I've been watching closely, but haven't seen anything recently. I personally would love a "third place", preferably in Salt Lake.
Personal experience, I just fucking did it. No talk, no post on HN on whether I should or not. A little less conversation a little more action please.
If you want to travel, volunteer, and do crazy stuff, that's fine, but you probably won't be able to run a successful startup at the same time.
I regularly try to convince people who are new to emergency services that they have to take care of themselves if they want to care for others. If you're on shaky ground physically, emotionally, or financially then you're likely to fail just when the person (community, group, client) that you're trying to save (serve, help, support) depends on you the most.
But please don't dismiss somebody for being a bit focused on how your business will make money over the short or long-term. If a co-founder wants to join up with you and doesn't ask you some really tough questions about your plans to make real money, you shouldn't be happy about this: you should question his experience, competence, and judgement.
Any decent developer has already been approached by many startups: most of which claim to have ideas that change the world and most of which have no real business plan and are destined to fail. Somebody who has been through this before is likely going to grill you hard about money and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
There are plenty of startups and small businesses that aren't set up to change the world but aren't looking to make a quick buck due to a bubble either. Say, a company making UI mockups or bingo cards. They're just small businesses exploiting a niche market.
I'm a server-stack guy looking for something to get into.
Hope that's not going to be one of those "I invented the CD" type legal cases...
http://www.slideshare.net/emery/tfs-a-transparent-file-syste... especially slides 21-23)
Use SSL to encrypt all sensitive data during transit, and think carefully about the best authentication method for your circumstances: you could consider the use of OAuth2 so that developers can authenticate your users, without requiring the users to expose their credentials.
There are a few ideas here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7551/best-practices-for-s...
Getting designers to contribute to open source projects:http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2267861
Mockup of "ideal" notification for iPhone:http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2298585
You're selling a future revenue stream at a discount for an upfront payment. Company benefits, you benefit, you gain one visible user, who hopefully is happy with the product and is willing to provide quotes for your advertising materials, and so on.
1. What do you mean by "confusingly high-tech"? Does the product solve a problem that is known to the customer? The best product is one that gets out of the way. This part sounds like the root of your problems.
2. Does your product actually have that many different uses/market segments? If you do, I'd recommend you talk to Sean Murphy (I heard him over at TechZing podcast where he was explaining how to repurpose or repackage and reprice a product based on different value propositions). He is ex-Cisco manager, and now advises small high-tech start ups which have a high engineering focus (i.e. not in the social spaces). You need someone who has some emotional distance from your product to give you impartial advice.
3. Is the following a dead certain assumption "I feel it must look polished for a customer to buy"? For example, if the sponsor/champion think you are on the right track and closest to what they need for their business, then you might convince them to be the pioneer/reference customer, where in exchange for a steep discount and/or deferred payment until all bugs are fixed, they get to steer the product in the direction their particular industry needs. You have already said that it has application in several industries, so there is no way your competitors can focus on them all. Try to find a niche where you can get buy-in and then focus on it.
Remember. At this stage, you are a nobody. No matter how polished your product is, there is no track record. The person making the call to buy this is risking his professional career to support you. He needs to be convinced that you will be there watching his back, fixing bugs, and supporting him.
This probably gives you leverage should you approach investors shortly after.
Look around your local area for incubators.
Depending on what you're doing, Silicon Valley might not be the right place to go. More appropriate investors and mentors might be located elsewhere.
One option may be to get one of your customers to give you an advance in exchange for a discount on the final product, or take an equity investment.
A team must be flexible enough to compensate when sh*t hits the fan and a founder still has priorities to hit the road and continue to build corporate infrastructure, secure investments and make sales. There is no choice--giving your "baby" to unknown parties at a critical stage is introducing too much risk into the equation with no known potential for success.
Before departing, have a strategy session to collaborate and prioritize issues with the technology. If possible, call in as many favors as possible to bring spot expert assistance on core issues (i.e. a database guru for multi tenant join optimization) to give your existing team a boost.
Indeed it will be the same weekend as your event... not to discourage you or anything. Lets see what you've got!
Are you having a theme? If so, consider revealing it a few days before (like maybe the Thursday before).
Most great scientists know many important problems. They have something between 10 and 20 important problems for which they are looking for an attack. And when they see a new idea come up, one hears them say "Well that bears on this problem." They drop all the other things and get after it. Now I can tell you a horror story that was told to me but I can't vouch for the truth of it. I was sitting in an airport talking to a friend of mine from Los Alamos about how it was lucky that the fission experiment occurred over in Europe when it did because that got us working on the atomic bomb here in the US. He said "No; at Berkeley we had gathered a bunch of data; we didn't get around to reducing it because we were building some more equipment, but if we had reduced that data we would have found fission." They had it in their hands and they didn't pursue it. They came in second! The great scientists, when an opportunity opens up, get after it and they pursue it. They drop all other things. They get rid of other things and they get after an idea because they had already thought the thing through. Their minds are prepared; they see the opportunity and they go after it. Now of course lots of times it doesn't work out, but you don't have to hit many of them to do some great science. It's kind of easy. One of the chief tricks is to live a long time!
I echo other people's recommendations of getting a tall desk and a high chair. It's not quite the same as sitting at floor level, but it's pretty close.
Have you considered using an exercise ball instead of a chair? Am I correct in assuming that you just want a standing desk for the health benefits? If so, exercise balls are pretty good for you as well (at least better than a chair). They are a lot cheaper than standing desks.
However, I've also thought about building my own adjustable height stand-up desk.
I thought that I would get two adjustable height bar stools, like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NVT1GU/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp..., remove the seat, and mount a desktop in their place. The two stools will provide a stable base, though you may need to add a third for stability depending on where the weight is on the desktop.
Then I figured I'd connect a rod to the adjustment bar so that the stools move up and down together, or else you're going to dump everything off your desk when adjusting the height.
I haven't gotten around to doing it yet, but I'm moving in a few months, so maybe I will then.
What I would do is subtly tailor an interface to two major user's persona expected to visit on press day. Then set up A/B testing on conversions and use the traffic to your advantage.
I'm guessing if you split tested them, it would convert better by a lot.
Regardless, I'm eager to hear the results.
Thats just off the top of my head... If you find any more please add them to this thread :)
Tell him you'd love the job, and can provide a portfolio to show that you've done this sort of work before.
Then quote a price to provide the broad outline, and make that a deliverable. Then quote for any given solution to a problem. Make sure that you get paid for each piece of work before you do the next. Make it clear that you always do this until you have a history with a client - it's a clean, clear and professional way of working, especially remotely.
Provide your work in small, valuable deliverables. You're doing work - charge for it. Make it clear that at any point he can take what you've done and go elsewhere, and then charge at a rate where you'd be happy if he did so.
Make it clear that you're doing work, you're spending time, you're using your expertise, and you're happy to do so and get paid for it.
Be cheerful, constructive and helpful.
1) Prospect gets in touch with us via email or phone.
2) We send them a "Project Planner". This is a questionnaire with key questions (i.e. "What's the goal of your project?") that we've put together.
3) We quickly review the project and send the prospect an estimate of how much it will cost to develop and an estimated timeline. We make sure to make the prospect know the quote and timeline is based on the ideal that it doesn't includes revisions. Something like: Each revision will extend the delivery date by XX days.
5) If the prospect accepts we send them a contract and ask for a 50% payment before we do any work. If they are not comfortable with that, or the project is too big, we ask for 25% and then setup several payment deadlines as the project moves forward.
6) After the retainer has been paid, we send the (now) client a new questionnaire, called "Client Worksheet". Here we get specific to get to know the client better.
6) Once we receive payment, we make some research on the project and provide some wireframes along with simple explanations on how we think the goal can be achieved.
7) After the client is happy with the final wireframe and signs it off, we proceed to design the mockups. We already know what he likes so usually a couple of revisions is good enough to get final approval.
8) Once the design has been approved we start coding. Most of the "how will it work" has been already discussed through the wireframes, so it's pretty easy at this point.
9) Testing, final payment and launch :-)
Hope this helps!
There are a few things you can do.
- Find out who will be making the decision. Insist that you will provide more information as you meet the decision makers.- Find out what alternatives they are considering. Use this knowledge to better position yourself.- Explain that are many important details still to be considering that will be addressed as you continue the project.
I am very rusty. But read about Solution Selling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_selling
1) Unless the client has already signed a contract (and I hope you require a down payment) don't give away the farm. Meaning, don't give him planning, architecture, design, etc. things that hey should be paying for before you are in a contractual relationship that requires him to pay you. You have to protect yourself.
2) Don't work on spec (speculation), ever. That means that if the client wants to see a design before deciding to work with you, walk away and don't look back. No exceptions. This is a giant blinking red signal telling you that this client will not and does not respect the skill that goes into your work, and will be a pain in the ass for you. These people are almost never worth your time or what they are paying you - if they pay you at all.
Respectfully tell this client that your policy doesn't permit spec work. Check out http://no-spec.com for resources and details on how to explain this to your client.
But on the other hand, I have clients whom I gave detail proposal on WHAT to be done in the projects and the projects were awarded.
In answer to your specific case - explain to him that the first deliverable is a "project brief" which summarizes the project and proposed "high-level" solutions. Again - totally billable.
The key is he wants all this detail before committing. This guy is never going to pay you anything, why should he, he is getting you to do everything for free. I have been there hundreds of times and not once has it lead to anything. For all you know, he is another freelancer who is having you do the design work for HIS client by asking these questions. That has happened to me before.
Detailed work requires a retainer paid in advance. Treat this as a lawyer or any other such professional would. Clients get a 30 minute free consultation wher eyou come to understand their problem and if you can help them. Then they make a decision to to hire you or not. If they want you, based on the interview and your reputation, they start by writing you a $5,000 check and you start billing off it. If there is money left over or they change their mind they get a full refund of the amount not spent.
Show him your portfolio and examples of solutions you have solved that are similar. Unless a contract is signed, don't do anything more than a nice proposal.
In my opinion, you just write up a proposal that covers your interests and see what happens - try not to spend more than 1/2 a day on the proposal per $10,000 in revenue.
For example, last year I created a couple of jQuery premium plugins, I putted a price tag on them and offer user support. Some of people said "no way, your plugin will make it, there will be free version of it anytime soon".
Guess what ? Almost one year has passed, there aren't any full featured alternatives and I'm making a $xx bucks on a daily basis. I'm not making $50, but it's close tho. For the effort I've put into it I pretty happy with the outcome. Clients appreciate the fact that I offer support, and the best thing is, I haven't yet give any support because none of my clients have request it so far.
In a nutshell, my best advice for you is:- Start by doing small quality things.- Create a solid client base, keep them happy and show them what you are doing currently
Soon enough your will start see some profit.
Think about your current skill set versus what you would like to learn that would help your career and future earning potential. Balance those two items to help you choose.
If you have an interest in all three develop all three ideas over time.
For the short term I would pick the area that you are most skilled in so you have the best chance for success.
Digital content probably has the best chance for success depending on your knowledge base and target audience. An e-book could be put together fairly quickly. Pick something you are passionate about and put one on the market and see how it goes.
Web Apps are great for reoccurring revenue, the software as a service model is one of the best business models out there. Find a problem and solve it with a web application.
Apps would be the most difficult to break into and have a money maker the first time. It's definitely a high demand skill and something you should develop for the future if you have an interest.
Recommended listening for inspiration:
This can provide some very interesting options (and lucrative, affiliate) revenue streams; possibly generating passive income for years to come.
People (read super aff marketers) have written eBooks on this very topic i.e. how to build long-term, passive income streams with eBooks - if you scout around a bit, I'm sure you'll find a few.
(Edit: if you felt like making another worthy donation, the Youth Guard mailing lists are the people I'm referring to -- http://www.youth-guard.org/youth/ . I cannot overstate the impact they had on my life.)
You'll need to save a text file. I think you guys can probably manage, but to make it copy/paste easy:
firstname.lastname@example.org (tab) 25.00 (tab) USD (tab) winsocks_rocked (tab) This is a totally optional comment.
Thanks for Winsock, by the way. You saved me hours of frustration when I was trying to get Compuserve and Warcraft 2 to work together, back in middle school. Crikey I feel old.
Thanks all... I had honestly thought the Internet had forgotten about me.
Actually, they'll sometimes do that on accounts that are a decade old, but new accounts especially.
Maybe use WePay instead with a target amount?
Nevermind, in 1993 a single license for Trumpet Winsock cost $25 usd. Adjusted for inflation that is $38.10 today.
Thank you for my career.
I've run open source projects, built e-learning systems, helped charities in Colombia work together, worked with people revolutionizing journalism and (once, by accident) made a large number of Utah Mormons very angry. None of this would have happened without the software you created. Thank you.
BTW: What was the original cost of Trumpet? (for an end user)
I don't have a PayPal account, and I'm trying to navigate their site to find out how to do a donation, but I can't find anything like it? The closest match is making an "International Payment", is that the one? And why do I need to select which country he is in?
Or should I sign up and perform some other action when logged in?
I've sent them an email referencing this story to see if they step up and at least make a donation.
Would be great if some more people could email them as I don't see them taking a random email like I've sent seriously.
EDIT: Demon internet is an ISP based in the UK.
Pat yourself on the back and know your efforts were useful for a great many people. Well done, good sir!
Fondly remember Trumpet as the key that unlocked the door to using Mosaic. Jumping from text only to a browser was like going from black and white to technicolor.
Later on, after saving money to upgrade to a whopping 12MB ram and Windows 95, that same computer allowed to to play multiplayer Diablo, which was my first taste of IRC. Naturally it was all downhill from there, and I played Diablo for two years straight.
There were a lot of fights in our household over phone bills and busy dial tones, and I'm sorry that my sister was left stranded at school with no ride because I was busy downloading FreeBSD, but now I'm a successful software engineer and budding entrepreneur in the education space, and it's all thanks to those formative moments panicking at 3 am, trying so hard to muffle the sounds emanating from my 9600 kbaud modem as it connected me to an exciting new world.
Thanks, Peter. Thank you so much.
Even though I was kicking around the net on my Macintosh SE/30, using MacSLIP/MacTCP, this is a great idea.
It might help to get the message out to a wider audience.
Shameless plug: This is a part of my Internet Startup. You can opt in to have your name (or alias) published.
I probably would've gone into this field without it but I got a big head start regardless. I'm donating.
I should probably send some money my parents way too. Long distance modem calls weren't exactly cheap back then!
Knowing Linux at the right time (1998) was how I got my first job.
Thank you for opening up the online world to me, back in the days when just trying to connect to the Internet was a bit of an adventure!
Check out the campaign at http://bit.ly/fDzVOF
Make a donation but, at the very least, share it with your friends so that we can get Peter some of the money he deserves.
Thanks, Paypal, I didn't authorize that. I do not WANT you to lock my account, or have anything to do with you and your freezing account policy crap. I just want to donate to worthy causes.
That said, I'm in Finland. US-Only solutions don't work for obvious reasons (among them, outside the US we don't have 30-day-waits for check cashing...) so I'm looking for a way to set this right that I can use here.
First, find out the percentages of cesarian birth and breastfeeding for both your obstetrician and your hospital as compared to the national average. If the numbers don't look good, don't hesitate to switch (even if you like your doctor but they are affiliated with a knife-happy hospital). You can adjust your parenting style as you go but the window of opportunity for the birth and breastfeeding experience - which will lay a foundation to the mother's happiness and the baby's health - is literally hours. (The breastfeeding window is minutes after birth - the longer you delay, the harder it becomes, for both mother and baby, so if your wife ends up with an unnecessary c-section and cannot breastfeed due to post-op issues, or if the hospital doesn't have any nurses to show her what to do, you may lose that window for good).
Second, don't go crazy on parenting do's and dont's until the baby is at least 3 months old. They won't remember anything so there is no reason to do sleep training or any other training. If the baby wants to sleep with mommy, let them, and if the baby cries to be in mommy's arms, let them. (Research shows that babies who get lots of mommy time are more independent later on, as opposed to getting used to it as disciplinarians will suggest). I think one of the nicest things you can do for your wife is let her know that you won't judge her if she is being a bit of a pushover for baby. Keep telling her she is a good mom - every time my husband says that, it makes my day.
Third, be understanding of her need for some untouched time. I mean that literally. It's draining to have a baby holding on for dear life 24/7. Don't take it personally. Go out constantly for the first several months, it's an amazing luxury that will not last forever.
Lastly, buy her a moby wrap. It works for a newborn with no head control, it keeps the baby and mother close and happy, and it's amazing for weight distribution, especially if she is a wimpy 100-pounder like me. It's just as good for "wearing" the baby at home. Seriously, a total back saver.
(I also second @kerben's motorized swing/cradle).
I think it will be a great experience for both of you. It sounds like your head is in the right place and she is lucky to have you as a partner. My husband is a rockstar daddy as well and that makes a huge difference. Everyone talks about sleep deprivation and all that but my experience has been "baby rainbows" (a term I've come up with to indicate the opposite of "baby blues") and he is largely to thank for that. I wish you the same.
P.S. Apologies for the TMI (non-parents feel free to stop reading) but I thought I must mention something else since you are having a boy. If she is breastfeeding, they will put her on special contraceptives in order to avoid dosing the baby with estrogen. These will be an absolute killer for her sex drive so I highly recommend that she look into a copper IUD instead. No hormones, no daily pill popping, and no side effects such as mentioned above. Daddy happy too :)
1. When baby sleeps, mommy sleeps.
2. When baby cries, he's hungry.
The system that worked best for sleep schedules for us was splitting duties. Mommy was on 'input', i.e., feedings, and I was on output. It gave Mommy a sense of relief (because she will almost certainly feel overburdened) for me to take the baby, even if just for a short time.
Clean the house -- your wife will appreciate every single thing that she doesn't later have to do.
If you cook, try to cook enough that there will be leftovers. Even better, if you can make any re-heatable meals that your wife can find and reheat during the day, that'll be gold.
As for the actual child-rearing, the only advice I can think of particular to me that seems to have worked is that we never spoke 'baby-talk'. We always spoke in full English. Anecdotally, we believe that contributed to our daughter's ability to speak significantly younger than expected.
* Sleep whenever you can
* Have fun
* Be patient with your wife
* Be patient with yourself - you will occasionally want to cook and eat your brand new baby
* Make sure your wife is eating well, and let her get out of the house by herself sometimes
I think that the biggest step for you will be to come to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be the same. And I say that, knowing that you won't fully grasp that until the first time you see your child. And then you'll relearn that with any subsequent children! For me, the first time I've held each of my children, I've been completely floored and awed and instantly in love. All of a sudden, here is a person on earth that I would die for. It's amazing.
You and your wife are about to be very tired. Your son will need to be fed, changed, and burped ... and sometimes it will seem like there's no break in between! I think establishing very regular patterns is a good thing for everyone. Same time to bed, same time to get up, et cetera. It will take tweaking and modification as time goes on, but talk to your wife on a regular basis about how the patterns are working or not working, adjust, and keep on going. For us right now, the pattern is that she goes to bed earlier and I stay up with the baby, letting her get some solid sleep until the baby needs to be fed again. We're still tweaking the parameters, and we've been so fortunate to have my wife's mother staying with us, and she's a huge help, so once she's left, it will be another adjustment.
I suggest using a cosleeper. Having the baby sleep with you in the bed may very well mean that you don't sleep as well because you'll be paranoid that you'll roll over onto the baby. Or worse, you'll roll over onto the baby! A cosleeper puts the baby conveniently close.
Crying is okay. Let him cry a little bit. The natural instinct is to immediately feed / change / console. If you are solving his problems a microsecond after he announces there's a problem, then he'll expect that every time. If he's allowed to cry a little here and there, he'll understand that mom and dad will still take care of him. It will ease the transition to the day when he's sleeping in a crib, not in the same room (also highly recommended).
Take ALL advice with a grain of salt. What works for me won't necessarily work for you. Be ready to try different approaches. Note that this may be in direct conflict with establishing regular patterns!
Best wishes to you and your wife, and if you have any questions you want to run by a new dad (before or after your son is born), please feel free to reach out, my email is in my profile.
During my wife's pregnancy, I had a big development project eating up 90%-95% of my free time: I wanted to get it done before he arrived, anticipating the huge time suck everyone warned me about. (I ended hitting the finish line, and deployed over the two-week paternity leave, and let him push the launch button when he was 8 days old.)
In my experience -- and again, YMMV, etc. -- if you can regiment your time carefully, it's absolutely not that big a deal. Yes, our days are substantially different now, but we work together really well to relieve each other; I get plenty of development time, she gets plenty of roller derby time, and after completing the post-deploy piece of my last project, I've already picked up another major project and am getting things done.
I've always been a pretty light sleeper, and it's not uncommon for me to be woken up at 4 and just not go back to sleep, so perhaps I already could deal with mild sleep deprivation well, but I really have no complaints about the amount of sleep we're getting. Generally I'll take the last feeding of the night, since I probably won't go back to sleep after, and there were a couple days in there where I dragged a bit, but really, the impact has been negligible.
(The impact of him coming home sick from daycare is an entirely different story. It's like he's a breeder reactor for bugs. I haven't been that sick in years.)
The best way I found to take care of my wife is to get her what she wants, when she wants it -- i.e., literally stand up before she's finished her request and go take care of it, stat. She's in a ton of discomfort (both before and after pregnancy, especially if you're doing a natural birth) and will appreciate the hell out of you going the extra mile. Post-birth, being instantly ready to locate/retrieve/position whatever baby paraphernalia or etc. has been a big help to her. Before we gravitated to a nice he-eats-then-we-eat schedule, I used to feed her and myself both as she fed the baby. Felt silly the first time but it worked out great logistically.
Some random bits in no particular order...
Interesting baby hack: one time the boy was crying, and just holding him wasn't doing the trick, so I figured his diaper needed changing. As a rule, his crying increases dramatically when first laid down for the diaper change, then he perks up and stops crying after he's cleaned up. So I laid him down, took off his diaper, and found that it was actually clean. When I re-diapered him and picked him up, he stopped crying... even though he didn't need the diaper change in the first place. I think if we could find out what was going on in their little brains, we'd be pretty surprised.
Totally invest in the mechanical swing kerben mentions.
When nothing else works, a warm bath has proven to be an awesome baby-fixer for us.
You will learn many new ways to care about poop.
It's a great time, enjoy it. Congratulations.
Secondly, this is not about taking care of your wife, but just my 3 years of working experience and things I thought I would share.
Sorry, I can't help about taking care of your wife, because my wife was able to take care of herself. She had a natural birth
Second most important thing I learned is applying "Customer Driven Development" to the baby. There is a different kind of cry between baby is hungry, baby needs change of diapers and baby needs a hug. This was the basis of the Dunstan Baby Language. I can personally attest that the different types of cry is true, though I believe that each baby has their own set of cries and not a one size fit all as proposed by the Dunstan Baby Language, so you need to learn and find out. <sidetrack> I was going to develop a mobile app for that but my baby grew up too quick</sidetrack>.
Most important thing. Observe the baby, play with the baby and have fun! I discovered a lot about myself observing my baby. The one that really etched in my memory was when I saw her trying to get a toy for herself. At that time, she hasn't learned to crawl yet, but she could sit and roll. This toy was beyond her reach and it was really amazing to see how she shifted her sitting position, lie down, keep rolling till she reached her toy. At that instant, I saw the stroke of ingenuity of her in me when I was young. Trying different ways to get what I want. The question is, how did that trait in me got lost throughout my life?
One program I do recommend is "Your Baby Can Read". I let my daughter watch this show when she was 6 months and she got engrossed in it. We know she was picking up things from the show because she could sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" even though we didn't teach her, but we did encourage her to sing it to us. The magical moment was when out of the blue, she just followed the action of "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes". But she got bored of this show at 18 months and is now currently watching "Playschool" (this is shown in Aust).You might be able to purchase some of this show on shop.abc.net.au
Another privileage we have was having my wife stay at home and look after her. The main benefit I found from this was that my wife is better able to understand what my daughter wants when she talks. For example, she used the word "wee" to mean she wants a drink prior to learning the word water. Only my wife knew what she wanted. I remembered my daughter and I both getting frustrated when she went "wee" and kept crying because I didn't know what she want. It was only until my wife overhead us and gave her the water that I realised what she wanted. I could only imagine if we sent her to childcare she had to go through educating adults that "wee" is water multiple times.
I wrote a bit about how we managed childbirth without epidural in my blog if you are interested http://kschua.posterous.com/tag/chidbirthepiduralbaby I believe the machine I refered to in my blog is Cardiotocography
and my thoughts about when to stop breastfeeding here http://kschua.posterous.com/tag/breastfeedingbabywean
I would read about how to calm a crying baby. There is a formula that works really well: wrapping, rocking, shh-ing, etc. I found squats worked well with my first. The second didn't like it so much.
Finally, you might underestimate how absurd giving birth is mechanically. It just doesn't make sense. A friend remarked that giving birth was "like getting butt fucked by a rhino". No rhino's were on hand to tell their side of the story. The point is to expect incapacitation.
And make sure mommy gets attention too (she deserves it) because baby will be the star.
2) Listen to her
3) Help where appropriate - know your skill sets
4) Learn a new skill set to help (diapering/bottling etc)
5) Buy her more gourmet cupcakes
You know of Adsense bc it's one of the best ones and in terms of revenue generation.
If you have a niche topic that is going viral, it could be wiser to go to an affiliate advertising network and go for the commissions - make sure you know your demographic though.
There is a ton more...
Addynamo - Good traffic, good reporting, good agency commission.
Admob - Biggest mobile ad network, owned by Google, great analytics.
List on the Google Display network if you fall short of other options.
2) daily progress. It doesn't have to be consistently a huge amount of progress every day, but it should be enough progress that you could grab somebody and say "hey take a look at what I did today" and be able to show them some new functionality you've added.
3) responsibility. You should feel bad if you are not making progress. If there are no consequences then it's easy to slide off the cliff.
To help myself with #3, two weeks ago I began making daily video logs (like from the movie Avatar). Every day I tell the camera what I have accomplished, and I present a quick 1-2 minute demo of the new code or functionality. But most importantly I tell the camera what I will accomplish tomorrow. And in tomorrow's video log I better either have that task completed or I have to fess up and explain to the camera why I didn't get it done.
Disclaimer: this is what I did, wouldn't recommend it to everyone, YMMV, etc...
For example if you had a series of essays to do in a certain amount of time, they'd all probably be mediocre or incomplete. Yet, if you had to do one essay in the same amount of time that one essay would be pretty impressive, you'd have time to proof read, spell check, change areas etc...
Pretty poor example but you get the idea.
Find one and stay focused on it.
When the idea becomes no longer fun get some feedback, nothings more motivational than feedback. There's going to periods were you just can't be bothered or were it tires you out and the next task/step is soo complex you procrastinate for weeks, you have to identify this and the fact that it happens and push forward.
On thing i do, it's pretty weird, start with really small tasks and build up til' you're in a productive state. (do the dishes, reply to emails, make breakfast lol) When it comes to the hard part (opening up the code editor and getting started) what i do is kinda' go consciously unconscious, you phase out everything, the task, every thought in your head (you might even go light headed), complete yet forced zen and just start coding, when you "regain consciousness" you'll have already started the task and it will be less of a mountain.
I'm currently at university, in my first year, working on my new start up. It's more important than university to me, i haven't been a class all term and only about 2/3 lectures this term because i'd rather be designing/programming. My priorities are with my idea not with this degree, i have a load of other ideas and what i'll learn from this start up with help me with the others later on.
Just shelve the ok ideas and push forward with that one idea you love the most.
The issue we face is that our 'ideas' are entirely unproved, while a franchise is proven, so while there is risk, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think the absence of a 'light' allows us to drop a 'idea' and pick up another one thinking this will be better.
Nothing has ever given me more focus and motivation that someone saying, "I would pay for that." Especially if it's someone who has paid me for things in the past.
Also make sure your not just looking for an excuse to not launch. Tackle something small, get it done and get it out. Then rinse and repeat. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Another popular option is Linode.
EDIT: There's also http://stable.io/, which is kind of similar to Djangy, but it's not ready yet so keep an eye out.
Also, "It's free... for now! Users signing up from February 2011 onwards will be required to pay a small fee." - in contrast with "Bookmark for Free" in the features.
1. Assuming you've purchased the equipment to do mass production (i.e. automated print fulfillment center with folding/cutting/licking/stamping/etc... features then make sure you're doing address cleansing for the extra postage discounts.
2. Make a utility print driver so I can "Print To Postal Shout" -- this is VERY easy to do, at least on windows. You can get freeware, or near freeware, to act as the actual postscript or pdf driver and it will alert your application when the file is done printing - you can then kick in and do something meaningful with it (i.e. submit to your service). I've written such print wizards in the past and would be happy to elaborate if you're interested.
3. In combination with number two above, this is where you can expand your reach considerably. Forget about that template that I have to download. Through the print wizard, you pick your addresses and contacts from a list of contacts, or start adding them. Since your program is controlling the wizard, you can get the addresses in the format you want. Upon completion, create an XML doc (or similar) and call a web service or ftp service to submit the document(s) to. You can either encode the actual document into the metadata of the xml file (slower) or give it a GUID and point to it from the XML metadata. I highly recommend an FTP based approach for file transfer as it is fast and you can give your customer progress feedback or even sync in the background.
4. When using the driver, ask the user HOW the document/message should be delivered. They will build an address book over time (maybe you can even tap into an existing CRM if they have it) and offer email/fax/postal/premium). Think of this from people who want to send an email to 100 people, but only 95 of them have email addresses (hard to imagine these days, but used to be very common). Hope this makes sense. Further, it's a way of offering MULTIPLE delivery methods in one easy wizard. You get to charge for the fax and postal and maybe offer the email free. For example, I want my lawyer to see the document I need reviewed right away, but I also want to send hard copy to him and cc myself.
5. If you could somehow incorporate electronic signature / notary / SOMETHING into the documents and build up a crowdsourced delivery mechanism that would be completely disruptive. Meaning, I'm in California and I want to overnight this signed document to New York. I could send it to your service and have its authenticity verified, then you can reach out to your New York based notary/courier and have it delivered within a few hours to the New York address. Way cheaper than FedEx and if you can somehow get this implemented it would cause your service to absolutely explode in usage. Plus, it would be more environmentally friendly! :-)
6. Offer stationary / letterhead for the customers to design and use. This could be a real problem for mass printing though. At minimum, you should offer different qualities of paper for it to be printed upon. This is a "nice to have" and nothing I would focus on right away (IMHO).
7. You could offer discounts on the actual costs if the user was willing to have ads printed at the bottom or top (or inline) in the document. This wouldn't be for official correspondence, but more for the casual messages you might not otherwise mail, but since it's free, or near free, why not. The beauty of this: It WILL get opened and read by the recipient. Here you have a personalized letter sent to someone with local adverts printed directly on it. The recipient is almost guaranteed to read it and see the advert.
These are off the top of my head. I could drum up that old business plan / feature spec and give you more details if you want.
Hope these ideas are useful to you. As proven: Ideas are useless w/o execution - bad on me for not doing this myself.
EDIT: P.S. - target Salesforce.com as a market because this is especially useful for mobile sales reps who have to fax and mail from hotels all the time.
- No autoplay on the video with audio. Either let me click play or remove the audio in favor of subtitles
- The logo seems small compared to the rest of the site
- May need to reword some of the taglines in the body... I should understand exactly what the site does without having to watch the video. If it piques my interest, then I can watch the video for more information.
That info isn't "above the fold". Stuff like: "Start now with as little as $10!" "From only 75c per letter: save on postage, envelopes, stationary & time".
And I think even the most detached exec doesn't need to be told how a letter is sent. Sure they may not know what scale their post room is (franking machines/folding etc).
Basically: get to the bottom line first - hook me in, then explain it.
Edit:One suggestion: the blue(ihs) portions of the logo are not very readable against the black background of the header so the word 'Postal' (in logo) does not register immediately, nor does the tag line 'You mail it, we post it'.
IMO, this might affect the engagement level of (at least a small percentage of) visitors.
1) Not everybody here is actively engaged on a startup. It's a common misconception that I fell victim to for a long time while I lurked. There are hopefully plenty of people to help you out on this that are either freelancing, between gigs, or what have you. Good luck.
2) Are you tied to Java? You may have better luck if you go language agnostic. I don't know if you're already entrenched, or what the decision was, but it doesn't seem like the most popular language around these parts.
I can't help, but I hope you get the guy you're looking for.