Today I received a wonderful gift from the UPS delivery-man: a crisp edged, brand-spankin' new copy of Bob Walsh's Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality softcover book. Why is it so special? Well, it's the first book in which I've been featured as an interviewee! (see pp 58-59)
Bob emailed me last summer, asking if I'd be willing to offer quotes on logo and graphic design for his new book, to which I heartily agreed. After all, I'd been collaborating with Ian Landsman and several other micro-ISV owners on logo and web design work, so it only made sense to share that experience with Bob and other Micro-ISV owners. (Micro-ISV stands for micro-Independent Software Vendor; in other words a small software developer, often one person.)
Bob called a few days later to ask his questions and discuss the details. We had a great phone conversation, which eventually turned into a post on his ToDoOrElse weblog, as Micro-ISV Tip #6: Visual Integrity.
Here's a snippet from the article, which ended up in the book as well:
Q. Why should a micro-ISV get a professional in to do their logo?
A. There are certainly ways of doing it yourself, or buying an off-the-shelf stock logo for fifty bucks, with exclusive rights in the 200 dollar range. Problem is, if you have a very specific company and you're looking to portray what your company stands for, you're already adapting to an existing logo that may not fit what you do. You're already starting off with a compromise.
It’s subtle, but because it’s important to get the idea of your company or product across quickly and fully. Any confusion or lack of clarity can delay the first good impression. Design is becoming more and more critical for businesses, particularly on the Internet where you see the identity long before connecting with a person.
In a nutshell, you should hire a design professional because is it’s not your specialty. If you're a micro-ISV, you're always trying to be very effective with your limited time and energy. By doing it yourself you may actually spend more time and energy than you want and yet may not be happy with the end results.
All those months ago, I hadn't considered the reality of my words and name being captured in print. I'm quite used to seeing my words appear online — on my own blog and even on other websites — but there is something special about appearing in print. it's so... permanent.
Many thanks to Ian Landsman, and his UserScape and HelpSpot logo blog post which opened which the door for this opportunity, and to Bob Walsh for giving me the opportunity to contribute. I hope my words help many more Micro-ISVs out there establish businesses with great design as one of the pillars of their success.