Big thanks to the folks at NACET for inviting me to present to their people on the basics of outsourcing. Here’s the Ustream of that talk:
You can get the slide deck here. Many of the graphics in the deck are linked to their corresponding remote resources. NACET is a great resource for entrepreneurs in AZ and at 75deg the temp is right especially this time in AZ. We just carved out a new cowork space at their facility and it’s now open for folks who want to beat the heat and work up there for the day. Also put the weekend of Aug 11th on your calendar as they’re hosting Startup Weekend Flagstaff. Should be a great time to get out of Phx and build stuff up in the pines. Rumor has it they’re sponsoring a shuttle up there leaving from CO+Hoots and they’re mixing in fun night activities like a guided tour of the famous local breweries – stay tuned.
Big thanks to Francine Hardaway, Phil Blackerby and Ed Nusbaum for inviting me to speak with their class on monday and share what we’ve learned on product development in our experience in building JumpBox. Fastrac is a great program sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. I went through 2 semesters of this course a few years ago and it’s an honor to be invited back as a presenter. Note: realistically Kimbro is the visionary behind our product and he should be the one to give this talk, but I did my best to distill the 10 lessons I’ve gleaned around product dev while riding shotgun in building our our company/product offering. Here are the slides (feel free to share, embed, email, whatever):
We played the “product box” innovation game and had two teams invent and sell a new type of lawn mower in 10min. This is a great exercise to grok the difference between features, advantages & benefits. Here are the product boxes they came up with:
We had a little friendly “industrial espionage” given the proximity of the teams ;-) but good times. If you’re starting a company I definitely recommend looking for the fasttrac course in your area. It’s inexpensive and “gets you out of the building” and talking with other people who are in the same boat.
Oh and I try to share helpful info and links for entrepreneurs and software startups. If you use Twitter follow me for those tidbits.
My friend Josh just interviewed me for his AZ tech news site. The interview gives some of the backstory of how/why we created JumpBox. Unfortunately it also comes off as attributing way too much credit to me. I have to reiterate here that 99% of the vision and strategy for JumpBox comes from our CEO Kimbro Staken. And 100% of the engineering execution is from our tiny “lil’ engine that could”team. I provide what I can to support these people and insulate them from BS, but the hardest work for the company is done by them.
Anyways, thanks Josh for the interview. We feel like we’ve come along way and at the same time realistically we’re still closer to the starting line than we are to the finish line with miles to go before we sleep.
P.S. Please plug the economy back in- I think somebody kicked the cord.
I was lucky to be one of the people who got to speak at the first ever Ignite Phoenix a month ago. The night was a complete blast with 16 presenters each doing a 5min talk on something they’re passionate about. Topics ranged from OCD, to pinhole photography to firewalking to geese in a public library. I talked about music, education, becoming your own teacher and how to accelerate breakthroughs. Huge props to Jeff Moriarty and Roger Williams for pulling off a fantastic event and Clintus McGintus for filming and producing all the videos from the night. You can watch my talk below and you can catch all the other ones here on blip.tv. And if you’re interested in presenting at the next one, they’re now recruiting speakers for that one on Oct 28th.
How would you like to hear from a guy who became the first Y Combinator success story after being initially rejected? He wrote the code for what became one of the most vibrant peer-rated news sites on the planet and then decided to open source his technology. Hear about the design decisions and philosophy that allowed them to create a massive online community that was popular enough to be acquired by Conde Nast.
What about hearing stories from one of the main people responsible for cultivating the community within the online community Cambrian House? With their philosophy of “intense candor” they relentlessly videotaped and exposed internal meetings with their community, shared conference calls, developed a voting system that made members feel relevant and held weekly “Idea Warz” contests to build one of the most loyal online communities (granted they are no longer in existence but that story in itself of their rise and fall should be an incredible one to hear from someone who was there from day one).
Or how about chatting with the community manager who has taken in the refugees from the defunct CH project and given them a new home in the VenCorps community? They’re trying to reshape the funding process by using “wisdom of the crowds” techniques to float the cream of the crop ideas to the top and give them seed funding.
And what about trading insights with blog author who has built a readership of thousands and consistently draws dozens of comments on each post. Learn how a humble writing style can and self-deprecating jokes can create a “Geneva” of neutrality that welcomes in readers and makes them writers.
If these sound like panelists you want to meet then…