From concept to creation – How to start your business plan

entrepreneurship, Marketing, Web Design

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Every business, product, service, and system we have today began as an idea. What took those ideas from electrical impulse to physical entity was the planning and process in between. As a budding entrepreneur I’m always pitching and hearing ideas for business ventures from friends and family.

While I enjoy work-shopping ideas immensely, it always hurts my heart strings when someone with a solid concept fails to follow through. The best way to stop your ideas from staying ideas is to create a business plan.

A business plan is the skeleton that will support you through the process of starting your business. Creating a business plan forces you to describe every little detail of your fluid idea and, in that way, mold it into something solid.

This link is a crash course in business planning from the amazing folks at Futurepreneur Canada, (formerly the CYBF). They layout the bones that build the skeleton in this business plan template generator . I’m currently in the process of drafting up my own using their headings and pointers and it makes a world of difference.

These plans are what help you work out the bugs in your concept, they’re also what investors and loan officers will read over meticulously to make sure you’ve calculated your own risks.

It will help you define your audience, create a tangible strategy to market and differentiate you from competitors, and give you the opportunity to research your industry to discover threats and opportunities you may not have considered.

So please use those great links and start on the road to your financial independence. If your thinking of ways to build your business and work for your passions then I do believe we are cut from the same cloth. I want to hear from you if you need help starting your research or want to pitch an idea. Drop a comment below or connect with me on Twitter @Enzofromspace

Here’s some motivational tunage to throw on in the background, good luck!

 

Be the power in the power law distribution

Communications, Marketing, PR

Given that everyone now has the tools to contribute equally, you might expect a huge increase in equality of participation. You’d be wrong

-Clay Shirky

In my first year at Humber’s PR program I picked up the book, Here comes everybody and introduced myself to the inspiring ideas of internet theorist, Clay Shirky. 

He’s like the Malcom Gladwell of internet commentary. The dude knows the internet, he fiends that shit. He’s studied it, he’s analyzed it, and he’s described the idea that contributors to online social networks post content in a way that follows a simple long-tail distribution curve.

Instead of going into too much of the math about what the fuck that means, I’m going to relay to you, my dear reader, the simple idea that most content is provided by a small group of people who, through credibility and quality of work create the majority of the stuff available on these online communities. The rest of the contributors post in a range between a few things regularly to maybe just one thing ever.

To put this in perspective think of Twitter. A successful Twitter account will be posting regularly, link to other related accounts, and over time generate a long list of tweets. Your cousin rick may have posted only one tweet ever. Your friend Debra may only tweet after a night out drinking with the girls.

So as a newbie to a social network you may fall on the tail end of the long tail. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but understand that by not crafting an online identity and posting regularly you are falling into an average of averages that fades down the ramp towards obscurity. 

As we get more weblogs, or more MySpace pages, or more YouTube videos, the gap between the material that gets the most attention and merely average attention will grow, as will the gap between average and median. (Shirky, 2008,  pg 127)

It was an inspiring talk at this years NXNE Interactive conference that got me thinking about what it means to produce content. Marc Maron, a comedian and host of the WTF podcast told the audience that they could not expect to create a following if their posting was inconsistent. 

It’s so common sense that we over look the fact that people expect a degree of regularity of posting. So think about what you can talk the most about and start contributing towards the top of this great curve friends. Take back the power in the power law.

I should also point out that it’s not all bad at the bottom of the curve. Mr.Shirky points out that the accounts on the lower end of the curve benefit from a closeness to their audience. If you only have 100 followers on Twitter, you can benefit from actually creating conversations with your base following. 

This is a trade-off, accounts higher up on the scale spend less time to talk to each of the many people who follow their content and more time actually creating it.

I’m going to relate more into this idea of producing content in later posts, leading up to a case study I’ve been working on regarding my favourite new social media network Vine.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @Enzofromspace

funny joke to lol to

Google is like God, but with answers.

Life Hacks, Web Design

“I’m just really good at Googling”

– @drewisthe

Everyday the entity that is Google receives millions of questions from the frustrated, horny, confused, and curious people of the planet. While Google cannot provide all the answers (i.e. the meaning of life, why girls think you’re gross) it can come pretty damn close to getting you the information you need from somewhere in the vast recesses of the internet.

Check out this link to an infographic about Google best practices.

Awesome right?

Optimizing your Google flow improves your chances of stumbling onto that perfect piece of information. Stop Googling like your mom does and throw a fucking ~ in there for related terms.

Tips for better searches

  1. Read that infographic, you lazy jerk.
  2. Search site specific: if you’re thinking marketing, narrow sites to Adweek or WARC; need help with code, search through stack overflow.
  3. Use code language at the start of your search: if you have a specific question about javascipt, begin a search like: “Javascript” ~help ~definition methods
  4. Use a College/University search database: if you’re out of school you can always borrow a friend’s or offer like $10 on craigslist to some stoner college kid to rent a login. Not only will you get more selective search options, you gain access to articles and databases that are usually costly.
  5. Exceptions: luckily, there are so many forums about coding questions that most-times keeping your search close to how you would ask the question in an actual forum will return a page related to your question. If you’re asking it, odds are someone else has.

More suggestions? Am I so 2002 for writing a post on Google? comment below or hit me up on Twitter @Enzofromspace

mallard

Structured Noise

Life Hacks, Web Design

“How about a little noise. How do you expect a man to putt?”
Babe Ruth

I live in a Latino household. We have a big backyard and a BBQ, beer is usually in the fridge. These are the minimum requirements needed to create a living space that is frequented by many people.

While I love our open door policy, the noise created by a house full of guests does not make for the ideal study environment. Silence is so rare in big cities; I’ve just about given up on the stuff. My healthy alternative has become structured noise.

To me, structured noise is music that is just uplifting enough to keep you energized and focused, but not lyrical to the point of distracting.

If you’re like me, you’re easily distracted. Sometimes the sound of a leaky faucet is enough for me to toss my books  and assume the fetal position. That being said an extremely quite environment, for me at least, drums up the random thoughts that can prevent a good work flow.

When I stumbled across this article on LifeHacker, suggesting soundtracks were the answer to my dilemma I jumped on the idea and created a list of soundtracks and albums I label as structured noise.

If you’ve ever read This is your brain on music, you know that the brain is effected by sound waves. Your mind resonates the same way a tuning fork does, and your sonic environment can either benefit or interrupt that harmony.

So, for you my dear reader, I am providing a top 5 list of albums for the easily distracted and structured noise dependent. Pop these albums on at the library and zone into the matrix. Nothing can stop your workflow with these bad-boys blasted at the appropriate volume.

5) Flying lotus: Ideas + Drafts + Loops An ethereal ride through the mind of a maverick 

4) Chilly Gonzalez: Solo Piano 2Grooves from the great ivory tickler

3)Dave Brubek Take five!

2) The Dust Brothers: Fight Club OSTDoes fincher ever use bad music?

1) Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: The social network OST – Case and point

Resource-full-list

Life, Life Hacks, Web Design

“In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others” – Deuteronomy Rabbah

I’ve created a public Google Doc for the world!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qJUbsXeEAkuEh7Hq84z6lHvm4nETdUwc2oXowfh2ee0/pub

Why you ask? To share a resource-full-list of websites that makes life and web design easier. The CSS generators, colour rulers, articles, and google as-ons have been so helpful to me in my budding journey to web dev mastery.

At a conference speech during this year’s NXNE Interactive one of the speakers made a brutally honest aside, “Life is shitty” 

Life is shitty friends, but sharing the little we have imparts some of this overwhelming shittiness and makes life easier for all of us.

So here’s a document filled to the brim that increases daily as my friends and teachers share with me useful web resources that make web design, organization, time-management, and motivation just that much easier. 

Please fell free to shoot me a tweet, or comment if there is an awesome site you feel is missing. I hope my humble list of resources grows and grows with your help. After all sharing, is caring.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

A Binary Sunset

Life, Web Design

There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath. – Douglas Adams

During my first week at HackerYou we were given an assignment, create a one page site using the techniques learned during the week.

I found this image on Unsplash and it instantly resonated with me. The composition, the location, the guitar. The scene feels cinematic; a man, broodingly walking off into the distance. The desert location reminded me of a similar scene from Star Wars where Luke Skywalker hopefully looks off into a binary sunset.

The emotions of these two scenes seemed to me, at the time, to run very parallel. I started thinking about how I could bridge the two ideas and relate it back to the homepage banner for my webstie, amanfromspace.com

The idea for two suns created with CSS occured to me in class one day, but I believed that it was something unrealistic to create and put the project off.

As the days went on we went into what could be created and styled using CSS and my idea starting to become more realistic. Inspired by my classmate Pamela Tung’s Codepen , I began to style and color and position my own suns.

It’s amazing what you can learn in a few short weeks when you devote yourself to work and surround yourself with passionate people.

You can check out my end result at this link , all feedback is appreciated 🙂

There are still things I’d like to change and edit to make the colours flow more seamlessly, but I’m extremely excited to keep pushing myself to create cool things on the web.

@Enzofromspace

A blog from space

Life

“One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.”

To dream is to slip into a world of your creation. To float into a free forming expanse where possibility and imagination intersect with the images, feelings, and everyday opinions and insecurities that sink beneath the top ripples in our ocean of consciousness.

That quote just about sums up my view of the modern world, with words that come to us from a true space oddity and the surrealist painter, Salvador Dali.

“Well wait a moment Enzo, aren’t you entering into two fields of practice rooted in practicality and neck ties?”  …I mean ya, but do you really need to be a dick about it?

My chosen fields of PR and web development have a lot more in common with the surreal nature of the world than you can take at face value. For starters check out this link from space .

I mean come on? Who the fuck made that?!?!? (Please comment if you know) it’s random and awesome and exists on a medium that, much like the universe, is filled with abnormality.

Starting the web dev bootcamp at Hackeryou has opened my eyes to many weird and amazing things about the internet. Two weeks ago I had no idea that site existed, which brings me to my next point.

How does one find out about such oddities? connect with them, put them into the limelight so that they can be seen and felt *cough *cough *PR *cough. Ya, don’t you feel silly. I went into PR because I hope to help the little guys and the weirdos be seen, heard, and felt.

Ya I never thought I’d start a blog, but here I am stepping out of my comfort zone to throw my own bit of strange out into the vast expanse of the internet.

This blog will publish content on web development tips and tricks I’ve learned, PR best practices and the nature of communications, entrepreneurship (young people gotta get paid bruh), and the odd stories/things I find on my explorations of this green and blue rock of yours.

I’m committing to posting twice a week so please give me shit if I slack on that promise.

Thanks for reading yo! Spaceman signing off

@Enzofromspace