28 Aug 2013
28 Aug 2013
27 Aug 2013
14 year old, James Anderson, Ruby wiz spent a few weeks in Planet Argon’s studio this summer. Upon completion of his assignment, we asked him a few questions.
26 Aug 2013
We got CPR training today at the Planet Argon studio. A few folks on the team had already done this, but it’s always good to get a refresher course. Do yourself a favor and schedule a training today.
20 Aug 2013
Technology almost always democratizes art, because it gives us better tools, better access and a quicker route to mediocrity. It’s significantly easier to be a mediocre (almost very good) setter of type today than it was to be a pretty good oil painter two hundred years ago.
7 Aug 2013
Let’s take a moment to thank Silicon Florist for being everything that it has over the past six years.
5 Aug 2013
There are queues everywhere. Do you know an entrepreneur-wannabe who is on his sixth or twelfth new project? He jumps from one to another, and every time he hits an obstacle, he switches to a new, easier, better opportunity. And while he’s a seeker, he’s never going to get anywhere.
As we near our 11th anniversary, I can definitely think of a few former clients that fit this profile. It's something we try to spot in potential projects now (and avoid, if possible). We aren't here to build pet projects. We're here to help you build a business. It's going to be difficult. We know what it'll take. We know how to put in the hard work... especially when it's not as easy as anyone hoped (it never is). Do *you* have what it takes?
17 Jul 2013
11 Jul 2013
Recently, the web community has been sharing a link that argues that carousels don’t work.
9 Jul 2013
Earlier today, our good friends from Portland Homeless Family Solutions stopped by to meet our team.
3 Jul 2013
If you attempt to make sense of Engelbart’s design by drawing correspondences to our present-day systems, you will miss the point, because our present-day systems do not embody Engelbart’s intent. Engelbart hated our present-day systems.
Doug, we'll miss you. Thank you for opening up our eyes.
2 Jul 2013
We look back at all of our design and development clients since 2006 and breakdown, by month and season, when they made a decision to hire us.
24 Jun 2013
20 Jun 2013
Our friends over at Blue Box (awesome Ruby on Rails hosting) sent a few of us some nice jackets. We’re hoping they’ll include us in their 2013 Fall Fashion catalog.
18 Jun 2013
So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.
Always ask yourself, "how does this benefit our mission?"
11 Jun 2013
We released an iPhone application to compliment our web application, Brainstormr.
11 Jun 2013
Perfect doesn’t mean flawless. Perfect means it does exactly what I need it to do. A vacation can be perfect even if the nuts on the plane weren’t warmed before serving.
29 May 2013
29 May 2013
Once upon a time, I found myself struggling with a few business ideas and problems. How do I win more project bids? How do I find new clients? Should I get a new full-time job and drop this “Planet Argon” thing? How can I improve my coding? Am I… Should I… etc.
Taking advice from friends, I reached out to a few people that I admired in the industry. I offered to take them lunch in exchange for their time to bounce a few ideas and questions off of.
Out of the, roughly, ten people that I wrote, a few people said they were busy and said, “maybe in a few months when things are less hectic.” One person agreed to meet the following week. We met up during lunch, had some food… and I got some great feedback on my ideas and questions. When the bill was put down on the table, they said, “My treat. You’re a young entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be spending your money on people like me… yet.”
That was ten years ago.
Admittedly, over the past few years… I have had a number of people send me similar introduction emails. I, like the folks who replied to me, have found myself being too busy to schedule lunch with them… but last week… one person caught my attention with their introduction. It stood out from the usual copy/paste “help me!” email… and I ended up accepting their invitation1, but only under the condition that they let me buy them lunch.
They have better things to spend their money on right now.
Having said that, I would like to put out a formal offer to the people in the Portland area. If you are a motivated and young (say under 30?2) entrepreneur who wants to bounce some ideas and/or questions off of someone who has been running an agency for nearly 11 years… then I invite you to introduce yourself to me, pitch the topics you’d like to cover, and I’ll schedule and buy lunch for you3.
I owe you that much.
1 ProTip: Finding out something unique about the person you’re writing by a simple google search will go a long way to not getting filtered. In this case, they said they enjoyed my old band’s music… flattery works. ;-)
2 Give or take… I’m targeting the twenty-somethings because I might be able to better explain how I got by on paying myself a lot less when my personal expenses were lower. (not that you can’t keep expenses down when you get older… but you get the idea)
3 Limited to five people.
21 May 2013
This is fascinating stuff.
14 May 2013
In part, it’s not your fault. If you grew up and went to school in the United States, you were educated in a system that has eight times as many high-school football teams as high schools that teach advanced placement computer-science classes. Things are hardly better in the universities. According to one recent report, in the next decade American colleges will mint 40,000 graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, though the U.S. economy is slated to create 120,000 computing jobs that require such degrees. You don’t have to be a math major to do the math: That’s three times as many jobs as we have people qualified to fill them.
Admittedly, I don't know who has a college degree in computer science on our team. I don't.
7 May 2013
6 May 2013
On April 28th, 2013… we rented a bus to take nearly 50 Ruby on Rails developers who traveled to Portland for RailsConf 2013 on a hike. Here is a group shot of nearly everyone.
We hope you had as much of a blast as we did!
13 Mar 2013
The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.
My RSS consumption was at an all-time high in the few years prior to Google Reader coming out. Once I migrated from a desktop RSS reader to Google Reader, I found myself opening it less often. Over the years, it's fallen off my radar. I only check a few times a month. Did Google kill RSS? On purpose? Accidental? Is RSS dead? Do we all need to rely on the sites we "follow" now via Facebook, Google+, and Twitter? Better? Worse? Inevitable?
21 Feb 2013
21 Feb 2013