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Could We Create a Business Together?

    • 19 posts
    October 27, 2006 6:46 PM EDT

    I`ve been following this thread for some time, and I`m definitely very excited about being a part of this venture.   The one thing that has been on my mind is that we need a place that serves as a database or repository of the names of those of us who want to participate, along with all of our skills, resources and knowledge that we can offer.  (Perhaps this is what rexiedexie software could do for us?)

    This may even help define in which (if there are several) venture each person wishes to participate.  For instance,  the magazine idea sounds the most interesting to me as I could offer my writing, graphics design, and photography skills.  However, I have an interest in marketing, so contributing to any of the ideas would be a great opportunity.

    I`d like to hear others ideas, but I`m thinking this database of everyone with their contributing skills is essential before we get too much involved as we can use it to help establish teams that can work together for given tasks.

    Count me in!

    Creative Gal

    • 19 posts
    October 29, 2006 7:02 AM EST

    Secondly, I wish to address the post by CreativeGal where she too expressed interest in RexieDexie software.

    I think I need to clarify this; while I am interested to see what RexieDexie`s software can do for us, my main desire is to have a concise list of all involved, what skills they can and want to offer, and figure out how to establish the most effective teams for various tasks. 

    I have created a simplified Access db using the list that frndchps posted and added info from each person`s profile (Industry and What I Do) so that we can get a better idea of each member. 

    By the way, this list was not intended to replace frndchps` list, only to supplement it, and was mainly created to satisfy my own curiosity.  I will be glad to share this list with the group and point leaders whenever everyone wants to see it, and I realize that I might be jumping the gun here as we need to select our point leaders first.   

    I will go out on a limb and suggest that creative girl also starts the second project... a version of the magizine program.

    While I appreciate the idea, I want to make sure we get the best people and the best business idea(s).   I will be glad to contribute to any project (magazine or otherwise), however, I have to make it clear that my background is not in business and I think there are others in the group that might be better suited for such a task.

    Creative Gal
    (Thinking BIG, but realistically as well!)

    CreativeGal2006-10-29 14:7:17
    • 19 posts
    October 29, 2006 7:09 AM EST

    Sorry for the extra frndchps quote in my previous post; I tried editing it, but the same thing happened after I corrected it.

    CG

    • 19 posts
    October 29, 2006 9:05 AM EST

    JWD,

    I love the book idea!  What kind of topics and can we all participate?

    CG

    • 19 posts
    October 30, 2006 2:28 AM EST

    VOTE VOTE VOTE!

    Just wanted to remind everyone of the Point Leader Poll, Vote Now!

    http://www.startupnation.com/pages/community/forum_posts.asp ?TID=2399&PN=1&TPN=1&RN=1

    • 19 posts
    October 30, 2006 2:20 PM EST

    Everyone,

    I`m going to present something here, and if you want me to make a poll for it, I`ll be glad to do so.  We`ve had various discussion here concerning privacy for communicating, keeping up with members, having a secure database, sending email (to various people at one time)etc.  I looked around today and found some database ideas so that as soon as we select point leaders, we can begin looking at WHO can do what (along with all the other things we have to figure out). 

    Well, after a great deal of time with a few options, I came back to my first conclusion...we should be using Yahoo Groups.  I am presenting this idea because it is an easy and fast solution.  We can make the group private, have polls, files, and databases where each person can update their own information.   We can easily assign Moderator rights to anyone when they need it. Only those we invite will know about the group and be able to join. 

    Whenever a more sophisticated solution is available, we can switch to it immediately.  The downside is that we will be outside of the SuN Community website;   We can think of it as a supplement to SuN, not a replacement.  However, the advantages (immediate advantages I might add) are very strong.  It`s something that we can begin using NOW! 

    I have just created a group that we can use (or we can create a new one...makes no difference to me) if everyone can agree it`s a go...at least until something better comes along.

    Comments??

    CG
    (If you would like to join the group I have created to take a look at it before deciding, please send me a private message and I`ll send you an invitation)

     

     

    • 19 posts
    October 31, 2006 3:30 AM EST

    REMINDER: VOTE!

    If you have not already done so, please make your vote for point person!

    http://www.startupnation.com/pages/community/forum_posts.asp ?TID=2399&PN=1

    • 19 posts
    October 31, 2006 3:53 AM EST

    Everyone:

    I`d like to bring up another point that comes out of MMs message.   I agree that we need to stay focused and we get off track a bit.  For this reason, I am wondering if it is possible (or would even be valuable) to move the poll to close earlier?  

    It seems like we are in a "waiting mode" right now.   So then, while we`re "waiting" and "not getting off focus", what are we actually supposed to be "doing" or more accurately, "discussing".  (sorry for all the annoying quotes).

    Most people that want in this venture check the site daily and hopefully have voted.  Anyone who as not yet voted, please raise your hand!!  Sorry, I`m being so silly today, but it`s a festive day, and my creative mind is hungry for some action.

    What do you guys think about moving the poll up?  Can the poll date even be changed?  Just my 2 cents for the day...er hour!

    CG

    • 19 posts
    October 31, 2006 5:10 AM EST

    This is off topic, but I`m wondering if such a move for politics into the YouTube world could also mean legislation on free speech and content?  There`s already talk of using "Fairness Doctrine" against talk radio so that "the other side gets to have their say".  Can you imagine such a push on You Tube or any other internet site? 

    Sorry for the off topicness. 

    CG

    • 19 posts
    November 14, 2006 1:19 PM EST

    I like the 7 series, 10, 22, and 27, but there are SO many great ideas in the list.   I think 22 might be my favorite because it gives everyone the chance to have a stake in the business.  When it comes time for a vote, can we have the option of voting for more than one choice??  Not sure if this could mess up the results (giving some ties), but if not, would be good.  There are so many great ideas!

    CG

    • 19 posts
    November 18, 2006 8:52 AM EST

    Very well said Denise! 

     

    You’ve offered details that we each need to consider.  For those of us who are not yet sure where/how we will fit into the venture, it’s a wake-up call to do our homework and be prepared when the time comes for our input/involvement.   I, for one, have answered some of these questions in my own mind, but have yet to write them down.

    I would also like to stress your points concerning:

    Identify your skills and expertise
    Update your StartupNation profile  

    I recommend that every person that has expressed an interest in joining the venture complete their profile.  Everyone has interests and everyone can do something (most likely many things) well.  If you can’t think of anything to add to these categories, it’s time for some self-reflection!  Perhaps you can ask those around you for feedback to get you started.  (Please feel free to PM me if you would like a brainstorming buddy.) 

    I also personally like when people fill in their location (including city).  There have already been several members in the SuN community that have had the luxury to meet in person.  Face-to-face interaction, when available, can be a valuable source of collaboration and encouragement.

    I would also like to add one more suggestion.  Perhaps to encourage a little "participant accountability", we each begin contributing (at least weekly?) to the One Thing I Will Accomplish Today thread.  I have been thinking about joining this thread for a while, but was hesitant...thinking that I had no value to add to it.  But if you think about it, the true value of accountability is to encourage others, and allow them to encourage you, to stay focused.

    CG

    • 19 posts
    November 21, 2006 2:32 PM EST

    I`m kind of there with Eric (welcome back, by the way) as I`ve been following the thread to see how it evolves and where my participation is needed. 

    Mitey, I think you`re idea of a "DO OVER" is a good direction for this project as we`re still not all focused on the same thing at the same time.   Of course, having this many people, it`s hard for everyone to always be exactly on the same wavelink, but perhaps a Time Out whistle is in order, and then a Do Over.

    I want to address several things already brought up in this thread and under some of the Heads Up threads.  Craig L mentioned in one thread about accounting for all our skill sets in the group and I think this is paramount.  Denise has reminded us to do our homework and to think about what processes need to be in place, and Ross mentioned some concern over people offering their own business interests into the mix.

    While I personally don’t see an immediate problem (number 3 in my suggest list can address this later on) with people offering their own resources or businesses, (I realize we are taking business submissions at this time…so I can see the reasoning), I’m wondering if we have skipped a step somewhere.

    It seems to me that we to take care of some  necessities before we can choose a business:

    1) Technology
    The very first thing we need to figure out is available technology for administrative things:  A dedicated area for all Venture posts (it’s getting hard to keep up with them even with them all being under PepRally), A secure place to collectively discuss business ideas away from public eyes, and a database for collecting info about each participant and their skills.

     

    2) Team Building

    Once we can collect each person’s skill set, interests, and level of expertise, every person should be recruited into appropriate teams that they can collaborate with throughout the business creation (and implementation) process. 

     

    And as Denise has mentioned, we also want to make sure people are aware of each other’s work styles so they are involved in the most effective teams possible.  Along this same line, she has also mentioned creating teams for various business ventures as some people will be interested in working on some business ideas (and with certain people) and not others.

    Examples of the types of teams we need:  Accounting, Attorneys, Marketing, Public Relations, Computer Programming, Process Management, Fundraising, Graphics Design.

    Some teams would overlap in some ways, such as Graphics Design people would be closely linked to Marketing. 

    Collecting data of all available skillsets will allow us to see what teams we can develop from these skills.

     

    3) Processes
    Some people in the group may not see the importance of setting up processes for our venture.  While we don’t want to get bogged down in useless procedures, a process management team (with people that have experience with this) would be helpful for keeping everything on track.  Once this team is in place, they can work on the necessary processes to help those that need them.   If someone is a high-energy go-getter, they may not need processes to go forward, however, for those of us that need them, the processes will help keep us focused.

     

    Here is the bottom line of my suggestions: 

    We need teams in place before we can move forward and choose an exact business!  For example:  If we want to do something technical, we need technical/computer programming teams in place to discuss our ideas and report back to us the viability of these ideas.  We need the Attorneys in place to give us Council as we develop our business. 

    I think asking all questions to the group as a whole and getting a string of answers from various people (even if it’s good advice) is not focused or productive.  We need to develop teams FIRST so we can go to them as one source for answers and ideas that come up along the way.

    So, if we’re thinking big and someone says, “Let’s create something big like YouTube or MySpace,” we can go to our various teams and found out how to make each part work.   Such teams can tell us exactly the facts we need and how to proceed. 

    CreativeGal2006-11-21 20:43:58
    • 19 posts
    November 28, 2006 3:21 PM EST

    Hey Gang,

    I`ve been out of pocket the last few days and it`s great to see all the discussions taking place.  For now, I`m fairly open to all the discussed ideas.  I am currently doing my own homework and research on the side and will share with the group what I find very soon.

    Congrats Glutten Man..oops Gluten Man!!

    Welcome to all the new members!!

    Creative Gal

     

    • 19 posts
    December 1, 2006 10:58 AM EST

    Please visit:

    The Latest Scoop

    Now that we have chosen our idea(s), it`s time to get down to work.  (OK, Mighty Might deserves her much needed sleep as she`s been working very hard to bring us to where we are now).  

    But after everyone is well rested and ready to get down to business,  it`s important for those of us interested in research, processes, team building, and so on, to start heading in that direction. 

    I`ve started The Latest Scoop thread as a place for sharing info on what works, lessons learned from others, and a place to see what else is going on in Community-Based Business.   Our biggest question right now is:  Can We Really Create A Business Together? 

    Let`s look at how the process works and how we can guarantee its success.

    CG

    The Latest Scoop:
    http://www.startupnation.com/pages/community/forum_posts.asp ?TID=2896&PN=1&TPN=1

    • 19 posts
    December 1, 2006 11:01 AM EST

    Joel and SuN:

    Thank you so much for giving us our own heading!  It definitely makes things easier for discussing this topic.

    Have a great weekend!

    CG

    • 19 posts
    December 3, 2006 12:59 PM EST

    Participants

    Please check out The Latest Scoop as I have copied the list Frndchps started (it had gotten lost in the shuffle).  I`m also doing a side project to help build teams so that everyone gets an opportunity to offer their participation when the real work begins.

    http://www.startupnation.com/pages/community/forum_posts.asp ?TID=2896&PN=1&TPN=1

    CG

    • 19 posts
    December 5, 2006 7:37 AM EST

    The top 3 idea leaders are gathering their teams to shape their ideas for presentation to Jeff. 

    I vaguely remember hearing this mentioned on your podcast.  Can you elaborate?  Will Jeff "choose" a project to back?  I`m not meaning to jump the gun here, but would like clarification.  I may have missed something somewhere.

    • 19 posts
    December 13, 2006 10:19 AM EST

    Can we create a business together?  This is something I addressed (under The Latest Scoop) a couple weeks ago, but my research did not get much notice.  

    We have now followed much the same fate as The Business Experiment.  

    We need processes (now being discussed by some), teams (with competent, passionate members), and expert leaders.  I have now completed the Skills and Interest Survey, and will be contacting all 100 people on the list to see if building teams can jump start all those that said they wanted to participate.

    Lessons Learned from The Business Experiment*

    The Business Experiment [TBE] was based on a Peer Production or Wisdom of Crowds model.

     

    http://www.businesspundit.com/50226711/the_business_experime nt_what_i_learned_about_the_limits_of_peer_production_wisdom _of_crowds_and_other_web20_philosophies.php

     

    • People need incentives to act
    • Crowds are only smart under certain conditions
    • Crowds don`t understand the context associated with each task
    • Crowds don`t pick difficult decisions
    • Groups need leaders and direction

    Summary

    • TBE deteriorated [did this happen to us?]after their business was chosen because those not interested in the idea stopped participating.
    • A preset idea could have attracted the right people; instead, the project mostly attracted people that wanted to discuss their idea so it would be picked. [did this happen to us?]
    • Once a leader was selected, the community business was not much different than any other business because decisions were made at high levels when there wasn`t time for a vote.

    Some of the most successful community-driven projects are the exception instead of the rule.   Linux, for example, is driven forward by a handful of excellent individuals with passion for the project.

    Altruism, sharing, and group decision making is sexy.  But is Web2.0 really just a bubble?

    *Information copied/summarized with permission.

    CreativeGal2006-12-13 16:35:29
    • 19 posts
    December 13, 2006 12:47 PM EST

    [Post deleted. I apologize for the inconvenience.] 

    CG

    CreativeGal2006-12-14 0:7:44
    • 8 posts
    August 20, 2009 9:13 AM EDT

    I'm new to the community and quite impressed with the inspiration I see here, most specifically under this post heading. Whomever thought of this idea certainly gets recognition from me.

     

    I have no idea when this post was created or if the community has collectively taken action, but i have the business model and the vision and I'm willing to share it.

     

    I say let's do this and create jobs for our communities in the process. I'm very serious

    about this and can be contacted directly if we have some believers on board.

     

    Where I'm @:

     

    • Currently negotiating the acquisition of the Esperient Corporation, www.esperient.com
    • Business plan currently being revised - Economic changes
    • Strategic international partners in place
    • Overseas software development team on standby
    • Executive Team to drive the business

    The Venture

     

    See my post header: New Innovative Start-Up

     

    Let's make this happen. In the process startupnation will be in the headlines.

     

    Digital

     

     

       

    • 15 posts
    November 22, 2006 11:06 AM EST
    This is my first post- I was tempted to distraction many times as I worked my way through 47 (!) pages of history, but resisted out of respect. Finally, I`d like to offer a couple of observations and offer a restatement of what I think is the most promising business.

    1. My hat is off to the community in general and a few folk in particular for
    a) the quality of the contributions;

    b) the confidence (optimism) evidenced by the willingness to contribute; and

    c) the tenacity demonstrated by going as long and as far as you have.

    2. The premise of this project suggests similarities with the open-source community:
    a) many individuals voluntarily organizing to contribute to a whole that is greater than that which could be achieved separately.

    b) disparate levels of contribution (quantity, quality, kind) are not just possible but are actually beneficial.

    BUT - one characteristic of the OS community that may be problematic in this context is that community-generated work does not yield community-wide revenue. Typically most casual contributors get no new revenue; some few core contributors derive revenue by providing relevant services based on expertise and reputation earned through contributing.

    3. SuN owns the infrastructure in which this community flourishes, thus they have first rights and opportunity to monetize the various incarnations of the community per se. The notion of an online mall (I loved that someone named it a Business Park - not so retail-centric) is an example that`s already been shown. Other examples include books / magazines / media that essentially capture the freely offered wisdom of the community. Note that this includes all of our posts in this and other forums - ultimately including the story about and process for creating an online community-based business

    (Editorializing once more- this is as it should be. They built it with their capital. We came because it was free.)

    4. What SUN cannot own is what a member or group of members offers in terms of products or service. (Unless, of course, they wish to invest!) Ultimately, any business about whom the owners care must be seperable from the SUN infrastructure if circumstances warrant.

    THE IDEA: TIGER TEAMS FOR BUSINESSES
    `Tiger Teams` here suggests very small, very capable teams created on an as-needed basis to address a specific problem domain where results are needed within a specific period of time. Target market is any business owner or exec facing a problem (aka oppty) for which the does not have the in-house capacity to address does not exist.
    a) The Big Four (anyone else remember when it was The Big Eight) own this space at the top of the Fortune 500. So far as I know, no one serves the small to large business market with similar breadth in terms of geography and scope.

    b) The allusion to The Big Four may suggest a model for structuring equity when that becomes an appropriate discussion.

    c) The scope of problem domains we could conceivably address far exceed what those big guys address. For reputation and revenue maximization, they have to be focused on `The Big Picture` problems- ones that make or break the futures of billion dollar industries. Certainly we`re likely to have within our midst folks who have such expertise, but we`re just as likely to be able to solve a host of more mundane problems keeping a business from getting to the next level. One example from close to home:

    a life insurance brokerage firm in NYC needs to profile a host of current advisors to get a handle on who has what kind of practise with what kind of production. The process is unclear but would seem to call for the expertise to define the process, make the calls, synthesize the results.

    d) The business value is not the services provided, it is the repeatable process that allows a prospect with a need to be matched with the resources that solve the problem.

    Repectfully,

    Steven
    • 15 posts
    November 27, 2006 11:00 AM EST

    Before registering my vote for 3 items, I`d like to share my thinking behind my implied vote against #7 and parts of #1 and #6.

    For #7, I admit to having no clue as to what`s being suggested. I tried to find a bit of background in prior posts, but my command of the forum tools is still a bit limited so I came up empty.

    For #1 and #6:

    I believe we`ve reached consensus that the business(es) we propose to create should not assume integration with StartupNation. Going a step further, I submit that it would be both poor form and poor prospects to create a business that overlaps substantially with what SuN is about- to wit: providing expert advice on all aspects of starting and growing a business.

    To the extent that these ideas incorporate the notion of delivering (free or for a fee) educational content targeted to entrepreneurs, we should be very careful.

    1) Our hosts might take exception to our aspiring to build a business around one of the core offerings that makes their community attractive to their target market.

    2) Offering to sell what SuN gives away requires some pretty high-level execution in terms of differentiation- a level of execution that seems (to me) improbable in most start-ups.

    One clarification- though I am not in favor of building a business whose purpose it is (in part) to create and deliver educational content, I could be in favor of building a business whose purpose it is to create such content and make it for sale (license to) businesses who see the value in providing such content to their customers. (Prospective customers would include, but not be limited to, SuN.) Such a business would
    1) Provide a guided process by which "every-day entrepreneurs" could become "subject matter experts" within their industry by developing one or more educational "pieces".
    2) Provide contributing entrepreneurs with a framework for making the most of the business-building potential of having been "published".
    3) Provide a structure by which most participants can come or go (as contributors), with a relatively small "home office" group required to run things operationally.

    Thanks for bearing with me,

    Steven
    • 15 posts
    November 27, 2006 11:30 AM EST
    Okay, here is my vote for the three ideas I support and why:

    1. Window Washing System to franchise
      I`m not sure I`m onboard with the `franchise` part, but a business built around selling a specific manufactured product has a couple of things going for it:
      -- Will call for a fairly wide variety of roles / expertise (sales, marketing, marketing analysis, manufacturing, etc) which means potential room for a fairly large number of forum participants.
      -- One way to participate would be in selling the actual product, which could provide some aspiring entrepreneurs a way to generate revenue for themselves while in transition.
      -- A tangible product is somewhat easier to wrap a story around for the purposes of generating publicity and making sales.


    2. Develop a high quality gluten-free baked food product line that can be branded and sold through a network of regional and eventually national brokers and distributors.
      -- same comments as above for a manufactured product.


    3. Tiger Teams for Business
      -- I have to support this because I suggested it.

      Just kidding. I like this approach because I like working in a business-to-business consultative role. Additionally:
      -- The proposed structure allows a wide variety of members to participate as particular skillsets are called for to address particular problem domains.
      -- The proposed structure allows members to participate even while continuing their own business building.
      -- The proposed structure seeks to address two complementary needs: a) a small-business owner needs to find someone who can solve a problem without making a long-term commitment, and b) a professional service provider needs to fill a pipeline while still providing billable service to current clients.

      We`re cooking here, folks. Keep it up!

      Steven
    • 15 posts
    November 27, 2006 1:31 PM EST

    Are you willing to lead the business development team for your tiger team idea? Have you done any in-depth research regarding the market? Would teams always work virtually or would some teams be required to be in close proximity to a client for one reason or another?




    Until someone more qualified is required, I am willing to lead such a team.

    I`ve not done any research regarding the market, in-depth or otherwise. However, if someone were able to give me some minimal guidance as to how to define and attack the problem, I`d give it a go.

    It seems to me that both could be appropriate, or necessary, in various circumstances. Best bet would be to plan to accomodate both models from a conceptual standpoint.

    Steven
    NYC6962006-11-27 19:33:0
    • 15 posts
    November 28, 2006 5:21 AM EST
    Hi, folks!

    A while back in this forum, we had one of the participants (I`m sorry I don`t remember the name) offer licenses of his product, SCATE Ignite, in support of a common busines venture. The product is a tool to create web-deliverable tutorials. I just participated in the webex demo, and I think the product is worth a look by a lot of business owners- it`s clean, it`s easy, and it`s cheap.

    Steven