Oh, Kelly, you changed my life, and in turn have impacted the lives of so many others (and billions of pixels). Thank you.
In 2000, I attended a Thunder Lizard Web Design Conference in Atlanta. Back then, a Thunder Lizard event was the place to be to learn about cool cutting edge web stuff like cascading style sheets, animated GIFs and project management. At that time I was working at ConnectOK, the digital portal of The Oklahoman (anyone remember the term 'portal?'). It was a time when the internet was going through its awkward puberty stage and newspaper editors was still cocky enough to say stuff like "readers will never give up their daily newspaper." Anyways, the Oklahoman was kind enough to send me to this web design conference and I soaked it up like a sponge.
Photoshop v5.5 demos, usability seminars, how to write website proposals, organize projects - it was all awesome. And there in the frenzy of all this cool web stuff was a speaker named Kelly Goto (last name 'Go to' = how programmingly appropriate). She nailed it for me. Her presentation: 'Workflow that Works' was useful, practical, intelligent and down-to-earth, did I mention useful? So useful, after I left OPUBCO, I built a web design business around the presentation materials she provided.
Looking back on early Back40 days, my wife, Sandy and I were like a little Kelly Goto business incubator headquartered in Prague, Oklahoma. The rest is history. Or rather, the rest is on our Timeline 2000-2012 page.
Thanks Kelly. Truly. Thanks.
Another mentor blog: What sanding fenders taught me about the design business.