Someone once told me that I should be satisfied with what I had in life, specifically, a good job that paid the bills. It’s true that in such a tough economic period I should probably be glad to have any old job, let alone one within the field of my choice. But, it wasn’t enough. Not for me anyway. I wanted more. I wanted to allow myself to experience my full potential. I wanted to see how far I could really make it if I pulled out all the stops.
I’ve had this sort of mentality my entire life. It’s something I love and hate about myself. On one hand, I love the fact that I’m always eager to grow and push my limits. On the other hand, I sometimes think it’d be nice to just take a break and stop feeling so ambitious. That’s just not me though. I think that in hindsight, I’d much rather prefer the former. I believe that ambition shapes character and the resulting trials refine you. So with that said, I’ve decided to take yet another leap of faith in order to satisfy what has most recently been on my heart: I’m leaving my current job in an effort to open my own company.
I’m not doing this on my own though. I’m aware of my strengths as well as my shortcomings, so I know it’s imperative to find a like minded, equally ambitious co-pilot to balance me out. I’m fortunate and grateful to say that I’ve found just this person. Jonathan Christopher and I have shared this dream for quite some time now. As of November 1, 2010 it will be official.
Jon is an expert in front end development, programing and anything involving the web. He’s also happens to love good beer, music, his wife and God; all prerequisites in my eyes. While I also love good beer, music, my wife and God, I tend to excel in information architecture and design; the aesthetic side of the web. All of these areas certainly have their overlap, but our hearts have settled in their own respective camps and we’d like to make the most of that.
Every business needs a name, obviously. We wanted one, however, that would reflect our morals and mission. As I mentioned above we were both interested in creating a partnership, rather than an individual effort. The name needed to recognize this in one way or another. We also wanted to honor God. Not just with the name, but the whole business. So we’re calling our company: Iron to Iron.
The name Iron to Iron has multiple meanings to us; both secular and Scriptural. First, the secular: It sounds strong and represents nose-to-the-grindstone hard work. It’s also repetitive; duplicate words in one phrase. This reiterates that there are two of us – strength in numbers. Is that at all a stretch? Maybe… Doesn’t matter to me though. Here’s the real meaning, the Scriptural meaning: Iron to Iron is a reference of Proverbs 27:17
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Christian or not, this verse is pure truth. This was the exact reason why Jon and I felt compelled to enter this venture together. What better way to live by that then name our livelihood after it? On a complete side note, here’s a fun/uber lame fact regarding some insight on the name: Jon and I were in a paddle boat on a lake in New Hampshire when we settled on it. How cool are we?
Taking our own advice
What’s a web design/development company without a website? Our brand and the overall look of our site was obviously very important to us. It’s something that we toiled over for quite awhile. It was important that we launched this business with a strong backbone – something we could lean on and feel proud of. As a result, we ended up with a brand and site we’re both very pleased with. The design itself contains a lot of intricate details and the finished development supports and enhances each one of them.
We wanted the site to feel confident. Iron to Iron is inherently strong sounding, so we needed to have elements that would compliment this. We also wanted our messaging to be simple and to-the-point. So the site revolves around bold imagery and blunt, but friendly copy.
The look of the site walks a fine line between ‘retro’ and ‘clean’. Both of these adjectives happen to fulfill our personal taste, but also represent the brand well.
As far as content and structure is concerned, we wanted to focus on the meat of what we believe while avoiding the fluff. This resulted in us addressing:
- Why we’re doing this and who we are
- What exactly we are offering as a service
- How we’re going to make it all happen
Everything beyond that, in our opinion, is excess. We’ve also built a separate portfolio site, but we’re keeping it private for the time being. We know there will be potential clientele who will want to see our past work, but at this point it’s not the approach we want to focus on.
See for yourself
So, please, take some time and review this for yourself. I hope you enjoy all the intricate details and find it to be a generally positive user experience. I’m interested to hear feedback and thoughts, so please let me know.
More importantly though, I’d like to acknowledge the significance of the impact this change has left on my life. Beyond all the concern and worry that comes along with a taking a risk such as this, it has overwhelmingly felt liberating. I’m ready to reap what I sow and fully experience the fruits of my labor (whether it’s good or bad). Regardless, this venture has taught me to follow my heart, dream big, take risks and trust God. We only live once, so we might as well make the most of it.