Posts Tagged:austin drupal developer

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.


New in Basecamp: Improved Schedule Cards

A more complete picture of what’s coming upThis was a classic case of “How hard could it be?” that started as a series of customer requests and bug reports. People wanted to see their events AND their dated to-dos on their Basecamp 3 Schedule cards. Totally reasonable, right? Like anything involving dates, timezones, and computers, it took more than a little wrangling… But now you can!Let There Be To-dosHere’s a great example from our Ops Team. Before, we only showed upcoming schedule events. That triggered a misleading message that said “Nothing’s coming up!”Nothing’s coming up! Maybe?Why is this misleading? If you click through to the Schedule itself, you’ll see there’s actually a to-do due tomorrow:Surpise!You wouldn’t have known that glancing at the Schedule card. With the changes we just added, you’ll now see something like this when you’ve got upcoming to-dos:Voila! Just like the full ScheduleWho and When?Another thing was missing from the previous design: It…

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Cultivating an Inclusive Culture

The honest introspection and continuous work for a better teamReconsider DiversityThe typical approach to diversity in corporate environments can usually be summed up in two ways: lazy and superficial.To be fair, diversity is a difficult word to put into action. Most attempts to do so will probably end up feeling superficial. For example, companies often ironically state that they’re “committed to diversity” when the word itself is pretty noncommittal. The ambiguous nature of diversity means it can be interpreted in a number of different ways.That laxity is an allowance for laziness. Initiatives based on diversity are notorious for having vague, or non-existent, standards and accountability. Diversity has become a clichéd ideal versus an agent for change.Diversity is a difficult word to put into action.Attempts to execute diversity in a more specific way can also be problematic. Companies confronted with unfavorable demographic numbers and public pressure to do better find it easy to reach…

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Web Design Advice

I have a segment on my YouTube channel, where people send me the things they’re working on and I give them random advice. 🙂 If you want your work featured on my YouTube channel and elsewhere please send your ideas along ([email protected]). And I’ll give constructive, fair advice that I hope won’t leave you sorry you asked.Brandon Wu sent me this awesome site called Markd. He’s received nice organic traction with it so far because it ranked well on Product Hunt.Brandon, you’ve gotten a ton further than a lot of people do by getting an idea out there into the world. Clearly people are using it and it fits a need people have. So a huge congratulations!These are just some things that I’d experiment with if it were my project.Social ProofOne of the first things that stands out to me about the site is “Where are the Testimonials!?” There are a bunch of people…

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Social Support

A few weeks ago my father was taken by ambulance to the emergency room with trouble breathing. After that 5 day hospital stay, he’s been doing really well!But one thing that stands out from the experience was how my own psychology fluctuated. During the initial couple days I’d go to sleep at my parents by myself leaving my mom and father at the hospital. And I was a mess.Plunging ourselves into ice cold water isn’t usually a pleasant experience. So it’s a common practice research psychologists make people do when studying how people deal with pain. They call it the cold pressor test.And in 2003, a group of researchers performed the cold pressor test, but this time they tested what would happen if people with their hands submerged in ice cold water were with someone else. A friend. Even a stranger.The people who had company during that painful moment felt less pain.Things remarkably changed…

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Interruption is Not Collaboration

What’s happening?Hey, are you busy? Can you listen to this real quick? It’s an episode about interruptions in the workplace. You’ll hear from academic researchers, Basecamp’s head data wrangler, and the CEO of a remote company about how they’ve tackled not just the disruptions themselves, but also the workplace culture that allows those intrusions to flourish.https://medium.com/media/be038859090808903e17296adc07e770/hrefInterruption is Not Collaboration was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

The world needs more modest, linear growth companies. Please make some.

14 years of linear growth at Basecamp.Exponential growth gets all the glory. Every startup story that lands on the cover of a magazine has a hockey-stick chart to flaunt. Yes, disruption is driven by such violent expansion, and the world needs some disruption some of the time. But for the other 360 days out of the year, what it also needs is some modest, linear growth.Linear growth is what happens in domains that aren’t animated by network effects (and when no artificial growth hormones are injected!). It’s the simplicity of good products sold at reasonable prices that find happy customers. These customers talk to friends and colleagues in other businesses, and over time that word of mouth spreads the good vibes, which turns the business up.But the limelight has no patience with such simple, slow methods as word of mouth. It’s not infectious enough. Not exponential enough. That’s a shame.Because the world is…

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Outlasting

You in business? What are you doing to last? Not to grow. Not to gain. Not to take. Not to win. But to last?I wouldn’t advocate spending much time worrying about the competition — you really shouldn’t waste attention worrying about things you can’t control — but if it helps make the point relatable, the best way to beat the competition is to last longer than they do.Duh? Yes, duh. Exactly. Business is duh simple as long as you don’t make it duhking complicated.So how do you last?Obviously you need to take in enough revenue to pay your bills. But we’ve always tried to reverse that statement: How many bills do you need to pay to limit your revenue requirements?Rather than thinking about how much you need to make to cover your costs, think about how little you need to help you survive as long as you want.Yes, we’re talking about costs. The rarely talked about side of…

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The 8 best questions to put on your next one-on-one meeting agenda

I asked almost 500 leaders from all over the world what questions they ask during a one-on-one meeting. Here’s what they said…That one-on-one meeting is scheduled on your calendar this week. So, what should you talk about?As a manager, executive, or business owner, this is one of the most recurring and perplexing situations you’ll face. Should you prepare an one-on-one meeting agenda ahead of time? Does it feel too stiff to do so? Should you simply have general meetings topics ready to go? What are the questions you should asking during this one-on-one?We posed this dilemma to The Watercooler, our online leadership community with almost 500 leaders from all over the world, to see what they had to say. From that conversation, I’ve shared what these managers, business owners, and executives from The Watercooler have found to be the best questions to ask during a one-on-one meeting.Take a look and see if…

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Done?

A few weeks ago, I took my daughter to the Art Institute here in Chicago. She’s three.So as you can imagine it wasn’t a tremendous success of actually seeing a ton of art. We had a lot of fun though doing crafts they had set up for kids and eating lunch.My proudest moment was when she yelled out “I really like that picture!” It was Vincent van Gogh’s The Bedroom. It’s my favorite too.There’s an interesting exercise you can do at the Art Institute or other major art museums. Go find some Picassos and note how old he was when he made them. Now find some Cézannes and do the same.It’s possible you spot something like Economics Professor at the University of Chicago, David Galenson did.Picasso’s most valuable work, based on prices paid at auction, peaked when he was 25.Cézanne at 65.Some artists peak young. Others get better over time.Galenson saw this over and over with writers and…

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Things are going so well we’re doing a hiring freeze

Business has never been better at Basecamp. Despite all the competition, all the noise, and all the changes since we launched 14 years ago, 2017 was the year we earned the most revenue ever.While that alone is cause for some celebration, it’s hardly the most important thing for Jason and I, as the business owners. Sure, it’s nice to see numbers tick ever higher, but we passed enough many years ago. What matters far more than big numbers for us today is how the business feels.And it’s really never felt better, in almost all the ways. Basecamp the product is the best its ever been. Tens of thousands of new businesses and teams continue to sign up every month. We keep hearing from customers about the profound changes to their organization, productivity, communication, and even sanity that Basecamp helps them realize. It’s deeply rewarding.We’ve also kept up with our founding mission to…

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Making It Personal

When I discovered a piece of wood in my food at the hospital. I guess it’s the safest place to be eating wood fragments.A question I get asked a lot is: “Why do you put so much personal information into the things you write and vlog about?”I’ll share moments with my crying toddler, or scenes from the hospital with my sick dad. Why don’t I just stick to business?The reason is the reason I do all of the things I do, the reason I work on Highrise, the reason I started Draft.I want to build things I want to see in the world.I look at all these other “business” videos on YouTube, posts on Medium, podcasts, and I see a great deal of people sharing success stories and the tactics they cherry picked which got them there. What I don’t see is them opening up about some of the difficulties of actually running…

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Stimulus 1.0: A modest JavaScript framework for the HTML you already have

Modern JavaScript doesn’t have to mean single-page, client-side MVC apps.We write a lot of JavaScript at Basecamp, but we don’t use it to create “JavaScript applications” in the contemporary sense. All our applications have server-side rendered HTML at their core, then add sprinkles of JavaScript to make them sparkle.This is the way of the majestic monolith. Basecamp runs across half a dozen platforms, including native mobile apps, with a single set of controllers, views, and models created using Ruby on Rails. Having a single, shared interface that can be updated in a single place is key to being able to perform with a small team, despite the many platforms.It allows us to party with productivity like days of yore. A throwback to when a single programmer could make rapacious progress without getting stuck in layers of indirection or distributed systems. A time before everyone thought the holy grail was to confine their…

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We decided to kill a feature to figure out how to make it better

Likes and hearts are all over collaboration and communication software today. Even Basecamp 3 has claps now. On the surface, that seems like a natural step forward: Make it easier to participate, provide encouragement, and create a sense of connection. But scratch that surface and there’s plenty of ambivalence below.I first really noticed my ambivalence in our own product when reading through the daily updates of what people at Basecamp had been working on. We gather all those in a What did you work on today? automated check-in. (It’s one of my favorite features of Basecamp, and it makes it so much easier to keep up with what everyone is cooking without the constant nagging of a manager checking in.)But as I read through the replies from the few dozen people who answered the question on any given day, I was faced with the dilemma of the clap. If I applauded…

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New in Basecamp 3: Decide who gets notified when completing a to-do

Elevating an invisible featureTo-dos in Basecamp are pretty straightforward. At a glance, you can see who’s responsible, when it’s due, and important details you might need to know:Unfortunately, it’s never been clear who will get notified when you complete a to-do. That made it hard to pass the baton to a coworker or tap your manager on the shoulder when you’ve wrapped things up.Sure, you could hack things together by @mentioning someone in the Notes field or by subscribing them to comments. But if you just want to be sure someone knows when you’re done, you shouldn’t have to jump through hacky hoops to do it.Say goodbye to hacksNow, when you make a to-do in Basecamp, you’ll see a new field labeled When done, notify. Add people you want to notify when the to-do is completed and Basecamp will be sure to tell them about it:Wondering who will get notified about a task you didn’t…

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“Are you extroverted?”

I upload a new video every single day to YouTube about business and just getting through life. A vlog as some call it. So also, every day, I walk around talking to a camera lens in the middle of a street or crowded event.It’s weird. It’s weird for a lot of people. So I get asked a lot: “How are you comfortable doing this?” “Do you have a history of doing something like this” But the umbrella question that I think most people are trying to ask is:“Are you extroverted? Is that why you can pull this off and I can’t?”The fact is, I’m probably one of the most introverted people you’ll meet. Some would maybe even label me fairly anti-social. :)I really like one-on-one interactions and meeting new people. I love true friends. But I don’t like going to parties. You won’t see me at many conferences. If I am there, you’ll find…

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Hard first or easy first?

Accountants have FIFO (first in first out) and LIFO (last in first out). Product designers have HFEL (hard first easy later) or EFHL (easy first hard later).No matter the project, there are things you’re more confident about and things you’re less confident about. No brainers, maybe brainers, yes brainers. Assuming you have limited time to complete a project (we spend a maximum of 6 weeks on most projects), you have to decide how to sequence the work. Do you pick off the hard stuff first? Easy stuff first? What to do?It depends, of course. I don’t have any answers for you, but I can share some of the things we think about when deciding what to do when.First we get our bearings.Does this feel like a full project? Is it probably going to take all the time we have? Lots of moving parts? Does this work touch a lot of other things, or…

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Growing apart and losing touch is human and healthy

I quit Facebook back in 2011 for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the most crucial was to rebel against its core mission: Connecting the world. I was over-connected with the world, acquaintances and friends from the past, and I wanted out.Zuckerberg has repeatedly doubled down on the toxic idea that we should only have one self, one persona. That we should be the same person in all social circles, lest we be “frauds”.I’m happy to be a fraud under that definition. I’m not the same person I was in high school. Not the same person I was at university. Not the same person I was with friends at age 15 as I was with a different group of friends at 21. I’m still not the same person with friends in programming as I am with friends in racing or with family or old mates from Denmark.What allowed me to change and…

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Are you the boutique or are you Target?

A couple weeks ago we decided to get an artificial Christmas tree. I love real trees, but years of evidence have proven I’m allergic. We think the dog is too. And the cleanup is a nightmare.So we went to Target looking for one.I didn’t want to go to Target, but my wife and kid were going and I didn’t feel like spending the day by myself. Plus, I wanted to improve our Wifi network and Target carries the Google Wifi mesh devices.I begrudgingly went along.My hangup with Target is that everytime I go to look for something specific, they don’t have it. Which was made abundantly clear again on this trip. They didn’t have any Christmas things left. They didn’t have a Google Wifi mesh network either.I began regretting tagging along.But that Saturday I didn’t want to waste my energy on a bad attitude, so I decided to treat Target a lot less specifically.I went…

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Don’t Be Fake

Hey, are you crushing it? It seems like everyone is constantly crushing it in the business world. But maybe it would be better if we were honest about our flaws, talked like ourselves, and aimed to be genuine instead of super polished. In this episode of the Rework podcast: A Basecamp customer support representative shares tips on writing emails like a real human being; an inherently artificial industry gets a dose of reality; and two startup founders try an experiment in radical transparency to save their business. Stick around until the end for some poetry. Yes, poetry!https://medium.com/media/d59750ee76fc72aca7f34aa247d0bd8d/hrefDon’t Be Fake was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. Source: 37signals

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