DotYork 2016 – Making Progress – Talk Notes

I’ve just signed up for DotYork 2017, and I realised I never finished sharing my notes from last year’s conference!

These are my notes from the second talk of the day, Making Progress. Speakers included Pip Jameson talking about starting up The Dots and Alex O’Brien, who talked about growing an agency. I also have written up my notes from the Performance for Everyone talk.

Pip Jameson – The Dots


Pip Jameson - Making Progress
Source –

Don’t underestimate the time need to get investors – at least 6 months. Get some good advisors. Also, you need support at home from your family.

Get some good advisors. Also, you need support at home from your family.

Persevere – keep grinding through.

Keep a pitch folder for ideas, then have Pitch Days, one day every couple of months where staff can present their ideas. Create an

Create an impact / effort chart.

Good ideas come from customer services.

Pip hires positivity – people that bring solutions, not problems. Her engineering team is now 50 / 50 split between men and women.

Have a Glory Wall – a visual representation of what you have done. Sometimes it’s hard to see or remember all your accomplishments.

Keep a skills chart for employees, when someone is good at something then add it to the grid. The helps staff know who to ask about something, and it is good for people to see their growth.

Don’t burn out your staff; if someone starts looking like a deer in the headlights use a performance arousal chart to find where on the scale they think they are.

performance arousal

How to Grow an Agency – Alex O’Byrne – We Make Websites

Don’t write agency news – no one cares. Instead create ‘How do I win’ content, our Making it Monday YouTube channel is for 2-minute advice videos that explain how to improve your eCommerce business.

When hiring look for attitude over skill. They still need to be able to do the job, so test for skills but look for positive people because they tend to be natural learners.

Designers and developers should join client meetings.

To better understand our clients we are having a ‘store wars’ – our employees are making their own Shopify business and competing against each other.

We focus on the goals of our clients. Our decisions are based on what will help them succeed.

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