Bootstrap Bootcamp

Friday the 19th I attended Bootstrap Bootcamp, hosted by Bijoy Goswami. It was a very interesting seminar. About 40 Austin locals showed up all in various stages (ideation, valley of death, growth) of development with their ideas and/or companies. Though the theme was “bootstrap” there was a philosophical emphasis too. If you are going to be starting a company and running it by the skin of your teeth you better know yourself; more specifically your weaknesses.

In Bijoy’s book, The Human Fabric, he, like many other self-help, self-improvement, self-discovery books, classifies people based on their “core energy.” We did a few exercises to help us figure out what energy defines each of us. Below is a triangle I drew at the event to represent my core energy distribution:

My Triangle

36% Maven, 34% Relater, 30% Evangelist

Via the exercises and talking to people at my table, I discovered the concentration of my “core energy” did not lie in the evangelist/relater corner, where I would have instinctively placed myself, but in maven/relater. This said, just as I have scored on the Myers-Briggs, my variances from the median are slight. I think that means I’m well-rounded.

Another cool exercise we did was creating a mind map of concepts that define our passions. Here’s mine:

My Cloud

Texas Creative – Update, I’m in!

The application for the Texas Creative sequence was due today. After having a week to think about the prompt. I had soo many concepts (below).

Background: the purpose of the creative application is to let the texas creative faculty see your ideas and evaluate your potential for our program. the program consists of three to four semesters in portfolio classes, beginning with ADV 343K (portfolio I) and moving through ADV468K (portfolio II) and ADV 468L (portfolio III). we also offer a couple of focused seminars. each step in the program has a high attrition rate, which means you advance only if you create excellent work in the preceding class. the competition is fierce, as is the pressure to produce outstanding work for a nationally recognized creative program. our goal is to graduate people with advanced portfolios who are advertising smart in copywriting and art direction. these will be the people who find jobs at the best agencies in the world. this is an assignment. you need to provide an answer to our question:

well, where does it hurt?

Continue reading Texas Creative – Update, I’m in!

Ethics, Value, and Interdependence

I have been corresponding today with David C. James – a participant, like myself, in the upcoming Bootstrap Bootcamp. His email introduction caught my attention because of his reference to creating a business that will “bring profit to its owners, benefit society, and behave ethically and responsibly.” Whoa, that is what I’m all about. Here is some more of our conversation:

David:

I believe that there is lots of room for corporate responsibility these days. I believe that business people should stand up for their values — and realize that not all “profit opportunities” are really unlocking value for customers.

The argument “the customer bought it, so it must be valuable to them” doesn’t do much for me. Companies that want to succeed should be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding what people truly want — and what they will truly value.

One good example would be the automotive industry. Which ones are innovating, so that when gas hits $5/gallon, we have alternatives to gas guzzlers? Which ones aren’t? I think ethics and long-term profitability go hand in hand.

John:

Indeed, providing measurable value from your product/service is something all companies should strive to do. If you have the resources and power to, for instance, create a more efficient vehicle… that really is the Tell of a great business. Not to mention that the production of such a vehicle would be mutually beneficial to both consumers and the company’s pocketbook. To me it runs the same lines of creating a life of value.

I feel the most value when I can be the puzzle piece to help someone succeed or reach their goal, therefore creating value in their life. Take me for example, I hope to succeed in my life and I will always work my hardest, but I know I cannot do it alone. I believe in coexistence and interdependence.

I just noticed this in David’s initial email, don’t remember reading it the first time:

For me, at least, nothing is as exciting as building something innovative. Of course, nothing really happens by yourself — you need a community and support. That’s why I’m excited about meeting other people here at Bootstrap.

Ajax!

ajaxI really want this book, just read the description:”Sick of creating web sites that reload every time a user moves the mouse? Tired of servers that wait around to respond to users’ requests for movie tickets? It sounds like you need a little (or maybe a lot of) Ajax in your life. Asynchronous programming lets you turn your own websites into smooth, slick, responsive applications that make your users feel like they’re back on the information superhighway, not stuck on a dial-up backroad.”

Ahh, I’m in love.

Buzziscool.com

My Creative Advertising group and I made this website for a project on documenting creativity; I see more potential for the domain. I would like to make it a blog that tracks guerrilla marketing campaigns, similar to the way ubergizmo and others work.
Here is my plan: contact as many advertising agencies as possible, especially ones that specialize in guerrilla, viral, grassroots, etc. Talk to their PR peeps and tell ‘em to send me a little blurb every time they start a new related campaign. I post it to my site, they get press and I get site visitors, hopefully. I can also set up a Google alerts to scan for a bunch of keywords, watch the newswire, yadda, yadda… the main goal is getting to know people at different agencies.

I might as well let the agencies know, “btw I also do marketing in Austin and X other cities, contract my services.”

…an idea among many.