Small Business Tips

Brad and I have been working together for a while now running Infinite Web Design and we’ve learned a few things about how to and how not to run a small business. The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Hopefully a few of the following tips will help out those of you who are getting started or considering running your own business.

Macromedia and Adobe

Let’s try a little word association… Macromedia – pretty good software, responsive to customers, innovative web products, creative, good company, “gets” the web Adobe – stiff corporate culture, used to be a good software company, used to be innovative, used to be creative, “gets” print but not the web, used to be…

Credit Due

Back in April I wrote about “Lock-In” and mentioned Microsoft as a company that locks customers in using proprietary data formats. Well, sure enough they go ahead and announce a major change in the data formats for the next generation of Office (due entirely to my comments I’m sure). They are promising to keep the XML formats open and publically available for anyone to use. This means that software makers will be able to easily access the documentation for the file formats and create applications that can easily read and extract information from Office documents created in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. This also means it should be easy to write in files into those formats as well. Using a simple […]

Processes are for…

Processes are so people who don’t know how to do anything can get something done… and they usually still screw it up. UPDATE 4/25/05: There is a post over at Asterisk that follows this one rather nicely. So why do we bother with processes? It’s something we talk about at Infinite Web Design, we analyze and improve business processes. This is generally a good thing. Refining how things are done can lead to increased productivity, less frustrated workers, and fewer errors and problems at the end of the day. However, the differences between an effective workflow and a mindless algorithm are often overlooked. This leads to frustration with large bureaucracies and stifling restrictions placed on competent workers.

Redacting for Dummies

I normally avoid topics unrelated to web design and usability on this blog. However, I think this is worth pointing out and commenting on publicly. The following images are from a document that can be found at the ACLU website at http://www.aclu.org/nsl/gagorder/acluLetter_051404.pdf.

Overlooked Site

In reading over Paul Scrivens’ post at the 9rules Network I realized I had forgotten to include him in the list of links on my sidebar. This is an unfortunate oversight on my part. He has been a tireless advocate of good design and I have learned a great deal and enjoyed myself immensely reading the discussions he has led on his network of sites. I hope that you will visit them and see for yourself the fine work he has been doing.

Microsoft Research DRM Talk

The following is a lengthy and extremely well written piece, actually a transcript of a talk given in Redmond, on Digital Rights Management (DRM) by Cory Doctorow of the EFF. It is available at http://craphound.com/msftdrm.txt. Microsoft Research DRM talk Cory Doctorow cory@eff.org June 17, 2004 Greetings fellow pirates! Arrrrr! I’m here today to talk to you about copyright, technology and DRM, I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation on copyright stuff (mostly), and I live in London. I’m not a lawyer — I’m a kind of mouthpiece/activist type, though occasionally they shave me and stuff me into my Bar Mitzvah suit and send me to a standards body or the UN to stir up trouble. I spend about three weeks […]

Do It The Pistons’ Way

The Detroit Pistons are the 2004 NBA Champions. They destroyed the L.A. Lakers in 5 games. And through it all they did it the “right way”. But what is the “right way” and what should it mean to you? Doing things the right way means always working hard from start to finish. This means that you show up early and stay late and in between you never coast or give any less than your best effort at each moment. Doing things the right way means being unselfish and being a team player. Share the recognition, revel in the accomplishments of your teammates, and work with others to accomplish your goals. A unselfish, dedicated group can accomplish great things when they […]

Meet the Clients

So you’re being considered by a potential client. You’ve spoken briefly, interest has been expressed by both parties, and now it is time to figure out what it is you will be doing for them. What is the best way to get acquainted with this unfamiliar client? A Client Survey! What is a Client Survey you may ask? Or perhaps you know and you are instead asking why you would bother with something so formal rather than just sitting down and talking for an hour or two. There are a number of reasons, mostly related to efficiency and time. Before we get into that, the Client Survey is a list of questions in that you can send to a client […]