Tag: company

Geek Pride

geek pride day

25th May is Geek Pride Day and much of our business at weheartdigital is dependent on geeks to get it right #geekprideday! As a digital agency we come across a wide range of projects in many different subject matters and lots of diverse industries.  In a usual day we can be discussing fishing, automotive, social networks, podcasting, sport, video streaming and more.  The context switching requires an agile brain and also makes one rather good at pub quizzes.

 

So often though, we are introduced to a business which is a Start-Up or an SME with a product already in existence. Usually they talk to us (especially in the latter case) because they need help with their digital baby as production is not going according to plan. We like to help by solving issues, hitting milestones and making things beautiful.

 

Let’s Think about a Shiny Lean Startup…

Someone has a great idea – to sell something, fix an issue in the world, create a network, improve a widget and disrupt the normal way of doing things.  If they are talking to us, it’s digital, it’s online, it’s an app, or a mixture of all these things.  This is all wonderful; ideas are great, “we will be the next Gates, Zuckerberg or Jobs in 5 years”, we are told.  Business plans, EBITDA spreadsheets, a Lean canvas – all wonderful stuff – has been written and presented.

 

Then less wonderful stuff starts appearing – “We definitely want it built in an HP and have something with a Red Hat.  And it needs to have WTFAITA system with TWAIN and IPv6 not 4.  We don’t want it in WordPress, we have heard that’s rubbish* and not .NET, we hear it’s more expensive**.  Custom, bespoke out of the box solutions – I hear that’s the way forward.  And HTML6 isn’t it and needs to be repulsive? Its needs to work on all things, including pagers, Post-It notes and my mate Jim’s carphone.”

 

Ok, slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

 

The point is, you wouldn’t go to a vet to get your ingrown toenail removed, or ask a car mechanic to fix The Shuttle.  weheartdigital are here to advise you on the best technical solution to meet your needs. Our team has years of experience, degree level educations in Computer Science and a wealth of projects successfully delivered #geekprideday.

 

* Approx. 1/3 of ecommerce online uses WordPress and Woo

 

** no it isn’t, honest

 

…and the Not So Lean Start-Up

Here are the businesses who have launched, have a digital presence, have a digital agency looking after them and have a great big tick in the box – well done, hurrah, nice work.  You are out there.

 

But then things can change and your existing digital agency is perhaps no longer meeting your needs. You have grown and changed.  You have staff, you have P&L, hopefully some investors, definitely an accountant and  you want an Rest API, you want an App, you want Google to find you.  You are wiser and start to question your partner agency, why they can’t deliver what you need when you need it?

 

You are also becoming very digital indeed, you are growing a network of digital people, you meet new suppliers.  All great stuff.  Then you decide it’s time to change supplier – you have found a new, fresh company who will make it amazing, and costs will be slashed, and they still wear jeans to work and go out on a Friday.

 

You ask your original partner for the code base, it’s your product after all, you paid a 6 figure sum to get them to build it.

 

‘Nope’ is the reply.

 

‘Please’ you say.

 

“Read the contract you signed 5 years ago, section 6a part 2 paragraph 3” you are told.

 

It’s there, in black and white.  They own the codebase.  You have no right to modify it, and have no access to the source. You own a big fat nothing. To go somewhere else, you need to rebuild it from scratch.

 

Top Tips when working with a digital supplier.

  • Don’t decide on technology –  focus on the user experience and success criteria.  A decent supplier will recommend the best tech for the job.
  • Get estimates from a few people to get a balance of the costs with an indication of budgets.  These are variable, and sites can be made in many, many ways.
  • Do not sign anything that means you do not own your IP (it might be a good idea to go and check your contract right now).
  • Make sure you have a written statement saying the code is yours and when it gets handed over.
  • Keep the code safe, in the cloud, locally, and on memory sticks.
  • Understand what existing products are part of your solution which aren’t your own.
  • Check under what conditions your partner can withhold the codebase.
  • Check your hosting costs are competitive for the traffic you’re generating.
  • Make sure analytics are part of the build – if you can’t measure it then it’s pointless.
  • Don’t accept that it can’t be done, it can, but also accept there are costs involved and nothing really takes 2 minutes.

Are we more efficient?

When we are adding more and more software into our lives, or reading more of the ‘latest’ techniques for working efficiently, it’s like a minefield (or mindfield) of information.

The latest one on mashable is a 17 minute break every 52 minutes.

And there is the Pomodoro technique.

And there is going for a run in the morning/lunchtime/afternoon.

Eating more spinach I guess could work.

Less time on social media sites.

More time on social media sites.

No coffee in the afternoon

Herbal tea.

Check emails twice a day.

In fact, there are more methods to being more efficient than time in the day to be efficient.

 

But we are all sooooo very different – so at weheartdigital we have a different approach.

When you’re in the mood, and you’re feeling like it is good, and not a ball ache, get on with it. When you’re not in the mood, or you can’t see straight, don’t bother, as you’ll possibly not do it amazingly anyway. If you’re in the mood, but your mind is wandering onto other things (Facebook, Breaking Bad, Children, Cake…) then go do other things.

We don’t care as long as we all know whats what and trust we will get things done in good time anyway.

But, I guess to mention technology somewhere, it’s back to that old ‘dawning of a new era’ bit I rambled on about a couple of posts ago. Smartphones, tables, phablets, Google Glass, cars that talk/drive/read SMS and email, The Y generation, always connected, Internet of Things, etc is brand spanking new still.

And we don’t get it.

We think we get it, I certainly tell people I get it, but its about as got as the paperless office.

Will google introduce scheduled email receiving, will there be a law against sending work emails outside work time (I think there is in France isn’t there?), will it be socially unacceptable to read emails when out and about?

Maybe this is where the wearable watch I have could shine? Maybe, just maybe, instead of it being a dumb little thing that shows me whats on my phone, it could be set to say things like, ‘don’t worry, nothing important to read that will save lives’. The auto readers of email we all know are there could tell the smart watch “Quick Quick, buzz like a Rabbit its all gone pear shaped’ – except those marked as ‘high priority’, ‘urgent’, ‘please read’, ‘important’, ‘read now’ as these are from people who don’t get it.

So there is a challenge toddler word of wearables – make them properly smart and not cool little dumb terminals…

weheartdigital – It’s been a long road

So, 7 years since the first thought of weheartdigital was born. 7 whole years….

7 years is a lifetime in the digital world, and lots has gone on.

WordPress is now a proper CMS platform.
People wear tech now
Average internet speed has quadrupled from 3.6MBit/s to 12MBit/s
Tablets are no longer for eating but for swiping
Responsive Design is now the norm (people used to think I was taking the p*ss when I mentioned it a few years ago)
App and Play stores are now in existence
Video streaming is normal (but still amazing I reckon)
Lots of other stuff but lists get boring!
What else do you think technically has been massive changes in 7 years?
As for weheartdigital? Starting out I look back and think how green I was as a first time self employed person. It’s a walk into the unknown, not just for projects, but for all the other stuff that goes around running a SME. Now, with real staff who are all great, over 50 different clients in many many different businesses, 600+ invoices raised, stakes in other companies, investments – it’s all very very exciting.

Hopefully the next 7 years will be as much fun!

So, from weheartdigital, thanks to all the customers, thanks to all the staff and contractors who make it happen, and thanks to my family for putting up with it!

Big hugs all round

Andy x

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