Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is the onset of a new deliberation for companys, startups, and entrepreneurs to add money to their cause.  Finding funding is something that is you can either do by scraping for those pennies in that junker sitting in your driveway to save up for your next million (cause you gave up on your first one).  When you get someone behind you…it makes all the difference.  It gives you instant customers and instant funding.

I have to give credit to  for her pre-made list of optimal crowdsourcing sites.  This cuts the work of finding money…in half!  Who can pass up half off of anything…not ME.

Check it out.

Venessa Miemis, Evolutionary Agent, Provocateur

here’s a few i came across during my research for the future of money project. they’re separated into categories for creative/artistic projects, & for business development/investment. [DIY examples]

  • crowdfunding – creative

- kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/
- Indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.com/
- crowdfunder http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/
- peerbackers http://peerbackers.com/
- chipin http://www.chipin.com/
- fundable http://www.fundable.com/
- citizen effect http://www.citizeneffect.org/index
- revenue trades http://www.revolutiontrades.com/
- rockethub http://www.rockethub.com/
- sonicangel http://www.sonicangel.com/
spot.us
- startnext http://www.startnext.de/
- ulule http://www.ulule.com/
- cofundos http://www.cofundos.org/
- buzzbnk http://www.buzzbank.org/
- biracy http://www.biracy.com/
- investedin http://invested.in/

  • crowdfunding – open business investment
- 40billion http://www.40billion.com/
- appbackr http://www.appbackr.com/
- capangel http://www.capangel.com/
- cofundit http://www.cofundit.com/
- crowdcube http://www.crowdcube.com/
- crowdfund http://www.crowdfunding.co.za/
- digital garage http://digitalgarage.co.za/
- globeforum http://www.globeforum.com/
- growvc http://www.growvc.com/main/
- innovatrs http://innovatrs.com/
- investiere http://www.investiere.ch/
- podium ventures http://podiumfunds.com/
- profounder http://www.profounder.com/
- raisecapital http://www.raisecapital.com/home…
- seedups http://www.seedups.com/
- seedmatch http://www.seedmatch.de/
- trampoline http://crowdfunding.trampolinesy…
- vencorps http://www.vencorps.com/
- venture bonsai http://www.venturebonsai.com/
- wealthforge http://www.wealthforgeonline.com/
- wiseed http://www.wiseed.fr/wicket/web/…
- FriendsClear http://www.friendsclear.com
- 33needs http://33needs.com/

You can find some more great responses to options to crowdsourcing here…

http://www.quora.com/Crowdfunding/What-are-some-great-crowdfunding-websites
http://www.crowdsourcing.org/

Need some more advice or options? Reach out…

When Trebuchets Won’t Work

Conflict in the workspace is a problem no matter where you go.  I’m a very black and white person.  If it’s wrong it’s wrong…if it’s right it’s right.  When it comes to handling any stakeholder or employee, blindly lobbing those rocks over the stronghold (your office) that you have built up around you is never a smart idea.  These rocks include – employee complaints, any sort of guidance, stakeholder messages, performance reviews, etc.

People handle criticism in different ways.  Even in basic business writing, you are taught the proper ways to write an email, bad news letter, proposal, and a whole mess of other documents.  The basics include making sure you talk like a professional without sounding too much like a d**k.  When writing a document you have to ensure that you get in and get out and that your point is made while still refraining from tearing the recipient to shreds.  Blind emails, comments, gestures, or documents expressing your state of mind come out like a shotgun blast with little to no realization what consequences it will have.

This in my definition is the “trebuchet effect” of leadership.  You have an issue or a requirement or a document that you “lob” over the wall to your employees with little knowledge of where it’s going to land and who it’s going to crush.  This effect creates the company wide expression of “sh*t rolls downhill effect”.  People scramble, you stew in your office…and shoooootttt…you shouldn’t have sent that email out because it was shot off from the hip and now you have to do some cleanup.

The trebuchet effect will crush you and those over the wall of your office again and again.  When trebuchets won’t work…try opening your door.  Remember to take a deep breath…remember that your employees make your company run.  Come at everything you do with a bottom up approach.  Your priorities in trebuchet mode look like this:

  1. You
  2. You
  3. Money
  4. Maybe your employees

In the “Open Door” mode your priorities look like this:

  1. Customers / Stakeholders
  2. Employees
  3. Company
  4. Never you

Remember that your customer is your priority.  Before firing rocks over that cubicle or shooting them out of that corner office…those rocks are on fire and will spread faster in entirely separate ways of how you intended.  A terse, short email or a heated email may seem like it will motivate…but it will just create more problems in the end.  Get rid of the 500 yard launches and just open your door…see where that gets you.

Ever had any of these experiences?  What would you add?  What would you change?  Let us know!  We would love to hear your feedback.

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.

Second Impressions…Protecting Your Awesome

Yeah…cause first impressions are so overrated.

I have to admit after posting my first blog here on Morning Donuts, I prided myself in the fact that – “I wrote my first awesomeness”.  But second impressions are ALWAYS the hardest.  Yeah it’s easy to be yourself the first time around and show off some talent, but what if you have to do it a second time or third…or for life?  This post is entirely focused at that second impression phenom.

So you have an idea, you’ve worked on that idea, and maybe have already built your prototype.  People around you are telling you how awesome your new invention is and that it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  These warm-hearted embraces and accolades from your buddies may be as awesome as kittens falling from the sky – your heart shudders a bit and your knees go weak from these cute and cuddly critters falling into your lap.  What isn’t coming in…is the greens.  Yeah your idea looks good on paper, but what are the next steps…because that second impression (the one to ACTUAL stakeholders) is crucial.  The first step…protect your idea from prying eyes.

Log Everything About Your Idea

While you are coming up with a way to build George Jetson’s spacemobile – you should probably take a minute to write all of this stuff down.  If you are like me (the artistic type) your brain is in about 400 different directions.  Your mind captures all of the information down in a mental note and then it stays there and eats your brains.  After a while though – those ideas stop being so hungry because you have work, family, school, parties…  What you NEED to do 100% is to write your ideas down!  Get a notebook (no not those loose leaf notebooks or even the ones with the perforated edges) and start writing that stuff down.  I actually recommend that you either go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a “Composition Notebook” or if you are a little more trendy and wear those hipster jeans, skate on over to Barnes and Nobles or some trendy bookstore in your area and grab a Moleskin notebook.  Not gonna lie – probably the best notebook ever.

Alright well you have your idea…you have a book…I shouldn’t have to say this but did you grab a pen right?  Alright…Alright…I’ll wait…

So what do you need to write down?  Well I’ll tell you…and it’s not all writing mind you.  Be as detailed as possible.

  • What is your idea?
  • How did you come about thinking up this grand idea?
  • What does it do?
  • What does it look like? (This is that writing/non-writing part)
  • Does it help to solve anything? (Process, design, etc.)
  • Draw a picture…

When you draw the picture, people get so wrapped around the axle with statements like – “I can’t draw” or “Are you serious…I know what it looks like!”.  Seriously all you really need to do is draw a line/pen drawing of it.  Even a rough sketch that proves what it conceptually looks like.  If you can’t connect lines or know how to draw a box – try finding someone at a local college looking to do some extra work or something for a college project.  Could be free…could be really cheap.

Having this notebook and keeping it updated is your new-found purpose in life.  Your idea is now the boss of every pen stroke.  Log everything.  Updates to your idea, conversations with people about your idea, and anything else you can think of.  I would suggest to stop eating those chicken nuggets with that ketchup dripping off of them around this notebook.  Keep it clean, keep it professional.  It could come in handy not only as a log of everything “idea” related, but it could come in handy as a legal document if your neighbor has been using his binoculars – stealing your ideas.

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling Get the Lego Treatment

If there is a company to learn from, it’s Pixar. They’re creative; they’re innovative and their success record is mind boggling.

Last year the many admirers of Pixar were treated to Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling via the twitter feed of Emma Coats, a story artist at the company. Well, now we get great visuals from Alex Eylar, aka ICanLegoThat. Alex took 12 of the rules and gave them the lego treatment.

(via Slackstory)

Louis Vuitton’s Art of Packing

Louis Vuitton launched a new section of their website to help you step your game up when packing your bags for business travel. You don’t need to have Louis Vuitton bags to take advantage of some of these tips. The app itself is very cool as it’s not pushing Vuitton product as much as it’s a fun way to add value to consumers and website vistors.

They developed the app in Flash though so it’s not viewable on your iPad. Seems like it would make a cool touch screen app as well.

What Rambling Anti-Semetic Elmo Teaches Us About Brand Marketing

When the writers at Seasame Street worked with master puppeteer Kevin Clash (if you haven’t checked out the documentary Being Elmo, you should) developed the character of Elmo, they created a beloved little red puppet adored by kids everywhere. In turn, the lovable little guy turned into a megabrand with never ending product extensions – but the overall brand message never changed – it was all about love.

At this point it’s become a cliche to say that brand marketing has changed. With the proliferation of social media, consumers really own the brand and the messaging. Marketers can only hope to create a brand tool kit that creates more evangelists than distractors. It’s enough to make marketers go crazy…

…speaking of crazy, consumers these days could dress up as your brand; head to Central Park and spit anti-semitic remarks while scaring kids.

(via Gothamist)

How To Advertise a Hamburger

Hope Bagozzi, the Director of Marketing of McDonald’s Canada takes us on a tour of what they do to make McDonald’s burgers look more appetizing in their advertising. It’s actually cool that McDonald’s took this question from their social media channels and answered it directly. And…I want to be a food stylist…

(via Ad Age)

Would You Airbrush Your LinkedIn Profile Pic?

Image from WSJ.com

I didn’t even know that was a thing….but apparently, people are using air brushing tools and photoshopping their professional pics on LinkedIn to be more attractive to potential employers. It makes perfect sense that people naturally gravitate to things/people that they find attractive, but if you manipulate your LinkedIn pic, and then show up to the interview your true 30 pounds overweight, bad skinned self aren’t you just setting yourself up to look dishonest?

Image from WSJ.com

From the WSJ post:

… a little light airbrushing could go a long way for some job-seekers. Smoothing out a few lines, while leaving your appearance broadly intact, might help older job hunters look young and energetic, Schawbel says. For seniors struggling to find work — some 52% of those aged 55 and older are unemployed versus just 38% of those under 55 years of age, according to the American Association of Retired Persons – the extra touch-up may help, experts say. LinkedIn connection director Nicole Williams says an “appealing” picture catches the eye of recruiters: “There’s no denying that attractiveness gives you an advantage over the competition.”

Would you alter your LinkedIn profile pic?

(via WSJ.com)

 

Five Things Young Professionals Can Learn From Kevin Garnett

Guest Post by Nick Hansen. Nick writes, watches basketball, and loves strawberry jam. Follow him on Twitter @nickhansenMN

I hate the term “young professional.”  It’s cheeky, condescending, and it makes me seem like I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. The Heat have a young professional bent to them. Their stylish, exciting, and they’re in it to win it.

That’s all well and good, but they’re down 3-2 against an older Celtics team.

Kevin Garnett has been the Celtics emotional leader and most important player during their current playoff run. Young professionals in the “real world” could learn a few things from the Big Ticket.

Here are five things you can take to your workplace today:

1. Be passionate about your work. Garnett is always yelling and pumping up the crowd during games. Some fans think that sort attitude is annoying, but I think it makes for great basketball and for a more enjoyable work place. A whiny, apathetic workplace brings morale down. Don’t be the whiner at your job. Pump up your co-workers, bring the energy, and do whatever you do with heart. Passion is infectious.

2. Back up your talk. I hate it when people make a big stink about themselves. The often maligned Miami Heat coming out party is the perfect example of this.  I know KG is one of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA, but that’s part of his game. Off the court you don’t hear too much from him. Do your thing, celebrate, and then get over yourself. There’s always another game.

3. Keep the team together. One image from Tuesday night’s game that will stick with me is KG grabbing Mickeal Pietrus’ hand to do the traditional all hands in huddle break. It’s easy to get frustrated in a high pressure situation and let the team get fractured. Keep everyone on the same plane. You never know who might have to take that last shot.

4. Give credit where credit is due. Garnett had another huge game on Tuesday, but Paul Pierce made a clutch three that helped close out the game for Boston. He gave a shout out to Pierce in his post game interview with Doris Burke. Remember to give a shout out to everyone who contributed to your success.

5. Have some fun out there. Keep your sense of humor. Young professionals have the tendency to take themselves to seriously. Loosen up.

5a. And remember… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!

Nick Hansen writes, watches basketball, and loves strawberry jam. Follow him on Twitter @nickhansenMN