Learning to Follow

Some of the most valuable advice that I have ever been given is that if I want to lead, I must first learn to follow. I think that applies to all aspects of life, but today I want to highlight a few agencies / individuals (both recent and past) that I have been following due to my enormous respect for their work:

  1. Focus Lab / Design
  2. Elegant Seagulls / Design
  3. Pixel Peach / Design
  4. The X-Team / Development
  5. Chris Coyier / Development
  6. Allan Peters / Design
  7. Green Chameleon / Design
  8. Haraldur Thorleifsson / Development

Are you following anyone? I would love to know! Post it in the comments so everyone can check it out.

Create. Stop. Be Creative.

Get Off Your Butt (Part 1)

Over the last 8 years of my journey of being a web designer and developer I have had dreams of things I would love to do. The sad thing is I kept making excuses of why I couldn’t do them. Thoughts such as … “I don’t have the time” … “I’m not experienced enough” … “Why would anyone listen” … “If I’m going to start doing things, I have to do everything custom” … rolled through my head. And I’m writing this post to say enough is enough.

I have come to grips with the fact that I may never be an industry leader, but that shouldn’t stop me or any of us from sharing our thoughts. Our experiences. Our struggles. Our victories. We can all learn from one another, but not unless we accept that it’s ok to fail. Growth will never be an option if we stay in our own bubble. If we never share our minds.

Can you imagine what the possibilities could be if we started to open up? Can you imagine what could happen if we started to tell our stories. Can you imagine what could happen if we left our egos at the door? Can you imagine what could happen if we started to be critical of how things are instead of just giving each other high-fives over Dribbble (don’t get me wrong, I love a good high-five). The possibilities are endless.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” My desire is for myself and others to stop waiting around. For example I have heard so many complaints from fellow designers and developers that our industry is becoming to cookie cutter. Every website looks the same. The sad thing is that I don’t see those same people who are complaining, doing anything about it. Instead they give up or just sit around. Let us not be a generation that just waits around. If you aren’t happy about something start to try and change it. If you have an idea you have been holding onto, build it. We have no excuse for just sitting around when so many opportunities surround us.

Let us take our industry by the horns and begin to make new paths. We have to stop making the “some day” excuse. “Some day” really just means never. It’s time to make a difference.

Create. Stop. Be Creative.