Podcast Episode 4 - Announcing Version One for Everyone

I'm announcing today a new service that is going to be provided by Ideal Project Group, and I'm calling it Version One for Everyone - which I'll also refer to as v1.4e1. I'm really excited about it. So much so that in addition to announcing it on this blog, I've also put up a special podcast episode where I discuss the reasoning behind providing this service in more detail. You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or simply listen to the episode at the bottom of this post.

As regular readers of this blog know, Ideal Project Group has, until now, focused almost exclusively on providing project management services for a variety of organizations. In these engagements, we generally work inside a company to manage important projects, work with their people, coordinate with vendors and business partners, and drive a project to completion. We will still be doing this, and it is still a vital component of our business.

During the course of running our core business though, we've learned a tremendous amount about the web, technology, design and a host of other things. Most importantly, we've learned a lot about some great tools that can allow anyone to quickly and easily deploy amazing web solutions. Of course, you have to know about these tools, learn how to use them, and then implement them to launch your business, or service.

After listening to some very compelling reasons as to why businesses should spend time focusing on their by-products (another 37Signals inspiration/reminder), and recognizing that various friends and family members have asked me to build websites for them, I realized that I've been sitting on everything I needed to provide another service. I've gathered a ton of knowledge, and have obtained a specific skill-set that I could use to help other people quickly launch websites, blogs, podcasts, social networks, and a variety of other web/technology related things such as online payment solutions, web forms, and other things of that nature.

It took me a little while to get comfortable with this idea. I've worked within technology departments for so long as a project manager that my perception of reality had become a bit skewed. First, when you're an IT project manager, the default position is that the developers, data base administrators, and others are the resident experts in their field. As a PM, you're an expert - but in something else than the people actually creating a product. The other thing that happens when working within technology departments for a while is you begin to assume that everyone knows how to do what you're able to do. After all, I'm not a developer - I help developers. So if this is true, then everyone knows how to build a website with WordPress, publish a podcast, or integrate a simple e-commerce solution with PayPal right?

Wrong.

The truth is there's a huge percentage of the population that doesn't know a thing about some of the tools that are available to build websites. And, it's also true that I've become an expert of sorts on the web. Do I still have a lot to learn? Absolutely. But that should always be the case should it not?

The other truth is that when someone goes to a web design firm to have a website made, they often get a proposal for something that's going to cost $10,000 or more. For a lot of businesses, this cost is worth it. For others though, it's not. And if you're just getting started, your website should absolutely not be one of your biggest expenses.

The alternative is to learn how to make a nice looking site with Blogger or Wordpress or another similar solution. For some people this is great; it's exactly what I did for my business. But here's the other truth that people in technology forget sometimes: Not everyone wants to learn how to do this or spend time doing it.

A lot of times, surgeons and eye doctors don't want to learn HTML. Chefs often don't want to learn how to find, download and install Blogger templates. An outdoors outfitter may not want to spend time integrating an online reservation and payment solution.

It seems to me that there's a need for great web solutions, that can be implemented quickly with tools that already exist by someone that knows how to use them. If a developer needs to be brought in to hook things together, or customize a few things then that's great. But building everything from scratch is not the solution most people need.

So this is the new service we're going to provide. The aim is that for a really reasonable price we should be able to create and deploy a great web solution for most small businesses. We're beginning by outlining a few things we can create such as websites, blogs and podcasts, along with basic web services like setting up email addresses, domain handling and that kind of think. It may even grow into a sort of outsourced tech department kind of thing. I don't know where it'll go exactly, but this is where we're going to start.

You can get more details on this new service at http://v1.4e1.idealprojectgroup.com.

If you or someone you know wants to get a great website, podcast, or something else on the web up and running quickly, I hope you'll consider sending them our way.