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  1. #1
    Member Jason Wilson's Avatar
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    A coworker and I are starting up a design and marketing shop. While this isn't a first attempt for either of us, it is the first time that we have gon through the proper paces for starting a business.

    One of these steps is building a business plan, and part of our business plan is going to have to address, to our prospective financers, how we plan to keep ahead of the estimated 3,000 competitors in our local area.

    Sidenote: If anyone knows how to scope out our competition, we'd like the advice.

    We believe one of our pluses is going to be keeping on the leading edge of the technology that runs the market. We know we will be able to do this to an extent due to the nature of our regular 9-5's we deal with new high-tech every day. But our employers aren't 100% geared towards the web and are more geared to education. Realising this we want to put together a list of resources to help us keep our thumb on the pulse of trend and tech.

    I figured there are plenty of people here who have been there. So, any resources you find crucial to keeping you ahead?
    Go n-ithe an cat thu is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat.

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  3. #2
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    I generally find slashdot to be a good place to catch trends. Not just the articles, mind you, but the comments, as well. I first heard about Rails from my dad and then saw it on Slashdot (ditto Ruby). In that vein, contacts within the industry are good, too. Having friends who are consultants, for example, is an excellent tap into the world of trends. Conferences can prove likewise useful. Finally, keep an eye on blogs relevant to your technologies. Ruby Inside, for example, is what keeps me more or less up-to-date on Ruby/Rails information.

  4. #3
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    the technology that runs the market.
    I think there is a danger. And that is chasing fads without really understanding what technology is for, or applying technology in any meaningful way. I have quoted the heck out of Jeffrey Zeldman and A List Apart to support this position.

    You aren't exactly narrowing down the competition by chasing this week's "must have technology." Frankly, the idea of the four-page MySQL PHP website with a total of 400 words of actual content is no longer amusing. It doesn't take you more than fifteen hundred of such sites to start looking at them like hit counters.

    The real trait of a tech savvy population would be moving beyond the latestest technologies -- to cutting edge application.

  5. #4
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    While I'm definitely willing to concede that fact as concerns web design, web development is a different matter. Trends in web development, while they can be equally misleading, will almost always teach you some new way of looking at things that can prove valuable in the future. This is why, for example, even if Rails ends up just being a fad that fades (which I doubt, for various reasons), I feel like I will still have learned a lot from using it while it was around.

  6. #5
    Member Jason Wilson's Avatar
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    I certtainly understand what you mean, DC. However, we're certainly not the types that you'd expect to just do what everyone else is doing. We're going to do our best to innovate, but if my clients come to me and say, "can you guys do 'supercalafragilisticexpialidocious scripting'?" I want to be able to at the very least knwo what they're talking about.

    It is a very good point though and I'm glad you brought it up, I'm already there but it may help someone down the line.

    Shadowfiend, you have a point about blog comments. Thanks for the ruby blog too.


    Oh yeah, FTR we are design/development/marketing at the moment. We're also eyeing interior design.
    Go n-ithe an cat thu is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat.


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