ventures in website design
your value in action
pretty websites aren’t great
great websites are easy to use
trentreker.com is a website
it’s pretty. and because i’m a nefarious world domination consultant, it must be flashy and funny. the point is getting you to give me a lot of money to create powerful statements of your value. a site like trentreker.com is not what i’d make for you. that would be silly. every client has unique and special needs.
back in 2001 i designed and co-developed a site for two unemployed biker nerds (thanks dot com bust) in san francisco. they were back-end dev dudes who had a great idea to turn motorcycle parts and accessory buyers into reviewers of what they bought. but their website couldn’t convert visitors into members. they were stuck at 6,000 for two months.
#1: their logo looked like a battlestar galactica reject from 1980-something.
#2: their website, dark and humorless with an incomprehensible user interface. to sign up was to give up.
#3: “let’s go for a ride and drink beer. bring your laptop,” i said.
#4: with our motorcycles on the sidewalk, we grabbed a back patio bench at zeitgeist where i clearly illustrated the wrongness of their front end experience.
“setting up an account is such a pain in the ass i gave up trying after twenty minutes of frustration. it’s too complicated. let me see you sign up as if you’re a visitor.”
they just gave themselves accounts when they created the site and never actually tried to sign up on the front end.
“i’ll give you a better logo. blue and yellow-gold. people like that combo. makes them feel secure and happy. and flames ’cause it’s motorbikers. five hundred bucks. after ten hours, i’m fifty an hour. and here, see where you lose new members (points at laptop)? you gotta quit with the click-click-click type-type-type. make it a one-page, three-step process. let me show you…” i drew a new site architecture on a napkin. “see how easy it can be? let me turn this (points at napkin) into members and money.”
#6: they wrote a check saying “hope it works because this is all we’ve got,” handed it to me and ordered three more pints. good times.
a few months after i’d done my job, they had twenty thousand members. then fifty. then a hundred thousand plus three dozen employees, a showroom and warehouse. it wasn’t an accident. took a couple years from beer to big bucks and a lot of work from all of us. one owner rode his honda shadow 1100 across the country, traveling to bike rallies, shaking hands and giving out postcards of my design to thousands.
eventually, CruiserCustomizing had over 150,000 members and my dudes made millions. one bought out the other and began producing how-to and promo videos with the logo i created on the wall. “push the brand,” i told him, “it starts with the logo. it says ‘customize.’ put it on big tits.”
i know. don’t even start. it was bikers, it was 20 years ago and it frickin’ worked. understand your market.
around 2016 that founder sold the company to folks from indiana. they dumped the CC brand, ended the community review element and threw up their bland, unknown brand to sell what CC had been selling for 15 years, but now with a dark and humorless website void of the community vibe CrusierCustomizing pioneered.
ugh. it was 2001 all over again. but worse.
then, at the beginning of 2022, after years of no-name lameness, the new owners went back to the CruiserCustomizing URL with the logo i designed 21 years ago.
this is why i am planet earth’s premiere world domination consultant.*
thanks, CruiserCustomizing.com! stay successful!
nice story, huh? would you like to speak with the founder who rode his bike throughout the nation to promote his brand? same dude who took that photo above as we cruised through galveston along the beach? his name is uwe druckenmueller. he’s the real arnold schwarzenegger. email for his contact info. don’t let him tell you how i’m radical and need to be toned down. we all agree that’s obvious. remember, nobody was signing up to his site and he was broke. so he hired me.
then he was a multi-millionaire driving land rovers in africa.
being radical is why i’m awesome.
that’s why it’s silly for me to make a site like trentreker.com for you. you’re not an eccentric world domination consultant. you have unique and special needs.
shoot me an email and we’ll get you set with a beautiful and easily navigated online presence of your value in action.
* google and bing rankings / july 2022 to present (jan. 2023)
let’s talk about anti-imperialist plans to abolish fascism and neoliberalism to benefit all sentient beings.