Happy Anniversary Jackson Fish Market

Seven years ago today Jenny Lam and Walter Smith and I started Jackson Fish Market. I’m super proud of the lovely small business we’ve built, the clients we’ve helped, and the products we’ve created. And today Jenny and I have two awesome colleagues – Holly Dunning and Tom Chang as well as our new partner Jeff Ort helping us building JFM into something even greater. This is the best job I’ve ever had and it’s only getting better.

Approve R74

Here at Jackson Fish Market we’re thrilled to have fans, supporters, customers, and friends of every stripe. We believe that there are many more opportunities for us to agree than to disagree. For example, we’re all fans of making beautiful websites, and gorgeous intuitive mobile apps. And since we like to focus on our shared passions, we tend not to use our business as a platform for our political agendas. There are plenty of other venues where we can get into some good juicy political debates.

In a few short weeks, Washington state will be voting on whether to uphold same-sex-marriage in our state. And while this issue is being decided via our political system, for us, it’s not a political issue at all. It’s an issue of basic human rights. When our friends and loved ones can’t exercise one of the most basic human rights — to love who they want, make a commitment to that person, and have that partnership recognized by society the same as any other — we feel that any good we do as a small business is somehow tainted. We respect everyone’s right to their social values as well as religious (or non-religious) freedoms. Our business can only be it’s best in an environment where everyone has those freedoms.

To that end, we’ve committed to Washington United For Marriage that we will match up to $10,000 in donations exclusively from business supporters. They are working hard to make sure that Washington state is an environment in which innovators and entrepreneurs of every sexual orientation can be full members of society enjoying all the benefits and rights that they deserve. If you know of a small business that shares this perspective, please let them know, as this is the moment we need to step forward and make equal rights in our state a reality.

At Jackson Fish Market we have been very fortunate to create a successful small business in Washington State, here in the United States of America. We built our small business, but we didn’t do it alone. We did it as part of a society that embraces everyone, and gives us the freedoms to pursue our own happiness. We’re thrilled to do our small part to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to pursue their happiness.

Thanks for letting us share.

Break Time

As we’ve mentioned before, twice a year here at Jackson Fish Market we go on break. It’s that time. We’ve been working hard since our last break concluded at the beginning of January 2009 and we’ve got some good progress. None that we can share with you right now, but suffice it to say, we’re not just sitting around eating donuts. (Rather, Jenny and Walter are not just sitting around eating donuts.)

We’ll be back in a few weeks, Monday, August 17, 2009 to be exact. Until then, have a lovely summer.

Slowly But Surely, Marketers Will See the Light

Even though we’re on winter break here at JFM we had to interrupt the peace and quiet of our blog because Bob Garfield wrote a huge and thoughtful piece for AdAge on widgets. Given that we’re at the very early stages of having advertisers fund useful consumer web apps, any time someone super influential, like Bob, starts beating the drum, it’s big news. The last time this happened was this past March, also in AdAge with an article from Matthew Creamer talking about how maybe ads on the web should be useful apps instead of just yelling messages.

This time, Bob is coming at the issue head on describing the disconnect between the potential for reaching users with software given how potentially effective and inexpensive it can be vs. the reality of how few marketers are seriously engaging in this area. And it’s true that we focus on full apps here at Jackson Fish Market, but to us they’re just the natural extension of what advertisers are (or should be) doing with widgets. Of course, the main point of Bob’s article is that never mind our full blown apps, marketers aren’t yet utilizing mini-apps/widgets the way they should. Bob describes the benefits better than I ever could:

“At a maximum, the widget is something like the magical connection between marketers and consumers, not only replacing the one-way messaging long dominated by media advertising but vastly outperforming it. Because online the link is literal and direct, and along its path, data of behavior, preference and intention are left at every step. Oh, and your target consumers actually go out searching for your branded gimcrack. Oh, and they display it within easy reach. Oh, and they pass copies along to their friends and associates. Oh, and because they’ve been turned on by a friend, they are hospitable and receptive recipients. And, oh, in case this didn’t quite register the first time I mentioned it, the barriers to entry are preposterously low.”

And, lucky us, we’re quoted all throughout the article. :)

So attention brand marketers who wandered over here curious after reading Bob’s piece:

  • the best way for you to do brand marketing on the web that engages an audience is through the creation of useful web apps
  • whether those apps are small widgets or full blown sites doesn’t matter. What matters is that you start understanding and using the medium now.
  • and in case you were confused… here at Jackson Fish Market, not only do we have a portfolio of six brandable web apps ready to go, but we have dozens of ideas for new apps that could be a perfect fit for your goals, your audience, and your budget.

We now return you to your otherwise peaceful month of December. (And potential customers have no fear, even though we’re on break, we can’t help but be on e-mail all the time anyway, so get in touch.)