The seeds of an ethos…

When Norbert and I started Websuasion in 2007, we already had in mind several core principles which we agreed would be the foundation of our company. In fact, we spent months throughout 2006 (hours per day) loosely defining, debating and working over what would ultimately become our ethos. It was to be a constant reference point of guidance; a rallying cry; a belief system. But we also understood this ethos needed to be abstract enough to be flexible. Things change — as I’ve learned, often drastically and without warning — and if your system breaks in the process, it’s of little value to you.

Norbert came from the very earliest days of Mindspring, and like many people who experienced that work environment, he was profoundly influenced by the company’s “Core Values and Beliefs”. He and I were also both from the post-punk underground cultural movement from which sprung the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement in music, art and technology. This mindset — that with enough information, dedication, practice and patience you could accomplish anything — is largely what attracted us to the internet in the earliest days of the web. Then, as we delved into the Ruby programming community, the concepts of Agile development made as much of an impact on our business process as it did on our programming.

This trinity of influence was the basis for the Websuasion Ethos. Our beliefs would guide our interactions with one another, with colleagues, with employees, with clients and with our day to day work. Early in 2007, we tried to boil our concepts down to a neat and concise list — similar to the “Core Values and Beliefs” — and found it far too unwieldy. We then developed it into a short book, but found we were constantly editing, rewriting and fiddling with an ever-expanding conceptual beast. So, a blog seemed the perfect place to define and expand upon our ideas over time.

Why should you care?

The Websuasion Ethos was never intended to be specific only to our organization. We wanted our company to serve as its example, but more importantly, we wanted to share our ideas openly with the larger business community. We wanted to use our beliefs as a measuring stick to gauge the work we did for our clientele. But, we also intended — somewhat audaciously — to expect our clients to make the effort to understand and operate in the spirit of these concepts. We simply felt that our core beliefs would translate to better business and greater success for all who took the time to contemplate their purpose.

I am now charged with bringing our ethos to light as best I can. These concepts have grown in my mind to be more important than ourselves… more important than our company. I realize now that the ideological seeds Norbert and I planted together in 2006 have helped me to weather tough times and provided me clearer vision for the future of this company. I’ve seen clients (often initially skeptical) find their own success though many of these principles. Going forward with this blog, I hope you find value in these concepts. As we wade though together topic by topic, I welcome your comments, debate, suggestions, etc.

  • J Ryan Williams

    I am principal of Websuasion LLC, based out of Fayetteville, GA. We Develop Web and Mobile Applications, Produce Video and provide tools and methodologies for Responsible Brand Marketing.

    This blog tends to focus on the technical and conceptional aspects of our work with Ruby on Rails, iOS, DSLR video, the business process and a little branding discussion at times. I welcome your relevant comments, and if you have questions, feel free to speak up. For info on rates and service packages for Websuasion, please visit our Service Packages page.

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