Over the years I’ve been involved in the creation of all kinds of websites and I’ve seen the industry go from boom, to bust, to the slightly wobbly transitional period we’re in now.
Way back in the boom years, I worked in Houston, Texas on one of the first MP3 download sites, recognising at the time the potential for digitising music (I remember a discussion we had in the office one day about how cool it would be to be able to carry your entire record collection around in some sort of little storage device). Returning home to Edinburgh, I set up my own music download site for unsigned artists, which soon attracted the attention of the mighty Pearson Group (owners of several newspapers, TV stations and publishers) but just as the discussions were beginning, the internet bubble was beginning to swell to bursting point.
The pop happened soon after, and the suitcase of cash never arrived. *Lights Hamlet Cigar*
Years of hard graft working for web design agencies followed, which was mostly good fun. I was heavily involved in the creation of Intelligent Finance, the UK’s first online bank (which perhaps was one of the less enjoyable periods due to the insane deadline), however years at Run Deep, an award-winning Scottish agency, taught me that the business of building websites didn’t all have to be about buzz words and pointless meetings – it could actually be enjoyable. We built websites for lots and lots of Scottish and UK businesses: Gleneagles Hotel, Highland Spring, Arran Aromatics (winners of the best e-commerce site that year) to name but a few.
Eventually, Run Deep was swallowed up by a bigger fish and it stopped being fun, so it seemed like the right time to make the leap into freelancing. Which is where we’re at now.
Where I’ve used “we” in the text isn’t an attempt to fool you into thinking that 45b is a larger organisation than it actually is, as I do on occasion use external freelancers when required. We all work from home, we’ve all had years of agency experience, and we all know how to deliver outstanding websites.
The fact that external resources are only used when absolutely necessary helps keep the costs down. I manage every project, designing and building as much as I can on my own (which 95% of the time, is the whole thing).
Doing the job of Director, Salesman, Researcher, Account Manager, Designer, Developer, Programmer, Marketer, Trainer and Technical Boffin can be tiring at times, but it’s good fun, uses less coffee, and ensures that your website quote will be as competitive as possible.
I’ll be burning the candle at both ends, and you’ll be receiving agency-quality work at freelance prices. What’s not to like about that?