Last Sunday a man from Austria strapped himself to a weather balloon, floated up 128 100 feet, then jumped. 9 minutes later he floated gently to the ground, landed on his feet and shattered four world records. The man is Felix Baumgartner, the event was the Red Bull Stratos Journey to the edge of space, and the result proves that careful planning, a team of specialists, constant tweaking and a realistic budget can make amazing things happen.
Now imagine what would happen if you applied the same process to building your website.
It took 7 years to plan Felix’s jump from the edge of space. To put this in perspective, every minute of Felix’s jump took 283 days of discussion, planning and testing.
It doesn’t take 7 years to plan a website, but considering most websites have no plan whatsoever it may be worth putting aside a couple of days before you jump into the unknown. It could save your business.
A team of professionals
The Red Bull Stratos team comprised:
- the world’s best free fall skydiver
- Six of the world’s best aeronautical minds
- Joe Kittinger (the previous record holder for longest free fall)
- Hundreds of support staff.
During the ascent, Felix’s visor heater malfunctioned but his team used their years of experience to evaluate the risks and find a solution. I’d imagine he felt pretty confident as he stepped out of his capsule for the last time.
The Web is a critical factor in your company’s survival, so ask yourself if you’d rather have Joe Kittinger’s mission control team guiding you, or a pimply teenager from your local printing shop?
When Felix’s balloon reached 128 100 feet and he jumped, he had a pretty good idea what was going to happen because:
- He had already made 2 test jumps (from lower altitudes).
- Joe Kittinger jumped from 102 800 feet in 1960 and was mission commander for Felix’s jump.
- Every breath of wind above Roswell was being measured and re-measured.
- There was more computer power checking and re-checking every piece of equipment than the Appollo moon missions could have dreamt of.
This combination of experience, testing, scaling up and testing again ensured that the final jump was going to run (almost) like clockwork.
When you’re building a website, start small, with the most important stuff first. Then test, scale up and test again until you have a manageable, goal-driven website you know will work well when your target market tunes in to watch it jump.
A realistic budget
7 years ago, someone at Red Bull signed a piece of paper allocating millions of Dollars to the Stratos project. They wouldn’t have done this without having a good idea of their ROI.
Whether you’re spending £100 or £100 000 on your website, you’re buying a web designers time, and they can only achieve so much in 1 hour. Use their hours wisely and your ROI will be spectacular.
If you haven’t seen Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space, I urge to to watch it. It’ll restore your faith in mankind.