Thoughts & Ideas

It’s Time to Move: Reliving the Pioneer Days

Pioneers Graphic

As I approach the fifth anniversary of Chris Martin Studios, I have been in deep introspection regarding the future of business and how I can rejuvenate what feels old, tired and mundane.

My design career spans back almost 14 years to when I was still in high school.  The internet, then known as the World Wide Web, was exciting and new.  The bubble hadn’t quite burst yet and technology was rapidly accelerating and improving as Netscape and Internet Explorer battled for browser supremacy.  I was learning HTML, probably version 2 or 3, and absorbing, copy and imitating just about any cool use of the technology that I could find.

Blinking text, did it.  Scrolling marquees, scrolling text in the status bar, the beginning of JavaScript, VBScript, frames, iframes, embedding media, Flash, VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language), I did it all.  I ended up getting a web development job while still in high school and had my development palette expanded to server-side programming, e-commerce development, database design, the inadequacies of FrontPage and emerging WYSIWYG systems versus programming everything yourself in Notepad and Photoshop.  It was exciting, it was invigorating, and the web seemed smaller and on the cusp of exploding into what it is today.  I had boarded my wagon and I was heading west into new territories.

But somewhere along the journey, I decided that I had “gone” far enough, took the wheels off the wagon and put them out as a reminder of the journey that I set out on years go.  As time went by, life progressed, formal education was received, commerce began to dictate what I did instead of passion, and I forgot what the wheels symbolized.  Most importantly, I lost the feeling of joy for traveling in the vast land of technological experimentation.

As I look out into the unknown, I am excited about the experimentation that exists in the diverse land of technology.  We are seeing a resurgence of the browser wars as HTML5 begins to gather momentum.  We are seeing a change in how we use the internet as mobile apps become the standard of sending and receiving information online thanks to Apple and Google.  Most importantly, we are seeing content become just as important as technology.  No longer does it matter what the app or website is developed with.  What matters is what is said, what the app enables the user to do, and how the app becomes a central part of your life.

With all of this change and innovation occurring, it is time that I build a new wagon, put on the wheels and set out for a journey of experimentation.  No longer guided by commerce alone, but guided by a yearning for trying something new, adding a voice of wisdom to the dialogue, and at the same time, allowing myself to listen to the current technological pioneers that are working day in and day out and heading west into new territories.

This sense of experimentation and journey into new technologies is exciting and foreboding at the same time.  But as long as I am willing to be open to what could be and participating in the journey, I think I’ll be able to regain the pioneer spirit that I once had many years ago.