Category Archive for: Giving

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.

Five ways to receive negative feedback well

Receive feedback well, and you‘ll get more honest feedback in the future. Here’s how.They’re watching you.I don’t mean to sound creepy. But it’s something to come to terms with as a leader: Your team is watching you.As a leader, your actions set the example – especially, when it comes to creating an open, honest environment in the workplace.Your employees are taking note: When someone offers a dissenting opinion, do you come off as annoyed and brush it aside? Or do you calmly listen and say, “Thank you, I’ll consider that”?How you receive feedback — especially negative feedback — sets the precedent for how welcome honest, forthcoming perspectives are in your company. Dismiss feedback on a whim or become overly defensive, and you’re not likely to hear critical feedback from that person again.So how do you receive feedback well? Here are five things you can do…Make empathy your mission.“How could they be saying that?” “I’m not sure that’s true…” Ever catch yourself…

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Going to the Mattresses

Illustration by Nate OttoTim Masters describes himself as “just a mattress maker,” but that belies the business acumen he’s gained over decades of building and selling beds. Tim’s store in the Chicago suburbs, Quality Sleep Shop, opened in 1969 and has held its own against the proliferation of private equity-backed mattress corporations and chain stores. As Big Mattress has grown more complex, churning out endless permutations of confusingly named products, Tim has embraced simplicity. WONG: Hi everyone, it’s Wailin. We have some news about The Distance that we’ll share at the end of this episode, so please stick around for that. And here’s today’s show.Think about some of the most miserable experiences you’ve had as a consumer. You might say air travel, or trying to cancel your cable service. And then there’s mattress shopping. Where I live, in the Chicago area, there seem to be mattress stores on every corner, sometimes across…

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How to Mess Up a Call with a Prospective Client

Just a few days ago, I was on one of the worst sales call I’ve ever been on. But, let me clarify: This guy was trying to sell me on a solution. And he was terrible. Periodically, I’ll watch webinars and hop on sales calls to see what kind of new information is out there. I’m not an omniscient marketer; I know there’s always more to learn, and there’s always information I can pass along to our students. So I got on this call. And things got really awkward, really fast. But let me backtrack a bit. It’s highly likely that you’ll have to spend at least some time with each client on the phone. And each phone call before you land the work is, in essence, a sales call. You’re on the phone with the end goal of getting them to hire you for work. (I’d also argue that any…

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You Won’t Get Rid Of Your Problems. Best You Can Do Is Trade Up

body[data-twttr-rendered=”true”] {background-color: transparent;}.twitter-tweet {margin: auto !important;}There are people who would love to have your bad [email protected] notifyResize(height) {height = height ? height : document.documentElement.offsetHeight; var resized = false; if (window.donkey && donkey.resize) {donkey.resize(height); resized = true;}if (parent && parent._resizeIframe) {var obj = {iframe: window.frameElement, height: height}; parent._resizeIframe(obj); resized = true;}if (window.webkit && window.webkit.messageHandlers && window.webkit.messageHandlers.resize) {window.webkit.messageHandlers.resize.postMessage(height); resized = true;}return resized;}‘rendered’, function (event) {notifyResize();});‘resize’, function (event) {notifyResize();});if (parent && parent._resizeIframe) {var maxWidth = parseInt(window.frameElement.getAttribute(“width”)); if ( 500 < maxWidth) {window.frameElement.setAttribute(“width”, “500”);}}I used to have this business partner Jim. He’d drive me nuts. Our startup business was part of the second class ever of Y Combinator during the winter of 2006. We built a virtual stock exchange that businesses could use to improve their forecasts. This was the early days of Ruby on Rails in 2006. Back then, Rails apps required a lot of care and feeding — they crashed, a lot — with our…

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Let’s say you wanna open source a little thing…

Let’s say you’ve written a super handy little bit of JavaScript. Nice! Well done, you. Surely, the world can benefit from this. A handful of people, at least. No need to keep this locked up. You’ve benefitted from open source tremendously in your career. This is the perfect opportunity to give back! Let’s do this. You’re going to need to chuck it into a GitHub repo. That’s like table stakes for open source. This is where people can find it, link to it, see the code, and all that. It’s a place you can push changes to if you need to. You’ll need to pick a license for it. If the point of this is “giving back” you really do need to, otherwise, it’s essentially like you have the exclusive copyright of it. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive, but picking a license opens up usage, rather than tightening it. You’ll need to…

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Firebase & React Part 2: User Authentication

This is a follow up to the CSS-Tricks Article Intro to Firebase and React. In that lesson, we built Fun Food Friends, an application for planning your next potluck. It looked like this: If you haven’t completed that article yet, please complete that article first before attempting this one – it builds on the existing code from that application. If you’d like to skip that article and dive right into this one, you can clone this repository which contains the finished version of the application from part one. Just don’t forget that you’ll need to create your own firebase database and swap in the credentials for that one, as well as run npm install before beginning! If you aren’t sure how to do either of these things, take a look at part one before diving into this one. What we’ll be making Today we’ll be adding authentication to our Fun…

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Local by Flywheel

I’ve switched all my local WordPress development over to Local by Flywheel. I heard about it from y’all when we did a poll not to long ago about local WordPress development. Bottom line: it’s really good. It does everything you want it to, well, with zero hassle, and nothing more. Running Multiple WordPress Installs (PHP, MySQL, Web Server) That’s kind of the whole point. Local by Flywheel spins up a local site for you with all the dependencies that WordPress needs. Just by picking a few options and giving the site a name, you’ve spun up a new WordPress install in a few seconds. And it’s ready to go! Nice UI Surely what Local by Flywheel is doing under the hood is quite complicated, but the UI for the app isn’t at all. I’m a big fan of apps like this. The super clean UI makes everything feel so easy…

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Give a little, get a lot.

How generous should you be as a leader? I learned the answer to this recently…“How generous should I be?”Perhaps you’re considering how much time, energy, or money you should give to your coworkers, employees or customers.I remember reflecting on this distinctly at the end of last year…After less than two months on the job, our new Head of Business Development Jess Singer told me she needed to get neck surgery.Yikes.The surgery sounded serious. She wasn’t sure exactly how much time off she’d need for recovery.It was December — a month with historically lower sales. Many folks go on holiday, and companies are often “winding down” their year. In fact, as Know Your Company, we close down our business those last two weeks in the year for our own “Holiday Break.”Given this, we had a condensed sales window in December: We had only two weeks to pull in the business we typically pull in during four weeks time.With…

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5 Unusual Places for Freelance Copywriters to Find Clients

Someone once said that “the richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” This was American businessman and author Robert Kiyosaki, one of the most successful book writers of the millennium. His meaning? That building a successful business (and earning a good income as your own boss) starts with finding opportunities, not just jobs. So if you’re new to freelancing, it’s important to keep your mind open about where and when you might be able to make meaningful business connections with others. Because you never know where you might stumble upon your next big break. Here are five unusual places to find copywriting clients that you shouldn’t knock until you’ve tried… 1. Local Farmers’ Markets It may seem like an odd place to go hunting for copywriting jobs but local events like farmers’ markets are great for making connections. Most businesses in the…

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Get Early Access to Google’s Experimental Projects by @MattGSouthern

Google is giving people the opportunity to sign up for early access to experimental projects from its Area 120 incubator.The post Get Early Access to Google’s Experimental Projects by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source:

Google Fined $2.7 Billion by the EU for “Abusing Search Engine Dominance” by @MattGSouthern

Google has been fined $2.7 billion for giving an “illegal advantage” to its own services in search results.The post Google Fined $2.7 Billion by the EU for “Abusing Search Engine Dominance” by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source:

A Sublime URL

I don’t always end up liking the original domain names that I purchase and very few last the test of time. The most obvious long-lasting domains that I have are actually this blog ( and my proper name URL, among others. What I mean is that I get bored easily, even with the domains that I purchase for indie projects, and I don’t often re-up the yearly fee to keep a lot of the ones that I purchase. And especially in the last year, I’ve done an incredible job of paring things down. In fact, I used to have over 100+ registered domains and now I have about 28 registered with about 10 of those set to expire this year. And if I’m to give myself even more credit many of the “active” domains are just old domains that are redirected to this blog, like,,,,,…

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Enter the dot matrix

Illustration by Nate OttoTroy Henikoff was a college student in 1984 when he wrote his first program, a piece of software to help his grandfather’s steel warehouse manage their inventory. That summer project led Troy to start his own software consulting business a couple years later. This is an atypical Distance story about beginnings, endings and unexpected legacies. Troy Henikoff describes himself as an unintentional entrepreneur. Today he’s a well-known figure in Chicago’s tech scene, but when he began dabbling in computer programming and setting up his own business, there was no established startup culture for him to absorb. No networking events, no hoodies, no cliches about hustle or crushing it or changing the world. Troy’s story starts in 1984, at his grandfather’s steel warehouse on Chicago’s south side. He had just finished his sophomore year of college.TROY HENIKOFF: So that summer when I got to Chicago, I was given a bunch…

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Interview or Interrogation?

Interviewing for a new job is so nerve-wracking. The adrenaline kicks in, and you are trying so hard to keep it under control. Trying to deliver the polished answers you prepared and rehearsed over and over. Hoping that you don’t slip up, or get tongue-tied. There’s the weight of an entire future sitting on your shoulders while you try to parse the questions.Then there are the interviews where you get the feeling that the interviewer is trying to trip you up. I’ve had them in the past, but couldn’t be sure if I was imagining things. Did other people find interviews combative?As we thought about how we would approaching hiring a new support programmer, we hit the books to find out.Don’t expect to eat at lunch.Though a company like Lending Club claims that lunch is a time for candidates to take a breather and relax, don’t. Your interviewers care about whether you…

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6 Components Moodboards Must Have To Be Effective

Moodboards have been in use for many years especially in the interior design and fashion industries. It’s the first step when brainstorming ideas that’ll contribute to the overall look and feel of the final product. Most established web designers create mood boards as part of their web design process. The main benefits of using a mood board include: Streamlining the design process Reducing the time taken to design the actual website Giving the client a general idea of what to expect early Less frustration Effectively communicate concepts Making it easy to make design changes and revisions A mood board can either be physical or digital. The physical ones are more time consuming since they involve putting together paper cuttings and other physical sources for inspiration. However, they tend to have a higher impact on clients. On the other hand, digital boards are easier to create and are less physically tasking.…

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New: Know Your Company + Slack

We just built our first software integration. Here’s why…“Make it easy, make it a routine.”This is one of our core beliefs at Know Your Company. If something’s a burden, no one will do it — including you. Especially if that “something” is feedback in the workplace. Asking for and giving feedback to your team has to feel natural, easy, and be regular.Because of this, we built Know Your Company to deliver questions via email. Email is a universal tool, in many ways. Most people use it, and you typically don’t have to teach anyone how to use it. As a result, when you use Know Your Company, it doesn’t feel like you’re using a separate piece of software… It’s feels like you’re using email.But what if a company doesn’t use email? Over the past few years, we’ve noticed more of our customers moving away from email as a means of communication. They’ll tell us, “Hey,…

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CSS Animations vs Web Animations API

There is a native API for animation in JavaScript known as the Web Animations API. We’ll call it WAAPI in this post. MDN has good documentation on it, and Dan Wilson has a great article series. In this article, we’ll compare WAAPI and animations done in CSS. A note on browser support WAAPI has a comprehensive and robust polyfill, making it usable in production today, even while browser support is limited. As ever, you can check Can I Use for browser support data. However, that doesn’t provide very good info on support of all the sub features of WAAPI. Here’s a checker for that: See the Pen WAAPI Browser Support Test by Dan Wilson (@danwilson) on CodePen. To experiment with all features without a polyfill, use Firefox Nightly. The basics of WAAPI If you’ve ever used jQuery’s .animate(), the basic syntax of WAAPI should look pretty familiar.  var element = document.querySelector(‘.animate-me’);…

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What UX Designers Can Learn From IKEA

I recently moved and ended up buying a lot of IKEA furniture. While assembling the different pieces, I began to notice how IKEA devises their instructions to gently lead builders through complex tasks.  One of the customer’s first interactions with an IKEA product will be to build it, and this experience will likely shape the customer’s lasting impression of both that piece of furniture and IKEA as a brand. This is a high-stakes interaction, and there are so many places where it could go so wrong. Poorly-written instructions may very well end with the customer either throwing up their hands or throwing a hammer at the piece in frustration. IKEA understands this and carefully crafts their instructions to guard against rage-fueled furniture destruction. They are written (or drawn really) to guide a novice through the complex process of creating functional furniture out of a pile of otherwise inscrutable panels and hardware. But they don’t just instruct. They are devised to positively shape the assembly experience, hopefully…

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