Seth was nice enough to mention our work on Squidoo yesterday in a post about what separates the best B2B businesses from the very good (How to Succeed in Business (to Business)). In it, he articulated a characteristic of Viget that, to be honest, I hadn't thought much about: we're frank, not flashy. We don't have slick sales guys or fancy presentations. We don't over-promise. We try to be direct and realistic about our business and our clients' businesses. This is more about the kind of people we are than it is a predefined business strategy (though it's an approach I'd certainly recommend). Seth uses the phrase "honest connection" in describing a relationship between us and a client and that is something we focus on. You can call it a "partnership approach" or anything else; but, at the end of the day, it reflects the very core of why we do what we do. Why work so hard? Why get emotionally attached to our performance? Why go through the "thrashing" as Seth calls it, even if we do try to (wisely) do it sooner than later? Why deal with the stress of fast-paced start-ups and amorphous web projects when there's so much
boring more stable work around, especially in this town?
It's those honest connections that we're passionate about. It's about transparency and communication, about building mutual trust and respect. Being able to really connect with our clients, earn real relationships, and become emotionally invested in their success (and ours). As Seth points out, you also have to happen to be the very best in the world at what you do (we're working on that); but, without that passion, would it matter?
Specifically regarding our work with Squidoo, I have to give credit where it's due: Seth has a great internal team that made the process of finding the success he describes both possible and enjoyable. Megan, Heath, Gil, and especially Corey (our primary contact) did wonders to shape the concept and facilitate communication. Here at Viget, Bryan, Ben, Thanny and a few others worked their tails off to make sure our promises were kept. For his part, Seth struck a crucial balance between having a clear, consistent vision for Squidoo (so we had a mostly-stable spec to build to) that he pushed for relentlessly with a flexible, practical attitude that allowed priorities to shift and that vision to evolve.
In the end, we had a site that both teams were thrilled about and a connection between the teams that made the success both possible and that much more rewarding.