"Anything I know?"

“Oh, you make websites, have you made anything I know?” he asks, immediately after my telling him I build web applications for a living.

At this point in the conversation, I’d love my next response to be “Perhaps… You know Google? Yeah, I built that. All by myself. With my hands tied.”

Instead, I am left fumbling around for something in my portfolio with just a sliver of hope of recognition from the average Joe in front of me. Usually I fail, leaving Joe feeling uninterested, and me feeling unsuccessful.

Thing is, there are a bajillion websites and unless you live and breathe internet, you probably don’t know more than a few of those. And while I have been at it for more than a decade, in the grand scheme of things, I have only built a few websites. Guess what, my few are highly unlike to be the few you know.

The irony is that most the projects I’ve been involved with have been successful in their own right. Most are successful businesses with people making a living from them. All of this without any being a top 10 internet site or even well known.

So no, I haven’t built anything you know. By the way, what do you do for a living? Oh, you repair cars – anyone I’ve owned?