Newsletters

December 19, 2013

In a few short years, dot-com will be a quaint throwback referring to a couple of economic booms, and not something to indicate a web site. Like the Great War -- everybody now calls it World War 1, since we've had another great war... Why? Because the floodgates are about to open on domain names, and so we're about to see the rise of dot bike, dot plumbing, dot gifts, and even dot dentist.

August 15, 2013

What are the guiding principles you use to make decisions? Over the past few months, as the Freelock team has grown, I've been spending more time on strategy, while delegating more and more of the day-to-day work to my team. To get us all working more effectively together, I needed to answer that question.

The more I dig into the decision-making process, the more I spend time on planning, the more I have found four key principles emerging that underly most of our business decisions.

July 9, 2013

If you learned how to make decisions before the fall of the Berlin Wall, you might get overwhelmed by decision making today. We used to live in a fairly black-and-white world -- East versus West, Pepsi or Coke, Miller or Bud, Democrat or Republican, ABC, NBC, or CBS.

How do you decide? If you're like a great many people in my generation, one tactic might be to create a list of pros and cons for each of the alternatives, and then compare these lists side-by-side. Ok, great! Let's use that to select a content management system. Let's see, what are our alternatives?

April 4, 2013

Chances are, whenever you do anything on any website in the world, Google knows about it. That's because half of the top million sites use Google Analytics to track everywhere you go. Nearly 2/3rds of the top 10,000 sites use Google Analytics. And out of all 186 million active web sites in the world, including a huge number of spam or parked domains, nearly 16 million of them use Google Analytics.

November 27, 2012

In the software industry, the definition of "success" isn't necessarily the same as it is for the rest of the world. The customer asks for a complex system composed of many parts, with a specified budget, and a timeline. A software project is usually considered successful if any part of the system is developed, at any cost, at some time. Not necessarily the functionality requested, the budget, or the deadline.

So claimed Steve McConnell at a recent talk about the business value of software processes Timon and I attended.

Surprising? Shocking, even? Not if you've ever been involved in creating a moderately complex web site, or software project. All too often, people charge in and build something, never taking a moment to plan, never stopping to look at the big picture.

And, I'm embarrassed to say, I have been guilty of this too.

Here is what we're doing to make sure we don't do it again.

April 25, 2012

I learned an important lesson last year. Ok, three important lessons. You would think they would be obvious to a smart guy like me, but I can be stubborn sometimes.

The big one? Pricing some services below my cost.

July 27, 2011

How would losing your web site affect your business?

That might seem like a silly question, but a surprising number of small organizations don't think it can happen to them. Think again -- web sites get lost all the time, through a variety of means. The server hosting your site might have a hardware failure. Your site might get hacked. Your web developer might accidentally delete something critical. Your host might go out of business, leaving you stranded. If you're in the tech world, you hear about these incidents all the time.

February 2, 2010

Did you notice? The world's a different place. Rules for doing business have changed—there's new ways of getting hired, finding employees, reaching new customers, and (shudder) for them to reach you. Economies of scale have flipped—it's getting more expensive to do things on a huge scale, and far cheaper to do them at a micro scale. Mass market items have lost their appeal, and people yearn for authentic, individual connections in a world of franchise same-ness.

August 10, 2009

Jedi mind tricks for getting your web site done

We see it all the time. Our clients hire us to get a web site put together. We build it, provide tools, training, and everything, and then it sits there on our development server, waiting for them to finish writing up those new pages they wanted to add. Weeks go by. Then months. And in a couple cases, years.

May 26, 2009

As I got on the plane to Helsinki, I wondered if I had been duped. I was flying blind--I didn't know where I was staying, whether anybody would be there when I arrived, or if I would end up sitting in a hotel room by myself for three days. But when the well-known founder of a billion dollar company invited me to his home to help my business, I figured I'd better get on that plane.

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  1. Freelock has a deep bench in all things Drupal, but beyond the technical skills they also offer the much-appreciated ability to ask the right questions, articulate issues, and offer strong solutions. They were a true partner that went the extra mile amidst shifting priorities and deadlines. I look forward to a continued working relationship with the team at Freelock.

    Deborah Gassner
    UW Center for Reinventing Public Education

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