Monday, July 7, 2014

Meet the Web Guy

Posted By on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

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Hi there! I'm Ron Stauffer, The Web Guy. For more than seven years, I've been working with companies of many sizes, and from many industries, helping them understand the Internet and finding ways they can harness the power of the web to build and grow their businesses.

Over the years, I've observed that people who visit your website ask themselves three questions as they scan your homepage, often subconsciously. I call this the "three questions in five seconds rule," and it goes like this: you have about five seconds to answer these questions, in order:

1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. Why should we care?

Although you're not visiting my website, and I'm not selling you a product or service, I figured I'd answer these three questions for you about myself today, following my own advice, in a way. Here goes.

First question: who am I? That's always a challenging question because I generally answer it differently depending on who's asking. I am, in no particular order:

- A California native (I moved to Colorado Springs in my teens).
- An occasional entrepreneur (I started and ran my own business full-time for three years and now part-time for the past few years).
- An athlete of sorts (running and swimming, mostly, but last year I took lessons in fencing. En Garde!).
- A musician (I play the guitar, the trumpet, the tuba, and sing opera on occasion).
- A Colorado Springs downtowner (I've been working downtown for over 10 years).
- A husband to a beautiful girl, also from California (We're celebrating nine years this October).
- A father of five children (I even helped deliver four of them. ...at home, if you can believe that).
- A proud tech fanboy (a fan of all things technology, especially new and exciting consumer products).

What do I do? I said in the beginning, I'm a "web guy." That's a term I use for simplicity rather than trying to cram "website-designer-and-developer-and-internet-marketer-and-tech-consultant" into my "elevator pitch."

Long story short, being a “web guy” means I can help just about any business use just about any kind of connected technology to run more efficiently (think computers, servers, networks, laptops, iPads, iPhones, etc). I watch industry trends carefully to analyze the up-and-coming products, services and devices, and try to make recommendations based on this. Sometimes, new technologies make sense (Bluetooth Low Energy, Smart Thermostats, 3D Printers, etc), while other times, they should be avoided (NFC payments, QR codes, "waterproof" smart phone cases, and more).

And, I’ve never shied away from a technical challenge. I've even stood on the rooftop of a customer's office at midnight, in below-freezing weather, installing a satellite dish for an Internet connection, altimeter and compass in hand, trying to find a distant satellite somewhere out in the night sky. (I found the satellite, and made good money that night, but I don't ever want to do that again).

All that aside, I think the most important question is the last: why should you care? I could answer that with what I think is an overused and frankly arrogant approach often used in the industry and call myself an "industry expert" or a "guru." However, I think grandiose, self-given titles like that are presumptuous, and rarely true.

I'm just a "web guy." Actually, at one of my more recent in-house jobs a few years ago, I insisted that my official title be the "Internet Marketing Dude," because that's what I was: just a dude —I still have business cards to prove it.

I won't ask you to trust me because I'm an expert, or because I know everything about computers and technology — I don't. However, I'd say there’re two simple reasons why I think you might care what I have to say: I'm honest, and I speak in plain English.

I'll tell you when something is cool, even if nobody else in the tech world is using the word "cool." And you might find it refreshing when I say "Windows 8 sucks. And here's why." I've found that speaking in plain English is an asset, and seems to be an anomaly in the web/tech sector. I promise I'll never throw industry jargon your way to try to sound impressive. I'll just explain what things are, how they work (or don't work, as the case may be), and why you should care. All in language that your dad could understand.

If all of that sounds good to you, then I hope you stay tuned, as I have plenty to share in the future.

With that, I'll keep it short and sign off. I have a product launch to watch: Apple is announcing a new iPhone and I can't wait to find out all the ways the one I bought last year is obsolete.


Ron is a web guy, IT guy, and Internet marketer living in Colorado Springs with his wife and five children. He can often be overheard saying things like "Get a Mac!" and "Data wins arguments,” wandering around the downtown area at least five days a week. Follow him on Twitter at @ronstauffer or email him at indy@ronstauffer.com. Questions, comments and snide remarks are always welcome.


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