I’m working on various projects and came across some GREAT reading for entrepreurs. I don’t agree with all of it, but this is really a great list of stuff to read if you have (or want) a web-based business:
For over 20 years I’ve been intrigued by the story of Dr. William Beaumont. I heard this story when I was in middle school and I’m sure I was on the edge of my seat when I watched the movie in class. I think this was the beginning of my awe of the discovery of modern medicine… how did we figure this stuff out?
So I don’t spend another 20 years trying to remember the name or details, here are two resources:
The wikipedia page of William Beaumont (aka, the Father of Gastric Physiology)
A two minute video with the story in a nutshell (this is the best I could find):
Pretty cool story, huh?
We started developing JibberJobber in March of 2006.
That wasn’t too long ago, but a LOT has changed in the world of the internet since then. Our first design (UI/UX) was fine, although we had a list a mile long of improvements and enhancements. We focused a lot more on processes and features than on making it look pretty.
Later, I got a message from someone that said the design was outdated (read: not keeping up with popular websites), and although he liked the functionality, he couldn’t “trust” us with his credit card for an upgrade because the design didn’t instill trust.
Isn’t that interesting?
So, we began to look much more seriously at the UI with the idea that we wanted people to TRUST us. They needed to feel confident that we were still around, and still making improvements. Changes (and keeping up) with UI would, I guess, help that.
In 2012 we did a big new redesign (I blogged about it here). Within days someone completely new to JibberJobber wrote and complained that the design looked too old, perhaps something from the 1990s.
You seriously can’t please everyone.
I’ve had graphics artists and layout people sign up, while in job search, and within 20 minutes delete their account saying they didn’t like the design. I hated that. I wished they would have said “man! Change this! Change the color! Change something!” instead of just “don’t like UI.” I know, I know, it’s not their responsibility to say what to do, but if one of them emailed and said:
“I love the tool, but the design could use a lot of work. I have a lot of suggestions… here are five of them. Feel free to incorporate those, and if you are interested in a consultation, let me know. I do this professionally and would love to help JibberJobber’s look match it’s awesome functionality.”
See what I did there? First, the person didn’t whine and stomp off like a little kid who didn’t get what they wanted, second, they offered specific solutions, and third, let me know that they were bought in and wanted to be a part of the team (even if just a contractor).
I would have absolutely had that conversation, and would have most likely hired them for the next step, to see if they could really walk the talk.
But I got never got that email. Not once.
Design is hard. I feel like we’ve been focusing on it a lot this year, and it’s frustrating to watch other sites with design crews go crazy and essentially define what great design is supposed to look like. But this article by Greg Story really helped ease that frustration: And They All Look Just the Same. At the very end he says ” It does nobody any good to have a web that all looks the same. Be mindful of the user’s needs and business requirements, but for the sake of success, go a different route. ” Read the whole article, it is excellent.
I’m not saying we don’t want to have a better visual experience. We do, and are working on it, and will continue to work on it. But I don’t think I’m going to fret about not keeping up with Twitter’s, LinkedIn’s and Facebook’s UI, when really what my best users and customers need and want is better UX – the experience, the functionality, the tools, the reports, etc. Yes, UI will be a part of that, and we’re aware of doing better there, but no longer can I waste time worrying about “keeping up.”
What do you think?
A buddy, Steve Duncan, has some cool blogs. Here’s a post I came upon that I want to keep. Is there a book in your blog? Convert WordPress to Scrivener
I’ve not wanted to create a “book” out of my blogs (especially the JibberJobber blog) for a few reasons.
One blogger said that blogs make horrible books, and I think I agree. To connect my blog posts together into something that flows, and the value grows as you read each page, would take a lot of work. As a blogger I write what I want when I want, I don’t follow a schedule and plan throughout a year or month. I might have a week-long series, but that’s as sophisticated as I get as far as flow.
Almost seven years later, though, I think it makes sense to pull certain posts out to create several books. Seven years of writing is A LOT!
I could have a book on personal branding.
I could have a book on job search technology and very specific tips.
I could have a book on career management.
I could have a book on LinkedIn. Oh wait, I already have that :p
I could write a book on alternative revenue streams. Oh yeah, already working on that.
Perhaps I could pull enough posts together (and fill in the blanks) to write a book on small business, and the ups and downs.
Interesting. I really have put this off for a long time but when I saw Steve’s post it made me think maybe it’s time. One reason is because I have a feeling I need some new “products” that I can either move/sell OR just get some buzz around.
I’ll have to noodle on this idea… in my “spare time.” :p
Here’s what I have open… good stuff! I am posting this hear so I can come back to it later, but I want to close the tabs in my browser :p
How Klout got Klout.com (the domain name). Fun story of an entrepreneur who really wanted the domain name…
Facebook’s Zuckerberg: If I Were Starting A Company Now, I Would Have Stayed In Boston. I love this for a few reasons. First, I hate how everyone in IT/web thinks they have to move to Silicon Valley in order to have a successful business/company. Second, I hated the Facebook movie. It was dark. It was shady. It wanted to make me distrust all-things-business. I know they haven’t done everything perfect, but where was the playbook? Seriously. The stuff in this post makes Mark seem so more real and down to earth and genuine than the movie did. And the quote at the end? KILLER:
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”