Acholi Beads just launched a new website and online store. I've never built a website before, don't know how. I'm sure that given enough time on Google I could learn how to slap up a few pages and link them together, but for Acholi Beads we wanted something better. We wanted to represent the beads makers work in a way that reflects its elegance and creativity. So I called Aaron.
Aaron and I met in high school. We became good friends, coffee friends, drinking mochas late into the night, our conversations always veering towards how we would, eventually, team up to change the world. Or, you know, take it over. We were sixteen.
But I went off to school and Aaron got married. We kept in touch, but didn't have much time for world domination. Then I went to Uganda and Aaron was busy raising his son. We'd occasionally get together when I was visiting the States, but our pursuits rarely crossed each other.
So when I flew out to Phoenix a couple weeks ago to help finish up the Acholi Beads site, I was pumped. Aaron had always been a computer savant, and I had watched from the sidelines as his work progressed - from networking home PCs to play games in high school to running his own web development firm, Xavisys (pronounced: ZAVE-ih-sis). And after all those caffeine fueled conversations about world duarchy, this would be our first time working together.
I was more than pleasantly surprised, I was blown away. Xavisys, under Aaron's leadership, was great to work with on every level. The business details - pricing, invoicing, etc. - were clear and taken care of quickly. Our timeline was ambitious, but Aaron didn't blink. He set an agressive schedule and got to work.
The real pleasure was in developing the site. I had ideas, lots of ideas about how I wanted the site to look, function, feel - things that I had seen on other sites or wished that other sites had, or just flat out made up. Sometimes I felt like it must be too much to ask, but I asked, and Aaron just got more excited and found ways to make it happen. And as the site came together I'd comb through and find little details that I wanted changed, which I can imagine would get pretty annoying for a web developer - having to go back and change a bunch of stuff that was fine the first time. But again, Aaron never flinched. He would go right to it and change it until I liked it.
I came away from Phoenix and working with Xavisys with a big smile on my face. Because I knew we had a great website, because I had found an amazing business to partner with for my online endeavors, and mostly because I got to see a great friend shine. I got to see Aaron in his element, watch him flex his expertise, and he and I got to change the world together, at least a little bit. And you can rest assured, this won't be the last time.