Archive for the ‘factor1’ Category
Every day I see or hear companies touting they are design rockstars, or only hire WordPress ninjas. Can we stop with that as a work culture in general. I know I for one do not want to hire a rockstar accountant, or a plumbing ninja. It’s just not the kind of people I like to do business with.
Think about it with me.
When you think rockstar, do you think of dependable, in the office before 8am, quick to follow up, and someone who is eager to solve your problems? I know I don’t. I’m sure there are some really great rockstars out there that are super nice stable people, but that’s not my first expectation by any means.
What about ninjas? They are often well trained with years of experience, so far so good. But next thing you know they are stealthy, rarely seen or heard from. Not what I want from my web designer or developer thats for sure.
So maybe we just don’t have catchy names? Maybe we just embrace honesty and humility. Factor1 is a staff of real people, no ninjas, rockstars, or vikings (what, that’s not a thing?). We have our strengths and weaknesses like you. We enjoy being creative, building solutions and pop-tarts. Sometimes we get distracted by shiny things or ramble on a little too long about our weekend. At the end of the day we care. We want what’s best for the client.
I’m not sure about you, but I’ll take that any day over a rockstar or ninja.
If feels like just yesterday I convinced my very supportive wife I should quit a well paying easy job to start something new. Feels like yesterday, but it was actually 10 years ago. Oh I should also mention what a leap of faith factor1 was. At the time she had been laid off from a downsizing retailer and was not having a ton of luck with finding a new job, and we had little saved being so young. Yeah, we were that crazy.
The last 10 years have been amazing. We have grown a lot, both in size, great clients, partnerships, knowledge and experience. We have had a many of our current clients almost as long as we have been a company, and that’s saying something I think.
We stayed small, nimble, bold, courageous. We know the more people on the elevator the more work it takes to go up, so we kept our staff to a handful. We embraced the slow cooker model, and have grown slowly year after year by word of mouth from great relationships and hard work. I am super thankful we haven’t lost any of these traits that made us who we are. I am also very proud of the work we get to produce here, and the work our employees produce on a daily basis.
I want to say thanks. Thanks to all our awesome friends, clients, partners, staff — past and and present. So much of where we have been and where we are going is because of our relationships with you and I thank you.
So what does the future hold? Not sure to be perfectly honest. We are going to keep doing many of the same things. The technology may change, the tools will get updates. We all know adobe acrobat will update 3x a week. But we are going to keep doing the best work we possibly can. We are going to ask the hard questions, provide bold strategies that push our clients and ourselves. We are going to keep the pace that finishes the long race with passion and character.
The Blockbuster on the busy corner near my house just closed. As my kids and I rifled through their used videos I was struck by the how high the slashed prices seemed and by how little I am willing to pay to own a DVD these days, let alone rent one. (In fact, I don’t want the DVDs taking up any space in my house… a whole different topic.) Certainly we all know that Netflix, OnDemand and Redbox have dramatically changed the movie watching landscape. But, the most fascinating question to me is how did Blockbuster, the once undisputed heavy weight champion of DVDs, get so far behind the progress curve?
So many analogies and principles can be built off of this observation, but ask yourself this simple question, could this happen to you in your own industry? Are you so busy doing the work of selling DVDs through a corner retail store that you don’t take the time to look up and look out into the future to develop the next, new, more inventive line of business? And will this lack of attention to the future (which could really just be a few weeks away) end up being the obvious blind spot that knocks you out of the competitive business and into the new dinosaur age.
Matt and I ask ourselves this question often when we think about Factor1Studios. What does the future hold for us in business? What does the web look like as it continues to evolve? What trends are momentary fads and what changes are permanent, representing the new way things will work? And most importantly, what current and future realities most impact our clients when it comes to communicating with your markets about your organization or business? Seeing the future isn’t a magic trick or a hoax, it’s a necessary skill if you plan to move beyond survival.
This has been in the works for a while now. We went all wordpress, all html5 with it. Its also super mobile friendly. Try it now! Go ahead, drag the lower right tab of your browser and make your screen smaller. All the content re-wraps with ease and grace. Ipad, android tablet, iphone, blackberry, windows mobile phone (yes, we even care about the 5 people that own one of those), etc, it all fits.
Working out some bugs, adding in some new portfolio projects, etc. We are focusing on some of our best work, so it will be a small portfolio. 9 – 15 projects. We have a full client list for our added credibility.
So we’ll be adding more stuff to the site over the next few days and weeks. Sit tight and enjoy the new site.
Wow, we have been crazy busy. Our last blog post was in december 2010. Lots going on around here at factor1. Very exciting start to the year. Thought I should share some tid bits so you know we are still alive.
What have we been up to you ask?
First, lots of site launches. Like tcsdelivers.net, discoverrevo.com, calvaryhartford.com,NoahMunck.com, TheHPchurch.com, Newhopedurango.com, HopeFarminc.com, sisterssosevents.com, blog.azpolicy.org, stonepointchurch.com and more we cant talk about here (stuff for agencies). I’m pretty sure we have actually launched almost 20 sites so far this year.
We also moved offices a few weeks ago. Our lease was up on our last place and we wanted to be in a different part of town. This is very nice space for us. Quiet, professional, comfortable, and easier to find. And more room for bike parking.
Some huge site launches. I’m talking massive projects(crazy custom wordpress driven, html5, ipad specific stuff) that we are super excited about. More in a few weeks. Also, be on the look out for a new factor1 site coming soon. The code is written, the content is being fine tuned, and we are adding in portfolio pieces. Maybe in may you will see the fruits of our labor. Inside geek info: its all HTML5, CSS3, WordPress powered, scalable from big screens to iphones, and crazy fancy in the code. We are pretty excited.
Now, back to work!
yes, today is Shannon Noack’s birthday. If you have worked with Shannon on any of your projects, you need to wish her a happy birthday!
or I think she said she wants this classic shirt from veer.
I draw pictures all day
Also noteworthy today, Shannon has been on staff with Factor1 for 2 years now. She has put up with all kinds of projects, shenanigans and sometimes chaos for 2 years. That deserves some sort of merit badge!
Factor1’s own Matt Adams was awarded the “Marketing Superhero of the Year” award from the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce at their Annual awards dinner, on January 14th.
This Award is to recognize all of Matt’s volunteer work and role on the Chamber’s marketing committee.
Sure many of you think Veterans day is a fluff holiday for banks and government. We take the day off here at Factor1. Want to know why?
- We are thankful to the men and women who fight for our rights.
- While no one on staff here at Factor1 has served directly, we all have friends and family that have.
- Our great military doesn’t fight to keep America free so we can overwork ourselves.
- We enjoy taking a few extra holidays here at factor1. Not because we dont have better things to do, but because we value family time, and feel that because we live in such a great free country, we should enjoy our freedoms, just at home. So we take more holidays than the normal company, and I think we are healthier because of it.
So go home, and celebrate Veterans day with your friends and family. Thank a vet, and enjoy your day!
So last month we launched the all new factor1 website. Over the last few weeks we have heard tons of praise, comments and questions about the site. I want to share some background to it. Not because I think we are cooler than sliced bread, but because I feel like we did things different, in a good way.
There have been 5 or 6 (maybe more) versions of the factor 1 site. Each design was often born out of boredom, disgust, or some need that wasnt being met. And to be honest, most lacked in creativity.
In the past, our methodology was pretty simple. We wanted a clean corporate feeling site, that would appeal to a business owner, non-profit director, church pastor, my mother, your mother, and the dog. We would often use safe images, typical content, and basically end up with something predictably average. Which is terrible considering we expect more input from our clients on their projects. What hypocrites we where right?
Onto the new site
So we threw it all out, and found some core things to stand by. here they are.
- We are fun. I, Matt, am a goofball. We love having fun, laughing and enjoy each others company here at factor1. Our site needed to reflect that.
- We are not corporate. Jeans, Flip flops, and helmet hair are the norm for me. I rarely wear slacks. I only wear ties to funerals. Not even weddings (ask Shannon, I didn’t wear one to her’s either, but I did have on a suit). So corporate gibberish text was not us.
- We are simple. No, not simple in thinking, just simple in a less is more, be clear, say what you mean kind of way. Again, our past sites had tons of content that said nothing but corporate speak.
- We are easy. No not that way, get your mind out of the gutter. We are easy in the sense that we dont want to over complicate things. Sure some contracts and proposals get long. At the end of the day, we wanted our users to find our site easy to use, read, and find what they need.
- We are passionate about what we do here. One of the big reasons factor1 exists, is because we deeply care and love what we do. So passion, excitement, and love needed to show on our site.
- While we would love to appeal to everyone, its just not possible. And the truth is that if we have to stretch to appeal to someone, it may be a hard relationship to maintain. So we want to make sure our site attracts people who want to work with a firm like us. If they dont, they dont. Good luck to them.
So our site was born. We went from 30+ pages, to 12. clean, clear and easy to use. And best of all, its way fun. To be 100% honest, this is the first site of our own that I have truly loved. Sad that it took 7 revisions over many years, but i think it took that long to work through the junk.
How can this help you?
- Find who you really are. Sure goals and projecting who you want you customers to see is a valid point, but dont loose site of who you REALLY are.
- Break things down to small chunks. Simple goals and bite sized pieces
- Pick your priorities.
- Let things simmer. Sometimes good ideas need to cook longer before they are ready.
- Break the mold. Just because its the norm, doesnt mean its for you.
I’d love to continue this conversation. I think this is a growth and exploring yourself kind of exercise, that needs to be revisited often.
There are a lot of things going on around here, I thought maybe I would share.
1. Shannon (our rockstar resident web designer) is getting married tomorrow.
Congratulations Shannon & Spencer!
2. Ryan (business development partner & marketing guru) and his family will be moving to Seattle at the end of May to pursue starting a church. Ryan will still remain a partner here at factor 1, and be working with internal and client projects the same as he does now. But now we can say we have offices in Phoenix & Seattle. Should be a very cool experience for all of us.
3. I (matt, creative director, IT guy, janitor, & former head designer) and my wife Stephanie (factor 1 accounting gal) are adopting twin baby boys from Ethiopia. We should be home with 6 month old Noah & Ezra in early June.
Thats the big news around here. What’s new with you guys, our faithful readers?
Just a quick post to get the word out. We are hiring for a part time web designer / intern. So GO!, tell your friends, family, pet rock, people you don’t even know.
We are super excited to announce our new site is finally done.
Shannon, Ryan and I have been working on it a lot. It has been a great process, to re-think the typical design firm site. We found a lot of our clients didnt like sites that were all about the company, and less about the clients or products.
So in an effort to better reach the people we deeply care about, we had to start over.
Go check it out. We think it’s pretty special. Feel free to let us know any comments or questions you have. I am more than open to hearing them.
And now my wife can stop harrasing me about the coming soon banner I put up too long ago. (backstory, I normally make fun of companies who put coming soon banners up, then take two years. So I placed the coming soon banner up as a reminder to myself that if the site didn’t go live quick, I would be a hypocrite. I guess 5 months = hypocrite)
Hello! I’m Shannon, a web designer with Factor 1. I started here in March of this year and I can’t believe it’s already been 8, going on 9 months! Some of you may already know me from creative calls, emails and a few mentions here on the blog. I do a lot of the creative stuff, brainstorming for new projects, designing websites, coding websites, creating logos etc. Here’s a list of some random facts about me:
• I’m 24 and will be 25 in a few months.
• I was raised in North Phoenix and although the winters here are pretty nice (no getting snowed in here!) I could definitely do without our 110 degree days in the summer.
• I’m engaged and am getting married to a wonderful guy named Spencer in April!
• I graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 2006 with a BS in Visual Communication.
• I love to cook (and eat!) and am constantly finding new recipes to try.
• I have a 10 month old monster puppy named Mika, a red heeler that has fully discovered the “chewing phase” we only hope it passes soon..
• I enjoy most anything outdoors, camping, hiking, rock climbing, biking.
• I spent a few summers in college teaching kids how to rock climb at an affluent summer camp in upstate New York.
• I love to travel and spent 3 months studying abroad in Italy during college.
That’s it for now, look for more creative and design-related posts soon!
Lately some of you may have noticed a few articles on the blog that “didn’t seem like Matt”. Well, that’s cause they weren’t from Matt. To protect Matt’s reputation from being altered (he is such a great guy) I thought I would take just one post to introduce myself.
Factor 1 Context: Matt & I have been friends for a few years now. We started collaborating on creative projects together while he was still at his first place of employment and while I was a pastor in a local church. Those early years helped us refine some of the products we deliver today. Matt, as many of you know, is a pretty uber creative dude. Together we decided last year to officially join forces as “Partners”; we’re pretty pumped about what the future holds for Factor1.
Personal Vital Data: Married w/ 3 awesome boys (www.Russell5.com) – I am older than Matt by almost a decade; I am younger inside than I look on the outside – passionate about Mtn. Biking – excited to get up each morning and make a difference with my life – need to begin each day with a Starbucks coffee fix (Venti Pike’s w/ room for 1/2 & 1/2 + 3 raw sugars just in case any of you should need to order if for me)
Professional Skills: – VARIED – for Factor1 I bring business & creative development skills to the table. Most of my practical skills as they relate to our clients are in Marketing; helping you reach your audience & customer w/ a high degree of impact.
I hope this helps you get a flavor of the ‘other guy’ at Factor 1. While there are times when Matt & I vary in our styles & approaches to challenges put in front of us you can know 2 things for sure:
1. our partnership is rock solid w/ the unified goals
2. we aim to deliver creative, original, excellent & high impact products for every one of our clients
We work very hard in our local community with both non profits, for profits, and even a lot of work for our chamber. The Chamber of Commerce is holding the annual awards banquet, and we think we deserve to be on the ballot.
If you honestly think we meet the criteria, will you nominate us? Anyone can nominate a local business, but only local business can vote. So even if you are not local to maricopa, you could help us get on the ballot. If not, thats cool too. We are pretty content with being the “behind the scenes rock stars” that we are around here.
Nominees should meet the following criteria:
• Excellent business reputation (internally & externally) and a leader in their field of business
• Demonstrates sound business practices & excellence in the area of customer service
• Involvement in community programs, activities or services
So in our past a few weeks ago asking Who Reads this, some of you were interested more about personal things. So In an effort to share more about factor 1 staff, here it goes.
- My name is matt, but most of you know that.
- I am 26 (as of august 3rd)
- I started factor 1 in college, but it became full time in 2004
- I have been married for 6 years to my amazing wife Stephanie
- 4 furry kids (2 cats, 2 dogs)
- We do have real kids on the way, but in a non-traditional sense (We are adopting 2 children some time in the next 6 months we hope)
- The factor 1 office is like 2 miles from my house, which is awesome for commuting
- I ride my bike waaaaaaay to much. I love mountain biking, I ride almost every weekend with good friends
- I ride my bike about 50 miles a month to work and back
- I keep said bike in my office, as it is too pretty to leave outside
- I enjoy being home at night and on the weekend.
- I played ice hockey in junior high and high school
- To contrast the ice hockey, my wife and I have completed Bronze level ballroom dancing
- I really stink at sports with balls, I dont even really like watching any of them
- I dont network in person as much as I should, but i have 12,000 myspace friends (kidding)
- I am a total mac geek. but I dont yet own an iphone.
- I am a total design geek, and love great websites, fonts, books, and art
- you can connect with me on linked in here
- I have a myspace page for some reason (because all the cool kids do I guess)
So thats me. Who’s next? I say I put out a challenge for my readers to share some more info about yourself, and link it in a comment. I want to know more random facts about you too.
Maybe I can con some other factor 1 staff to sharing their random details (wink* wink* Ryan and Shannon).
So I dont see many comments on this thing, not sure why. Maybe I am not speaking to my audience very well. So I had an idea. Let’s see who actually reads this blog. I know there are a few dozen subscribers, and maybe you are a designer, competition, clients, my mom, etc. I don’t actually care who you are, but I want to know who you are if that makes any sense.
It’s my goal to be effective. If I need to shift my conversations and topics to better suit my actual audience, so be it. I just want to know who you are.
So if you dont mind, comment and let me know who you are. Share a link to your blog or website, let me know what interests you that we can discuss here. Otherwise I’ll keep talking about whatever I feel like (ohh maybe next week we’ll discuss baking tips for high altitude and their role in web marketing).
If you feel like remaining anonymous, thats fine too, maybe just let me know what interests you here.
So today we made some key decisions about the future of our podcast feed manager.
The great tool many of you have grown to love, is getting cooler. We are developing a standalone, multi-faceted version of our RSS / podcast feed manager application.
Expect updates as we continue to build it, and get it tested.
For updates, stay tuned here, or sign up for updates:
The SEO behind it.
What i did:
1. Changed my site title to “Factor 1 Creates awesome websites, brands and marketing materials”
2. I started titling all incoming links “awesome websites” or “Awesome church websites”, or something along those lines. I keep them somewhat random.
Thats it. Thats all I did. I was not ranked at all for this just 2 or 3 weeks ago.
HEY! Are you coming to the ChurchPlanters.com conference? We are! If you are attending the conference, please stop by our booth and say hi. Since we have probably never met in real life, we would love to give you a hug. Or just say hi and shake your hand. It’s your call.
Also, if you know any friends, acquaintances (or even perfect strangers) that need a great site, please send them to our booth too. Remember what your mother always told you, friends don’t let friends have lame websites.
See you at the show!
So some of you may know we have been getting busier and busier. Lots of new projects, great clients, and so on. We have out grown the concept of working in Matt & Stephanie’s house. I’m excited, but I think Stephanie may be more excited.
So as we are growing in staff members, More space is needed. Today was a long day as we have moved to some great offices.
Check out the pics.
The Conference room
Other offices are not ready yet. but will look the same.