2017 Recap

December 18, 2017

I’d like to use this first post of 2017 to summarize the year, a new tradition that’ll ensure at least one post for every lap the earth makes ‘round the sun.

It’s been a busy year with a few big milestones for us, the biggest being a transition from me” to us.” Raina’s been working with me for more than three years, and starting this month she’s employee #1, entitled to all the perks and unpaid vacation we enjoy here at the company. We met working together, got married along the way, and continue to work well together, and I’m eager to see how Working Concept can grow and improve.

For those expecting bullets, here are the highlights:

Modest Marketing

How many times have you heard the statement “We like to let our work do the talking.” That’s modesty. And in marketing, there’s no place for modesty.

Alex Goldfayn, The Revenue Growth Habit

Despite my enthusiasm over a helpful project management book, the year’s greatest business development has been the notion of business development. A different book that I didn’t like helped me approach the idea of sales, for my business, without feeling my soul start to wither. I read it following some interesting discussion in a Slack group, and had my most moving annual epiphany.

But first, you should know I’ve been running my own business to accomplish two things:

  1. help people solve interesting problems
  2. continue eating and sleeping both legally and indoors

For a tiny company like mine, I’ve seen sales as a misguided effort to win money rather than do good work. I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver, I’ve been lucky enough to always have work, and I’ve had little need to sell anything. Since it launched, this site has continually communicated less about what we do. I’ve been getting away with it, not updating testimonials and case studies with glee. My epiphany, courtesy of Alex Goldfayn, is that I’ve been letting existing and unrealized clients down:

If you’re reading this (hi, and thank you!), you’ve fallen into a carefully-placed trap. I’d like to do a better job of conveying how we might be able to help without wasting your time. I’ll be using a CRM to make sure I follow up on any new work you might want to tackle. I’ll be updating this site to better communicate what we do and show examples. (A secret HAQ page was a recent start.) I have more ideas, and hopefully they’ll help us both do better work together in the year ahead. Happy almost-2018!

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Matt Stein’s face

by Matt Stein

Full stack tinkerer, sporadic blogger and Craft CMS fan occasionally found on the devMode.fm podcast.

Updated 6/16/19 at 11:05am