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