My blog had been looking tired for a year or two. The problem is that with WordPress I just found it a bit too cumbersome to change the design on my own.
I’m more of a verbal content guy. I like to get what is in my brain out into words and as you probably know I worry less about typos, grammar or – generally – visual design. I appreciate beautiful design – I just wasn’t blessed with the skill of producing it.
I considered changing to a blog publishing platform that would allow me to change the visual design more easily myself. But that seemed too much work for me. And I tried a couple of times unsuccessfully to pay designers to do sketches for me of how it could look. But when you’re not a designer it’s hard to translate your sense of aesthetic to somebody else.
And then Jess Bachman came to my rescue.
We had collaborated before. Jess reached out to me a few years ago and suggested we team up on An Infographic about Dilution in Startups.
I really enjoyed working with somebody who could take ideas in my head and translate them to a visual format that others could appreciate. Jess has always been great because he’s the perfect combination of opinionated, smart, visually talented and willing to call bullshit on me. He’s the single biggest reason I stopped using cheesy stock photography. I feared being heckled by Jess.
He wrote a nice blog post describing the project to redesign my website. He talks about an image he put into my blog of the older me and the younger me having a debate at a table. I didn’t want to kill that image but I thought putting it on my home page was a bit too narcissistic so I put it on my “about page” which you can find here.
Jess has been very kind to me over the years and also stopped my PowerPoint presentations from sucking. He saw a few terrible ones and like a fashion advisor telling you that your shoes and belt are supposed to match colors he pointed out the things in visual design for presentations that I never knew. So now I suck much less.
I finally got the pleasure of meeting Jess IRL because I paid a visit to his company Visual.ly, which is a website of awesomeness. You get highly talented people to design infographics and other visual stuff at reasonable prices.
I also have to point out my gratitude for Upfront’s own supremely talented and visually picky Kyle Taylor. He runs platform for Upfront Ventures and is doing an amazing job. If you haven’t seen our new website – you should. Kyle played a major role in this. He was able to take Jess’s design concepts and get them built into my blog.
He also had the clever idea of making my home screen banner on the blog be a visually stunning image from Los Angeles, my home. The current version links to an image from LACMA but this will rotate over time.
Finally, Kyle has promised to help me procure the equipment and figure out the process to relaunch my web series, This Week in Venture Capital under a different name. So if you want to me to finally relaunch please follow Kyle on Twitter and heckle him until we launch He’s also a great resource on all things Upfront so there’s that.
Thank you again, Jess. For once again making me suck a little bit less visually. On my blog and in presentation. I appreciate your pro-activeness and your patience with me. And let me know when you ever want to collaborate on another infographic.
What do you think? Any other changes I need to make? Things I need to add?