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How’dja get that!?: A New Series

Posted by Ilise Benun on

In her work with creative businesspeople, Ilise is constantly asked how to go about meeting great prospects, closing sales, and a host of other issues critical to making a business successful.

She also comes across a whole lot of great stories about how people actually landed terrific jobs, and very wisely figured that letting people tell some of these stories would make for an interesting and useful exercise.

So here is the first installment in an occasional series, "How’dja get that!?" and it’s a humdinger of a tale about almost losing a big fish because of a small (and, through the oh-so accurate lens of hindsight, obvious) oversight. Sheri L Koetting of MSLK tells the story…

MSLK was approached by Krysten Brown of the Wall Street Journal to redesign their existing Weekend Edition website targeting advertisers. They were hoping to convey the sophisticated mood of the lifestyle content in the WSJ print edition in an effort to attract more luxury sponsorship.

Krysten had recently rediscovered MSLK and had become a fan of our work. When Krysten was still in college she worked under MSLK partner, Sheri L Koetting, at another design firm.  This firm had many interns coming and going, so it was easy to get lost in the shuffle. Yet, Krysten and Sheri had forged a friendship through their working relationship.

When it came time to take on this important project, Krysten kindly thought to recommend MSLK. This was quite an honor because our competition included a world-renowned web design firm.

MSLK had several conversations with the WSJ team, and when we finally met with the key decision maker, we arrived armed with samples of our work and many detailed thoughts about the website. However, the decision maker only wanted to know what we felt about the newspaper. Despite all of our preparation, we had overlooked the obvious. We had never actually studied the paper itself, and we faced a huge embarrassment when the question came up. We left that meeting with our hats in our hands. Back in our studio we proclaimed to our staff that we had lost the job. In all of our project research, we had lost sight of the big picture and the end product.

We really wanted the project, so we wrote a personal note to the decision maker and the team, apologizing for our oversight. The decision maker was impressed with our business acumen as well as our creative talents, and the job was awarded to us shortly thereafter.

This project taught us two very important lessons: a) you never know where your next job will come from and b) never lose sight of the end product.

View the final site here.

Got a great story—with or without life-changing lesson—of your own? Let us know!

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