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Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity - Interviews with the Masters

Interview with Míc Miller - Part 4

[Internet Brothers] Time. There never seems to be enough, particularly for the grunt work of owning a Web site; the never-ending battle to attract new visitors and keep the old ones coming back. What can you suggest for streamlining daily, weekly and monthly activities we MUST do to keep up?

Hourglass[Míc Miller] The trick with Time is learning how to make it your ally. Time is relatively constant, but our perception of Time is constantly relative. Learning to use Time wisely is, to me, the purpose of Life. It is also something we have to figure out for ourselves. As for streamlining routines, I'd say, learn to prioritize and use compensatory strategies.

[IB] Let's say we could give you a blank check, the finest graphic artists in the world, the most technically inclined database programmers out there, the best copy writers on the planet, and the creativity of Michelangelo. How would you start a new Internet company from scratch?

[MM] Couldn't you just give it to me and let me show you? Okay, let's talk theory. First of all, someone is needed to identify a problem statement whose "solution" would be considered marketable. Then, after some encouraging background investigation and preliminary research, objectives could be visualized, reasoned and refined. Next, the core multidisciplinary team would form the hypotheses and parameters for an "optimal solution." At this point, the core team brings in others with the specializations needed to help create the "solution." Working models are developed to a prototypical state and tested in every way possible. If it's still green lights across the boards, limited production runs can be made and test marketed or field tested. If sales and/or feedback are positive, ramp up production and marketing. If not, it's back to the drawing board until it "flies right."

Now, this is a methodology that has been used in the Industrial Age. You said "Internet company" and that's Information Age. The formula can be the same except for factoring in the gap between solution provider and end user. Selling a simple appliance for less cost is one thing. Selling a complicated appliance that costs more is another matter. Today's Internet "solutions" usually incorporate third-party "solutions." When the end user faces too many learning curves, the "solution" isn't that productive. The videocassette recorder is an early example of a smart appliance that showed this gap. On the other hand, a smart appliance can actually bridge this gap as the Macintosh computer proved.

Overwhelmed, scared, frustrated, demoralized, and anxious. To get back to your previous question on Time, we all can use productivity solutions if they are just that and don't require Zen mastery of too many tools and commands. Professionals may be resigned to the nature of the beast and do the best they can with what's given to them. However, casual and infrequent users won't learn them because it takes too much time and that is, to them, counter-productive. They are overwhelmed, scared, frustrated, demoralized, and have anxiety attacks. In fact, marketers now tell us to avoid using the word "learn" because of its negative association. Quite a Catch 22 for the Information Age, isn't it? All in all, I'd start an Internet company by finding out what people really want and need and go from there.

[IB] So tell us, Míc, how can folks get a Gold Bar on their site?

Gold Bar (tm)[MM] Interesting question. Gold Bars are my version of Easter eggs which I sprinkle around the Hive. It's never occurred to me that others might want to use them. I don't have an answer. It must be time for me to get some rest.

[IB] Thanks very much for your time, Míc.

[MM] You're very welcome. Keep up the great work, guys. IB has turned into one helluva site.

Get the Book! The Webmaster's Guide to Glory! Míc Miller is author of The Webmaster's Guide to Glory! — How to Win the Top Web Awards. His own web award program is internationally recognized as one of the select few World's Top Awards, and is rated 5.0 by Award Sites!. We sincerely thank Míc for taking time out of his very busy schedule to share his experiences with us, and with you. Please stop by The Beeline to thank him in person.


End Míc Miller Interview

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"Learning to use Time wisely is, to me, the purpose of Life. It is also something we have to figure out for ourselves."

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