Archive for the ‘factor1’ Category
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a passion for great design, that is well developed. It’s kind of our thing around here. So when WordCamp Phoenix asked me to speak on it I couldn’t say no. We spend a lot of time working with both designers and developer, which has lead to years of notes, whining, and learning how to make it less painful.
Check out my talk on Designing for Developers.
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.
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?