MIKE ON JACINTA
I’m a self-taught web developer and have been working in the field for about 10 years now. A few years ago, I started Cinch with a colleague. We work on web projects with clients such as Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, but also [with] local creatives. Like a lot of my collaborators, I met Jacinta on Twitter a few years ago and we started messaging back and forth.
We worked on a big web project back in 2014 and I was just struck by her level of professionalism. I’d never seen that in a freelancer or single-person operation – especially because she was so young! She was very business-like, especially in meetings. We work on client projects together, but I’ve also helped her with her own business and built her most recent website. Although we often talk shop together or discuss a tricky client, we catch up socially as well.
I have a lot of problems with the agency model, but one of them is that mentorship is often forced – your design director is often your mentor. I think being your own boss allows you to seek out people whose work you respect, who you can learn something from. I’ve got friends who are 10 years younger and I’ll come to them for advice, and they’ll come to me for advice. There’s something to be said for experience, but it’s only one element.