There’s an ocean of difference between “could it exist?” and “should it exist?”.
This post outlines how I handle proposals as an independent web developer, almost the whole pre-project arc including gathering info, writing and sending the proposal, and what happens after it’s sent.
I love chatting about potential projects with anyone who will entertain me, but I can’t stand writing proposals. My goal is to make the process streamlined enough that I hate it a bit less and am able to get proposals out the door much faster.
This is an important topic and something I’m continuously trying to improve. A good proposal lays solid foundations for a project and sets the tone of a working relationship. Sometimes it even helps weed out the people I’d prefer *not* to work with.
Some of this has evolved over years of freelancing, but a lot of it is brand new or newly refined. Moving from the UK to the US has given me the opportunity to reconsider my procedures and improve the commissioning process both for myself and for my clients.
I’m pretty happy with my approach, but I’m sure it could be improved. Also, what works for me may be totally unworkable for someone else. So take this as one person’s perspective, and please share with me if you have other ideas.
Pricing is a minefield, and I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like I’ve got it totally right. That seems like a drag but on the sunny side, as an independent developer I’ve got total control over what I charge and can continue to adjust it as necessary.
This is where I’m at with pricing methodologies, rates, and invoicing at the moment. Please send me your thoughts if you have other ideas.
We launched a new site for architecture practice Barozzi Veiga about a month ago. It was a pleasure to work with Adrien Vasquez at John Morgan studio during the development process and to work with the Barozzi Veiga folks as we fine-tuned things. The site launch coincided with the announcement that Barozzi Veiga had been selected to take on a major renovation of the Art Institute of Chicago (read more).
There’s a fine line between changing from within and being complicit.
Dr Kate Darling, MIT Media Lab researcher and expert in robot ethics, said this in her 27 August Guardian opinion piece on Jeffrey Epstein’s influence on the science world. This comment referred to her relationship with the MIT Media Lab and with literary agency Brockman. There was an all-hands Media Lab meeting on 4 September to internally address their part in all this, read more in the MIT Tech Review. Sounds like the meeting was something… hard to tell. Ended on a thoroughly rotten note.
That line from her article has stuck with me, it’s a succinct way of articulating an ever-present worry. If you’re doing good work at an organisation that is being questionably governed or is doing iffy things, you either A) stick with the org and live with that worry every day or B) step away from it entirely and be free from the worry. In scenario A, in order to feel ok with yourself you do everything you can to make a difference. This is exhausting, and you resent colleagues that aren’t working as hard to fix things. In scenario B, you’re free from this worry but you live in a fresh hell of new worries (missed opportunity, financial stability, unfulfilled potential, etc).
Don’t know where the line is, it shifts constantly and is probably different for every person. Just have to keep it on your mind and keep having the hard conversations. Don’t let it build up, talk little and often, with everyone.
Edit 10.09.19: Deleted a sentence mentioning Darling’s plans to drop Brockman and stay with the Media Lab, from her Guardian article. That may still be the case, but more has come to light so I wouldn’t assume anything. It must be incredibly tough thing to navigate.
I’ve just added a Work & Background page to this site that provides a bit more context for what I do and some selected projects. It’s a WIP, there are some thumbnails I would like to swap out and I’m sure the text will need tweaking. Nice to have a version up at any rate.
I’m really hoping to explore a few new-to-me bits of tech in the near future, particularly related to our books index. SB has been doing some very cool experiments with that recently.
The folks at Penguin Random House have been sending some particularly strong e-newsletters recently using the system Sam and I created a little while back. Links below.
Manalo & White’s new site is live. Fraser Muggeridge studio designed the site, and Sam and I built it. It was a lovely one to work on. Their work is great, and the sheer quantity of images makes the homepage pretty darn effective.
I’ve been ill on and off for three months now. It’s not so bad, I’m not completely out of commission, haven’t had to go to A&E. But it’s bad enough.
It has a weird effect. The symptoms aren’t always there, thank goodness. And I’m getting better at handling it when things go south, I’ve learned how to alleviate pain quickly.
The more difficult element to cope with is the psychological brittleness. The feeling that I cannot rely on myself. I’m reluctant to make plans because I’d rather not make them than break them again. That can get pretty isolating.
It’s particularly weird when it comes to work. If I were working as part of a larger team I’d talk to my manager, or HR. But the only people I answer to are my collaborators and clients. They’re very understanding (it helps a *lot* that I don’t work totally solo), but still. It’s a bit of a weird conversation, one I’ve avoided for the most part.
It will probably be another month until things are “settled”. The powers that be are sorting it out, I think. And I’m staying busy. Practically, I don’t want to fall behind. Emotionally, I need the distraction. Distraction from the larger distraction.
Just deployed a new WordPress theme for artist Marysia Lewandowska, designed by Luke Gould. She has an excellent, simple email signature: Share What You Know