Posts Tagged:energy

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.


Knock out a quick win

The smallest action as a leader can have the biggest impact.“I had no idea it mattered so much.”A CEO said this to me about a year ago. I’d run into him at a conference. As we sat down at lunch together, he shared something that had happened to him recently…A few months prior, he had asked his team a question through Know Your Company (they’re a happy customer!). The question was:“Would you like a new office chair?”The CEO initially thought the question was a little silly, to be frank. Did office chairs really matter? He doubted anything meaningful would come of the question, but he decided to ask it anyway.Turns out, every single person in the office (they’re about a 14-person company) responded with, “Yes, I’d like a new office chair.”Not only that, but many of them wrote lengthy, in-depth responses about how unhappy their chairs were making them — how it hurt their lower backs, how it…

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Where Do New Jobs Come From?

Each position has its own origin story. Some roles existed when Viget first came to be, but many broke off from other positions as the internet industry evolved and specialization increased — like Front-End Developers and UX Designers (whose responsibilities were, long ago, rolled up into the Designer role). Just recently, we started recruiting for the new-to-us Digital Content Producer position, not in response to the industry evolving as much as Viget evolving. I thought I’d share the background and context out of which this new role came to be. The position arose from conversations about wanting to do more with our abundant treasure chest of awesome client work, admirable company traditions, beautiful office spaces, and talented employees. We have great content and fertile ground for more great content, but we needed to address some gaps and answer some questions. Here are some of the conversations we were having: For…

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You Know It When You See It

Just 15 days ago I shared a new Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency community site that my brother was putting together and it’s been an insane 15 days. The first day that the site was live it saw a grand total of 796 pageviews – not bad, not bad, right? I was impressed but I wasn’t even remotely prepared for what was to come. You see, the next day the site didn’t see double the number of pageviews or even triple. It didn’t see 5 or even 10X. The very next day the community site clocked in nearly 60,000 pageviews (59,575 to be exact). And it didn’t stop. In fact, in just a few days the community site will cross one 1,000,000 pageviews… … … … one… freakin’… million… pageviews… Now, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of many online communities and have built a few of them myself and I have…

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How the Department of Energy is Changing the Digital Government Game

Government websites face specific challenges when it comes to engaging their users, including diverse audiences, heavy content requirements, and, often, sluggish communication between departments which impacts site efficiency. These challenges can be eased with innovative design and UX practices. Source: https://www.phase2technology.com/feed/

Killing Caffeine

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time but I’m finally at a place where I think I can go for it. And now that I’ve made a commitment to make my final day of coffee and caffeine this Friday, August 25th, I’ve started to wonder why it’s been such a hard decision in the first place. A blog post that I read recently really helped me crystallize a number of personal issues that I’ve had with the idea of removing caffeine from my life and also reminded me of the very real benefits if I’m able to do it. Specifically, the idea of having a consistent energy level without the need of a stimulant and drug is very appealing. My body hasn’t ever responded well to drugs in the past but to keep putting this one in my body daily for decades never really crossed my mind as the same…

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Triple Threat: The Challenger, The Catalyst, & The Finisher

The “triple threat” is a concept that has fascinated me ever since I was a kid. I heard it used to describe either an athlete or an entertainer who had mastered a combination of three disciplines that together made him or her exceptional. For the basketball player, it was someone who was a great shooter, rebounder, and defender (think Lebron James). For the entertainer, it was someone who was a great actor, singer, and dancer (think Beyonce). This led me to a curious thought recently: What combination of disciplines in our field would make a person a “triple threat.” My thinking ranged from hard-skill to soft-skill disciplines, and here’s the trio—more on the soft side—that rose to the top for me. The Challenger As designers and thinkers, we’re meant to challenge habituation or problems and do something about them. Tony Fadell, designer of the iPod and the Nest, shares that…

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The Warglaives of Azzinoth: A 10 Year Grind ⚔️

Okay, so, this isn’t what you may think it is. In fact, it’s probably the very last thing that you might expect to read after reviewing the title of this blog post. But, it is what it is. Today, finally, after 10+ years… I have completed the two-part set of the legendary Twin Blades of Azzinoth, consisting of a Main-Hand and Off-Hand sword. Achievement Unlocked! As you can see, I’ve gotten the rare achievement on this day, August 12th of 2017. The thing is, as I mentioned, I started trying to obtain these weapons since January of 2007. Yes, 10 years. Every single week when the dungeon locks reset I’d find a team (or later solo the raid) and battle my way through 9 epic bosses and tons of mob trash for a chance that either one would drop. Apparently the drop rate % is around 5% which I find surprisingly high. In…

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On being a bad manager

A fellow I admire just asked me why it’s so easy to be a bad manager. Goddamn, that’s a fantastic question. I made some bonehead moves myself yesterday, so I’m in the perfect position to answer this one.Because I didn’t want to overthink my answer, I told him I’d write something up this afternoon and send him a link.Here goes, stream of consciousness, unedited, and quick…We’re bad at most things by default. The only way to overcome the deficit is with the right kind of practice.We can practice badly and get over small humps, but if really want to break through from bad to good — or to great — we have to put in deliberate, focused practice. And plenty of reps.With some things this is straightforward. Want to get better at a sport? There are clearly documented methods and approaches to practice. Want to get better at playing guitar, the drums, or the sax? Same thing.But with those,…

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Truly Simple Systems

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to build fundamentally simple systems, especially as it relates to software products. I think this is one of the best times for me to be thinking about them because I’ve got a startup and a team that’s building a massive and intelligent software solution for technology companies, especially for those at scale. And when I mean by “scale” I mean that some of our early customers are some of the biggest companies on the planet. I feel fortunate and grateful to have them as clients, that’s for sure. But it means that their environments and infrastructure and the organizational culture and systems within their businesses are equally as complex and difficult to understand. “Simple” simply isn’t an option or even a possibility at the scale at which these organizations work. And that’s not a bad thing, it means that our efforts to create…

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Training Grit

I’m thoroughly enjoying this book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, and I’m about half-way done in just a few days. It resonates with me for a handful of reasons but there are a few that really have stuck out for me. The first is how relatable it is for me personally as I take a look at my strange and different and winding career path. I have tried a handful of things, failed at a ton, but I have kept going, moving one foot in front of the other and I have worked hard to do as much good as I can in those particular seasons. Grit, apparently, is much more about perseverance in the face of adversity than most things and I have encountered many successful people in my field (and beyond) that have exhibited nothing more than a decision to simply not quit. Their motives may differ,…

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Crash Course: VR Design for N00bs

We have a tradition at Viget of experimenting with our own ideas, independent of client work. But, honestly, it’s been too long since we built something pointless. Today, we’re debuting our latest experiment in virtual reality—a WebVR adaptation of the classic circuit-board puzzle Lights Out. It’s a one-player game, with the objective of turning all the “lights” in the grid off. Sure, the final product is neat, but how did we get there? Jumping into the VR metaverse is overwhelming. I was disappointed to find there are tons of libraries for developers—but very few centralized resources for designers. As creatives, we pride ourselves on our ability to apply design thinking to everything. So, where are all the thought leaders in VR design? There’s little to no consensus around even the most basic design standards—like typography or accessibility. Basically, VR design is a wild west free-for-all. However, instead of seeing this as…

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Hey, Let’s Build an App.

I’m doing a bit of a new series on my vlog which I think could be either pretty interesting or entirely boring. I’m going to be sharing a little bit of how to build an app. It’s going to be a bit cluttered as one of my goals of this sort of documentation is to not do much planning with it (document, don’t create!). This is a bit atypical for me as I like to format these types of things in a structured way (you can see my blog series that I’ve done in the past as a perfect example). But, in this series via the vlog I’m just going to chat candidly about the things that I think about as I’m thinking about them. Today I’ll most likely talk a little more about this: So, that’s that. Hope you subscribe or follow along. I can’t promise that it’ll be…

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Daniel Craig— Flip flopper

In celebrity news this week, Daniel Craig will be back as 007 in the next James Bond film slated to be in theaters Nov 8, 2019. (My birthday by the way. Thanks MGM)But his return is quite the surprise for us interested in the movie franchise. When Time Out asked Daniel about returning for the next Bond movie after Specter in 2015, Daniel let us know:I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists.Daniel Craig is a giant flip flopper…As many families do, after a long week, my wife and I don’t feel like cooking on Friday night, so we look to eat out. We are terrible however with the decision about where to go.We simply don’t care enough. I’m not a picky eater. I don’t feel strongly about most restaurants we can choose. We hem and haw about going to this place or that place. I remember nights where we would eventually just give…

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How we pay people at Basecamp

It’s just better business to pay people fairlyThere are no negotiated salaries or raises at Basecamp. Everyone in the same role at the same level is paid the same. Equal work, equal pay.We assess new hires on a scale that goes from junior programmer, to programmer, to senior programmer, to lead programmer, to principal programmer (or designer or customer support or ops…) We use the same scale to assess when someone is in line for a promotion.Raises happen automatically, once per year, when we review market rates. Our target is to pay everyone at the company in the 95th percentile, or top 5%, of the market, regardless of their role. So whether you work in customer support or ops or programming or design, you’ll be paid in the top 5% for that position.If someone is below that target, they get a raise large enough to match the target. If someone is already…

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Worry is the most useless emotion

Five ways I cope with worrying as a leader.The other week, I interviewed Jason Fried, CEO and co-founder of Basecamp. I asked him what he wish he would’ve learned earlier as a leader.His response? Worry less.I smiled when he said this. Oh, how I could relate!Over the past few years, I’ve noticed how many CEOs (myself included) are stressed out and worried about something. They’re worried about employees leaving, internal team conflict, growing fast enough, their product failing, the market changing, the competition beating them, running out of money, hiring great people…The list of worries seemingly has no end.But how do we put an end to it? Personally, I know I’d like to worry less. I think more clearly, act more intentionally, and enjoy life a hell of a lot more when I’m less worried.In an effort to worry less as a leader, I decided to write out what works for me. Here are five things I…

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One door at a time

Entrepreneurs are told to go big or go home. Stop obsessing over scale, and perfect the basics instead.Last year, I met a first-time entrepreneur who was opening a tea shop. We’ll call him John.At the time, he had a pop-up shop in my neighborhood. I really liked him, his vision, and the quality and presentation of his tea, so we kept in touch. When he decided to go from pop-up to permanent shop, he asked for my advice.While we were talking about this permanent shop, which he still hadn’t opened, his attention would often drift to his next shop. And the one after that. And after that. And then building an app to make online ordering easy. And then, becoming the next Starbucks.Whoa. Hold on, man, I told him. I get it, scaling the business seems sexy. But, I said, that is the entirely wrong thing to think about now. I wouldn’t spend…

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I Bought $5,000 Bitcoin Yesterday…

Yesterday was kind of a neat day as I decided to personally invest some capital into Bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large. It’s 100% due to my brother’s influential remarks, his research, and most obvious is his amazing financial returns that he’s already experienced. He’s gone “pro,” essentially, at this point in time and I’ve been watching him make calls and trades daily. It was kind of inevitable I suppose. But, I make mention of this on the larger Fireside Chat that I had with him about the power of relationships and how I was slowly convinced by someone that I trust about doing something new and different. I think our lives are highlighted by trusted friends and colleagues investing their time and energy into helping us make smart decisions with our time and money and limited resources. I share a few more thoughts about this journey over 3 videos, which…

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Show me a business problem and I’ll do my best to avoid it

“One of the greatest ways to avoid trouble is to keep it simple. When you make it vastly complicated — and only a few high priests in each department can pretend to understand it — what you’re going to find all too often is that those high priests don’t really understand it at all…. The system often goes out of control.” -Charlie MungerMany business problems are self-induced. Many wounds self-inflicted. The competition can win, but more often, the competitor loses to themselves.Entrepreneurs are really good at making things hard on themselves. I talk with a lot of them and I see it everywhere. If they’d only put more energy into avoiding future problems rather than solving present ones they previously created, they’d make significantly more progress in less time.We’ve built our business on avoiding problems. It’s the fundamental reason we’ve been able to do what we do, and keep doing it — profitably, and with a small team — for…

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“I think I’m having a heart attack”

In 2011, I was part of the Summer class of Y Combinator, working on a startup creating online games, and I was stuck on a problem.I hadn’t slept well for days. Weeks. I stayed up as long as I could keep my eyelids open each night, powering through work with tons of caffeine. I NEEDED TO FIGURE THIS OUT.One night, as my hands started to shake, and my heart pounded in my chest, I called my wife and told her:“I think I’m having a heart attack.”We’ve all been in situations where we needed to come up with solutions to tough problems. Probably more times than you want to remember. And, I bet, all that thinking sometimes led to some headaches and stress.But did it lead to a good decision?In 2009, 4 researchers, Loran Nordgren (Northwestern University) and Ap Dijksterhuis, Maarten Bos, and Rick van Baaren (Radboud University Nijmegen), wanted to find out.So they gave study participants…

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