Rob Harr – Web Businesses That Last – Part 2

Rob Harr


Web Businesses That Last

In our last interview with Rob Harr, Gio and Rob discussed The Business of Talent. In Part 2, they discuss how businesses within the web industry can and should be built to last.

In recent months, a number of design firms have met with hard times that resulted in this dissolution of the firm or, at the least, major cutbacks. These developments have been alarming to the industry and like many business owners and professionals, I wondered why these companies found themselves in hard times.

Rob Harr is one half of the leadership for SparkBox, a well respected design firm in Dayton, Ohio. Rob and I talked about how he runs his company, how they’ve grown their team in a sustainable way, and how companies might head off the slings and arrows of a volatile client services business.

This is Part 1 of a series of interviews.


About Rob Harr

Technical Director for Sparkbox, Rob is responsible for operations and leading the development team. On any given day, Rob meets with prospective clients, writes code, or continues to lead the charge in improving development process. Sparkbox has become known as a leader in responsive web design and custom software solutions.

Rob will be running workshops with Sparkbox at ConvergeSE April 2015 in Columbia, SC.


Aaron Griswold

Aaron is the Project Manager / Pathfinder for Unmatched Style / Period Three / / Aaron has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia - and a BS in Business Management from the U of South Carolina. And he aims to be encouraging every day.

  • Two very smart guys chatting about running a web business.

    Many of the problems discussed are not unique to the web industry. I work with the healthcare industry and frequently come across managers that were promoted to a “people managing” position because they were a really good technician, not because they were good at managing people.

    A small firm offers “agility” while a larger firm offers proven solutions with “horsepower”. A large firm also offers a diverse staff to support the client.
    The small firm should have a good network of support services to lean on when needed and be humble enough to know when they need to reach out for help.
    The large firm needs to keep small teams that can be “agile” (in the general term) to client needs and encourage a spirit of innovation.

    I think a gap is growing between the complexity of web technology and what a client assumes a web company can deliver for them.
    I think we fail to market a clear message of what clients should be thinking about. There is much more beyond the veneer of the HTML. They need to know about providing a consistent and predictable image, have a responsive and performant web site and reinvest in their web strategies daily, just for a start. What many clients assume they need is a WordPress site and their done.

    Great conversation guys. Where’s part 3?