Stick To Your Guns, Stand Up For What You Believe

by Jonathan Longnecker

So I had a short conversation with a client of ours today and it went something like this: “Hey you guys make some great looking sites; why don’t you design some templates and sell them. You’d make a ton of money!” Naturally I had to agree that we make pretty decent looking sites, but that was beside the point (insert deadpan look here).

From a business perspective this makes perfect sense, and it’s been done quite a few times before. But here’s the problem. That’s not who we are. Money’s all fine and good, but at the end of the day we all have to remember who we are and what we believe in.

Don’t let the lure of a quick dollar make you forget your convictions; it’s not worth it!

Nate and I strongly believe in the process of design. Design is about solving problems, and every single customer we have has a completely different problem. Last time I checked, a template didn’t solve anyone’s problem perfectly. We believe in the process of working through those problems and creating something that everyone is psyched about.

If we’re going to call ourselves a kick-awesome design company we darn well better act like it. There will be plenty of opportunities to create something amazing that brings in revenue; that’s what the web is all about. But for FortySeven Media, templates are not it.

So I told him it was a great idea, but not for us. And you know what? I’m ok with that. Because that’s who we are. Don’t let the lure of a quick dollar make you forget your convictions; it’s not worth it!

August 20, 2008

Design, Business

Comments

  1. You, my friend, speak the words of a wise man. Keep it up.

  2. How refreshing to hear that - people are too quick to sell up - this does not gain respect - having an attitude to business as you have expressed will only earn you respect - whilst this is a slow builder it will eventually pay off much more that selling out early.

  3. When I was in school (over 5 years ago), we were never exposed to the concept of solving problems through design. We were always told that design was a problem to be solved—and it is—but never that, done well, it could be the solution to a problem. So most of us graduated feeling that design was a way to express our creativity—and at times it is. I think my experience isn’t unique and it is why many designers are quick to jump at an opportunity to make an easy buck for the sake of the buck and not the design. Any designer that views design as a means to solve a problem, understands that a “template” mentality (regardless of the pay off) is just not worth it.

    Thanks for staying true to design. Your designs ROCK!

  4. Thanks for the kind words, guys! I do remember coming right out of school and designing something that looked great, but didn’t work for the client. It was really hard to swallow my pride, roll up my sleeves and admit it needed to be better. It’s definitely a hard line to walk between creativity and communicating effectively through design. Here’s to a life of figuring it out (hopefully!)

  5. My thoughts exactly. I blogged about something similar a few weeks ago.

    It seems to be a growing trend at the moment for web designers to offer templating services but as you correctly put it:

    “Design is about solving problems, and every single customer we have has a completely different problem. Last time I checked, a template didn’t solve anyone’s problem perfectly.”

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who shares this opinion. smile

  6. I am looking forward to working with you guys. Peace.

  7. These are the words I have been trying to tell business owners for YEARS, and most of them never listen:

    “Don’t let the lure of a quick dollar make you forget your convictions; it’s not worth it!”

    Excellent post.



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