I always celebrate Carroll Smith. Carroll is the man that got me going in my business. And for over 20 years, his family has remained loyal to me while I remain loyal to him. So when I think of loyalty, I think of Carroll and Carroll’s son, Chris, and all that we’ve accomplished during our partnership.
Carroll Smith was an engineer and author who became famous for his engineering work and putting it all down on paper. When Ford v Ferrari came out, I know Carroll was watching from upstairs, enjoying the fact that his colleagues were again rightly getting their due. Carroll Smith worked as a right-hand man to Carroll Shelby on that and many projects. But his stories from the GT40 battles against Ferrari were legendary.
It’s for that reason this Cuelho quote rings for me this week. Weapons have no bite against rightly earned loyalty that continually inspires performance.
Carroll Smith: The Man that Wrote the Books
Carroll Smith is… was, I suppose, but always will be, a larger-than-life character. He tried his hand at racing Formula Juniors, and was good, but didn’t succeed enough to support his young family. I feel a bit of a connection to Carroll there as I’ve gotten to race Formula Juniors of the same vintage he raced. Not the same at all, but still, it gives me a better understanding of how he started out. And I got to race in Europe a bit, on the same tracks he raced on. Again, not the same at all, but still a better understanding than many.
His part in the Ford/Ferrari battle of the late 1960s was just one of the pieces Carroll was most famous for. He used his ability to write interestingly and applied that to his vast knowledge and experience to create the “… to Win” series of books. Drive to Win, Tune to Win, Prepare to Win, Engineer to Win, and more are still staples of every automotive students’ reading requirements. Even though the information in them is now quite dated, the fundamentals always apply.
He came to me about the time he released Engineer in your Pocket – a great reference for you sim guys! – and asked me to create a website for him. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to get involved in this Amazon thing because he wasn’t sure how much control he’d have to relinquish. A few years later, it became clear that Amazon was safe enough. But he continued – and his family continues to today – to sell books on his own site.
And that’s what having a website is about: it’s about maintaining control of the narrative. It’s about getting the message out that you want. It’s about tell your or your business’ story the way you want it told. Social Media is great and all, but at the end of the day, you have control over what and how people see the information on your site. You make it easy to use. You make it easy to find. Social Media is a tool to augment your SEO and find new customers, but you get them on your site when they want to know you the way you want to present yourself. There are no constraints there. And that’s why websites are still the fundamental piece of digital marketing in 2021. You can’t get kicked off your own site for telling your story your own way – the way you want to.
So, Carroll Smith came to me in 1999, and we built him a website. It sells his books. That website has had a couple of minor revisions through the years, but it’s still largely as it was when we launched it. Simple often works.
Loyalty: An Interfanatic Quality
“Where there is loyalty, weapons are of no use.”– Paulo Coelho
We stick by our customers. We treat their businesses as if they were our own. Interfanatic works very, very hard for our customers and for their success.
Through this work we have earned loyalty. They see how much we do and how much we will for them to succeed. The result is they stick by us, and refer us to their colleagues and friends. We have grown quite a family of businesses – it’s exciting and challenging and interesting and fun.
Interfanatic Service Focus: Interfanatic Basic Website Production
Last week, we showed a gorgeous and complicated design. This week, we show you a very simple one.
I built this website by hand starting about 20 years ago with nothing but hand-coded html and handmade gifs and jpgs. There were technical challenges – for example the mixing of GIFs and JPEGs to create a cohesive animated image that yet retained excellent image quality. Looking back now, it seems simple. At the time, it was groundbreaking. We minimized the number of nested tables and we were ahead of the curve on SEO (as we always have been). The result is a site that, while the client insists we don’t touch it, continues to perform at a very high level.
The simplicity of the site’s appearance today reminds me of simple websites we design and build all the time. While our Basic Website Production isn’t an ideal starting place for a business website (our Basic Business Website Production is), it still provides the fundamentals that can be built upon. And, it’s a very inexpensive alternative!
And it’s unencumbered by complicated builders and tricky CSS that can trip things up and slow the site down. We build all our sites for speed, for efficiency, and for effectiveness. We can work with anything. And we can work with any budget.
“The simplicity of the site’s appearance today reminds me of simple websites we design and build all the time.”
If you want to control the narrative, if you want to tell your story the way you want to tell it, let’s start here. We can always build from there when you see the success you’re after. Let’s build a simple, functional, effective website. Just like we did for Carroll Smith.
Interfanatic: We’ll Be There. That’s Loyalty.
Some loyalty is bought. And as the saying goes, what loyalty is bought can easily be bought away. That’s not the kind of loyalty we impart for our customers. We’ll stick with you. We’ll help you get through.