The future of tombh23 August 2008
Through the Prince’s Trust I have been assigned a mentor to help me with my business, his name is Jimi Ogunnusi, managing director of BQM Consulting. He’s a very nice man and I feel really privileged to be able to share time with him. After our first meeting he suggested I write down my future expectations, for 12 months time and 5 years time, so for the benefit of posterity here’s what I’ve said;
In 12 months time…
The main thing I would like to see in 12 months is a growth in my reputation as a reliable and innovative web developer. Likely this will be tangibly reflected in the calibre of my portfolio, it will contain more websites from local, wholesome individuals and organisations. I’m currently very inspired by the example set by The Grow Collective; Jon Tan, the founder, is a local Montpelier lad, now internationally renowned, who’s business is based on the Co-operative model.
Financially my ambition is modest, I would simply like to be earning enough money to support my simple lifestyle, if anything, the more I earn the more I would like to take the opportunity to have significant periods away from computer screens!
I’d like to always find myself learning new skills, at the moment I want to learn more about Accessibility in web design, so I’d like to make it a goal to have designed at least one website to the standards outlined in this article. Currently I don’t feel I mix enough in the local web design community, I am acquainted with a few local peers, but would like to meet and socialise with more. This might come about through work (whether paid or voluntary) with local web design companies, attending local events, like talks at Skills Swap, or the Bristol Usability Group. I would also like to position myself more as an ambassador for open-source web design, therefore as someone to whom people can look to as an example and promoter of this approach as a powerful and complete practice. This might come about through more advice and instructions about how to do it on my website, also through other websites and magazines writing articles about my approach, and perhaps even a series of classes, given locally, practically teaching this approach.
In 5 years time…
My long term goal is to remain a freelancing sole-trader, although it is tempting to set up a full business based on my approach, I am very reluctant of the responsibilities that would entail. Essentially I would like to see a continuation of the goals achieved after 12 months. Where I would like to see the most development though is in my reputation as a down-to-earth, yet experienced internet person – someone known for their appreciation of the profound power of the internet as a medium of communication and someone who advocates a sober and practical approach to getting the most from it.
The internet is still so young and we are just beginning to see people coming together to try and formalise a set of standards and promote guidelines for best practices, this is significantly unprecedented territory where no-one really knows what’s around the next corner. So figures like Jeffrey Zeldman, a father of modern web design, provide more than technical clues in this emerging adventure but also a reassuring voice of sanity and encouragement that web design is a respectable craft that has the potential to be considered amongst the other great crafts of humanity. Perhaps I will never match the profile of a Zeldman, but if I can at least be heading in that direction I’d be very pleased. Perhaps if it’s just writing articles in respectable magazines or websites, perhaps giving talks, or maybe even writing my own book.