Friday, December 02, 2005

Guest Blogger Friday - Adam DuVander

It is another "Guest Blogger Friday" and today we have a great post contributed by Adam DuVander. Adam is a programmer for various Web sites, but he tells his family that he does "web stuff." He writes how-to technology articles from the front lines Webmonkey and pontificates about doing things the easy way at Simplicity Rules. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his girlfriend of four years and several dying plants. When it's not raining, he likes to play wiffle ball.

Embrace Your Smallness
by Adam DuVander

The biggest mistakes of my young career have come from pretending to be something I'm not. Individuals and small teams often try to appear big. A consultant might use the Royal We. A salesman might say "I'll run that by programming team" when he is the programming team.I have pretended to be big. You have probably pretended to be big, too. It's really easy to fall into the trap, because huge corporations are our most available role models.Here are two reasons for us to stop pretending to be something we aren't:

1. We'll get caught eventually.

2. It doesn't really work.

Even in these days of virtual offices and affordable phone menuing systems, we can't look like anonymous big corporations forever. At some point, customers will realize that no matter whether they dial 1, 2, or 3 at the prompt, they're going to talk to the same person. So, why pretend otherwise in first place?

Sometimes it's even unintentional. One of my projects is a site that lists free Portland WiFi. Part of any list upkeep is to make sure it is up to date. In my contact with coffee shops, I sometimes found them a little cold when I approached them as a company. It wasn't a lie--I do run a multi-talented Web development company. But almost all of my company's talents come from me and that's the full truth. When I say, "I'm just a guy who created a web site," I actually come across better to these folks who just happen to be a guy or gal that started a coffee shop.It boils down to people working with other people. Do you know why fish swim in schools? It's to look mean, right? When you or I pretend to be bigger, like the fish we end up looking scary. That's not what we want! We want customers to feel happy feelings. Big companies have no choice about whether to look big. Let them scare away customers.There's a lot of talk about small teams being better these days. Marketing guru Seth Godin has declared small is the new big.

Embrace your smallness. Turn your team's product into Brand Us or your consultancy into Brand Me. Doing otherwise is futile. You can't get away with it and you might be covering up your team's greatest asset--being real people.


Thanks Adam for this weeks great "Guest Blogger Friday" contribution.

We are still looking for guest bloggers!!!! Email me at

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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