Derek Powazek on Webbieworld:
May 4, 2000 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Derek Powazek on Webbieworld:
'[mc]: If you were starting to build a site right now with an unlimited budget, who would you ask to be on your team?'
'[dp]: Dream team? Michael Sippey on the business end, the Pyra gang doing the coding, Lance as the voice, Betty as mistress of misinformation, and those k10k baddies pushing pixels. Whoa, baby. I think my mouth just watered.'
Obvious question - who would your 'dream team' be?
posted by Markb (36 comments total)
If I were building a new site for all to enjoy, and could enlist the help of anyone....

Greg Knauss and Steve Champeon building the backend, Jesse James Garrett (jjg) doing the IA, and Lance Arthur doing the graphics and interface.

For content? Everyone. Everyone contributes.

That'd be a beautiful site...
posted by mathowie at 10:31 AM on May 4, 2000

I'll respectfully disagree on the "everybody contributes" part. But the rest sounds good.
posted by solistrato at 10:47 AM on May 4, 2000

What content though? I mean, what would the site be about?
posted by Dean_Paxton at 10:48 AM on May 4, 2000

Since when has any weblog got a theme?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:52 AM on May 4, 2000

Is it just me, or is there a lot of overlap in these "dream teams"? It seems there is a secret cabal of elite designers who write about each other, don't return the e-mail of humble groupies (with the notable exception of Zeldman) and who are responsible for every aspect of the web.

Would that I might join the club . . .
posted by aladfar at 10:54 AM on May 4, 2000

I think he knows.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:58 AM on May 4, 2000

Well, I haven't heard the word "cabal" used for a couple of years, and then it was wrt the personal-narrative people: Alexis, Maggy, Derek, Lance.

I'd name names, but I recall the spats that occurred when two friends, both great UI designers, collaborated on a project. Sometimes the best teams are those without too many cooks...
posted by holgate at 11:24 AM on May 4, 2000

Yeah, look at Uploading. All the "greatest" designers coming together to do something cool. Too bad nobody could decide on anything.
posted by vitaflo at 11:47 AM on May 4, 2000

I dunno... I'd rather pull in a team of teenage unknowns. Some of the "Designers of the future" I've seen are talented as all hell; Little or no egos; And I can probably talk them into doing it just for the glory of putting their names on the map! Then the 10 Million Dollar budget would be MINE, ALL MINE!!!!

"Age & Treachery will ALWAYS overcome Youth & Skill" -Some guy-

aladfar sez - "{elite designers} don't return the e-mail of humble groupies "

Lance Arthur's gonna prove you wrong by answering that email I sent him three years ago... you wait & see!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 12:13 PM on May 4, 2000

the trouble with this kind of question is that there are some really great web people out there which everyone knows about and respects, so of course, they're always going to show up on people's dream teams.

i'd be willing to bet that one or all of these guys would be on everyone's dream team: derek, zeldman, steve champeon, lance, kottke. the question is hardly worth asking unless you really don't know who the top web people are.
posted by brig at 1:16 PM on May 4, 2000

Not to mention that to a large extent we don't know what they do. To wit: is a fun read. 0sil8 has been a nifty site for years. But I've never seen a lick of Jason's professional work (at least not knowingly). Nor do I know what it's like to work with him, or whether he'd be part of a "dream team" the way I envision it.

Which just goes to show, as usual, that the entities with the best PR are usually at the head of the race.
posted by werty at 1:20 PM on May 4, 2000

Brig: I think it really depends who you ask. Since I don't know many people doing web logs, I don't even know who Steve Champeon is for example. As such, my list may be quite different. I'd use Josh Davis, Jens Karlsson, Joe Cincotta, Ry Wharton and yes, Mr. Kottke. Maybe not the best known in the world, but again, depends on who you talk to. I know certain people who would know every one of these people except for Jason.

I also agree with the comment about the "teenage unknowns". You'd be surprised at how smart and how much ambition some of these kids have. Hot damn.
posted by vitaflo at 1:37 PM on May 4, 2000

mathowie sez:
Greg Knauss and Steve Champeon building the backend, Jesse James Garrett (jjg) doing the IA, and Lance Arthur doing the graphics and interface. For content? Everyone. Everyone contributes.

I'd peg jjg for a permanent content slot, too. he wouldn't need much space on the page.... :)

posted by rebeccablood at 1:37 PM on May 4, 2000

I'm lame.

posted by rebeccablood at 1:47 PM on May 4, 2000

the italic text

we’re yearning for a preview

here’s a closing <i>

posted by alan at 1:49 PM on May 4, 2000

Code and design: Sean Mollitt. The whole thing. Bet no one's heard of him.
posted by mikel at 1:51 PM on May 4, 2000

vitaflo: i think steve might be insulted at being grouped into "people doing weblogs". i didn't mean to imply that there weren't other impressive designers many of which are unknowns, but you did prove my theory, one of those guys was on your list...
posted by brig at 2:03 PM on May 4, 2000

speaking of teen talent, are there any good places to see a collection?

What happened to the's and's of yesteryear?

Is there a place to showcase the raw talent anymore, or has everyone gone off and registered their own domains and stuck to their own thing?
posted by mathowie at 2:14 PM on May 4, 2000

Brig: I wasn't sure how to group Steve. Guess it shows I really don't know who he is. ;)

As for having Jason on my list, that's only because I know him personally. We used to work together. Without that, I wouldn't have a clue who he was. As is the same for a lot of people I know.

Mathowie: Showcase? Hmmm...depends. The news links at K10K, Kiiroi, and ThreeOh showcase graphic "design" a lot, or at least link to it. Kiiroi does collaborations, so there's actually more there than just news. Australian InFront is a great page for showcasing Australian designers of all skill levels. But basically most people just register their own domain and hope to get a link on K10K when it's done. It's unfortunate there's not more community involvement in that "scene". It's rather frustrating really.
posted by vitaflo at 2:36 PM on May 4, 2000

It's also worth remembering that we often miss a lot of the best stuff out there because it's done by people who can usually speak English better than us, but do so as their second language. Working in Amsterdam for a pan-European company proved that: there's some stunning work done in the non-Anglophoen world, especially by Scandinavian and Dutch people, which never really gets that much publicity.
posted by holgate at 2:47 PM on May 4, 2000

Yeah, there's great, great swedish design out there, I've seen dozens of sites off k10k that often end up in swedish URLs.
posted by mathowie at 2:48 PM on May 4, 2000

Well, if it was a porn site I'd get Larry Flint, Ron Jeremy, Playmates of the year 1998....

oops, did you mean web people?
posted by Jeremy at 3:05 PM on May 4, 2000

Holgate, if you can show me stunning work by a Dutch designer, please do so, cause I never seem to be able to find any. The Dutch web is predominantly UGLY.
posted by prolific at 3:34 PM on May 4, 2000

I just re-read the Powazek interview. i feel so silly.

Not that anyone asked where I came up with "$10MILLION" for a budget:

Last week, when I read the interview it originally read "If you were starting to build a site right now with a 10 million dollar budget..."

Mr. Powazek replied "I can't imagine why you would need a $10M budget..."

I guess Webbie World felt a little silly about that, and changed it to "unlimited budget".

Just a little web trivia for you guys....

posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 4:03 PM on May 4, 2000

What's the Dutch suffix for domain names?
posted by hobbes at 4:33 PM on May 4, 2000

What's the Dutch suffix for domain names?
posted by hobbes at 4:33 PM on May 4, 2000

.nl is the domain Hobbes.

And Prol - I've seen nice design work from Holland - yours! :-)
posted by tomcosgrave at 4:36 PM on May 4, 2000

Thanks, sorry 'bout the double post.
posted by hobbes at 4:39 PM on May 4, 2000

Personally, it'd be me on client-side, Rusty on design, Jeremy on the backend, and uh, I dunno. Someone good on the writing. =p
posted by endquote at 5:38 PM on May 4, 2000

Oh and Matt, Newdream never died.
posted by endquote at 5:40 PM on May 4, 2000

hmm... I'd clone 20 of me, and then I could get some real work done. haha
posted by tiaka at 6:27 AM on May 5, 2000

tiaka, 20 times zero is still zero.
posted by Mark at 6:55 AM on May 5, 2000

I wouldn't want to be on any team that would have me. :) So, there. (Strange to check in and find that for some reason, I seem to be the most hotly debated member of the Metafilter Web dream team, mostly because nobody knows who the hell I am. :-)

Ahem. Anyway. I'd want a bunch of eager and relatively unknown folks on my team, because I like surprises. I've worked with Jason and Lance and Leslie and Derek and JZ and Greg and Alex and Michael and the rest, and they're great. But they're all great for different (and not always compatible) reasons. It'd mean a lot more for me to see people do the unexpected, rather than seeing what new variation a well-known person can come up with.

Just a thought.

no weblog here, boss
posted by schampeo at 8:58 AM on May 5, 2000

Ohhhh... I remember you Stevie-poo....

About two years ago, you lambasted me for replying to a WaSP post in HTML mail WITH HTML.... I was so embarrassed, that I dropped out, and resolved that the only use I can be to the WaSP was to stick a banner on my site & shaddup.

Of course, so everyone knows the WHOLE story, it didn't take you long to realize (in private correspondence) that I was a relative newbie (who just got rid of his AOL account, and didn't have a CLUE what the difference between HTML/Plain Text was).

It turned out that you were extremely helpful, and one helluva nice guy. I'd have you on my hypothetical "design team" in a heartbeat! :0)

posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:26 AM on May 5, 2000

While I respect all the names mentioned, the entire premise is a bit silly. Some designers and Web architects are good at particular kinds of sites, and understand better the requirements for success. "Design" as a requirement for a "good" site is overrated, while usability and utility are underrated.
posted by tranquileye at 9:28 AM on May 5, 2000

...of course, the concept of having a moron like me at the helm is pretty scary, huh? :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:30 AM on May 5, 2000

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