MIKE ON JACINTA

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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.

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