Series 2 - Episode 2 - Slow burn

Three months later, all the biggish live projects are closed off. Former clients say, I’d introduce you to so-and-so at so-and-so, but I can’t, because your website’s shit”.

So that’s what we’re doing, making a less shit website. Business-wise, we’re in a limbo bit where the cashflow forecaster (big ups Float, thanks Andy for the recommendation) suggests that current confirmed projects mean we’re dead in January and no sooner. (The advantage of no real overheads in the internet-era; our biggest fixed cost is our accountant (worth every penny).) There’s work booked, no panic, so there’s time to invest in making some internet.

Like every company that does anything to do with websites that I’ve ever been involved with, making our own website feels way harder than doing it for clients. All distraction and anxiety over trying to say things about ourselves that really, someone else should be saying instead. The New Forest Off-Road Club don’t call themselves inclusive’, because that’s a value judgement, not a fact. Who are we to say we’re compassionate?

Some things we’ve been nudged on in the past month while we noodle on it all: Pick your target audience” Who are your users?” What’s our relative positioning?”

After a bit of hand wringing over positioning, I re-read Tom Critchlow’s post on a map for indie living’: Anytime you think you want to craft a tight positioning statement, instead of putting it on your homepage as I do X for Y’’ instead write a 2,000 word blogpost about How I do X for Y”.” There is no pithy line - as far as I can work out - that bridges the gaps between doing technology consulting for fintechs and org design for social housing organisations and service design for local authorities and simply expressing ourselves for the sake of expressing ourselves.

So: we need to lean into the nuance, tell the stories of the work, show the links and the joins, and stop trying to box ourselves into lines of X for Y. Show we’re competent. (And we’re available.) We’re a studio of two, and a year or so into working together - there’s no positioning that encapsulates the work we’ve done, or really the work we enjoy doing either. We just want people who see it to go, oh look, they’ve been doing some cool / interesting / hard stuff.

When I rented a desk from Wichita Recordings in 2007-2008, they put out records by Simian Mobile Disco and Euros Childs in the same year. What was that positioning? No idea. Stuff they liked, thought was good, thought other people might enjoy too. No hand wringing. Just records.

Final aside - Discord feels like the best thing we’ve done so far. A nice crew chatting gardening and computers. Drop us a note back if you want an invite, and we can make sure to introduce you to everyone.


May 25, 2023