I interview Ryan Carson

A couple of days before Future of Web Design (FOWD), Ryan kindly took part in an interview. Thanks go to Ryan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

Q1. Full Name and Age please.

Ryan Carson, 31

Q2. Favorite Biscuit and Drink.

Double-stuff Oreo and Dark roasted coffee with cream.

Q3. Last book you read and last most you saw.

Predictable Irrationality (or ‘Predictably Irrational’ – can’t remember which).

Q4. Did you enjoy working from home when it all started?

No, I found it pretty tough. It’s hard when you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off and ask for opinions. It’s also tough to stay disciplined. I think a mix of working at home and office works best.

Q5. Is there anyone in the industry who you look up to?

Jason Fried, Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Williams, Kathy Sierra… the list goes on.

Q6. What was a key factor in your professional growth and development?

My father and mother drilled into me that I could do whatever I put my mind to. This has given me the confidence to do a lot of what we’ve done.

Q7. Where does your heart lie, with web apps or conferences and why?

I love the web and technology, and I also love connecting people. Carsonified will always continue to build apps and sites, but our core revenue comes from events. I love seeing people’s faces light up at events when they’re encouraged, inspired or challenged. There’s such a buzz when everyone comes together.

Q8. Out of these 3, WordPress, Light CMS and Expression Engine, which do you like the most and why?

WordPress – hands down. Matt has done an amazing job with WordPress – it’s easy to use, completely open source, and very powerful. What more could you want?

Q9. Do you see Carsonified as work or just a way of life?

Definitely a way of life. It’s a part of me and even though we only work four days a week, I think almost constantly about new ideas and projects.

Q10. What was the biggest project you’ve worked on so far?

Both DropSend and FOWA London are huge projects. There obviously very different but both are challenging and rewarding.

Q11. Throughout your entire career to date, is there any particular problem you’ve ran in to more than once? Clients, Jobs, Work, Family?

The hardest part about running Carsonified is that there are really big ups and downs. When it’s rocking, it’s rockin. When it’s hard, it’s really hard. However, I love crafting a company where the team and our customers feel loved and cared for. That’s my ultimate goal.

Q12. What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to your success?

The fact that we try quite hard to treat other people like we want to be treated. We do our best to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers and contacts.

Q13. Where do you get your inspiration from?

My wife, Gill and my son Jackson.

Q14. What are your 3 favourite apps?

Gmail, Things and Twitterific.

Q15. Do you think any company can do a 4 day working week?

You bet. It just takes a hell of a lot of determination and a specific decision to focus on quality of life instead of revenue.

Q16. How do you balance your time between family, carsonified, your apps, fowd, fowa etc??

It’s hard – we constantly balance everything. That’s something I find quite hard. However, I’m working harder at leaving work at work. I turn off email on my iPhone over the weekend and try to Tweet less.

Q17. Where do you see the future being?

For the company? We’ll be doing more events (probably smaller instead of big expos) and building more apps.

Q18. You’re a well known individual, do you class yourself as famous?

Nope 🙂 I might know a few people in our small web world, but I’m no where close to being famous.

Q19. Are you ready to head out to other parts of the UK to do other conferences, i.e. fowa or fowd?

You bet. We’re planning on taking FOWA to Dublin soon!

Q20. If you had one goal to reach (anything) within 3 years, what would it be?

Launching another web app, and taking FOWA and FOWD to more places. Also, a little more cash in the bank wouldn’t be bad 😉

Q21. If you had one piece of advice for anyone wanting to venture in to your industry, what would it be?

Be bold and humble. Anyone is contactable, so just keep trying and be respectful. Find a way to be helpful to someone before asking for their help.

p.s. Random question from myself, what core qualities do you look for when employing someone?

Friendliness and helpfulness

Ryan, good luck in your future and look forward to talking to you again soon. Would love to pop down to Carsonified HQ at some point.

That’d be fab! Stop by anytime 🙂

Ryan’s Website: www.ryancarson.com | www.carsonified.com

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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.