Great things often start small…

pixeljarIt was a simple phone call. The kind I have every couple days. I get a tweet or email asking if I have a few minutes to chat. I reply that in my late afternoon or evening I'll have a few. And a call gets scheduled.

Sometimes the calls are product-related. Sometimes they're pricing questions. Sometimes they're about an upcoming project, like a membership or an e-learning site.

This call was different. It was a strategy call. I don't know if it's fair to say I have a favorite type of call, but if I did, this would be it.

It was Jeffrey Zinn from Pixel Jar. In case you don't know who that is – he's the guy who “discovered” me. In other words, he and Brandon Dove are the organizers of WordCamp Orange County. And they were the first to allow me the opportunity to speak at a WordCamp.

I was unknown in the community. A lurker. And almost three years later, I've found my own way to contribute – most of which comes from this blog and speaking at WordCamps.

So I owe Jeffrey.

Somewhere in the middle of the conversation I said the words, “You should talk with my friends at VeloMedia.” 

Embrace the small stuff

We all love to be part of big things. But that leaves all of us looking for big moments. You know, the kind where you swing for a home run.

But I've found that more success comes from consistent singles than from the big swings. So I've come to embrace doing the little things.

Little things like:

  • Introducing a person to another person
  • Introducing a person to a new company
  • Introducing two companies to each other
  • Giving someone a bit of encouragement to keep working at something
  • Giving someone a challenge to reach a little further

These kinds of things won't change the world. At least not initially. But sometimes they have a cascading effect.

Great things start small

That little line in that little call was obviously followed up by another call. And another. And eventually Velomedia and Pixel Jar started working together. And today, things have taken shape in a way I couldn't have predicted back in that first call.

But isn't that normally the case? Isn't it really the rare case when we can predict everything that will result from being faithful in the little things?

A second acquisition announced

VeloMedia is almost complete with its acquisition of Crowd Favorite. As previously announced, the new combined entity will continue with the Crowd Favorite brand, and be run by VeloMedia's CEO, Karim Marucchi. Alex King will step into the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Both Karim and Alex are excited to announce additional news. Today, they've entered into formal negotiations to acquire Pixel Jar – bringing both Brandon Dove and Jeffrey Zinn into the new Crowd Favorite family.

Pixel Jar is well known in the WordPress community, having contributed to multiple versions of WordPress as well as organizing WordCamp Orange County. This makes formal an existing relationship; VeloMedia and Pixel Jar have collaborated on previous projects, including working on one of the world's largest automaker's web presence.

Making the acquisition even more interesting is the addition of AdSanity, Pixel Jar's premium plugin for ads, to the existing arsenal of Crowd Favorite products. It further develops a product-orientation for this service boutique. Under Alex's leadership, and with continued investment by Brandon, Jeffrey and the rest of the team, Crowd Favorite will continue to release customer and project-based products for their enterprise customers.

Takeaways for the rest of us

Obviously it's great news for all the parties involved. But what can we take away from this news?

I think, when it all comes down to it, the lesson we learn is all about building relationships and the downstream consequences of them. You don't know, when you meet someone for the first time, if you're going to get the chance to work together, to help one another, and eventually decide to formalize a new kind of business relationship.

It's why I love events like WordCamp Phoenix, where I will be all weekend. There are tons of amazing people here. And I can't predict where any little conversation will go.

But I know this: great things often start small.