AWD Employee Journal: The Adventure Begins

When I first began working at Austin Web and Design less than a week ago, I knew that I’d be in for an adventure. Our office space is not your typical corporate cubicle-jungle, molested by the never-ending hums of fluorescent lighting and water coolers. Instead, the magic happens in the cozy downstairs of one Isaac Simon, who is arguably the world’s most rad boss ever.

I watched with amazement and a slight tinge of fear as Brandon (another gifted designer) and Isaac spoke what sounded to me like another language altogether--the language of experienced web designers.

I’m gonna need the SQL info for that hosting site so I can update the Bellamy code for the...

I was lost.

I still am, at times. But I’m asking lots of questions, and I’m learning. Brandon and Isaac have been religiously patient with me, and in the few short days I’ve been here, I can proudly and honestly say that I’m now able to do things on a computer that I didn’t know were possible less than a week ago.

I love this job already.

Mash-ups of Johnny Cash and Notorious B.I.G. pour out over the miniature billiards table in the center of our office room while the soothing sounds of constant clicking and typing punctuate their profound and provocative lyrics. Lunch time rituals consist of intense Magic: The Gathering matchups and scrumptious homemade sandwiches. Isaac’s son, the currently 8-year-old adorable Connor, occasionally swoops in like a hurricane with ten thousand questions about absolutely anything. We do our best to humor him until his interest shifts to something else and he disappears as suddenly as he showed up.

And I have to say, looking back at some of the places I’ve worked before this, I can’t express how fortunate I feel to work here now. Though the work atmosphere here is light and humorous, there is never any question about what we’re here to do: Get down to business, create high-quality websites using an ingeniously simple and effective strategy, and keep our clientele 100% satisfied with the end result of all of our hard work.

I myself haven’t spoken with our clientele directly since I did some freelance work with Isaac a few months ago, but there, too, I find a lot to be thankful for. Because at Austin Web and Design, we let our customers know up front that we have the skills, passion, and drive to tackle even the most ambitious of our customers’ visions successfully. But that doesn’t mean we have to be boring, dry, or lifeless like so many of our competitors are. And for that reason, we attract customers who are, themselves, passionate and driven individuals from all walks of life--from dog enthusiasts to painters; from marriage counselors to sports store owners.

We wouldn’t have it any other way. Each of our projects teaches us something new, pushes us to beat one more hurdle, and improve ourselves. That’s the way it should be. And again I look back on my days of clock-in, clock-out, be treated like a mindless drone fueled by dumpster-quality coffee, and I don’t miss those days at all.

Now, I spend the better part of my weekdays broadening and honing my skills all across the board--from SEO to copy editing, from deciphering the mysteries of HTML to the excitement that comes from watching a website finally come together in a functional and elegant fashion.

But we’re just getting started. The more clients we leave elated, the more they tell their friends, coworkers, and peers about us, which in turn, of course, leads to more business. They get a site they love for a price that doesn’t break the bank, and we get a phone call from someone they know who’s ready to bring their business into the 21st century. Everyone wins.

I sat down with Isaac after work yesterday and we spoke about where we’d like to see Austin Web and Design be down the road--a month from now, six months from now, five years from now--and I was surprised to note that our visions for the company were practically identical. We both realize that we’re onto something here, a business model that isn’t only functional, but also fun. We’d both like to see Austin Web and Design continue to grow as our knowledge and expertise broadens. And as things are going now, that’s less a matter of “if” than a matter of “when.”

We know that we’ll eventually need to expand. For now, though, we’re keeping it in the family, and we all rest easier knowing that our clients are in the hands of people we trust and care about. Our goal, again, is to take what we do very seriously, but not who we are. That philosophy has brought Austin Web and Design from a humble startup to a rapidly blossoming business venture, and as my grandmother used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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