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This is Block 81's archive of past articles. Once in a while we may add more, but it's rare.

Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.

2015 Recap



My hope was to write this recap before 2015 was completely out but, like much of what's gone on for us this year, I got to it a little later than expected. (Being sick this week sure didn't help either.)

So just how was 2015 for Block 81?

The TL;DR version: pretty darn good. Not mind-blowing great, but good. Really good, actually. And I'm very happy about it, especially since I was a little afraid to take a hard look back.

We managed to hit or surpass two of the three big goals that I set last year, which while disappointing, is not bad, particularly since increasing revenue was a big one that we hit. In fact, we not only increased revenue, we had our best year ever since we started. So yeah, I'm pretty happy about that.

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine for us. It was most definitely a better year than 2014 but we still had our bumps. A bit too much underestimating the complexity of project scopes and budgets, and some changes in process that took some getting used to. However, those things, I feel, are always changing and force us to adapt and go with the flow. I'm totally cool with that because those things aren't terribly difficult to fix.

Lessons learned

  • Process is everything. We've known this for a long time but I believe I have failed at really nailing things down for our tiny team. This last year truly forced me to evaluate and re-evaluate how we do things and why. The results have not been without some friction, but overall it's been good and has put us in a great spot for 2016.
  • Roll with the punches. Not every project is going to go smoothly and when it doesn't, we just gotta go with it but do it in the most reasonable, efficient, and professional way possible.
  • Do it better. Do what better? Everything. It's not the most concrete thing but that's the point. It's about asking ourselves in every pixel of work we are involved in if it's as good as it can be. No? Do it better. Make it better. Because people will notice. Good enough is not good enough.

What's next?

A little more of the same. Not because I think we're doing so great that little needs to change, but because I like to take careful, calculated steps. So here's some of what we're aiming for in 2016:

  • Increase revenue by 5-10%.
  • Re-think and re-launch Budget Sites.
  • Re-connect with the design and development communities that we've been involved with.
  • Launch that secret side project. :)
  • Above all else: have fun.



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