Getting Exactly What You Want

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I just wrapped up a week long logo design project at 99Designs, with an intellectual property transfer agreement.  Flash back to August 2009, when I was watching Episode 13 of This Week in Startups. In it, there was an interview with the founder of a disruptive startup which connects passionate designers from around the globe with savvy clients who need design projects completed in a timely fashion without the usual risk or cost associated with professional design.  The company is called 99Designs.  With less than 30 days from our startup launch, it was time to complete a scheduled task titled Get logo for HueCubed.

Because this is a bootstrapped effort, my budget was very low.  With a mere $150 to award to a designer, I was told it could go a long way on 99Designs.  As the contest sponsor, I answered a few questions about what the logo was for and any preferences that could help designers create original artwork to meet my needs.  The website was very straightforward. What was very helpful was it allowed both a public comment board and private comment board for your contest.  With 106 logo submissions, we narrowed it down to 3 designers.  Mictoon, Richard Scott Design, and mèrshî

With permission from two of the designers, I wanted to post submissions that made it to the finals.

Mictoon submission

Mictoon was the first to submit to the contest and continued to provide revised logos up until the end.  This designer was impressive in responding to every request we had.  I would post a comment about what I liked and what I did not like and we would get new submissions within a few hours.  I greatly appreciated the efforts made.  But with all contests, there can be only one winner.  Still, if you’re ever on 99Designs, I would recommend you send a direct message and invite a submission.

Richard Scott Design Submission

Another very impressive designer was Richard Scott Design.  Within just a few iterations, this logo was as professional as it could be.  Again, the designer was very responsive to our requests.  That’s the one thing I think made this effort such a success.  There was a huge volume of communications from both the designers and us.  I’ve never seen a successful project, when people operated in a void.  The more communications, the greater probability for success.

And this brings us to the winning submission.  mèrshî made the submission below and we were kind of taken back.  It had balance, clean lines, and nice colors.  The graphic could stand alone or could be paired with the font.  We made sure the font was under GPU/GPL so we wouldn’t have to pay anything extra or hit a legal snag.  Within a few hours of winning the contest, multiple high res versions of the logo were provided to us, and we signed the intellectual property transfer agreement.  Again, 99Designs made it very easy to take ownership.  We really want to thank mèrshî for being so very accommodating, ensuring we had everything we needed.

Winning submission from mèrshî

I would greatly recommend 99Designs to anyone who needs a graphic.  As a disclaimer, I am not being compensated by 99Designs in any way for the review I am writing.  To the contrary, I paid them!

When you’re bootstrapping a startup, you do what you can with the resources you have.  Thank you to Jason Calacanis for creating and hosting This Week in Startups.  Without the show, I might not have heard of 99Designs.

The Critical Path Week Ending February 13

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January 28 through February 5This week we dealt with the great blizzard of 2010.  It provided me extra time to write.  Then again, it took that extra time I thought I was going to spend on vacation.  My wife thinks I live in a world where everything is related to project management.   I go on a little rant about treating your customers right and then also lend an ear to my colleagues.  Read how I handle being both the sponsor and the project manager on a project.

2/7/2010

Snow Removal From an Agile PM Perspective

With our home getting hit with over 30 inches of snow in one weekend, I compared our HOA and the snow removal team to an Agile team.  Read how they went from failure to success, in one customer’s eyes…

2/8/2010

My Big Fat Greek Project

My wife compares me to the father on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I’m no Gus Portokalos, but give me a word, any word, and I will show you that the root of that word is Greek.  Actually, show me a scenario, any scenario, and I will show you how it can be related back to Project Management.  If that doesn’t do it for you, just put some Windex on it…

2/9/2010

The FedGov Fail Day 3

Jhaymee (@TheGreenPM) Wilson inspired this post.  I was frustrated the Federal Government would be closed for 3 days in a row.  I believed we could all be working, at least in a limited capacity, from home.  If the Federal Government could have a plan in place for H1N1, why the hell couldn’t plan for snow?…

2/10/2010

MS Project Task Types – Fixed Work – Units – Duration

Upon reviewing a vendor’s Integrated Master Schedule, created in MS Project, I noticed something very peculiar. Where some tasks could clearly be marked as Fixed Duration, everything was Fixed Units.  In the post, I include a YouTube video to help you understand the difference between Fixed Work, Fixed Units, and Fixed Duration…

THE most important thing is the customer

…You’re welcome?  Did I say thank you? No, I didn’t.  I offered a pleasantry. Just have a nice day.  Goodbye, our business relationship has completed.  Have a nice life…Listen to them.  Be polite.  Deliver value.

2/11/2010

How Do You Know Your Metrics Are Worth It

So you want to create some metrics.  More importantly, someone has told you that you need to create some metrics.  How do you know if you’re just making work for yourself or if you’re just putting a spin on the same old data?…

2/12/2010

Sometimes It Is Best To Just Listen

It was the first day our team had been together in a week.  The DC FedGov closures have really rattled people.  As contractors and consultants, we are not Government employees.  We play by different rules.  Depending on your contract, if the FedGov is closed, you may not get paid…

2/13/2010

The Difficult Task of Managing My Logo Selection Project

Using 99Designs has allowed me to crowd source a design.  I listed the price I was willing to pay, the duration of the contest and provided as much background information as possible to enable designers to provide me with quality submissions.  We immediately entered a rapid prototyping stage…