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  1. #1
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    * ReInvention Project Abadoned and the Forum is closed...

    Since the ReInvention project is abandoned and no one can post any longer in the ReInvention forum, I wanted to start a discussion on the community's thoughts about the entire project.

    I also wanted to respond to Paul's (the_pm) post in the ReInvention thread saying that "It's too bad the good end product has to come in spite of the process and not because of it. But to label the entire project as failed is unfair, IMHO"

    First and foremost, I respect your opinion Paul. However, my views on the project (since I've been following closely as a bystander) is that the ReInvention project is indeed a complete failure. Regardless of the numerous delays and being able to scrape together the remains at any stage in the project, which is what was done, the project is a failure because it ultimately falls way short of it's mission:

    Our mission is to improve the quality of the Internet by demonstrating the use of the latest technologies in web design and educating businesses and individuals.
    Unfortunately, no where was anyone educated on the development process except for the horrible fact that the project started on October 19th, 2005 and today is September 10th, 2006. Hopefully the standard process isn't supposed to take almost a year for the development of a simple website with no backend. No where has this project improved the quality of the Internet.

    I commend the efforts of everyone involved in the ReInvention project, but this goes to show that even the most public of development cycles can fail. Good luck to Simpli.biz with the "new" (albeit almost one year old) web site.
    InterNich LLC
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  2. #2
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    I thought it was a great process. I enjoyed reading the contributions. The problem is most projects go over budget and over skedule... no biggie, I would like to see another project on a smaller scale... maybe only doing the front end work, which maybe should have been done in the first place. Or maybe two projects, one doing only the front and another only doing the back. That way, different people can work at the same time on different projections....

    I'm sad to see it go... I actually learned a little bit from the process....
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hekwu
    I thought it was a great process. I enjoyed reading the contributions. The problem is most projects go over budget and over skedule... no biggie, I would like to see another project on a smaller scale... maybe only doing the front end work, which maybe should have been done in the first place. Or maybe two projects, one doing only the front and another only doing the back. That way, different people can work at the same time on different projections....

    I'm sad to see it go... I actually learned a little bit from the process....
    I agree with you. I thought the plans were well thought out, and the contributions were great. However, all in all, the fact that Simpli gets a new website after almost a year doesn't mean that the ReInvention project as a whole didn't fail. It's a shame...
    InterNich LLC
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  4. #4
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    I understand your point Nich. I think a distinction should be drawn.

    The Reinvention Project was a failure. It was meant to be an ongoing initiative. It was abandoned and closed. It failed.

    The development project that was taking place (what was supposed to be the first of many) was not a complete failure, for the reasons I mentioned. I made the mistake constantly of referring to Erica's new site as being the Reinvention Project, and that's not entirely the case. It was supposed to be the beginnings of a longstanding project.

    But I do believe a great deal of education took place. A fair number of the individual tasks within the project were carried out well, carried out with the input of the community, and learning was a natural part of these processes. From a more general perspective, the mismanagement actually made for some great educational opportunities. Like I said in my debrief, if this had been any regular Web design engagement with a company, I would have advised the client to pull out of the contract about nine months ago.
    Last edited by the_pm; 09-10-2006 at 09:11 PM.
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  5. #5
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    It sounds like Paul is very dissapointed it didnt work..

    I guess i understand why.....

    Dont feel bad Paul,you tried and made an attempt!!!

    God bless you

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  6. #6
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    Thanks Donny

    I'm moreso disappointed for Erica's sake, and quite frankly, I'm disappointed for TemplateMonster's sake. If the project had been managed properly this would have looked really good for them. David and I have always gotten along quite well, and we've always had a healthy respect for each other. I would much rather have seen this be a success. Believe me, everyone was fired up for the first few months (including a chunk of time prior to the project actually beginning). It was a month or two into the actual development work that cracks started to form in the process.

    Me? I'm fine Don't feel bad for me!
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  7. #7
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    Thank goodness your ok

    You know you tried right???

    Peace





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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    I understand your point Nich. I think a distinction should be drawn.

    The Reinvention Project was a failure. It was meant to be an ongoing initiative. It was abandoned and closed. It failed.

    The development project that was taking place (what was supposed to be the first of many) was not a complete failure, for the reasons I mentioned. I made the mistake constantly of referring to Erica's new site as being the Reinvention Project, and that's not entirely the case. It was supposed to be the beginnings of a longstanding project.

    But I do believe a great deal of education took place. A fair number of the individual tasks within the project were carried out well, carried out with the input of the community, and learning was a natural part of these processes. From a more general perspective, the mismanagement actually made for some great educational opportunities. Like I said in my debrief, if this had been any regular Web design engagement with a company, I would have advised the client to pull out of the contract about nine months ago.
    Hi Paul, thanks for your message and clarifying. I agree with you, in the case of Erica's site and the different stages/modules involved, the outcome was definitely positive.

    I guess I, like all others, just wanted to see this project go smoothly until its completion since it was under a lot of light here at WHT. For a project with its own dedicated forum at WHT, I wished it would have lived up to its reputation (or build up a "good" one). Nevertheless, good luck if the ReInvention project is born again.
    InterNich LLC
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  9. #9
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    It failed because of TemplateMonster's lack of contribution. I thought Paul was a champ. The concept (under a different name) could work well, if a different development company was running the show. Hint hint, equenity.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Bob
    It failed because of TemplateMonster's lack of contribution. I thought Paul was a champ. The concept (under a different name) could work well, if a different development company was running the show. Hint hint, equenity.
    No one's ever accused you of being subtle Bob

    I think there are a few reasons what you're asking wouldn't fly, not the least of which is the time obligation necessary to undertake a project like this in a public environment (this adds a whole new dimension of time obligation and responsibility). I'm also not entirely sure WHT/iNet would want to go down this road again. But for the time being, keeping the focus on this project, I can assure you so long as Erica wants to continue to pursue her site, she has my fullest support and involvement, not as a business owner, and not in a promotional capacity, but just as a person who happens to do some development and is already involved.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    I'm also not entirely sure WHT/iNet would want to go down this road again.
    I hope you do... I think many "lurkers" also gained from this... I would only say have a better "exit strategy." Not that I need to tell you how or what to do... only a suggestion. I would LOVE to see this done again… maybe help someone with site as I suggested agove… you guys could do this once every six months or so… maybe even turn it into a paid event… where the person pays a little but gains a lot (that way if they have financial interest, they will be more inclined to move forward and finish on time). Then that might not work with so many people providing stuff for free…

    I don’t know, making suggestions and I really want to convince you to go forward with another project… I think you guys/gals were on the right track… it could have ended up being big. I see it.
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  12. #12
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    I hope you do... I think many "lurkers" also gained from this... I would only say have a better "exit strategy."
    There shouldn't have been an exit at all. If there's going to be another project, I'm fairly certain it's not going to be initiated and led by TemplateMonster. If by "you guys" you're talking about the development team from the first project, I think you can forget that team working on any project together again. If by "you guys" you're talking about WHT/iNet arranging a project like this again, keep in mind this was a TM initiative and WHT agreed to provide an audience. WHT/iNet was a passive participant. Come to think of it, it might be neat to see WHT/iNet put this together, arrange the team, choose a leader, etc.!

    If by "you guys" you're talking about me and my people, see my response to Bob above
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    There shouldn't have been an exit at all. If there's going to be another project, I'm fairly certain it's not going to be initiated and led by TemplateMonster. If by "you guys" you're talking about the development team from the first project, I think you can forget that team working on any project together again. If by "you guys" you're talking about WHT/iNet arranging a project like this again, keep in mind this was a TM initiative and WHT agreed to provide an audience. WHT/iNet was a passive participant. Come to think of it, it might be neat to see WHT/iNet put this together, arrange the team, choose a leader, etc.!

    If by "you guys" you're talking about me and my people, see my response to Bob above
    Oh, I thought you (wht/iNet) arranged this. I did not get into the details of TM... I see this was a marketing project by TM... that was smart. I’ve heard TM has some issues, maybe that played a part.

    I see what happened now… thanks for taking time to clarify it for me… I really appreciate it.

    Yes, I would love to see WHT do a project like this…
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  14. #14
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    It was my personal fault. Not TM's, not Erica's and definitely not Paul's (he was the best participant in the project). It was my idea from the beginning, I agreed with INET and sponsors about their participation, I talked to Paul and he was very intelligent and smart partner.
    It started in a good way, we have developed the website for project, we raised the interest of the community, we've got very good choice of candidates to be redesigned.

    Mistake 1. We've chosen Simpli. I'm not saying Simpli was bad, it was just not appropriate time for them to participate. Erica was busy selling part of her business (shared hosting) to another company. I assume that redesign was not her first priority.
    Mistake 2. The project manager should be appointed from the community. This way we would get better interaction and I believe better judgment.
    Mistake 3. I couldn't manage my employee to execute all his duties correctly. I think I should set higher priority and ensure better motivation for him to run the project.

    These were three main mistakes that prevented the project from the success. I think we 've got great experience together. The community learned at least something. Paul spent some time but his reputation became even better (I can't imagine it better ) and Erica still has the chance to get her website done (she never replied to our emails though).

    I must apologize for all broken hopes and if I ever decide to participate in similar projects I will make sure that we represent only design (3D or Flash) part but not project management.

  15. #15
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    Tmonster,

    Thank you for the update on your part. It really does help to hear your side/view of the situation and how through some unfortunate events, this project was unable to be successful.

    I agree 100% with you that Paul is one of the best characters I have met and he continues to impress me daily with his tactful approaches to situations. (no I am not hitting on you Paul)

    Maybe - through some careful planning and possible networking at hostingcon - a similar - more defined and thought out project can be born.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    It was my personal fault. Not TM's, not Erica's and definitely not Paul's (he was the best participant in the project). It was my idea from the beginning, I agreed with INET and sponsors about their participation, I talked to Paul and he was very intelligent and smart partner.
    One question: Why took so long for Template Monster to let us know what was going on? Was there some internal problems on TM?

    The community here was making all kinds of "guesses" of what had happened, even brought up the law suit of Corbis.

  17. #17
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    Hi David. I'm glad you logged in and responded. I think a lot of people were hoping we'd hear from you or James, myself included. At any stage of the game, even at a late date, it makes a world of difference when the discussions include you instead of just being about you!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    It started in a good way, we have developed the website for project, we raised the interest of the community, we've got very good choice of candidates to be redesigned.
    No arguments from me. Other than a misunderstanding or two here and there (it's bound to happen with projects in which the team is assembled from diverse sources), things started off rather well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    Mistake 1. We've chosen Simpli. I'm not saying Simpli was bad, it was just not appropriate time for them to participate. Erica was busy selling part of her business (shared hosting) to another company. I assume that redesign was not her first priority.
    This may be the case, and I wasn't privy to all of the discussions that took place between you and Erica. I would suggest it might have been the elongated time period that caused Erica to need to shift her priorities. We may never know for sure, and perhaps the timing of the project for Erica wasn't as good as it could have been, but timing was an issue all-round. I personally believe Erica was still a good candidate - again, my perspective is limited, so you may be entirely right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    Mistake 2. The project manager should be appointed from the community. This way we would get better interaction and I believe better judgment.
    Maybe. I think the issue was the ability for the project manager to make Reinvention a priority and the need for a strong personal investment in the outcome of the project. It could very well be the right person to lead the project should have come from the community, but ultimately what matters most is that the person has the right competencies and really truly cares about what's taking place, regardless of from where the person hails.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    Mistake 3. I couldn't manage my employee to execute all his duties correctly. I think I should set higher priority and ensure better motivation for him to run the project.
    Different people are motivated by different means. Ideally, a project manager can self-motivate his or her way through practically any project, but in reality, this is much more the exception than the rule. I don't know what would have done it for James, and James is welcome to join in and talk about what would have made the difference for him! I appreciate that you personally took on the burden of responsibility for the outcome, regardless of who or what went awry. Some lessons are harder-learned than others, but no one died, some really good work was accomplished and everyone learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    I think we 've got great experience together. The community learned at least something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    I must apologize for all broken hopes and if I ever decide to participate in similar projects I will make sure that we represent only design (3D or Flash) part but not project management.
    This contention is one with which I fully agree as well. The community didn't get cheated in terms of this being a learning opportunity, not in the least!

    That being said, I would love to see the community have the chance at an even more rewarding learning experience through a revamp and relaunch of the Reinvention Project (or whatever the new name might be if this were to happen again), perhaps one where the lessons from this project can be put into action the next time around.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbpro
    One question: Why took so long for Template Monster to let us know what was going on? Was there some internal problems on TM?

    The community here was making all kinds of "guesses" of what had happened, even brought up the law suit of Corbis.
    Yes that was the main reason. We needed a lot of time and resources to resolve this issue. Now it is resolved and we continue the business in normal way.

  19. #19
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    That being said, I would love to see the community have the chance at an even more rewarding learning experience through a revamp and relaunch of the Reinvention Project (or whatever the new name might be if this were to happen again), perhaps one where the lessons from this project can be put into action the next time around.
    Paul thanks for your statements. You are true as always. I will vote with both of my hands for revamping of the project anytime (It shouldn't be called ReInvention since "Re-Invention" is a registered trademark of www.reinventioninc.com).
    We are ready to participate as design and visualization partners as I promised.

    All we need is a better project manager and some of the community insiders in the team.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tmonster
    Mistake 1. We've chosen Simpli. I'm not saying Simpli was bad, it was just not appropriate time for them to participate. Erica was busy selling part of her business (shared hosting) to another company. I assume that redesign was not her first priority.
    Frankly, it shouldn't have to be my first priority. I made a serious effort to get you what you needed on time... but I was struggling to figure out who best to communicate with, etc. Also, there was a huge gap because there was no one who was equipped to deal with redesign and development of our order form -- a somewhat complex task that really needed a programmer on hand and not just a bunch of people to throw some templates at me. I agree that our staff has been short-handed this year; we've been growing at a tremendous rate. However, selling our shared hosting division allowed us to focus on what we need to focus on -- our dedicated server and colocation customers. I would still like to get the new website up, but the order form part is going to kill it, unless we can get Modernbill 5 up and running first and then migrate our order form to utilize its API.

    I am frustrated by this whole experience and I think it makes it a lot worse when you blame your client (I was your client, right?) We'll still likely get the new website up this year and we are using the business cards/logo, so we did get some benefit, but unfortunately that benefit will be mostly tied to us hiring our own programmer and getting the order form done ourselves.
    Erica Douglass, Founder, Simpli Hosting, Inc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpli-Erica
    Frankly, it shouldn't have to be my first priority. I made a serious effort to get you what you needed on time... but I was struggling to figure out who best to communicate with, etc. Also, there was a huge gap because there was no one who was equipped to deal with redesign and development of our order form -- a somewhat complex task that really needed a programmer on hand and not just a bunch of people to throw some templates at me. I agree that our staff has been short-handed this year; we've been growing at a tremendous rate. However, selling our shared hosting division allowed us to focus on what we need to focus on -- our dedicated server and colocation customers. I would still like to get the new website up, but the order form part is going to kill it, unless we can get Modernbill 5 up and running first and then migrate our order form to utilize its API.

    I am frustrated by this whole experience and I think it makes it a lot worse when you blame your client (I was your client, right?) We'll still likely get the new website up this year and we are using the business cards/logo, so we did get some benefit, but unfortunately that benefit will be mostly tied to us hiring our own programmer and getting the order form done ourselves.
    I agree. Pushing some of the blame off on you was not called for at all and the blame clearly rests on TM's shoulders.

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    You know, I was trying to be diplomatic and allow for different sides to coexist in terms of Erica being a good or bad candidate, but she's right. Her first priority must be her own, internal business dealings, which is why she or anyone would want to hire a design/development company in the first place. She could concentrate on her own business and give some attention to the work that's being done for her by the people who make design their #1 priority.
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    You've done a good job through all of this Paul. This project would of looked much worse if it wasn't for all you have done.

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