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At Metal Toad we aren't just about technology - we've got business advice too!

  • Robots and People

    Starting my journey with a technology company

    Onboarding During my few weeks, I went through an onboarding process where I learned about the company's culture, values, and procedures.

  • AWS Banner

    Lambda SnapStart

    AWS re:Invent is in full swing and with it come new services that people have been asking for.

  • Dark abstract image with white text that says, "Brazil's Best: Metal Toad Receives Top IT Outsourcing Reward From Clutch." Badge on the right says, "Top B2B Company Clutch Brazil 2021."

    Brazil’s Best: Metal Toad Wins 2021 Clutch Award for Top IT Outsourcing Company

    From Los Angeles to Brazil Headquartered in sunny Los Angeles, California, Metal Toad is an award-winning

  • Image of map with red thumb tacks that are connected via a string.

    Planning for Uncertainty: 7 Key Principles for Creating an Excellent Roadmap

    Roadmaps are important. My summer plans often involve traveling with my family. If you’re like me, your summer travel plans have shifted from planes to local road trips.

  • Retail ecommerce growth 2014 to 2020

    Ecommerce trends 2021

    I recently bought a t-shirt online. Printed on the shirt is a hilarious mash-up of a cartoon from the 80s (He-Man) and a modern-day meme ("do you even lift?"). The inspiration came from hearing the phrase...

  • masked people getting back to work

    Back to work

    For the first time in 12 months, I am exploring options for an actual office space outside of my home.  As many of you know, Metal Toad went...

  • A virtual conference speaker talking

    How to host a virtual conference

    This article first appeared in the Metal Toad newsletter.

  • woman working from home

    How to work remotely

    Get our top 5 tips to doing remote work right. We've been working remotely since 2019 and learned a number of things the hard way.

  • What is wallstreetbets Reddit?

    What is wallstreetbets Reddit?

    It's likely been impossible for you to miss all the talk about GameStop stock. This upside is due to a corner of the internet called Reddit. More specifically, a corner of Reddit called r/wallstreetbets.

  • clubhouse icon

    What is Clubhouse?

    By now you've probably heard about Clubhouse, the hot new social app. While I'm sure many of you are already on the inside, perhaps even hosting your own events, I've learned a few things since I joined that you might find interesting.

  • Dog

    Work from home forever

    In March of 2020, as a joke on my Instagram I posted a photo of my dog saying he hoped nobody ever went back to work. Now almost 11 months later, it turns out that my dog may have been better at seeing into the future than I was.

  • guy sitting next to aliens

    The Year is 2031

    This article first appeared in the Metal Toad newsletter.

  • Bee in flight

    When should you use AWS Lambda?

    Faster than the wing flap of a bee Bees flap their wings ridiculously fast, at around 230 beats per second (fruit flies are 80 times smaller than honeybees but flap their wings only 200 times a second.) Given that there are 1,000 milliseconds in a second, a bee wing flap takes ~4.3 mill

  • 5 Things New Managers Should Know

    5 Things New Managers Should Know

    You're a boss! Now what? Before diving in the list, I'd like to make sure you're aware of something: just because you have an MBA or classes in management doesn't mean you are skilled enough to become an effective leader.

  • A whale's tail

    No one ever got fired for buying IBM

    Technology consulting firms are everywhere. Many have familiar names like IBM, Accenture and McKinsey. Some may be vendors you're working with. But in most cases one thing is almost certain. They sold you on their "reach" and their "scale".

  • Metal Toad Empty Office

    How to Close an Office

    On March 1, 2020, I handed in the keys to the Metal Toad office in Portland, Oregon — our corporate headquarters for the past five years — back to the building manager.  

  • workers in a cave

    COVID19 and the Impact on Business

    Well, it's been an interesting 9 weeks. Right?

  • cloud downloading into an ipad

    How Cloud became the most important buzzword in business

    Cloud is not the first (and probably not the last) disruptor to business via software.  Over the past 50 years or so there have been four major epochs of software, with Cloud being the latest. SaaS software is dying and the Cloud is coming for all of us.

  • Portland at sunset

    The Battle for Cloud Marketshare in Oregon

    Oregon has always been well known for its timber industry.  Indeed at one point in the 1970s fully 12% of the States GDP was produced by timber.  While timber's former dominance is not a surprise, many p

  • An eye with geometric lines

    Compreendendo a Transformação Digital  (Understanding Digital Transformation)

    Hoje de manhã enquanto tomava um café, estava pensativa e fiquei intrigada com a seguinte questão: Por que não basta apenas instalar soluções tecnológicas? Daí surgiu a motivação para escrever este blog.

  • Laptop sitting on desk at home

    Metal Toad launches Remote-First Work Policy

    “If you want the best talent, limiting yourself to the talent that’s available in a single city (let alone a single country) is shooting yourself in the foot.

  • cloud boxing

    Saas vs. Cloud

    I talk a lot about the Cloud. And while, "the cloud" is certainly a candidate for buzzword bingo, unlike some other buzzwords, I really do believe this one lives up to the hype.

  • Consumer Grade Expectations

    Consumer Grade Expectations

    Here at Metal Toad, we’re constantly engaged in developing solutions for complex, cloud-focused application needs. What’s intriguing about the space I hold (account management and partner development) is that clients are increasingly sophisticated in their expectations.

  • Panel

    Metal Toad's CEO Talks Future of eCommerce at Seminar

    On July 26th, Metal Toad’s CEO and Founder Joaquin Lippincott, spoke at Build-up, an event hosted by in partnership with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and California Market Center.

  • Man jumping in clouds

    Why the Cloud Movement Is the Future of All Business

    Cloud computing is quickly becoming not just another tech innovation, but a fundamental shift in the way businesses function. Learn the top 6 advantages of moving to cloud and the ONLY 3 ways to accomplish innovation.

  • Charred stumps remaining from a slash and burn operation

    Software is a slash and burn industry

    Any industry that wants to be sustainable must think long term. In the timber industry they need to worry about the future availability of trees, for fisheries they need to think about fish - you get the point.

  • Hackathon Pitches

    How to Run a Great Hackathon (and Why You Should Do It)

    Working at Metal Toad is all about innovation. It’s why I was drawn to this place—a place that celebrates the unusual, gets excited about new ideas, and constantly seeks out the latest emerging tech.

  • Consuming media in a self-driving car

    The impact of self driving cars

    The self-driving car is coming. The race is on currently to see who will be first to get fully automated, and cities are scrambling to get out in front claiming that they are the most “car friendly”.

  • Code

    How wasted inventory shows up in software development

    In software, a feature backlog is no different than a warehouse of slowly rotting, unused goods. When you think of software features, think of inventory that is wasting away unless it is delivered to a customer.

  • Vector graphic of human leaping

    The 3 Paths for Digital Transformation

    There's a lot of talk about digital transformation these days.  I think undoubtably this movement - transforming as many processes from analog to digital - is going to be the heart of value for business for at least the next 50 years into the future.  That said, there three major ways for compani

  • Money

    There are no estimates, only budgets

    The challenge of estimating software projects is that software is a creative act: you can paint a line, or you can paint a Monet. Every person involved has a different opinion about the amount of creativity needed for every miniscule feature.

  • laptops

    Be a Partner, not a Vendor

    Years ago, I received a frustrating email from a disappointed client. I was confused – from an engineering perspective, this should have been a model project.

  • Road sign: analog or digital

    Is your company going to be digital or not?

    A month after opening our 2nd office and meeting with people in Los Angeles, CA, one thing is very clear: companies know they need to move into the digital world, and they know they need help ge

  • boss versus leader

    Top 5 Ways Executives Destroy Agile Companies

    A few months ago, a senior executive of a large company asked me, “With our Agile transformation, how am I going to screw it up?”   The question shook me to the core. A few years earlier...

  • Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

    How Much Does a Website Cost? 3 of 3: Maintenance

    A good framework for most people to help understand these costs is to look at buying a website like buying a house. After you've bought it you still have to move into it (website migration costs) and maintain the house over time.

  • Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

    How Much Does a Website Cost? 2 of 3: Rebuilding

    In my last article, I addressed the age old question "how much does a website cost?" from the standpoint of initial purchase.

  • Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

    How Much Does a Website Cost? 1 of 3: Initial Purchase

    "How much does a website cost?" These are six words — when spoken in sequence — that most web developers dread.

  • dot matrix globe

    Tech is More Than an Industry

    Some people see software and tech as an industry. Seen on it's own it is a whole category of employment including massive companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Yet as time marches on, tech is becoming more than an industry. Like...

  • Super short pencil next to a notepad

    When There is a Skills Gap, Industry Needs to Fix It

    A number of industries are going through a skills gap crisis - or are looking down the barrel of one.  In manufacturing, an aging workforce means that in the next 10 years retirement will free up 3.5 million jobs - and because of the skills gap, 2 million of them will likely go unfilled.

  • Uber vs. Taxi

    Industry Disruption: It's All Our Fault

    Uber and Darwin are getting a bad rap for killing off the taxi industry. They are innocent. As a matter of fact, Uber founders Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp, and evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin all have a solid alibi. 

  • Meeting customer

    Showing Up for Our Clients: Why Nothing Beats a Face-to-Face Meeting

    I’m currently on my way home from two weeks of back to back east coast travel. It’s not because I love ten-hour travel days and the resulting jet lag, it’s because I love our clients.

  • Revisiting First Mover (Dis)Advantage

    Revisiting First Mover (Dis)Advantage

    In 2001, the Harvard Business Review published “First Mover Disadvantage” by William Boulding and Markus Christen.

  • Meeting

    Brand Strategy Planning Tips for a New Year

    3 Fundamental Underpinnings for Successful Brand Planning

  • Code of Ethics

    How to Select an Ethical Software Vendor

    Many software firms believe that building great software is important. We believe it is important to take it one step further by committing to great business ethics along the way. We bring this into play through four key axioms:

  • typing

    Are You Prepared?

    It happens every couple of years or so. There's a a shocking or (dare I say) earth-shaking article that is published. YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IN THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF THE WHATEVER!

  • Oregon

    CoverOregon goes Open Source

    Ten months since my open letter to Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, challenging him to fix CoverOregon and to use more local companies and more open source in their technology solutions, we have come full circle.

  • People having lunch

    Defining Client Success

    I’ve recently joined Metal Toad as Director of Client Success. My role here is to hone the vision for successful, long-term partnerships with our Clients. I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to an already successful and talented team of Toads.

  • The Toads Have Leapt!

    The Toads Have Leapt!

    After three wonderful years at our previous office, Metal Toad has outgrown our lilypad.

  • Dino on a Bike

    Seeing Long Term Technology Adoption as Evolution

    Much like an evolutionary tree our goal in technology adoption is too continue to move forward and evolve, rather than getting caught in a dead end.  In the natural world, becoming bigger can be good but can lead to extinction events should the environment or food source change.  Right now we are in a technology Jurassic...

  • DJ Batman

    DC Comics & Hip Hop

    Many years ago I got into skateboarding, soon after, that lead to hip hop. Something about the two seemed to be synonymous around that time, or perhaps it was just my area (Metro Detroit).

  • Matrix

    Beware the Matrix Model?

    And now for the fifth post in the series following my Drupalcon Austin session, entitled "Oh look, we're growing!" This post follows closely on the heels of

  • Keyboard

    Family-Sized Business Units & The Agency Holding Company Model

    Here is part four in the series following my Drupalcon Austin session, entitled "Oh look, we're growing!" This post takes a look at the goal of maintaining s

  • Cms percentage

    Why More People Select WordPress than Drupal to Build Websites

    First off, Drupal has had a great year and a great quarter. According to Drupal is second among all Content Management Systems at 13.75% of the top 10K websites and has added ~250K new website this quarter.

  • cool tech graphics

    Going Paper-less with Google Drive

    As a technology company, we tend to go full-bore with any tools that can move us away from paper. When Google Drive (formerly Google Apps) made authoring, organizing and sharing digital documents something available to the masses, we jumped on it. Fully three years later, for us it has been a huge success.

  • ethernet plug

    You Should be Paying More Than $50/month for Hosting.

    In the year 1999, if you ran a business and you had a website, you were ahead of the game. It meant that in addition to finding you in the Yellow Pages (where most people still looked) you could also be found on the "World Wide Web".

  • cool tech graphics

    Web Agencies Need Code Review

    Web design and development agencies are lacking in code review practices, and our collective clients are suffering as a result.

  • cool tech graphics

    How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home

    So you want to work from home? Well, you have to convince me first. Ok. Maybe not me exactly, but I am a business owner and for years I successfully ran my business with the mom-and-pop mentality that if I could see my employees in their seats, they must be working. If I sent employees home, who knew whether they would goof off or not? Most businesses start with this mentality and many never get past it, however, at our company we changed course and have not only improved morale, but

  • cool tech graphics

    2011 Knight News Challenge

    If you haven't heard (or applied) be sure to check out the 2011 Knight News Challenge. It's an opportunity to pursue $5 million in funding for your idea that addresses one or more of the following topics as it relates to news...

  • cool tech graphics

    Shopping for a Web Developer is like Shopping for an Auto Mechanic

    If you've been tasked with selecting a web developer, you may find the experience a lot like looking for an auto mechanic. Ultimately you want to get a good price, but you also want to be sure the work is good and what you are being told is true. The similarities boil down to a few key things: You could do the work yourself

  • cool tech graphics

    How to Create a New Facebook Network for Your Business

    Facebook networks are one of the major ways that it allows people to connect to each other. Networks come in a few different types including: Regions (geographic) Colleges Workplaces High School

  • cool tech graphics

    What Twitter worth? I'm talking cash here...

    I just read an article by @marshallk (thanks to @turoczy for the link) asking how much you would pay for Twitter

  • cool tech graphics

    Keeping in touch after the event

    I attended the AIGA leadership retreat in Omaha, Nebraska (I'm starting in July as the new Web Chair for AIGA Portland). There were some great opportunities to talk about Web Development and get inspired about this great organization.

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