: The Talking Moose tells some more truth: “when you run a business by the spreadsheet, you deserve all the hell that you get.” A lot of interesting stuff about content, the place of content developers (aka writers and people like that) and the web.
tea-leaf reader when it comes down to predicting/analyzing Microsoft’s moves, but it strikes me that their recent announcements are doing two things: one, they’re catalyzing the “anti-MS” developer communities to the extent that maybe, just maybe, real alternatives will result, real interop up and down the business. Two, though, they’re very brashly going for lock-in like never before, seemingly trying to make the world in their own image.
Of course those two propositions are related. But it’s interesting that by (arguably) going further even than they were found guilty of last year, they may be helping to sow the seeds for that decision to be blown away – with the introduction of real competition. Or at least not to be the cause of complaint in the future.
pretty big decisions – one involving starting up a consulting company with some colleagues, one involving moving to the other side of the table, figuratively speaking.
The latter brings up lots of questions though. People (designers, web developers) always complain about how clueless clients are. What if the client isn’t clueless? What if your client knows exactly what can and can’t be done, what the best approach would be, how much it should cost? What if you client has a long background in web design, web coding, content development for the web, and the like? What if I suggest that the code be done to (say) W3C standards – or at least pay attention to the current developments on that side of things?
Does that still look like a client you want to work for? Or is that still a nightmare client? I’d let you do your thing – but cut a corner, and I’ll see it. I’ll look at the code and expect it to be professionally done. Still a good client?
A fear I have is that although clueless clients are a horror, so might clued-in clients be to many web designers and web developers. Can you deal with someone who knows his stuff?
the government subsidy file as well. The Montreal Gazette reported today about E-Commerce grumblings, which is about how unhappy developers are at a plan to develop “E-Commerce Place” and give subsidies to businesses that locate there (there’s a Tilden car rental place in the location now, right around the corner from the Molson Center). Thing is that the business that are currently succeeding here are doing so in spite of gov’t intervention, not because of it. Plus, we already have the Cit du Multimedia.
starting to be apparent coming out of some of the spectacular dot-com failures? Soundbitten’s article on the failure of Verde and the possible contribution Scient made to the failure is instructive. Verde was trying to be a web-only content site, with e-comm built in at the ground level. OK, fine. But they outsourced the very lifeblood of the company – the platform on/in which it was to live!
Maybe it’s just me, and my biases (the company I work for does its own design, programming, editorial, hosting – everything) but I think that if you’re going to live on the web, you have to develop for the web in-house. That’s the real challenge for marketing and sales types with an idea – to figure out how to work with developers – and developers who themselves are radically different from one another (i.e., programmers and designers are different from one another in dozens of ways, in general). But if you’re a retail bookseller, you don’t farm out your retail sales staff to a consultancy – that’s what you’re about, to a great extent.
There may be a place for consultants in all of this, don’t get me wrong. But if you’re a net company, you have to have to develop your own internet infrastructure – you can’t get around it. Doesn’t mean you can’t purchase products that will help you do this – a company doesn’t have to invent everything from the ground up.
Maybe the real lesson is that new dot-coms try to separate back end from front end too much. It isn’t enough to be good marketers, writers, strategists. To split form (content or marketing) from function (CMS, design, UI) is to tie one hand behind your back as you try to get a dot-com off the ground.