Well…maybe perfect is the wrong word. How ‘bout damn near close to perfect as you can possibly get when dealing with human beings? Cause that’s what I’ve been fortunate enough to do.
A few years ago, I reconnected with a graphic designer I liked but had never worked with before. We did some projects together and found that our work styles were very simpatico. She brought me in on a few website jobs with a developer she worked with. The two had done a number of websites together that were really terrific. Soon, we fell into a sort of easy threesome – in a good way.
We started pitching jobs together. Steve, the developer who could find a solution to just about anything web-related. Iris, the graphic designer with years of print experience, who’d easily moved over to the Internet. And me, the copywriter and strategist. It was an easy collaboration. So we did more and more projects, subcontracting one another for each job.
It was probably only natural that, at some point, we’d realize it made more sense to work collaboratively rather than as solopreneurs pitching gigs together. Oddly enough, it was right about the time I announced that I was cutting back on work. I envisioned a part-timey situation where I’d carry a reasonable workload…twenty hours a week sounded good to me…..and have enough free time to do all the things I’d been putting off for years.
One day, my teammates and I were conferencing to brainstorm a proposal we were working on. One of us suggested it would really make a lot of sense if we just formalized our working relationship and started a company. Wouldn’t be very tough. Between us, we had the marketing skills and experience to launch quickly. Website in a week? It could happen.
Sure enough, twenty minutes later, we had a name, three domains (just in case we needed them down the road) and were about to pitch our first proposal as a newly formed company.
Fast forward six months. We’re still working happily together. Each of us brings something different to the table in terms of background. But we all share similar values, work styles and goals. And we absolutely agree on how a website should work.
We’re not “yes” people. If we don’t agree with something, we’re very verbal. We also take criticism from one another easily. It’s ok if we’re not right all the time. As long as the end result is one we’re proud to deliver. This makes our working relationship comfortable, stimulating and fun.
Steve is the mastermind developer. He continues to amaze me with his ability to figure out how to do anything we throw at him. Iris is a wonderful designer who designs with a marketing mindset. Yes, the designs should look fabulous. But beautiful design is meaningless if it doesn’t reflect the brand and support the sales effort. I’m focused on positioning and writing copy. I didn’t exactly cut back a whole lot on work, but I’m doing what I really love….and now work is fun again.
After thirty-two years of being a solopreneur, I’ve found that I missed the brainstorming, problem solving, creative sharing and camaraderie of working with people I like and respect. I think our What A Great Website team is about as good as it gets.