Doug Waltman

It Matters What You Build

There is a certain satisfaction that comes from being good at what one does. Landing the big deals, completing the big projects, knocking your professional life right out of the park. It just feels good, man.

But it's not good enough.

I started this career with basic web design as my craft. Problems that were once challenging are now easily tackled, and solutions are repeatable. At points in time I meandered between piles of clients and files, coding the walls of my own making, built from the ideas of others, filtered through my creative lens. In the wake of these digital creations there has evolved a desire to build beyond my constraints. A breathless urgency claws at my rationale. Looking back I've realized it matters what I build and who I built it for.

I put so much effort into the how and what of my trade that I nearly missed the why — a marvelously complex question, albeit frighteningly late in forthcoming.

It's not good enough to build things just because we can or because someone pays us. It's not good enough to accept canned solutions. Our mission is not to fill the web up with keyword dense marketing chatter, tailored to maximizing the bottom line, brimming at the edges with impersonal click-through traffic.

No, it matters what we build. Time is finite, and our attention should be spent creating substance.

I want to build things that enrich community and help us stay connected. I want to ignore the noise around me and hone in on my own signal. Who the hell wants to settle for just good enough? I won't, especially when I know I can make things more awesome one connection at a time.

In the end it's people that matter.