…would begin with content so fresh and intriguing that you would pause mid-click, settle in your seat, adjust your glasses, tell yourself to ignore your cell phone’s dinging, tell your partner to come check this site out, and click and scroll with excitement, marveling that you’d indeed dreamed exactly the same approach but website development is just not your specialty. Your interest piques. You click on each tab, and you think Man, this is exactly how my business needs to be presented, too, to be capable of startling and moving a person.
The next five minutes unceremoniously slip by, and you move into the story of the website—its history, mission statement, stellar or unique product, a service, or a work of art. Then there would suddenly be that moment where the website enters your soul (as much as a website can truly enter one’s soul, anyway) and your thought process shifts on a dime like the wind. You are perched on a super steep cliff, you didn’t see it coming at all, and your entire business plan flashes in front of your face, and much later, maybe when you are snacking late-night in the kitchen or drinking an extra glass of wine, this striking and memorable website crosses your mind again. You think, “Well shit, the Internet does have immense power, after all.”
If virtual advertisement and sales are a primary business venue, why haven’t you dedicated more time developing that business or service to cater to the Internet community?
The services section of the Greatest Business Website Ever Found Online then marches decisively towards a line of excellence. The objective is precise. Direct. Blunt. Blurbs of credentials. But there’s no judgment or fakeness. Instead, one idea links to the next. Each one makes sense; an octopus or the president could easily understand the mission statement. There’s no bullshit, no smoke in mirrors, no unneeded clichés, no pitches, no schemes, no advice, no opinions, and no narcissism. Only precise objectives, goals, services, and talents are portrayed one after another, fitting together like a puzzle you completed on a rainy Sunday afternoon in spring when you were a kid.
Then right there where you would normally expect those pandering sales gimmicks, some nonsense hype, there’s only the subtle tale of the entrepreneur’s realness. The website looks professional. There’s nothing flashy, but the text somehow shouts and dances without sound or movements. Only later—after you’ve obsessed more than is healthy—do you realize your business needs something you can’t give it.
And finally the last seconds on the perfect webpage. It’s a lean taut thing, a modest mountain’s peak and not Everest, and here at the last tab, there’s a flash of the owner (author/artist etc.) and her mission, another glimpse of realness, a touch of truth you can’t quite pinpoint but you know it’s there. It’s a silent reminder in the dark that you, yes, you, could be presenting yourself or your business more beautifully, more succinctly, more artistically, more.
You click the window close. You sit there, knowing, sure. You know your next step. You need to develop your brand. And you need help doing it. You stand.
Progress joins you.
Author’s Bio: Jenna R. London earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she is not writing or being a mom, she can be found hiking with her dogs or attempting to dethrone her husband’s status as air hockey champion. Her work has been published at Wildflower Muse and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and elsewhere. She lives in upstate New York. Author’s Note: Jenna modeled this flash essay after the late Brian Doyle’s The Greatest Nature Essay Ever.