Interview With Jacob Gube
For those who don’t know Jacob Gube, he’s the brains behind two popular websites “Six Revisions” & “Design Instruct“. In this interview i caught up with him to discover a bit about his background and the day to day runnings of his blogs.
Q1. Many of us may be familiar with you because of your website, for those who are unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your life?
I’m Jacob Gube, and I’m the founder of Six Revisions, a website that shares web design and web development articles, and a co-founder of Design Instruct, a web magazine featuring tutorials and articles for designers and digital artists.
Q2. How long have you been blogging and how (or why) did you start a blog?
I started in Feb 2008. I started Six Revisions as a personal project: I wanted to catalog all of the things I learned while making websites. The site became huge real quick, so much so that web professionals and creatives from every part of the world began contributing articles, tutorials, and freebies to the site. Now, Six Revisions is a multi-author website, and so it’s transitioned out of a personal project.
Design Instruct is a collaboration between me and my brother. He’s such a gifted designer, photographer, illustrator (he pretty much does any form of creative art) — and so Design Instruct was a natural thing to start up. It’s grown phenomenally well — more than both of us could’ve anticipated. At this pace, it’ll be bigger than Six Revisions in a few months! He’s doing an amazing job with the site!
Q3. What was your goal when you started blogging?
I had no goal when I started. I just did it for me. I think that’s how all good things start: You just do it because it’s interesting, fun, and something you want to do.
Q4. How much time do you need to spend daily on the upkeep of your blog… do you ever sleep or play?
Six Revisions and Design Instruct doesn’t need much regular daily upkeep, except for moderating comments and responding to our readers. What takes up a lot of time is our editorial process; we want only the very best, and that takes a lot of time, preparation and perspiration.
Do I sleep or play? I don’t think I’m familiar with those terms… they sound fun though!
In all seriousness, I do get enough sleep and I am conscious about not overworking myself. Those of us in this for the long-run need to be wary of burning out. Yes, I can sometimes push myself to work 14 hour days, no sweat, but that’s not a sustainable lifestyle.
I see rest and relaxation as an investment to my endeavors.
Q5. What would be the biggest mistake you’ve made as a designer / developer / blogger / entrepreneur?
I think the biggest mistake I’ve made in life is not doing this sooner. Before Six Revisions and Design Instruct, I made websites for other people, but never really ran one myself. But when you build a website for yourself — it’s such a great feeling, even though it’s hard to satisfy yourself sometimes. I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing; it just leads to trying to do that extra thing to keep one-upping yourself.
Q6. What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?
Whether you’re an in-house designer or a freelancer, the absolute best skill to have are interpersonal skills. Your ability to communicate with others is very important. And we can even say that the very nature of Design is all about communication and transferal of your ideas and goals to your audience through a visual medium.
I’ve seen bad/mediocre designers make crazy bank because they speak and talk to people well. And on the flip side, I see these very talented designers that are struggling because they’re afraid to speak up and collaborate and reach out and defend their work.
Q7. A typical day in the life of “Jacob Gube”, how is it like? What do you enjoy the most about your work?
A typical day in my life is pretty normal. I’m a morning person, so you can see me getting up between 5:00-7:00AM. I’ll usually brew up a pot of coffee and that’d be my breakfast. I shower, go to work, and at the end of the day I watch a DVD or catch up on TV shows.
What I enjoy the most is the feeling of utility. As a web designer/web developer, the products I make are utilitarian. People will use them and will gain something from my work; whether it’s a simple contact web form or a distance learning management platform, they will interact with it in a way that serves them. They can be from the opposite side of the world or they can be the guy next door.
It’s the same with Six Revisions and Design Instruct; all the hard work we put to producing our content translates to millions of people learning something new about design and development.
Q8. What do you think of the web design blog niche? A lot of designers say it’s overcrowded, but many say there’s still room for new blogs and tutorial sites.
There’s always more room. There’s unlimited room in this niche. The problem isn’t with the consumers; they have a choice to follow only a handful of sites if they want. The problem of overcrowding would be for new site owners, trying to catch up to some of the more established blogs. That’s a problem I hope to help solve with my upcoming book about building popular websites; to increase your chances of being one of those handful of websites that people visit.
Q9. If you could give a single piece of advice to people who would like to follow your steps, what would it be?
Just do it. There’s nothing to it. Don’t get stuck in the details. Do it now, and think about the minutia later when you’ve got some decent traffic coming your way.
Q10. What are the tools you couldn’t live without?
Dropbox, Firefox (for Dev work), Chrome (for personal browser), puTTY, Adobe Creative Suite (really just Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator).
Q11. Do you have any favorite websites for interacting with others in the design community?
I use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with the design community in real-time. I also hang out in the comments section of Six Revisions or Design Instruct. You can find a lot of great designers in the comments; a lot of our writers were discovered through our interaction with them in the comments section.
Q12. What are your favorite websites at the moment?
Can I say my favorite websites at the moment are Six Revisions and Design Instruct? Ha ha!
Lately, I’ve been loving what Design Shack’s been doing it’s by Joshua Johnson who is a regular Six Revisions writer. I also love FFFFOUND!, Hacker News, UX Booth, and Line25. You can sometimes find me in the comments at Impressive Webs, and it’s a site that I read regularly.
Those are my recent favorites at the moment, aside from the regular sites, like Smashing Magazine, and so forth.
Thank You Jacob
Thank you jacob for taking to the time out of your busy schedule to answer some of our questions, much appreciated.
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