end of an era
However, without revenue coming in from new Workshops, our creative team will no longer be able to serve our existing clients in a full-time capacity. Consequently, many will be moving on to new challenges. Greg and I are sincerely thankful to the team, and we honestly believe they are the best at what they do. We wish them all the best in this transition. Each one of us shared a bit of entrepreneurism, and I’m excited for what this change will bring — my bet is there will be a few new businesses born.
Regardless, on June 1st, there will be changes. I’d like to assure our existing clients that we will not leave them to fend for themselves. JMG will continue to serve existing clients through our small business consulting. I will discuss the extent of our services more thoroughly in future communication.
As I said above, we will not be accepting new creative projects after June 1st, but that does not mean we will stop looking out for our existing clients.
Our clients have trusted us with some very important parts of their business and have given us the opportunity to get to know them over the years, and we will make sure they remain connected with the capabilities and talents they have come to trust at JMG.
It has always been our philosophy to choose open-source and widely supported technology so our clients do not have to depend on a single developer or an unsupported, closed technology. Our goal was always to make our clients as independent from us as possible.
our Advocate cycle
Our plan is to continue consulting and being an advocate for our clients by helping them make their operations faster and guiding them in their application of technology. For creative and marketing services, we will partner with other local companies and connect clients with the capabilities they need to operate.
In the meantime, we’ll stay in regular communication and continue to address hosting, backups, and design and website changes (if any) while we work out the next steps.
When Greg and I launched JMG five and a half years ago, we had zero clients, but we wanted to build a company on our own. We did not intend to offer marketing services, but it came out as a byproduct of our own learning and experiences.
As we waded into the market, we focused on pursuing ideas that dealt with engineering and product development. We spent time observing problems, brainstorming ideas, and eventually, we built a mobile application to help businesses operate more efficiently. We launched our app in the Google Play store, and within hours, we had a horrible realization: We had no idea how to actually sell this thing!
We were originally (and naively) thinking that people just download apps once they get published. We intended to sell our app for $1 per download, but at that point, we hadn’t calculated if it was going to cost us more than $1 per download in marketing to get customers to actually buy it. We soon realized we not only needed invest in marketing, but we really needed to answer the questions: “How do we communicate the idea behind the app to our audience?” and “How do we talk about the solution the app provides?” We had no idea how much time it was going to take to overcome that problem.
We did know we needed help. In our efforts to arrive at a marketing solution, JMG’s creative services were born. As we learned how to overcome the traditional and digital marketing issues every small business faces, we had the opportunity to concurrently help a few of our first marketing clients.
Over the next several years, the JMG team grew from 2-to-3, 3-to-4.5, 4.5-to-12. By combining our system and software engineering experience along with marketing and creative talents, we successfully delivered over 50 workshop and engineering projects.
We worked with individuals and teams in banking, insurance, manufacturing, construction, funeral, HR services, non-profit, and restaurant industries (just to name a few). Almost every project was for a unique industry, but our team and our process delivered consistently excellent results.
We gradually formed our unique creative service into what we called “Website Workshops,” which combined elements of agile software development, branding & design, front-end web development, content writing, and information organization. Then as the sprinkle on top, we would do build the site collaboratively and launch it in about 5 business days.This was our first hand-crafted tool, and we greatly enjoyed lending it out to our clients.
We would literally give our team to our clients for weeks at a time to allow for good collaboration to occur. We wanted to blend our client’s industry knowledge with our team’s creative talent to deliver a website fast and well. Each of our workshops was as unique as the teams involved in creating them, and we were able to strengthen our process after each delivery to make it even more efficient. Our Website Workshops utilized every talent we had at JMG, and it’s a creation we’re extremely proud of.
I’ll answer that with a short story.
Right around the time JMG was founded, I had the opportunity to interview with Google.
At the time, Greg and I were hard at work on our first mobile app, and, as a software engineer, it was a bit flattering to even be asked to interview. So I decided to go through with the interview just to see what would happen. Obviously, I did not end up working for Google, but it was a great experience, and I was able to pull out a good lesson.
During the interview, we got to talk about my career and what was happening at JMG (including the app launch). Then I was put through the standard uber-hard Google interview questions. The problem I got to work on was a difficult computer science question created for a much more intelligent engineer than myself.
the original JMG logo (pre-Marcy)
I hammered away at the problem for a good 45 minutes trying to resurrect long forgotten algorithms from college, but I eventually arrived at the something that could pass as a decent answer. After I was finished, rather than praise, I received this response: “That’s good. Now, how would you make it better?”
I continued to struggle on the problem for a little while longer, and the interview eventually came to a close. We thanked each other for the opportunity, and then I got a great compliment. He told me, “In all honesty, I think what you’re doing now is more fun.” And he wished me luck on the new business.
All that to say, our Website Workshop service that we’ve worked diligently on for last few years has reached a conclusion. It was our answer to the problem of how to express and market our ideas (and the ideas of our clients). Now I find myself now thinking about my Google interview, and my response to all of this now is: “It’s good. Now how do we make it better?” I see JMG continuing to answer that question for ourselves and for our clients.
I look forward to continuing to share with everyone what we come up with next.
If you have any immediate questions, please email me at: [email protected]