Lessons from the Plaid Side

by Nicole Branigan on August 23, 2010 · 6 comments

Irish Plaid for Jimmy O'MearaBlackbird Tips Her Hat to Founder of Plaid Dog Design

Last week marked the loss of a close friend to many of us in Nashville. Jim O’Meara was the original developer of Blackbird Marketing Blog, as well as a superb colleague, genuine friend, and legitimately talented web developer. Jim taught me so many things; it’s only fitting for me to share some of the lessons with you.

Think Outside the Box, Dammit. Jim hated boring, and he despised predictable. He appreciated the weird and zany, and wasn’t afraid to express himself personally and professionally. In the web development world, Jim showed me that it’s okay to trust your weird ideas, because the weird ones are the ones that stick out, and are always remembered.

Balance Ingenuity and Functionality. In web development, it’s easy to get caught up in the “but wouldn’t it be cool if…” Jim understood more than anybody that ingenuity means nothing if you can’t use the damn thing! Functionality must not be compromised for the sake of invention.

Be the Teacher, and Learn Something Yourself. Above everything I loved about Jim, I loved that he was a natural teacher. He would take the time to explain something to you (no matter how fundamental or complicated) and then he would follow up to make sure you didn’t have any questions. Professionally, this made Jim an asset, but what was more remarkable then his innate ability to pleasantly instruct was his knowledge that in teaching comes learning. When Jim first signed on to develop my website, he had no experience using WordPress, but was SO excited to dive in, help a friend, and LEARN something in the process. It is this type of passion and enthusiasm that set Jim apart from the crowd.

Jim taught me an abundance of lessons that I will never forget, and I am fortunate to have a reminder of him each day. I will never forget the wonderful things he showed me, and I hope I continue to learn, as he strived to do everyday.

“When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m plaid, I’m better.” – Plaid Dog Design

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica Rae August 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

beautiful and touching. i wish i had a chance to meet jim…


Maggie Miller October 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm

A truly wonderful description of a truly wonderful person…
Thank you for such kind and thoughtful words.


Nicole Branigan October 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I’m so glad you found my post. Thank you so much for reading. I thank Jim everyday for the lessons he taught me. 🙂



Priscilla O'Meara August 16, 2014 at 5:02 am

Dear Nicole,
I just stumbled over this blog tonight by accident. I was trying to find the download Jimmy had made about PHOTO SHOP. I was so moved when I read this I just wanted to thank you for writing it. Jimmy was special,(of course as his Mom, I might be a bit biased) and it seems he was loved not only by his family but friends too. But again thank you for the kind words, I can’t tell you how much it means.


Khuram Dhanani August 20, 2014 at 3:36 am

Wonderful site you have here but I was wanting to
know if you knew of any community forums that cover
the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online
community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Cheers!


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