Startup: The Clockwork Brain

The Know: A quick intro

I know…I know you were thinking Clockwork Orange, you were getting all excited thinking about all of your college days… Wait, maybe you are still in college or you are a teen and have no idea… I’m over-thinking this.

Now I have always had a heart for new ideas and the process of going from point A to point B, but taking the time to charge ahead has to be THE HARDEST PART about doing a startup.  I have had several ideas that I have been mulling over for what seems like the past century but nothing ever comes to fruition.

I have to hand it to Michael Deluca for being so forthright on the “Twitter-mobile”.  I’m always rooting for the startup and entrepreneur (spell check hates this word ), but what caught me by surprise was the fact that he took the time to follow me.  I’m assuming he searched “entrepreneur” or “startup” and saw my name pop up along with many others and then decided to follow me with the intent of me following him back.  His twitter bio states the following:

Check out my Indiegogo project! http://igg.me/p/216977?a=1146394 (note: this site has since been pulled off indiegogo.com for reasons unrelated to this post)

20120828140429-picture13261270703805

Simple and to the point.  This man is looking for business and is forthright about who he is and what he’s all about.  When you come in each day and that idea that you have is nagging at you and even eating you up remember – there’s a world of people who can help you and want to help you.  You don’t have to know how to spell “entrpranureurrererer”…(close enough) to be one.  You just have to learn that you are not alone and there are people with the “leafy greens” falling from that money tree out back that want to see you succeed.  Kickstarter and Indiegogo have to be two of my favorite sites to go and find new and exciting things going on in the mind of people everywhere.  You don’t have to be a mad scientist with electrocuted, wind blow hair to make your ideas come to life.

The How: Off My Soapbox

Michael Deluca is working on a project in his words:

“The short answer: a website designed to gather responses to various questions from people of all ages in the United States (for now) and analyzing the data to allow other organizations to use for their research.  The site also provides an experience for users to learn more about themselves, compare their sociological results to others across the country, and interact with a user friendly platform that allows them to earn achievements for participation.”

A user can go on to this website and answer some poignant questions about race, gender, education level, income, etc. (probably not about the meaning of life…) and the results can be viewed in charts to weigh where you stand in your particular category.  By answering these questions, you receive some achievements that are represented on your home page.  Michael plans on using these results in efforts to improve the – shall we say “slanted” – results of the Gallup poles which really only reach out to a small populace of participants and are closed off to the public.

The Know How: What we need to get it done

Michael Deluca is looking for a total of $5,000 dollars (lots of “leafy greens”) to pay for the production and programming of this site.  Contributions can range from $1-50 and his posting ends in 39 days.  What I like most about Michael wasn’t the fact that our names were the same, but more about his intriguing sense of reaching for opportunities through people he didn’t know – like following me on Twitter or even posting up the challenge on Indiegogo.  A man who has the steel to put themselves on the line are worth a blog – mind you I can’t write about everyone who “follows” me on Twitter.

Doctor Who: The TARDIS you HAVE to help Launch

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who fans are numerous and I keep hearing about them more and more.  It’s that cult following that not many people talk about…and I’m not really sure why…  All I can think once looking into it is:

How did I not know about Doctor Who?!  I’m almost offended my eyes have not been graced by this TV show.

A good friend of mine absolutely loves Doctor Who and has seen EVERY episode.  The DIEHARD fan.  And when I say every episode, I mean EVERY EPISODE.  You know how you can spout off baseball stats and a pitchers ERA and batting averages for the past 5 years…or you can recite every line of Office Space?  This guy can recall every crucial moment in the series to include bloopers in the series as well as how many actors have filled the Doctor’s role in the series.  When I asked him if he knew about the new season that’s coming out on BBC America, this is the conversation that ensued…(yes the classy LOL is me not having the words to describe how nerdy his response was…)

  • Him: You mean season 7 episode 1 asylum of the daleks?
  • Me: Lol
  • Him: Jeepers Crimony what kind of fan do you think I am? hahaha

In all seriousness whether you are a diehard fan of Doctor Who or not…you should go check out what Travis from Sandusky, Ohio is working on.  He’s going to send a TARDIS…to space…yeah…  What he’s asking for are contributions to make this virgin flight which range anywhere from $10-$150 with an end goal of $500 to finish and make liftoff.  What’s in it for you?  Well there are some pretty sick rewards that he’s offering up that any Doctor Who fan would love to be apart of and it’s going to be on YouTube?!  Make it go viral!  Bravo! Travis for targeting these cult classic series fans.  http://kck.st/STfWlv

If you don’t know about the Doctor, Amy, or Rory…you can find the season 7 trailer at the end of the post.  Once you see it you may want your own TARDIS (that magical phonebooth).

Wikipedia describes is best as – “Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling, humanoid alien with two hearts known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a sentient, telepathic time-and-space-travel machine that flies through the time vortex. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Along with a succession ofcompanions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.”

Now that you have some background (if you are a fan I deeply apologize for having to catch up those not apart of the Doctor Who cult following) and you have decided that “yes I want my own TARDIS”, I may have found something that would be just as close or even better.  Seriously this is one project that you HAVE to back if you are a Doctor Who fan or not.

http://kck.st/STfWlv (the link in case you missed it earlier)

And some awesome series 7 Doctor Who trailer goodness…to bandage your Doctor Who deprived, dry, and bleeding eyes.  Yeah I’m here to bandage those wounds.  Get Doctored…

 

Management: From Cheerleader to Loser

Ahh. The ever present (or absent in most cases) “cheerleader” squad from management. They have in their little corporate books that people have to be happy.  They also have a tiny footnote that states that if there is change that they should be involved in helping to make that happen.  So management takes on the role of being a cheerleader.  I wouldn’t say cheerleader as much as I would say that crazy girl with the head gear that carried the baton in marching band that when you were both at band camp…never mind…I did it again…

This should get us back in the game…

Phew…all better…

One thing I do struggle with management cheerleaders is the “do as I say – not as a I do” cop-out. They read through their MBA manual that says they need to do management things and then grab a flask from under the table and take a drink for every time they read the word “employee”.  Management wants change…but they have no idea how to execute. So all you hear is nonsensical words escaping the lips of management saying that “we’ll fix it, there are no problems, we need to change” but never actually do anything about it and there’s nothing to show for in the end.

We need managers or a leaders of that are willing to be  more like Bob the Builder.  

He’s got a team or an army ready to fix ANYTHING.  The guy is legit.

If you want your company to be more trendy and hip…change up your office. Pass some catalogues around. If you want your company’s employees to be more open, put together a user group or just get them in small groups and find out the NEEDS and WANTS of your team. They may not get everything they WANT, but you can sure as hell try to get them everything the NEED to succeed.

My son gets me every time because he seems to get teamwork and working towards a common goal together.  The NickJr show Wonderpets is one of his favorites and now every time we cross the road, I tell him “We’re a team right?” – “Right daddy…we’re a team…you and me.”

As that warms my heart with pride so does the song that follows:

  • Me: What’s gonna work!
  • Him: TEAMWORK!!!
  • Me: What’s gonna work!
  • Him: TEAMWORK!!! (this time 5x’s louder)
  • He and I: Wonder Pets! Wonder Pets! We’re on our way To help a friend and save the day! We’re not too big and we’re not too tough, but when we work together we’ve got the right stuff!  Go, Wonder Pets, ya’ay!

I hope that when you manage people or are starting up your company or project that you make sure that the user base is your boss…not the other way around…  And if you aren’t looking like that girl in the picture you need more than just yourself to motivate people.  Get a team together…street team…colleagues…peers…  Whether it’s rooting you on to get started or finished or whether its a team to motivate the staff get it done!  What’s gonna work?  Yeah that’s right…

 

Second Impressions…Legal Protection

How do I protect my invention?  Do I need a patent or copyright or trademark? PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!!!

You have your trusty notebook http://bit.ly/Puw5IZ, but you really want to know more about having some LEGAL protection of your idea or invention.  Be careful because “ideas” can’t be patented.  Do your research…off you go!

Ok…by now your mind is racing and the mental breakdown begins as you slowly slide into a corner of weeping after looking at web page after web page with little more knowledge on the subject than when you started.

Well I’m here to help pull you up and slap you in the face and tell you to pull it together man!  For almost all of my questions, I frequent http://www.entrepreneur.com, and my web history proves it.  And so you don’t have to sit there wiping your tears from your eyes while searching on this amazing website, here is a great link on some quick and dirty facts about protecting your ideas.  http://bit.ly/OBor2o.  This page will break it down for you step by step in the meaning of each in simple and applicable terms that will help to dry those tears.

Along with the tissues…I would recommend you do a quick search on an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).  People are weasels and if they have the money, they are more than capable of taking your idea and pushing it to the next level as if it were their own.  There are samples out there that you can format to fit your needs.  If you have the money…I would say try a lawyer or just leap over to www.legalzoom.com.

This is just a start – but hopefully it helps you get on your way to that second impression to stakeholders outside the circle of your buddies.

The Prestige: The Wonder of Obscure Tech

Pulling the Rabbit out of the Hat with Karotz

For my first post, I wanted to pull a rabbit from a hat and make everyone “ooh” and “ahh”. Since I don’t know the slightest bit about pulling off such a feat, I decided to go with the next best thing – a talking rabbit. I know…I know. I probably just lost you at “my first post” not to mention the “talking rabbit” comment. Is this guy crazy? Well yeah a little. I’m crazy about obscure or new technology, startups, entrepreneurs, and even a little politics.

 “Whoa” says the moderator! “No politics here…stick to the tech man.”

Cause that’s what you’re here for right? Alright, so back to the talking rabbit…yeah for real…it exists…and you may just want to buy one.

[Read more...]

Your Morning Donuts – August 27, 2012

*News stories you should be seeing, but you actually have a job and can’t surf the internet all day*


 

Dropbox Gets More Simple – Dropbox Enables Two-Step Verification

Tropical Storm Issac Is Following In Someone’s Footsteps – Eerie similarities: Isaac follows track of Katrina, evacuations ordered for coast

What the hell is a quake swarm? – Quake ‘swarm’ shakes Southern California

That is a Large Company – Apple Stock Opens At Record High Of $680 At A $637B Market Cap After Samsung Patent Win

Pay Attention Here – The Ten Most Dangerous Things Business Schools Teach MBAs

This Can’t Be Good For Anyone - Chinese Manufacturing Is Crashing

5 Great Apps for Guys

Whitney Adams is a freelance writer for AndGeeks.com. Whitney’s articles tend to delve into the more technical and complex problems that society struggles with when it comes to technology. She loves breaking those problems down and offering clear, bite-sized solutions for the average user. When she’s not online or surfing Pinterest, Whitney and her camera enjoy taking walks around her quaint home town and exploring the antique markets.

There are thousands of apps that are out on the market, but not all apps are created equal. There are some apps that are girly or childish, and then there are some that are made with men in mind. These apps are designed by men, for men. These apps well help you keep fit, avoid traffic tickets, and much more.

FanFinder
If you are a big sports fan, then this is the app for you. FanFinder helps you find bars and hangouts that have fans of your favorite sports team so you can watch the game among friends. To use this app, the first thing you need to do is find your favorite sports team whether they are with the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA Football, or NCAA Basketball. Then you can pick the team that you absolutely cannot stand. The app then shows you the best hangout spots for you. You can also go onto their website and will be able to see when your team’s games are, who they are playing, and what bars you can go watch them at. This free app ensures that you will be able to watch the game among other fans, and not have to worry about your rival team’s fans bringing down the mood.

Manliness
This app is The Art of Manliness and lets readers of The Art of Manliness, take their website with them where ever they go. The app gives you access to a ton of articles, how-to videos, and everything else that makes that site the authority of manliness. The Manliness app is free and is currently only available for the iPhone.

Trapster
Trapster is an app to help you when you are on the road. It gives you live updates from other users about the current road conditions and speed traps. With your app you will be able to see where users say there is live police enforcement that is checking cars with a speed gun as well as known enforcement points. Besides showing you where you could get a ticket for speeding, it also shows you road conditions, school zones, toll booths and a variety of noted hazards like construction and pot holes. You can also track you road trips and upload them to Facebook and Twitter, or if you are traveling in a caravan, you can communicate using the app. Trapster is a free app and is available for a variety of phones.

iFitness
For men who like to get and stay in shape, iFitness is a must. This app allows you to view different workouts and store your favorites so you can create a specialized work out just for you. Unlike many fitness apps that require access to the internet, 3G, or 4G, this app can give you your fitness plan even if you don’t have internet access. Majority of cell phone plans now require you to have a data plan and some apps use data if you don’t have internet. Since iFitness works offline and won’t go against your data plan, even in the gym. The only time the app require internet is when you need to update your app and sync workouts to iFitness’ server. The app gives you step by step instructions for different workouts and pictures to demonstrate the proper way to perform the exercise. iFitness is like a personal trainer in your pocket.

Weber’s On the Grill
This app is perfect for any barbecue or grill master, or someone who just likes to fire up the grill. Weber’s On the Grill app gives you over 250 recipes and lets you store the ingredients to an itemized shopping list. While you are cooking, you can watch a short how-to video to help you prepare the best meal on the grill. It also gives you a timer and time guides for different types of meat like chicken, fish, and red meat as well as vegetables. The app is cheaper than a nice cut of steak at $4.99 for each device you install it on, like the iPhone, iPad, or an Android phone. The iPad app has a few more options than the iPhone app, and at times it could be frustrating because the iPhone and iPad apps don’t sync together. However, this is a great app for men and their grills.

Image CreditJohn Karakatsanis

Apple is The Most Valuable Company… Ever

As of today Apple is now the most valuable company, of all time.   Thanks to a massive year for Apple they now are valued at $621.2 billion, which takes over Microsoft’s high point of  $620.6 billion in 1999, according to S&P Capital IQ.  On a day where I just finished reading Steve Jobs’ bio, this is no surprise to myself or most others.

According to the USA Today:

At nearly $661 a share, up 2% so far Monday, Apple (AAPL) now accounts for 4.7% of value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and 24% of the value of all tech companies in the S&P 500.

Both International Business Machines and AT&T reached 5% weightings in the S&P 500. IBM‘s 6.3% weighting in the index in 1982 still stands as the record.

Some might even argue that Apple has a ways to go until it beats all the records. Microsoft’s 1999 high of $620.6 billion nearly 13 years ago would actually be worth $850 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

And while this year’s stock rally is stunning by any measure, Apple actually has been the world’s most valuable company since the end of 2011. It’s now worth 53% more than its next closest rival, in terms of size,Exxon Mobil.

Founders of Twitter Launch Blogging Tool, We Are Impressed And It Is Only In Preview Mode

The founders of Twitter have launched a blogging tool dubbed Medium, and though only in preview mode currently it is catching some good momentum.  Per a recent long-winded announcement on the launch, ‘We’re rethinking publishing and building a new platform from scratch. This is a preview.’

The most important things you need to know from that announcement are in the “How it works” section:

How it Works

Medium is designed to allow people to choose the level of contribution they prefer. We know that most people, most of the time, will simply read and view content, which is fine. If they choose, they can click to indicate whether they think something is good, giving feedback to the creator and increasing the likelihood others will see it.

Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into “collections,” which are defined by a theme and a template. (For example, this post is in the About Medium collection with a simple article template.)

We believe that good design supports the purpose (not just the appeal) of content, so Medium is diverse in look and feel—ranging from different types of articles to images to, eventually, much more.

Collections are sometimes closed (like this one) but optionally open to contributions. For example, here’s an open collection of crazy stories.Here’s one of nostalgic photos.

Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.

Together, the contributions of many add up to create compelling and useful experiences. You may be inspired to post one time or several times a day—either way is okay. If you’re more ambitious, you might create a collection of your own.