Wednesday, April 28, 2010

...And If You Believe that.... There's a Bridge in Brooklyn for Sale...

I’m so ticked, my outrage has moved beyond the common sense feeling of embarrassment to wanting to ‘do’ something to put thought to keyboard. Once again, I fell for the tricks of a big company preying on a smaller one trying to get started. I don’t know if you’ve tried to start a company but the biggest pitfall is not being able to tell the difference between tenacity and stubbornness. From the very beginning, we’re taught that if you don’t at first, succeed – try harder or at least try again. Invest more time, money and effort into something that went nowhere.

In this case, I’m talking about letting myself face the fact that the ‘old way’ is actually gone. Marketing yourself to create a viable business model is essential – and in so doing, become profitable; you have to get out and hustle each and every day. Part of doing that involves ensuring your accessibility for your customer base to find you. This brings me to Yellowbook. Yellowbook is part of the old way of doing things. A printed listing that is out of date the moment they go with a ‘final’ copy. Despite my instincts and the fact that I informally asked people, friends and acquaintances if they used information from such things as the Yellowpages, Yellowbook or Superpages, I ignored the fact that they all said no. And in fact, were incredulous that I even had to ask…

I, most of us, grew up with the concept of those types of publications. The truth is, they’re dinosaurs too slow to even understand they’ve already died. They promise to ‘drive’ business to you so fast, you won’t be able to handle it. After more than 2 years of believing this business model, this paradigm, I’ve yet to receive 1 phone call, email, or visit to my website because of their efforts. It’s hokum, snakeoil, outright deception… For $40 per month, $480 per year, I bought a Yellowbook listing under their ‘Silver’ program. Newsflash, I find no evidence that the silver program even exists. Once the sales rep gets your name on a dotted line, they disappear, are never within reach of their phone and you can never get a hold of anyone on the ‘technical support team’. You can’t get a hold of their supervisors and they’re never local to you. Besides not being able to talk to someone, I also did not see my company actually listed anywhere in the ‘book’. So what did I get for $40 per month? A year long contract that lists me on a online 8th page, listing for wedding photographers - though I’ve never done a wedding in my life. So what have we learned Dorothy? You should keep your money away from the things that you know are dead or dying. Oh, and tenacity is the right answer…...

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is Incredible... the facts....

A friend sent this link to me this evening from Youtube ™:
The information contained herein, is the sort of thing I’ve been talking about…. See the video and enjoy – I found it fascinating….

Friday, April 2, 2010

Backyard Innovation – Will Continue

While listening to the news in the early part of this past March, I heard about a gentleman from Yorkshire, England. He’d created a method to take pictures from a very high altitude at the edge of space, using materials off the shelf anyone could buy and then, utilize a little ingenuity.

For this project, he bought a small high altitude balloon, some helium, a point and shoot type digital camera, GPS and a controller for the whole apparatus. He spent about $700 US dollars and created a system that took, clear, stunning pictures that rival some of NASA’s most memorable images at a cost there is no practical way to compare. An average space mission is about $350 million dollars with the soon-to-be defunct US Shuttle Transportation System.

True, there are problems and deficiencies with his method of imaging. But what is important is that those images also capture the imagination of what further development might bring.

For businesses like construction progress management, real estate, conservation, etc., where a bird’s eye view may be very helpful, the key here is innovation. The images mentioned here, are challenged by resolution and control of collection, but there is no doubt a picture of the earth below can be stunning. This assessment points to a whole new possible industry. A new embryonic industry that may possibly create jobs, solve problems and inspire new thinkers.