At its heart, front-end design and development is still about putting boxes inside other boxes on a web page.
Granted, the tools, the techniques, and the processes have become more complex compared to even five years ago. That’s part of the territory.
What we do with those boxes has gotten more complicated, but web development is still in its adolescence.
Hell, we just started designing for smartphones five years ago. Double check the date on this seminal article on responsive web design — it’s only from 2010.
That’s not what this post is about, though.
What terrifies me is the idea that there’s a stagnation ’s going on in my own imagination. I get frightened when I think I’ve stopped dreaming of what is possible on the web.
Maybe you’ve felt it yourself. Maybe you’ve forgotten what it felt like the first time you started to understand how to build something on the web.
I can’t speak for anyone else but myself. I don’t live in your skin, or share your exact experiences. But here’s my tale.
Cash flow is like oxygen for businesses.
Without cash flow, a business will asphyxiate.
The ability to consistently turn a profit means survival.
Businesses that are in the danger zone — right on the line between financial comfort and anxiety, often turn to cutting costs.
I agree that cutting costs is a good idea, but by itself, isn’t enough. Over-reliance on cost-cutting may be a sign of a scarcity mindset. This is an irrational fear that states “This is all we are going to ever have, so we better make it stretch.”
Like I said, saving money is important, but your main focus should always be on growing sales and pushing the top-line revenue up.
It’s a fact that your brand is what other people say about you, not what you say about yourself.
Sure, there are different micro-aspects to what comprises your capital-B BRAND. Pretty much every touch point that people have with your company or you is part of that.
But at the highest level, your brand is about deciding what you stand for, and how authentically your actions reflect that.
To have a brand, you have to have defined values that guide your decisions. You have to choose a path and walk in it.
Establishing a brand means having a unique point of view, and not being scared to be guided by it.
Whenever starting a new relationship in our personal lives, we don’t jump in with both feet.
There is a feeling-out process, where we learn more about the other person, and decide whether we like them or not.
Of course, the other person is doing the same thing.
Working relationships are a lot like our friendships and relationships outside of work.
It takes time to cultivate them. We have to see if we have good chemistry together. We have to establish trust in each other before we move on to investing more of ourselves.
Why is it then, that so many web projects start with a large-scale project, with no prelude to the relationship?
Instead of wading in the shallow end of the pool and then moving over to the deep end, both parties jump into the deep water without knowing if the other one can swim?
Instead of going on a date, and then going steady, getting engaged and finally getting married, why do we jump right into getting hitched after a week of meeting each other?
When starting a new working relationship with a web partner, both sides should start things off mellow, with a smaller project, before moving to a large project.
This gives both parties time to get to know each other, see how they work together, and see if they are a good fit for each other as long-term allies.
If you’re a business that has committed to content strategy, and jumped in with both feet, you may worry about competitors plagiarizing your material.
While it’s easy for anyone to simply copy and paste your blog posts or marketing materials and repost it as theirs, plagiarism is something I don’t worry about for a second.
The only reason I’m thinking about it now is I’ve seen five or six different articles by other web professionals this year on the same subject.
The main reason I could care less if someone plagiarizes my words and pretends they are their own?
Anyone can steal your words, but they can never steal the essence of who you are and how you do business.
They can take your words, but they can’t take your brand equity.