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Could We Create a Business Together?

    • 45 posts
    October 11, 2006 6:34 PM EDT

    Hi Everbody! Rich and I just spoke at an event in Montreal and I flew to Louisville and Rich is back in Michigan. Sorry I`ve been out of the forum for a couple of days. I just arrived in my hotel room....a bit weary admittedly! I`ll post comments tomorrow...

    I`m off to dreaming of starting up a new biz with my friends at SUN!

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 12, 2006 8:10 AM EDT

    Wait...! Kathy and I were talking, and came up with this: How about a co-op based on a Mall model? Or maybe even on a trade-show model?]

    Great minds think alike! This mall concept is actually in the StartupNation strategic growth plans already. We intend to one day soon have a variety of businesses operating online through the SUN technological infrastructure. The intent is for each individual then to create an online business of their own.

    The intent behind my proposition for all of us to start a business together was really to see if some of us could get together to own an operate a business together.

    Jeff  

    • 45 posts
    October 12, 2006 8:15 AM EDT

    This has been tried before. Anybody heard of The Business Experiment? A group of about 800 people joined online to create an online business. Everybody that joined became part owner of the group. It failed. I think one of the biggest reasons for the failure was that out of 800 people, most wern`t pulling their weight. I was one of the 800. I didn`t pull my weight. I, like most people, joined because I was just interested in observing the process. Despite receiving media publicity, The Business Experiment shut down. Too many observers and too few people doing any actual work. I think this type of thing can still work but we would need to learn from the mistakes of The Business Experiment.

    Great information to learn from...I`m not interested in doing an "experiment". I`m interested in creating a successful business or businesses by getting like-minded people together that each are willing to contribute. In no way can I see a startup of 800 people working. The consequence of everyone doing nothing is exactly what I`d expect with that model. If we have 800 people interested in doing something like this, I`d rather have 80 new businesses started with teams of 10 people or less each at the startup level. Let`s start with one and learn from that model and go on from there...

    This is obviously revolutionary and innovative thinking and lots of logistics to work through in the process of pioneering this effort...

    Thanks again for providing the helpful information. You make a very strong point that we will need to pay careful attention to as we go forward.

    Best,

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 12, 2006 8:19 AM EDT

    Hi Jeff,

    I think this idea is fantastic.  Since I have an HR background I would be happy to assist with how virtual organizations work and how remote people work together, and with any other "people related issues."

    Janet

     

    Janet...we need the capabilility of interviewing and vetting people (background checks, etc.) who are interested in joining the team. Do you have that capability? Would you be willing?

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 12, 2006 8:31 AM EDT

    QUOTE]Jeff, please correct me if I`m wrong, but I believe he intended for this business to be created by members of the SUN community perhaps using the infrastructure of SUN to facilitate its formation and growth. It is not supposed to be a new way to derive additional income from SUN as we know it.

    exactly right....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 12, 2006 8:36 AM EDT

    I been thinking about all the collective knowledge within this community and how can we spread this wisdom about being an entreprenuer to others, especially our children. 

    I would like to see us start-up - SUNU - Start Up Nation University.  Develop an entire cirriculum on the art, science, and facts on start-ups.  Provide "certifications" for those who could provide teaching to our schools around the country.  We are only as good if we can deliver our knowledge to students, who for the most part never acquire this education.

    Thought, ideas???

    This is a great idea. We`d love to off this at SUN!

    Jeff 

    • 45 posts
    October 25, 2006 9:56 AM EDT

    I`m so glad to see lots of great ideas and desire to make something happen. I`m interested in being part of it on behalf of SUN....Just know that I`m here when we`re ready to do something....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 26, 2006 7:45 AM EDT

    MiteyMite is onto it....

    I am happy to participate.....but he`s right...the business we create needs to stand on its own merit, related-to of course, but independent of StartupNation.

    We run the risk of things getting overcomplicated. To streamline all of this...I propose the following action steps be taken:

    Let`s all start listing potential business ideas. I proposed an e-commerce company which would retail security and privacy products; someone else proposed a group getting together to form a web development and online marketing company (I like this idea); and others have proposed additional alternatives. Let`s plan to gather all of the ideas by the end of this week and start to sort through them. Once we settle on maybe one to three of the ideas to begin to investigate more thoroughly, we can begin to have people indicate whether or not they`d be interested in joining this business team, what role they might be able to play in its development and/or in its operations, and then we can create a business plan, determine if we need funding and how to get it, and launch the business.

    Remember, we might have many businesses formed this way, so not everyone needs to jump onto the first idea. If an idea rallies enough support and interest, it`s worth going to the next step, if not - we drop it. Once one idea is underway with a group, then let`s repeat the process of posting business ideas, vetting them, etc, etc...

    So...I suggest for now, we simply focus on posting what each of us believes might make for good business ideas. Let`s not focus on how to get funding, etc until we settle on an idea. One thing we`ve learned is that if you have a solid business idea, rock solid business plan, and great team behind it, the funding is no problem.

    Cool???

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 29, 2006 8:00 AM EST

    Here is an easy idea we can all participate in.

    We collectively write an ebook, "Insider Secrets from StartupNation Members." (Assuming Jeff lets us use his named trademark). the ebook can be compiled and sold on the SuN web site, all of our  collective web sites, Amazon and any of our extended sites. We can each use our own viral networks to promote.

    Anyone who has a "secret" they have learned can participate. All proceeds can be used to help fund the next "bigger " idea the group starts"

    Could be fun, helpful, and generate some start up money or fund grants ,scholarships or other help for entrepreneurs.

    this is an interesting idea....someone would need to spearhead the organization of the ideas and thoughts that would go into the book. What do you envision the price point to be for such a publication?

    Are you capable of taking the lead?

    Jeff 

    • 45 posts
    October 29, 2006 8:02 AM EST

    To the Sloan brothers - yall need to contact the producer that does them reality show (The Apprentice)  and create an internet cable show whereas you have 4 groups of team and [...]

    The show could be exclusively shown on SUN Internet TV station...

    Well it just a thought because of all the cutbacks that are going on at the major TV network studios.

    Interesting idea!


     

     

    You`ll all be happy to know that we have a reality television show in development right now. But before you get too excited, there is a long way between development and actually getting it one the air. Rich and I will be in L.A. this coming week to meet with the production team. We`ll see where this goes, but could be interesting. We`ll keep you posted....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 29, 2006 8:08 AM EST

    You guys are making progress. I agree with the notion that we need a democratic process to elect leaders. Let`s keep our eyes on the prize and not get caught up in ancillary "stuff". Stay organized. Stay directed. Stay focused. Stay positive...and we might just come out of this process with a thriving business that we all share in and are rewarded from...and how cool would that be?!

    Let`s identify leaders; identify a few business ideas to vet; and let`s then get busy making it happen. I`m checking in as often as I can. It`s difficult with as much time we`re spending on the road, but rest assured, I`m staying on top of this, and I`m ready to jump in when you`re ready for me...

    This is going to be cool. Keep going....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    October 29, 2006 8:48 AM EST
    JWD wrote:

    Here is an easy idea we can all participate in.

    We collectively write an ebook, "Insider Secrets from StartupNation Members." (Assuming Jeff lets us use his named trademark). the ebook can be compiled and sold on the SuN web site, all of our  collective web sites, Amazon and any of our extended sites. We can each use our own viral networks to promote.

    Anyone who has a "secret" they have learned can participate. All proceeds can be used to help fund the next "bigger " idea the group starts"

    Could be fun, helpful, and generate some start up money or fund grants ,scholarships or other help for entrepreneurs.

    this is an interesting idea....someone would need to spearhead the organization of the ideas and thoughts that would go into the book. What do you envision the price point to be for such a publication?

    Are you capable of taking the lead?

    Jeff 

     

    I have staff who could handle the organization and editing of the book (we publish an 82 page magazine every month).

    If it is an ebook we could price from $5 to $10 and make it very affordable.

    I would be happy to take the lead if you would sell it on your site.

    JWD

    This seems like it hast merit, especially if you`re willing to take the lead and you have the staff available to do the writing. What would you propose more specifically as the outline (table of contents) for the book?

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    November 9, 2006 7:39 AM EST

    I see progress is being made! Great leadership from the leaders...

    Keep going! Anytime you`d like to set up a conference call, I`d be happy to host it from StartupNation.

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 9, 2007 4:21 PM EST

    very impressive Pokerman....nicely done.

    The bottom line here is that we`re supposed to be entrepreneurs. This isn`t about finding a "job". The whole idea here was to see if people could pool their talents in pursuit of a common vision to create a successful company and to ultimately prosper through the value of the equity.

    If people can`t see it that way, it will never happen....

    So, like-minded people who do see it that way, and who do have complimentary and critical skills to bring the table should get together and make something happen...

    If you don`t get started soon, I`m going to have to jump in and push you all along!! Just kidding of course....but come on....the time is now!

    Jeff

     

    • 45 posts
    January 10, 2007 4:00 AM EST

    Hi Stephane...Happy New Year!

    So help me out on this compensation issue- Mike....Pokerman.....Jeff, anyone.  When during the planning stage should this be addressed?  And, with the recent changes in financial accounting rules and the IRS` increased focus on valuation of private company stock....... is it already time to consult the accountants prior to getting too far along in the planning stage?  Would an accountant determine the compensation method?

    I always think it is important to start a business using experts like lawyers and accountants. However there is a distinction here that is important. When awarding "founders equity", the tax issues are not relevant. Equity in the company gets divided up amongst those who will contribute prior to the launch of the company.

    There is nothing wrong either to plan for salaries once the company is funded, but seeing this first as an entrepreneur to participate in the equity of the company is the way this has to be considered....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 22, 2007 4:23 AM EST

    What are the rules of the game???

    I might be in....

     

    • 45 posts
    January 22, 2007 2:50 PM EST

    just a wild thought for any of you still paying attention to this thread (see this is how I know who`s really serious about this!)....

    what would you think about a business idea that is sort of co-op that offers small business services. We would form a company that effectively markets small business services from a variety of providers. Services could include accounting, web design, etc, etc....

    The company, by way of example, could be called ABC Small Business Services. It would have a website designed by a web develop or developers that want to create the site in exchange for equity. An SEO expert from our commmunity could help position the site so that we get traffic. We would solicit small business service providers to sign up with us, and small business owners would contact us for the services. We would then hook up the service provider with the small business customer, and we would take a cut or a referral fee (TBD). Our sales force could be made up of members from the community who could go out and solicit customers...and service providers as well to join. It solves many problems. Customers would have a one-stop shop credible source for the services they need, and the service providers get exposure and marketing, something they desperately need.

    Sounds pretty cool to me. I`m in.....

    Here`s what we would do to make this happen.....

    First, a small group of us would form an executive committee -say no more than five of us. We would be responsible for putting together the business plan and then soliciting other team members. We would attempt to create a company that required little upfront capital. Instead of giving equity away to investors in exchange for capital, we would provide equity directly to the people who contribute to the development and growth of the company. So one of the first rules is that anyone who wanted to be involved would have to do so in exchange for ownership in the business, not salary (in the early going).

    So....there it is. I`m going to do this. Anybody interested in joining me?

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 22, 2007 3:09 PM EST

    good news....

    do you like the idea? The details clearly need to be thought out and mapped out but does the idea grab you?

    • 45 posts
    January 23, 2007 2:00 PM EST

    Good to hear that a few of you are still supportive and hanging in there. We`ll make something happen. Entrepreneurship takes patience and tenacity. Let`s just call this exercise over the last few months a good screening process.

    We will make something happen. Let`s just make sure that it`s the right "thing" with the right people, at the right time....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 23, 2007 3:18 PM EST

    You`re not too late Michael T!

    Hopefully we all learned something from the first go around with this effort.

    Keep checking in to stay up on next steps....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 26, 2007 3:23 AM EST

    Love the renewed enthusiasm, and of course the "pushback" too. I think an advisory board is a great idea and should be included in the project`s design.

    I do think there are other services out there that would be competitive to what I`m proposing. I think the market however is huge, and growing, and underserved. I think there is still a lot of untapped opportunity.

    And again, I`m not at all emotional about this particular idea. Maybe it`s a good one, maybe not. I just threw it out there for consideration.

    One thing I do know is that if we don`t keep trying, nothing will ever happen.

    So let`s keep trying, keep exploring, and keep being smart about anything we do.

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 27, 2007 3:54 AM EST

    now the trick is to turn a beautiful idea into a beautiful reality that is good for all who participate....

    stay tuned...

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 29, 2007 12:07 PM EST

    I would agree that e-learning has lots of potential, and I think MiteyMite said it well....there are a lot of good ideas....the key is to put those ideas to work as great businesses. Let`s make that happen!

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    January 31, 2007 8:50 AM EST

    structure is a good thing....I look forward to what you come up with Denise....

    Jeff

    • 45 posts
    March 3, 2007 2:50 PM EST

    Jeff,

    Great idea however probably more possible if the internet can eventually overcome the uncertainties and hurdles of developing sound relationships online. Kinda like trying to find a date online let alone trying to start a venture together...are we who we say we are?

    Nonetheless a noteworthy question and still possibly one worth continually examining...might be a venture here somewhere?

    Brian

     

    Brian...I think your concern is valid. Like with any other situation in which people are fundamental to the equation, lots of due diligence and "getting acquainted" will need to be done before any one person is comfortable with anyone else being considered as part of the team. One of the big differences between this and the online dating challenge is that one can legitimately ask for and get references that can be checked...

    As Mitey Mite indicates in her post of today, one business created by the community is in the incubator and may emerge as a great first example of what can be done. Rest assured that there has been a lot of checking of resumes, references, and a lot of making sure that each member fits the overall culture and chemistry of the team.

    Jeff