Friday, May 21, 2010

Married to the web guy

Being married to the web guy has its pluses.

First, if I have a question about anything webby or technical, I know the guy to call. And he’s really good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a technical problem that he couldn’t fix. Granted, my technical problems probably aren’t that complicated, but still. Knowing I have someone literally in-house to call is a great comfort. If Mark weren’t here, my computer would have been thrown through the window a long time ago.

I’m inspired by his creativity. I love watching him create amazing designs. At some point during our clients’ projects I get to see the work in progress. I get first glance at the mood boards, design concepts, logo designs, etc. I’m no web designer, but after seeing a lot of web design, I know that Mark’s work is pretty amazing. Frankly, I don’t know how he does it. Every client gets a unique design, some clients depending on the size of the project, might be presented with 2 or 3 design concepts. How he comes up with so many ideas, I’ll never know.

I’m totally proud of the business that he’s created. Mark is a modest guy. He will read this and be embarrassed. But, under the laid-back-Seattle-web-guy exterior, he’s a sharp businessman. He’s planning Bizango’s future even when the week is booked with working on client projects. Every week, we set aside time to develop new and improved features to the update tools, or to develop future Bizango endeavors. Sometimes carving out the time for these long-term goals hurts. That time has got to come from somewhere, and every week we look at the schedule and make sure that its on our to-do list. He doesn’t compromise on this. His eye is on the future of our business and the security of our family. He’s my hero.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Disneyland does right

Our family just got back from a 3 day vacation to Disneyland. Our kids, ages 5 & 3, are finally at an age where they could appreciate the fun, magic, and craziness that IS Disneyland.

Disneyland is over-the-top in every way. To go there and really appreciate it, you have to let your inner kid lead. For those who stick up their noses at Disneyland---there’s seriously something wrong with you. To enjoy Disneyland you have to let go of your inhibitions. Don’t worry--no one in southern California knows who you are or even cares (if you’re not a movie star, that is). You can be a kid again. You don’t need any mind altering drugs, you just need to be one with Disney.

The creativity put into Disneyland is amazing. Where else is as extravagant, larger than life, and fantastical? Part of what makes each “land” feel so real is that there’s no holding back. Disney has seen to even the smallest detail to make your experience feel REAL. It creates desire in the weirdest ways-- I could totally see myself living out the rest of my days in Tarzan’s treehouse (Tarzan could stay, of course). Seattle? Work? House? Bahh!! I’ll take life in the treehouse any day.

Even if it is Disneyland, there’s a lot to appreciate about being in a place where creativity is valued. While we were waiting in line (part of the DL experience, no doubt), we saw a group of executives getting a tour of Pixie Hollow. It was funny to see a group of men in suits walking though Tinkerbell’s forest, taking everything in all so seriously. They’re no fools, they know this is a goldmine.

From a business perspective, there’s a lot to learn from Disney. Disneyland is expensive. But still the people come and pay. Disneyland has spared no expense at creating an experience. Disney wants everyone to feel special. Everyday is a celebration. The parades, fireworks, and musical numbers are spectacular. Our kids got to meet Tigger, for goodness sake. Can you put a price tag on that? Apparently you can. Yes, this vacation set us back some, but it was worth it. We’ll totally go again.