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The Long Story

Throughout the internet boom years, I carried numerous business cards with wide-ranging titles: Graphic Designer, HTML Programmer, Web Master, Senior Design Consultant. . . I worked for established corporations, well-funded start-ups, non-profit organizations, and various government agencies.

As I tackled various projects, I would sometimes found myself in new and frightening situations thinking, "I have no idea what to do." It seemed there were never enough people to do the work, though, so as long as I could get it done (somehow), I could keep my job.

Looking back, my experiences over the past decade have been nothing short of amazing.

Overworked and over-stressed, I have gained an understanding of nearly every step along the bumpy road of creating and marketing a business and a plan. I have seen firsthand the failure of weak schemes, and the unimagined successes of once scrappy hopes.

If you had told me a dozen years ago that I would succeed at ecommerce implementation, or that I would be able to integrate disparate databases, I would not have known what you were saying. Today, I speak that language.

I learned how to sell an idea to a wary client using nothing more than a sketch pad and a handful of colored pencils. I learned how to talk to my clients, understand their business, give it a look and feel, and make it come to life online. I learned to program a storefront, design a brand, and market an image. I learned how to build!

But even more important, perhaps, I learned how to build solutions: it doesn't take a brain to build a wall, but it takes creativity and care to get around one.

Don't ask me what my preferred title is, though. The closest I can come is 'Solutions Designer,' or maybe 'Solutions Architect.' Does it really matter what the business card says?