We live in LA so we know that looking good is important to a lot of people. (We personally don’t worry too much about it because we’re just naturally ridiculously good looking – and humble.)
We also recognize that when launching and running a company public appearance is important. Not only how your represent yourself in person, but every element of your brand: your logo, your product, your marketing materials, your business cards, your social media. For any company – but especially a tech company – your website should be high on that list. I completely agree.
So you might be asking, why is our website kind of lame?
I’m going to start by announcing that we are in the behind-the-scenes process of what I am going to call a full-site overhaul (not just a redesign). It’s going to take a few more weeks before it’s ready to a reveal – probably early this summer – but it’s fully in the works.
Now, until the big reveal, we full acknowledge our sub-par aesthetic experience, here’s why: We’ve been working on game development. All of our resources on the development front have been dedicated for literally the last two or so years to creating outstanding games. The game graphics are outstanding.
See for yourself:
And while we think Spirit Lake looks awesome, Fish Lake, our next game, looks even cooler. And because our final product is the game – not the website – and because we’re taking the lean startup approach, our site looks like it currently does. How it looks is like we took a WordPress template, slapped it up and basically ran with it for the last 18-plus months. That’s because that’s exactly what we did.
While not glamorous, it’s been in line with our company philosophy. We didn’t have a logo until we were over a year old, because we were spending our money on having artwork created for our game. We didn’t incorporate until we’d gotten nearly $600,000 in funding – despite “experts” telling us we should do it ASAP because “we just should.” We spent our money on the things that needed to get done first, to ensure we’d have a company that went with that logo and to make sure that there was actually a sustainable company to incorporate.
The reason behind that is in the two years that our startup has been around (not to mention in the combined decades of experience our team members have) we’ve seen a lot of false starts and fails when it comes to flashy companies. There’s no question that companies need to have a presence. But that company presence is ultimately worthless if there’s not a strong, sustainable product behind it. Yes, people often do judge a book by it’s cover – or a company by its website. But the flashiest cover in the world only gets you so far if you open the book up and it’s pages merely an unedited rough draft of a mediocre story – or even worse, completely empty. It’s a lot easier to design a new cover than write a new story.
When you’re running with a small staff, you have to prioritize. When you have deadlines to meet with schools and changes to be made so that bugs in the games get squashed, those take priority over revamping a website.
Of course, we also recognize the drawbacks of having a less flashy site. We’re an educational technology company. When your whole business is built on being cutting edge when it comes to tech, your online presence should be reflective of that ability. Our current site isn’t.
Our new site will be.
Also, along those lines if there are any things you think we should really change on our site that would improve your user experience, let us know. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They may be changes we’re already working on, reinforcing that they’re things we should be working on. Or they may be things we haven’t even thought of, allowing us to create a better experience for visitors to our site.