Hypothetically Asked Questions
Matt’s answers to various questions nobody’s actually asking.
Are you an expert with __?
No. I’m a generalist with a design background doing a variety of development. I’m a problem solver that’s pretty good wrangling details across disciplines, but a lousy choice if you need one specific thing done at competition level. I’d be happy to try and help find the right person for that, though.
Why would I want to work with you?
Because you’re looking for somebody you can trust to solve web-centric problems. I’m organized, responsive, honest, and genuinely want to help. I take responsibility and follow-through seriously. Even if it’s to refer you to a more appropriate service or contact.
Why wouldn’t I want to work with you?
- Limited bandwidth. If you need lots of work really fast, I don’t have a vast team that can spring into action. I’d sooner decline that work than risk missing the deadline.
- Expectations. I expect to collaborate, fully understanding what you need and how I can help. If you believe that the customer is always right, or anybody is always right, I’m not going to be your best choice. Most work also involves lots of questions from me, so if you’re hoping to just make a deposit and pop by the launch party we’ll both be disappointed.
- Lack of hype. I’m naturally skeptical and not one for hyperbole or euphoric promises. I reserve my enthusiasm for awful puns and measurable successes.
If you don’t have a vast team, how will you achieve world domination?
Good question. I like having a tiny, nimble business that allows me to focus on creative problem solving. That’s what I’m passionate about, like most nerds.
But think of the variety of problems you could address and the power you’d have at a larger scale!
Wow, you’re really in my head on this one. You may also be right, but I’m pretty happy with the balance and control I have right now. Let’s get back to the line of questions you were hypothetically asking, okay?
Do you have patented processes with clever names?
No. Every project I’ve worked on has been different from the last, from communication styles to technical details. We’ve found patterns that tend to yield better results for different kinds of work, and we’re always learning and improving them, but you can expect a clear plan and an eagerness to adapt to the needs of the project.
Can you rescue my project? It’s supposed to launch tomorrow and my developer bailed on me.
Not if it means starting our working relationship under fire. My experience has been that these situations are, without exception, stressful and bound to result in less than ideal outcomes. And no, there’s no amount of money that makes this worthwhile because the partnership is more important to me.
What tools do you use for managing projects?
Mostly Notion, Slack, GitLab/GitHub, and email. I can, however, be persuaded to show up in Basecamp, Asana, or wherever you and your team are already managing projects. Whatever tools we use, my goal is to work transparently and keep it easy for everyone to quickly discern the status of our efforts.
Are you writing me long emails because you’re bored?
Far from it! I always err on the side of exposing my thinking and demystifying technical issues because they’re rarely beyond translation. I’ve been on the other end of “it’s technical, you wouldn’t understand” and “just trust me, this is the best thing for you” and I’d rather earn your trust by helping you make confident, informed decisions about the stuff you’re hiring me to tackle.
You appear to be one of those Craft CMS people. Are you going to try and convince me it’s right for my project?
There’s a pretty good chance of that, yes. Not every project needs a custom CMS build, or any CMS for that matter, but Craft is carefully designed, wonderfully flexible, built by great folks with a strong track record, and thriving in a great professional community. I’ve built a lot of Craft sites and work efficiently with it, the key draw being that it’s likely to accommodate your project well rather than force your project to take a specific form.
Would you be willing to talk with me even if I may not have work for you?
Absolutely. I’d love to talk and see if I can help, even if it’s to share an opinion or point you in a productive direction. I’ll update this answer if throngs of people take me up on the offer and my billable time evaporates.
Do you have an uncanny resemblance to Vince Gilligan?
I actually read this whole thing and found it helpful. Do you have a dehumanizing form I can fill out to start a discussion about my project?