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Interview: Sidebar Creative : Comments

By Matthew Pennell

September 24, 2007


Matthew Anderson

September 25, 2007 9:52 AM

Just wanted to give some kudos. I thought this was an excellent piece. You asked all the questions that I was hoping would be answered.

matthew Smith

September 26, 2007 5:53 AM

This is a more and more common way of handling business. I know that this is how Happy Cog Philadelphia works as well. I had the pleasure of interviewing there with those folks and they seem to think its a decent way of working.

If the interviewees are still taking questions…

I’d be interested to know if they take contingencies in contracts for the possibility that a client would be/could be knowingly or unknowingly devisive and seek out only one partner for work in the future? How would you all handle that?

Also, a big part of business for me is reinvestment in the business. In fact this idea of “working on the business, rather than in it”. Do any of you feel that you are able to do this kind of business building in your present situation? An example, would be whether you have time to systemitize any of your processes for the goal of efficiency and clarity for the client?

Thanks a ton. I think this is a really interesting model, and considering it more and more myself. Best of luck to Sidebar Creative.

Jonathan Snook

September 26, 2007 11:06 AM

@matthew Smith: having a particular member of the crew singled out before or after the group has worked with a client isn’t an issue. (well, for me it isn’t) One of the reasons for the collective is to work on larger projects as a team but if the need for all four of us on a project aren’t there, I won’t feel bad if a client decides to deal one-on-one with another member of the crew. If it became a regular occurrence, then maybe we’d need to discuss it as a team and set down some guidelines but I don’t anticipate that happening in our case.

As for re-investing into the business, it’s absolutely something we all believe in — both from an individual point of view and collectively. We’ve set up a plan that a portion of all funds stay within the collective to pay for expenses and help fund new projects. From a business process point of view, we try to leverage existing tools like Basecamp and Highrise to make our lives easier. If it means building our own tool to do it, then we’d do it if we thought it’d save us time and money in the long run (and even better if we could release it to the world).

I hope that answered your questions. :)

Dustin Brewer

September 27, 2007 2:04 PM

Great interview, I had a chance to see these guys at the Webmaster Jam in Dallas and they all had fantastic sessions about some really great topics. I can’t wait to see what all comes out of Sidebar.

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