Environments for Humans
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Digital Biz Summit 2013 logo

The 1st annual online, live digital business conference

In-kind sponsors:

New Riders

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in Interactive Project Management for an all-new, one-day only online conference, the Digital Biz Summit 2013! Bring the experts to your desktop August 20th from 9AM to 5PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

August 20, 2013 \\ 9AM to 5PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

So, You Want to Start a Web Studio 9am CT

by Matt Griffin, Founder of Bearded

Matt Griffin started Bearded in 2008 as a two-person web studio with a few lofty ideas about how to do things differently, and absolutely no business experience. Nearly 5 years later, a quite different Bearded is, confoundingly, still standing.

In this presentation, Matt will share his experiences helping Bearded come of age during the rise of responsive web design, and will address the following popular questions:

  • What’s in your contract?
  • Where do your projects come from?
  • Why are your clients so awesome?
  • When do you hire somebody?
  • When do you fire somebody?
  • When do you know it’s time to throw out the script and change everything?
  • Why do you tell everyone all your secrets?
  • Seriously, though, how do you make money at this stuff?

As well as plenty of candid answers to your questions.

About Matt Griffin

Matt Griffin is a designer and founder of Bearded. He has a great love for letterpress printing, which he acquired while attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received a BFA in Graphic Design. Matt is an avid advocate for collaboration in design, and has been published in A List Apart and .net magazine.

He is one of the creators of Wood Type Revival, a successfully Kickstarter-funded project which seeks out lost historic wood type and converts it into digital fonts for modern designers.

Matt believes that bringing together the knowledge and expertise of designers, developers and their clients is of paramount importance for the creation of successful designs. His work is governed by the idea that design should be driven by a clear user-centric purpose, rather than by subjective aesthetic concerns.

Previous to entering the world of graphic design, Matt was an active musician in Bloomington, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. He performed on a number of records for various bands, and toured extensively in North America and Europe. Somehow his college band got sort of famous in Japan, which is a long story.


DevOps in the Wild 10am CT

by Meri Williams, Geek & Manager

"DevOps is a state of mind", "DevOps is a structure", "You need a DevOps team!", "There's no such thing as a DevOps team!" Meri's presentation explores the myths and misconceptions surrounding DevOps and looking at some real world patterns and anti-patterns.

About Meri Williams

I?m a geek & a manager. I?m passionate (in an occasionally overexcited way) about technology and I love coaching & mentoring people. What you?ll mainly read here is about productivity, project management & people management ? with the occasional bit of technology / software development. I also have a much more eclectic personal blog where I?ve been writing since 2003.

I started out building systems, then became a Product Manager, then a Project & Programme Manager. These days I?m privileged to be managing teams of awesome technical folks. I studied Computer Science with Management (called Computer Information Systems at the time) at the University of Bath which was named University of the Year in 2011.


Pricing for Web Projects 11am CT

by Rob Harr, Technical Director at Sparkbox

Let's face it -- most of us running web shops did not study business. We just love building things, so we started companies where we could build on our own terms. Unfortunately, being a great builder of web things does not necessarily equip us to make sound business decisions.

It is discouraging that organizations doing great work are often struggling to be profitable. In this presentation, we will dive into differing pricing strategies and discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of each one. We will also talk about the art of estimating, how to work through initial pricing with clients, and what to do when the scope changes.

I'd like to see any dedicated person be able to run a profitable business. Figuring out pricing is a big step in that direction.

About Rob Harr

Technical Director for Sparkbox, Rob is responsible for operations and leading the development team. On any given day, Rob meets with prospective clients, writes code, or continues to lead the charge in improving development process. Sparkbox has become known as a leader in responsive web design and custom software solutions.


Suck It Up 1pm CT

by Carl Smith, Chief Keeper Upper of nGen Work

The best people in every industry make stupid mistakes.

Michael Jordan missed an open dunk in the playoffs. NASA lost a $125 million satellite because they used the metric system for navigation but didn't tell anyone. But...

Columbus found America because his math sucked and he headed west. So sometimes it works out.

In this talk Carl is going to talk about the boneheaded things he's done in client service over the last 10 years, and how he managed to land on his feet. After hearing this talk, you're bound to feel better about yourself.

About Carl Smith

Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl Smith runs an unconventional distributed team that works with businesses to redefine their identities and ideals. Carl has made a name for himself in the web industry by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he?s not conducting business experiments with his nGeneers or consulting for global trendsetters, he?s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work.


Your Agency of Success 2pm CT

by Adam McCombs, Founder & CEO of Taecho Group

We do an amazing job in our industry of crafting our process, honing our skill sets and sharing our experiences. However, we don't spend enough time talking about the roots of everything we do: running a business.

Whether you're a 9-5'er, a freelancer, a moonlighter or running a small company, you work is a reflection of your passion.

Are you looking to make the jump, hire that next employee or break into a new market? You might be ready sooner than you think.

Learn from my mistakes as I share some of my experiences including quitting a stable job, freelancing and eventually founding my own agency. It's been a wild ride.

About Adam McCombs

Founder of Taecho Group, where they build web apps, tools and websites.


Prototyping Your Business 3pm CT

by Dan Mall, Founder of SuperFriendly

As designers and developers, we're used to prototyping our ideas; that is, we roughly test concepts to see if there's any merit in them before committing to a full-scale effort. Why don't we do this with our businesses? In this session, we'll talk about how to apply the same approaches from building sites and apps to iterating on contracts, billing options, project cycles, presenting work, and all the other stuff that pays the bills--and pays them well.

About Dan Mall

Dan Mall is an award-winning designer from Philadelphia, an enthralled husband, and new dad. As the Founder & Design Director at SuperFriendly Dan and his team defeat apathy and the forces of evil with heroic creative direction, design, & strategy.

He?s also co-founder of Typedia and swfIR, and sings/plays keyboard for contemporary-Christian band Four24. Dan was formerly Design Director at Big Spaceship, Interactive Director at Happy Cog, and a technical editor for A List Apart.


Round Table Discussion 4pm CT

by Christopher Schmitt, Author of CSS Cookbook & HTML5 Cookbook

Your humble Digital Biz Summit host, Christopher Schmitt, hosts a round table discussion with Daniel Mall, Carl Smith, and Matt Griffin.

Whether it's freelancing or an agency or somewhere in between, be prepared to ask questions to help your business grow and thrive.

About Christopher Schmitt

The founder of Heat Vision, a small new media publishing and design firm, Christopher Schmitt is an award-winning Web designer who has been working with the Web since 1993.

As a sought-after speaker and trainer, Christopher regularly demonstrates the use and benefits of practical standards-based designs.

He is Co-Lead of the Adobe Task Force for the Web Standards Project (WaSP) in addition to being a contributing member of its Education Task Force.

Author of numerous Web design and digital imaging books, including Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites and CSS Cookbook, Christopher has also written for MSDN, .net Magazine, New Architect Magazine, A List Apart, Digital Web, and Web Reference.


About the Digital Biz Summit 2013

The Web Design industry is constantly evolving, which means management practices must continue to evolve. Spend some time with business owners and managers who navigate a constantly-shifting landscape every day. From tackling operations and project management to expectations and people management, these experts have it covered!

Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Next Event →

After this event, join us for our Accessibility Summit 2013, the 4th annual online, live accessibility conference.

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

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Digital Biz Summit 2013 Recordings


Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.