I'm having a good time re-entering the web consulting market.
I think this is largely due to the perspective I have on the industry, the work and the market. It seems like most of the folks who were doing this work back when I got started with Webworks are long gone. They've either moved on to other types of work or they got rich during the boom or they've decided to go artistic-philosophical in some way.
The funny thing about this perspective is that I'm realizing how little has truly changed. It seems like 90% of the change in this market occurred in the first 5 years. And then change slowed. And slowed. And now the differences between 3 years ago and now... sure there are new cool technologies and products - but the work is the same. The challenge is the same. The starting point - and the ending point... it's all the same. We're still trying to explain why it's important to try and understand your audience before creating something for them. We're still trying to balance sexy look and feel with ease of use. We're still managing battles between IT and Marketing. We're still making web sites.
The one thing that does seem to have changed recently is the positioning of the firms doing the work. It seems like almost everyone is either trying to be an "Agency" or they are trying to be a "Creative Firm." Now... there is no doubt that there is room in the market for both these models - and there is no doubt that both can be successful. But it is depressing that no-one is actually thinking and experimenting and learning. It's pure imitation right now. And it is even more depressing that no-one has realized that these two models are incredibly conservative - successful more in terms of limiting risk than enabling success. These are boring models and they result in lowest common denominator companies and results. Tactical execution of pixel design and utilization driven job shops are un-interesting dead-ends. I deeply miss the entrepreneurial spirit of the firms that existed before the crash. I miss the courage and the conviction. Tweet