Introducing our side project “Hey! Calderdale”

We love Calderdale. We live in the Ryburn Valley and work in Hebden Bridge, and after the Boxing Day floods we wanted to do something, however small, to support the local area and small businesses.


So we've launched "Hey! Calderdale", a guide to the best spots and things to do in Calderdale.

Right now we're using social media (Twitter and Facebook), as well as a periodic email newsletter to get things started.

We have all sorts of plans and ideas for the guide though; a directory of all the places to eat, drink, shop and sleep, curated guides of our favourite spots, customised maps of the area, event calendars, news - you name it, we could think it.

These ideas all take a huge investment of time and money to develop though. What happens if you take six months to launch your new thing only to then realise you'd got it wrong and assumed too much about your audience and their needs?

Gall's Law of complex systems

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a simple system."

John Gall, systems theorist

We know from experience that if we began by attempting to build the "big ideas" first we'd fail. Instead we know what does work - start small and simple, validate your idea as soon as possible, and begin to speak to and grow your audience from the start.

"The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch"

Jason Fried, Basecamp

Investment so far as been creating the email newsletter template, the domain name and landing page, and the beginning of a visual style and identity that we can use across social media. As soon as we had that, we launched!

Over the coming weeks and months we'll be working hard to promote the very best of Calderdale. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks to Rory Prior for the use of his photography which we used for the background montage on the website and social media mastheads.

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