Resources


When I started freelancing, I began collecting blog posts, tools, and links to resources that have brought me value over the years. Many of these are specific to freelancing. Others are general interests of mine.

I've listed them below and how they've been helpful. If you would like to suggest others I could include, email me at greg@lightmatter.com.

For Designers

Adobe Color Wheel - There are dozens of color theory tools across the web, but I've found Adobe's to be the simplest and most enjoyable to use. I can get lost playing with this for hours and applying different combinations to products I'm working on.

Hero Patterns - I have a soft spot for elegant background patterns and generators, and think those found at Hero Patterns and other sites like Trianglify come in useful for web backgrounds, decks, and other kinds of brand collateral. I also love thoughtfully assembled User Experience and User Interface interactions put together by talented designers and developers from across the web.

For Developers

Programmer Competency Matrix - When it comes to hiring engineers and measuring their progress over time, nothing compares to this matrix made by Sijin Joseph. It's a comprehensive overview of the ways you can evaluate developer talent and set milestones for personal growth.

Client Education

Stack Overflow's Yearly Developer Survey - This is one of the most valuable resources I share with clients, and also use as a sales tool to review the pros and cons of picking different software frameworks and programming languages to use. So many clients ask why we (and thousands of other engineers) avoid Wordpress, Drupal, and PhP projects. See most "dreaded" programming languages and frameworks to catch my drift.

Contrux's Cone of Uncertainty - This is one of the most prescient blog posts I've read and actively share with clients about the perils of estimating software projects without accurately scoping work and gathering requirements.

Project Management

Evidence Based Scheduling - If you're thinking about other ways to shore up your project estimates, I'd suggest reading Joel's blog, especially his essay on evidence Based Scheduling.

Starting and Growing an Agency

Eight Important Gauges On Your Financial Dashboard - This post by David Baker highlights what metrics as an agency founder you should be mindful of as you operate your business. It's easy to think that all you should pay attention to is cashflow and cash in the bank, but utilization, debt, client concentration and others play more of a role than you might think.

Leadership

CEO - I've always found this essay by Jacques Mattheij to be a rational and sobering approach to thinking about leadership. Whether it's leading a team or yourself, it's an honest look at how one should act in both good times and bad.

The Most Important Asset You Have, But Are Afraid To Use - Most freelancers including myself struggle with some form of imposter's syndrome. John in this essay highlights how to navigate that with authenticity, and how to live honestly and feel genuine in a world where appearances and perspective changes so quickly.

The Great CEO Within - A complex and comprehensive playbook for CEO's by Matt Mochary. Whether you're the founder of a product focused startup or agency, many of the rules about company operations, leadership, and growth apply.

1 on 1 Meeting Questions - A thorough guide of 1 on 1 questions you can ask your co-workers and teams during reviews.

Investing

Buffet FAQ - What I like about this blog on Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger is the casual tone of the writing. If you're wondering why, it's because the majority of these snippets are collected from interviews rather than books or essays written by the two. Anyone who says they've read this blog top to bottom is full of sh*t though. It's huge.

Writing

Paul Graham's Essays are my favorite place to start. Writing, Briefly, Writing And Speaking, Write Like You Talk and How To Write Usefully continue to shape how I think about writing.