Primate – Walking the Tightrope Between Mediocrity and Bankruptcy #fronteers15

  • Create a company that is not a web dev dactories
  • Challenge: How to do creative work and still get paid.
  • Clients & 💩
    • Getting work: If you don’t have clients, there’s no business.
    • You need to find good clients.
    • Really challenging. How to find good clients?
    • You need to balance two things:
      • Build relationships
      • Tedious pitching
    • Love all(most) all clients, fired one client – this is tough
    • You have certain views of how your clients should be.
    • But sometimes you wake up and the client is not as easy to work with as you imagine.
    • Pitching is fun, but the idea is crazy.
    • You have to stand in front of someone and present your work, often unpaid.
    • You need to balance the time.
    • You don’t want to be under or over prepared.
    • Example: Pitched for hotel chain in brussels, had good feeling, well prepared. Budget 130.000€
      • About 6 or 7 other agencies did also pitch, didn’t win. Client went with a agency they have had a personal connection with.
    • Best client that just wanted to have a talk about the project approach.
    • Only payed once for a pitch.
    • Project management
    • Working in agile way: not directly building the car, but building a bike first and then a motorcycle
    • People don’t read specs, don’t do too much of them.
    • Agile is tricky.
    • Bad experience, clients don’t understand what the concept of agile is.
    • Clients often do not prioritize their features properly.
    • They use sprintr + basecamp together with transparency and communication. Do more work and less management.
    • Be honest.
  • Design & 💩
    • Design is about communicating an idea, the user journey.
    • Not talking about implementation.
    • Design should be brief but an idea needs to be conveyed.
    • Struggle with “content” and “best practice”
    • Content
      • Really, really important
      • Designers and content creators working together in print to deliver a proper design for the content.
      • Nowadays templates are designed without knowing what the actual content is, the content is added later.
      • This idea of designing distracts from what the developer should actually think about.
    • Atomic design is the idea to start with the small things. But that is just design assets, there is no real creativity in there.
    • Of course having a designer for every article is too expensive for most projects.
    • Content needs to play a central role in the design.
    • Avoid the handshake of death.
    • Copywriting can make it better: “We don’t do secret handshakes”
    • This is missing from online at the moment.
    • Copy text can be very simple and dull, for example Synergy. An image of a bee and a flower could help to enforce the message.
    • Sometimes things are like rules – Don’t define line-height in pixels, don’t do this and that.
    • But some times you need to do that stuff anyway, it depends on your context.
    • For example the smartphone is like a huge carousel.
    • F**k the rules. Responsibly.
    • If you think something is best for the audience, do it.
    • Create for content.
  • Development & 💩
    • Design – Developing relationship “interesting”.
    • We need to deliver projects in time and budget and – like architects – need to work in the boundaries of what is necessary.
    • Client’s don‘t care about a certain frontend tech.
    • With technology, you have to move fast to keep up with the quick evolving technology.
    • Massive explosion of new tools in the last year.
    • To survive in an ever-changing environment you have to move faster than everyone else.
    • Developers have to think and understand everything: designers, the business and clients.
    • Balancing between being “Jack of all trades” and being “the master of one”
    • Tech is disposable after a few years. Have the courage to dump things that don’t work anymore.
    • Everyone fails at something.
    • Embrace progress
  • Stakes are getting higher, projects get bigger.
  • What’s the point to keep that balance.
  • The journey is more important than the destination.
  • Aim: To have not a factory but a family.
  • Work affects our families and the other way around. So a good work environment is really needed to be happy.