A List Apart

Issue № 330

A Modest Proposal

by Nathan Peretic · 9 Comments

Comedy is easy, proposals are hard. Even the toughest creative pros cringe when it’s time to put one together. Yet doing so is essential if you want to keep your doors open. A compelling proposal requires more than a jumble of clichés and a nervous estimate of costs. It needs structure, organization, and joie de vivre. Fortunately, you can provide that structure, no matter how complicated the final proposal needs to be. Learn the key questions every client needs answered, and how to use them as the basis of a proposal that convinces your client you’re the right team for the job.

RFPs: The Least Creative Way to Hire People

by Greg Hoy · 33 Comments

If you work in any kind of service industry you've undoubtedly come across the Request For Proposal, or “RFP.” The RFP process has become a standard by which organizations solicit competitive bids. It attempts to level the playing field and minimize bias by holding everyone to the same requirements, no special treatment, no rule bending. In return, the organization issuing the RFP is able to select a vendor by comparing apples to apples. Alas, in practice, RFPs are the least creative way to hire creative people. The rigidity of the process, and the lack of meaningful dialogue makes this little more than a game of roulette. How can we successfully navigate the heartburn-inducing RFP process? And what can we as an industry do to turn RFPs into the exception rather than the default means of hiring an agency?

More from A List Apart


Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Analog Revolution

Back in the day, when software was released (on physical media), it was considered done. In the present, some products could benefit from a limitation like that. To tie development to something immutable, such as a physical thing or a hard deadline, might just foster a sense of responsibility to design our product so it has what it takes to last a few years.

From the Blog

URLs Beyond the Web

As the newest operating systems for Android and iOS enable deep-linking directly into third-party apps, Anthony Colangelo sees an expanding definition of “the web” and an opportunity to better serve our users.

It’s Time We #FEDtalk

One person focuses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Another writes JavaScript tests all day. And they both have the same job title: front-end developer. Mat Marquis talks about why that’s okay, and introduces our latest event, "The State of Front-End Dev."