Thursday, 7 July 2011

not flogging a dead horse but inflating a plastic giraffe

Be persistent but be careful what you persist at. A story over at the atlantic tells James’ story of struggling to learn programming. As the title of the story says he failed and failed and finally succeeded. James persisted in his desire to learn programming but he did not persist with the same method, instead of struggling along James learned to program when he found a way that suited him and he found fun. I witnessed the same kind of persistence recently and I’m keen to recount the story. It is a story that starts with hats and ends with a 4ft inflatable giraffe.
Chrissie, milliner at Hat Therapy in Hebden Bridge had reached the end of the line with her website. The site was no longer to her taste and had old stock on it. She also wanted control, to keep the stack up to date.
Chrissy had found Moonfruit, a site that promised a good looking website and an easy process to create and update it. It turned out Moonfruit had a few problems, it was flash based which made it slow to use especially on Chrissie’s mac; also being flash it wouldn’t work for people on an iPad.
This was blow and I think enthusiasm drained away. There are however lots of similar services and some were looked at. All seemed to have a formulaic quality and felt straight jacketed. Another idea came to mind: build from scratch, that would be complete control.
Aha this seemed just the ticket, it was actually quite fun and much easier than imagined. But we are not at the end of the story just yet. Building from scratch is a lot of work and Chrissie has hats to make, and this wasn’t going to help get a new site soon. But armed with rekindled enthusiasm and a greater understanding of how websites worked the hunt continued.
I suggested squarespace at this point and although it looked the part with beautiful templates it does have quite a confusing for creating and updating your information. Undaunted Chrissie moved on again to yola and hurrah this like Goldilocks might say was ‘just right.’ Go take a look at, it is a work in progress as all internet things should be; I imagine hattherapy will out grow yola at some point but its perfect for this stage.
I promised a 4ft inflatable giraffe and this seems like the end of the story? Well let me explain, all the while Chrissie was negotiating these hurdles Stephen, her partner had been there cheering along and as it turns out learning too. He created his own site lankylongloons and even beat Chrissie to the punch by making the first online sale.
Persistence is the key to success but don’t persist at something that isn’t working. Below is a animation promoting Derek Sivers book ‘anything you want’ talking about persisting but not flogging a dead horse.

If it's not a hit, switch from Derek Sivers on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Yes ,two very 'clean' & easy-on-the-eye websites.'must say, I fancy a few of those balloons myself!


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