the apps and the ideas behind them have to be even better.
And my final point, there is a niche for everything in the App Store. Hell, I launched Graham Gram right alongside Carpetgram. Not sure what my point really was here except to say that there’s something for everyone on the App Store.
Even Phil Gramm lovers.
So, that’s the manifesto. Feel free to bring the hate or nod in agreement. If you’re on the more agreeable side, why not download the app and contribute a picture of something graham or gram related? Consider it a badge showing your pledge to stop trying to make “The Next Instagram.”
Yes…a badge…that’s the ticket. Graham Gram even has gamification built in.
It’s going to be huge.
About the Author:
If there’s one thing you can count on when you’re in any kind of business, especially a startup, it’s that you’ll get plenty of advice. This advice will come from a lot of different places. Some of it will be very valuable and helpful. Some will not.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to anyone. Of course, this fact isn’t even restricted to the business world. It happens in every aspect of life from the time we’re children. And, again, some advice is good and some not so good. The trick is figuring out which is which before we choose to either accept or reject each bit of advice.
I get lots of advice. And I’m fortunate to get it from lots of really smart people. The other folks I work with will say the same thing. Lots of advice, from lots of smart people. And they’re not just smart people, but people who have experienced nearly every aspect of what I’m experiencing or about to experience. I’ve seen this throughout my career in every job and in every company I’ve ever worked at. If you’ve been fortunate in your career, you’ve probably had a similar experience.
So, if we’re all of us are getting this quality advice from people who have lived exact what we’re about to experience and who have lots of success to show for it and we follow this advice to the letter, how come we’re not all wildly successful?
The answer is simple.
No two situations are alike. No one knows you like you do. No one knows your company or the present situation like you do. It’s because of this that whatever advice you get from people can only take you so far. You see, only you know what’s best. Everyone else only knows what’s good. It’s a really important nuance.
Think about it…there are a million factors that go into every decision you make whether you realize it or not. Most are completely subconscious, which ensures we aren’t paralyzed by each decision making opportunity. At the same time, there are factors that we figure and wrestle with in a very conscious manner for each decision we make. When it comes to a startup, you’re making these decisions every day and they are giant decisions. They are decisions that will change the course of the company in a dramatic way for better or worse.
How do these conscious and subconscious factors relate to advice? There is actually another set of factors that we consider when making decisions and these are the ones that create this best versus good advice situation. These are the factors that only your particular and unique experience and knowledge can consider. No one else has precisely the understanding you do. They may have a related or very close understanding, but no one knows exactly what you know plus the experiences you’ve had. And it’s often these tiny nuances that mean the difference between success and failure.
This is the reason why everyone else knows what’s good, but only you know what’s best.
Does this mean I’m advocating disregarding advice from smart, experienced people? Not at all. But what I am saying is that you should mix it into your knowledge and experience. Combine it into what’s unique about your vantage point. Make your decision from there and you’ll always do what’s best.
About the Author:
Re-read this post title one more time just to make sure you read it correctly.
It’s not: “You are who YOU say you are.”
It’s: “You are who THEY say you are.”
There’s just one tiny word that is unique between those two statements, but there’s a world of difference in their meaning.
For most companies, they like to believe that the first statement is how the world works. That is, your brand and how the world sees you is exactly how you told the world to see you. However, in reality, this isn’t remotely true.
For all the media buying you do, money you dump in PR, fancy agencies you hire, and impassioned speeches you make, it’s not what you tell people you stand for that matters. It’s what they say you stand that matters. And that makes lot of companies uncomfortable. It’s also hard for a lot of them to believe.
Though you may hone your “message” and repeat it over and over to the market, you never know what everyone heard until you hear them repeat it back to you. You may pronounce to the world that you’re a “green” company that does a ton for the environment, but if all anyone ever says about you is how destructive you are to the environment, guess what? You’re destructive to the environment. What you say doesn’t matter. What THEY say matters.
If you’re not changing what they say (and you want to change it), then try something new. Your message isn’t working. This is extra critical at a startup where you don’t have millions for PR and don’t have years to convince people about what you’re saying. You may only have months pull this off. This is why it’s critical to get out there and listen to what people are saying and understand why they are saying it. Ask them why they think what they do and how you can change it. You’ll probably be surprised to find how helpful people can be when you do ask for help.
It’s nice when your message to the world about what you are as a company is just what you hoped it would be. When the world hears and repeats back what you told them, then you know your message is believable and something the world wants. We had a nice validation of our message last week here at my company, Zipscene.
One of our clients did an interview for a trade journal and mentioned how they are working with us now and in the future. The way he described what we are doing for them and what we are capable of doing is exactly what we say we are and what we can do. But the important part is that it’s what they say we are too.
That’s the important test. It’s the test that you should be doing every day to really understand where your company or your product stands in the market.
PS: In case you’re interested in what our client said and don’t want to read the entire article, here’s the critical part:
We as consumers engage with multiple touch points — laptop, tablet, mobile phone, websites, social networks, in the restaurant, email. What we want to do is connect all of these touch points so that each time the guest touches our brand we can understand who that guest is. We’re working with Zipscene to connect all this data that we’ve amassed.
Image courtesy of KirkT under Creative Commons
About the Author:
First, a quick apology for the major lag in posting here. I’ll use the excuse that I broke my wrist (requiring surgery) about a month ago and I’m still catching up with what I missed. I’d be happy to post a picture here of my wrist showing the completely unnatural shape it took after the injury, but I’ll spare you. If you REALLY want to see it, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll send it to you as proof of my excuse. Bottom line: I’m back.
Second, I’ll be trying something new here. Instead of my traditionally long posts (see anything posted here or that I wrote on my former blog, Dose of Digital, as proof of my sometimes lengthy prose), I’m going to resolve to write shorter, more to the point posts here emulating the style of Seth Godin’s blog. While I likely won’t match the level of his insights each time or the eloquence he has to pack a big insight into a tiny space, I’ll do my best. And now that this post is already too long, let’s get into the real content.
Everyone in business has at some point or another either said or heard some reference the idea of “drinking the Kool Aid.” Of course, I never understood using this in business, as the phrase’s origins aren’t all that lovely to consider. Regardless, we have it. What it typically means when it comes up in business is that everyone is simply blindly following the rules or philosophy that’s been handed down to them and passed throughout the company.
Perhaps that’s okay though in some situations. Don’t you want everyone to be on the same page? Don’t you want everyone following the same philosophy and having the same beliefs? I’ve discovered that the answer is yes and no. It’s really simple to see why.
Yes, it’s important that people know where the company is going (which is especially true in a start up). It’s important for them to see the vision and believe in it. They are the ones that have to conjure up that vision when they need a little inspiration to work a little longer or harder on a problem. You’ve got to have that otherwise people don’t have any guiding principles or direction. I suppose that’s a little bit of drinking the Kool Aid.
But, on the other hand, you have to ensure that not everyone is drinking the Kool Aid at once. Someone has to be the one to challenge the direction, to challenge the philosophy. When we have team meetings, we know that we’re making progress when we DON’T see everyone nodding in agreement about the best approach to a challenge or about how to move forward on something. If everyone agrees right away, then you have to wonder if you’ve really thought about all the potential issues with choosing one path versus another. You have to wonder if there’s someone in the room who is simply going along with it, so as not to make waves or hurt anyone’s feelings.
I’m really proud to say that we don’t have a team that’s like this at all. We challenge each other and push on almost every idea to make sure that we aren’t missing something. So, while a few of us may have already drank the Kool Aid on a specific idea, a few others are still resisting to make sure that it’s the best approach. It creates some tension and we’ve figured out (like many before us) that tension is good. If you don’t have it, then you aren’t challenging yourself or your team.
Having said that, you need to quickly go from tension to alignment. This is especially true of a company’s leadership team. You have to come away all believing the same ideas and telling the same story. If you don’t, then that quickly spreads through the company and can do a lot of damage, as it makes people uncertain for no reason. We do that well here at Zipscene, which I think strengthens the company each day.
The question for you and your team is: have you all drank the Kool Aid already?
About the Author:
There are a few lessons you learn pretty early on working at a startup. Perhaps the most critical is that money doesn’t grow on trees like it might at a large company. There’s a pretty finite amount of money in the bank and it doesn’t necessarily continue to grow (at least not in the beginning). Because of that, you’ve got to be careful with every dollar. No news there.
At the same time, you’ve got to make some money. I know that in a world where there are companies like Instagram with zero revenues that get bought for billions, many aspiring entrepreneurs jump into a startup idea with no concept of needing to make money nor any idea of how to do it. Some big funding sources perpetuate this myth just a bit. But, the reality is that most startups are companies that actually have a model that’s based on people sending them money at some point versus hoping for some way to “monetize” people later or simply to get bought before that becomes an issue.
Okay…so, this post is for all those startups out there that actually have a business plan that includes having to make money to keep the lights on. I know…a crazy model…just like a real company.
The lesson I want to pass on today is all about where you focus your efforts to balance keeping your company going for another month with trying to get it grow exponentially overnight. It’s hard to do both. If you only focus on getting by from day to day, you’ll never grow fast. If you always are looking for the giant win, you’ll take too many risks and you’ll be gone before you ever get that win. So, the answer lies in finding a balance.
That’s what the title of this post is about: figuring out the balance of getting some singles and staying in the game versus swinging for the fences for a shot at glory (sorry for all the baseball analogies…it’s how I make sense of complicated stuff). Here’s a few steps to follow that will help you balance these two things:
- Define what a “single” and “home run” looks like for your company. Singles are the little wins that keep small, but meaningful, amounts of money coming in (ideally from paying customers and not loans or more capital that dilutes your share further). These singles pay the bills. Home runs are the game changers that if you manage to get a few (or maybe just one), your business will jump to an entirely different level. You’ll have to rework your forecasts (in a good way), hire more people, or maybe develop a product faster. These singles and home runs are different for every company, so you need to be the one to define them.
- Don’t build anything yet! If you are able to define your home run, you may discover that it involves a product or service that you don’t have available yet. Don’t feel that you have to have it completed and built before you start selling it. To get a better sense for this idea, definitely read this post from my friend, Bob Gilbreath, which talks in detail about this concept. I love the concept of “false doors” that he discusses. Great advice. Don’t build your home run until you know there’s demand for it. You can’t afford to build it and find out no one wants it. Definitely watch the video he references for a great example of how this concept works. Here are the key paragraphs from his post:
Instead of making a full-blown solution, you can often learn faster and cheaper by creating your business in a way that feels very basic but works well enough to gauge interest. This is the idea behind Eric Ries’s Minimum Viable Product. But too many startups don’t think basic enough; they tend to want something like a completed house when all they really need is a false door and mailing address. If people knock on the door and put checks in the mail, you win; if not, you’ve learned a lot without taking out a mortgage and hiring contractors.
Eric Ries did this when he was thinking of turning his blogging and speaking topics into the book version of The Lean Startup. Instead of spending a year selling into publishers (yes, it takes a year in my experience), he took book pre-orders on his website. If the book didn’t get many pre-orders he could have given people their money back and saved himself a ton of time. Zappos didn’t start with a warehouse full of products–rather, the founders tested the idea of online shoe ordering by taking photos of shoes from a local store, and when orders came in, they bought them from that store and re-shipped them. Or you can take my “false door” analogy literally, as one of the newest trends for deciding on which features to add to an app or website is to build a graphic link or banner ad, and count how many people click on it.
- Find a source for singles, while looking for opportunities for home runs. You can’t do both 100%. It’s impossible. So, first make sure you’ve got a pipeline and a process to keep the singles coming in. After this, start picturing where your home runs might come from. Don’t start going after them yet, just know what you’re looking for so you can jump on them if the opportunity arises.
- Gradually, add in a few big swings to your prospecting. It’s important at this point that you don’t abandon your singles (they keep food on the table). They should be the vast majority of your efforts, but start looking for an ideal place to take a big swing for the fences. When you find it, take a shot. This will allow you to validate whether anyone is willing to pay for your “home run” and that there’s some demand for it. Based on what you find, start adjusting. Add a little more focus on home runs and less on singles or completely give up on selling your home run idea and look for a new one.
About the Author:
Like most startup companies, we spend a fair amount of time explaining to investors and other interested people exactly what we do. Whether it be someone we meet at the grocery store or a formal investor pitch, people something pretty simple when they ask what your company does. They don’t want a 30 minute explanation of how it all works or how your “revenue model” comes much later. They don’t want to know the technology stack it’s built on or what your TAM, SAM, and SOM are. They might want to know this later, but they need to know one thing first.
When someone asks, “What does your company do?” they just want to know just one thing. What your company does. Crazy, right? Just wanting to know that. Think of all that they are missing by not asking about how many photos are uploaded every second to Facebook or why you’re going to become the Linkedin for pony groomers.
Well, despite what they might miss by not hearing your full explanation, you should be able to answer this question with a simple answer. If you can’t, then your company might not become the big winner you think it is.
A good explanation of what you need comes from Sequoia (one of the biggest VCs out there). Check out what they think is one of the top elements of a sustainable company:
Clarity of Purpose
Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.
The vast majority of companies I keep hearing about and talk to I don’t think can really do this. My friend, Bob Gilbreath, wrote a great post about “social discovery apps”. One thing they all lack in my mind is a clarity of purpose. If there is a purpose, I doubt they could summarize on the back of a business card, as Sequoia suggests.
One thing we continually pay attention to at our company is our purpose and what we do. If we can’t define it in a perfectly clear way to ourselves, then we can’t do it for others. That makes for rather awkward moments when you try to explain to friends what you do and even more awkward when you try to explain it to an investor who’s heard it all a million times.
Having a clear purpose isn’t only important for these encounters. It’s essential to help you decide what to do next and ensure that everyone is working towards the same thing. If you face a difficult choice, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to make if you have a clear purpose. Simply pick the course that advances you furthest towards that purpose. When employees are deciding what to work on next and where to focus their idea generation, you only need to point them in the direction of your purpose.
About the Author:
I’m sure you’ve all heard the adage about how the cobbler’s children often have no shoes. In case you weren’t aware, I don’t mean the cobbler like the one in the image above, but I found the picture too tasty to ignore when Google served it up when I searched for “cobbler.” Also, of note, when you search for “cobbler,” Google shows you results for local shoe repair shops. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.
But I digress.
The point of this post is to highlight something that many technology companies face. It’s especially true for technology related companies. They’re often so busy making great things for others that they forget about doing great things for themselves. That might mean a great app developer might lack a mobile version of its website or an email marketing firm might have a tiny database of customers that it never sends anything to. It’s understandable.
When resources are sparse and everyone is running really quickly, you often have to decide if you do something great for your company or something great for the platform you’re building or those people paying the bills (you know…customers). Predictably (and logically) the priority often isn’t on creating something for your company.
I think this is okay…to a point. The reality is that people make almost instant decisions about your company often without waiting around to hear your full story. So, if you bill yourself as a company that makes great mobile websites, your own website had better damn well work on a mobile phone. If it doesn’t, I guarantee you are losing customers. They never get to see the amazing work that you’re doing or see how robust your platform is because they can’t get past step one.
I’m not advocating spending millions on a marketing campaign. I’m not telling you to forgo paid client work to ensure you’re website is world-class. However, I am reminding you that you have to practice what you preach. If you don’t, you lose credibility because it looks like you don’t even believe what you’re selling.
Take the mobile website example again. If you are selling the importance of mobile websites to someone and your own website isn’t mobile friendly, then why should I believe you when you say it’s important? If it was that important, I’d think that you would have put one in place for your own company first. This doesn’t just apply to technology companies either. If you’re a healthcare company and are constantly talking about the woes of people getting sub-standard healthcare and your employee health benefits suck, well, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you’re a company that helps others reduce their carbon footprint and you roll up to the meeting in an 8 miles to the gallon SUV, people aren’t going to believe your story.
So, while you don’t have to drop everything to work on your own company’s assets or how it projects itself to others, it’s probably worth a second look. Make sure the story you’re telling to clients is supported by what you’re doing for yourself. Dump that SUV and trade it for a Prius. Cut the amount your employees pay for their healthcare and add more benefits if you really are trying to sell others on the importance of quality healthcare.
You get the picture.
PS: the thing that prompted this post was our company launching its new website. Since we make a lot of mobile sites for many companies, you can be damn sure that we designed our site so that it worked well and looked great in mobile and in desktop browsers. Check out the new Zipscene website and let me know what you think.
Image via Simply Recipes.
About the Author:
If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far since entering the world of startups (and there’s fortunately been more than one thing), it’s that there’s a lot to do. I’ve sort of commented on this before when I explained how I’ve discovered that you never really know when you’re “done.” Today’s lesson is closely related to this.
With so much going on and so many different things to be done, it’s hard to stay focused sometimes. This is especially true when you have a view towards the future and what will need to be done sometime down the road. This has got to be common in most startups where you’re developing new software or a new technology-based service offering (like we are). There’s a product roadmap that lets you see what’s being programmed now and what’s next. It also shows you what the future, final (as much as anything is ever “final”) product will look like.
However, what I’ve found is that if you get too focused on what’s next and what needs to be done for the future, two things happen. First, you lose focus on what needs to get done TODAY because you really want to leap ahead to this future, ideal state. This is a problem because if you don’t do the things that need to be done today, then there might not be a tomorrow for your company. The other thing it causes is a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. When you look at everything that needs to be done over the next 3-6 months or even further, you quickly get the feeling of “oh shit! How are we ever going to get this done?!?” Once that happens, you’re paralyzed.
So, while it’s important to understand what’s next and what needs to be done in the future, you can’t fixate on it every day. That means you’ve got to put on blinders and focus on what your responsibilities are for today. Don’t worry about what everyone else needs to get done for today. Hire the best people and you won’t have to. Think about the future, but be clear about where that work fits into your priorities.
About the Author:
Sorry. No image for this post. I thought about what would be fitting, but decided to spare you some clip art of a finish line or some stock photo of a dude in a tie, inside an all-glass office, raising his hands in apparent victory. You’re welcome.
Instead, I’ll try to just make my point with some old-fashioned words for this post, which is all about the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far in the startup world where I now find myself.
First, some background…one of the main responsibilities of my position at Zipscene is to define the development path of our platform. Which features do we develop next? How do we connect them to our existing features and to those of partners? What are our customers asking for today and what will they be asking for tomorrow?
You get the idea.
Since we’re working to constantly advance our platform, it’s a process that doesn’t really have a beginning, middle, or end. This is a lot different than what I’ve been used to. In the agency world where I just came from, most work was project-based. You knew exactly when it started and precisely when it was finished. This was also true for a lot of the marketing responsibilities I had way back at AstraZeneca. There was a planning season, there were sales meetings to prepare for, there were windows to develop new content. It was all scripted out and you knew exactly when to start things and when to finish them.
Well, that’s all changed for me now. There isn’t an end. There’s not really even a well-defined beginning. First off, since the company is fairly new (at least with its present focus) and there aren’t 10,000 people working here (or even 100), there are no giant manuals and complicated Gantt charts telling you exactly how and when to do things. You define the rules for yourself including what exactly needs to be done.
That’s not for everyone, but I personally love that and it was a big reason why I made this move.
In addition, when you’re creating something that hasn’t been done before and for which there appear to be an infinite number of paths to follow (with few correct paths), you’re constantly updating your plan and always looking for the next area to focus. You always are looking for reasons to make adjustments (either tiny ones or giant ones).
Basically, you never know when you’re done.
I suppose you’d know you were done when your product offering was perfect and when there was no logical way to enhance it. When you reach this point, you probably quickly find out that you’re out of business thanks to your complacency. In my new world, there’s no room for that. A bigger company might be able to absorb it, but not when you’re one of the littler guys. If you don’t do it, there might not be someone else around to pick up the slack.
So, I find that I’m always searching. Always thinking about what I’m missing. Always researching for an opportunity. Always checking for something I’ve missed. Always prodding for the soft spots in the plan. Always investigating what could be better.
It’s a series of check marks next to tasks on an always-growing to-do list.
And I’ve found out that this is what I really love about this place.
PS: this is as good a place as any to let you know that our company is looking for some great UX people along with equally awesome developers (both junior and senior). And we also need some superstar web designers. If you’re interested or know someone who might be, send me a note to jointheteam [@] zipscene.com. We’d love to have you.
About the Author: