If I pointed you to this post it was because you either came up to me after a panel, or you pinged me asking to meet or talk (or have coffee, etc.), or I wanted to share with you how & why I like to answer questions so others can benefit.
I'm always looking for ways to gain and share knowledge in efficient ways. In the spirit of my posts on knowledge building and creating process (and even making a process for process), I've created a process to have interactions in ways that are efficient for all of us, and build knowledge for everyone whenever possible:
If you'd like to have a conversation on any topic, the absolute best way is to write a post in the community section of my blog.
I am really working to build this blog as a resource to entrepreneurs, and your participation means a lot to me. You can also post comments on any blog post -- I'll read & respond to each one. I'll dedicate much more time to conversations that happen on my blog, because everyone can benefit from the knowledge sharing. I greatly prefer to have these conversations in public when possible because the conversation becomes part of a public knowledge base that anyone can learn and benefit from -- this is part of the reason I said that Henry Ford would love blogs. Plus, it's part of our company manifesto to capture content (point #13!) If you're asking me something sensitive, you can just use a 'thowaway' username to keep yourself anonymous.
Sometimes I invite people to have lunch at our office in San Francisco, where we cater lunch for our employees. If we have a good conversation in the comments section of the blog and want to continue it in person, company lunches are typically a great time for me to do that and I'll invite you to join us.
If you don't want to have a public conversation, then it becomes much harder for me to dedicate my time to helping you privately. I encourage you to just anonymize any issues you're dealing with as much as possible so you can post them in the community section of my blog vs. insisting on a private conversation.
I hope you can help me build a public knowledgebase to benefit others going through the same experiences as we are.
And while I'm at events, I always try to capture the content from an event. Why have the content from a great event sit only inside the heads of those who were there, when if just one person captures the content, it can be shared with the world?
Here is a post showcasing the sub-$500 rig I use to capture content at conferences, panels, and any other public event I attend. I typically just set the camera up in the back of the room, or on a chair next to me. People look at me in a strange way when I set the camera up, because it's not yet culturally accepted to capture content. But I know that while I may be getting a strange look at that moment, the reality is that I'm capturing content that nobody else at the event is capturing, and I'm sharing it on this blog for someone like you to be able to learn from it, and that makes all the strange stares worthwhile!
Appreciate your willingness to publicly share and build knowledge bases. I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm an educator trying to decide how you create curricula in a world when almost anything can be googled, wiki'd, UTubed, or whatever. Of course you can't. Everyone has to figure out what they need to know, then try to find it. Programmers occasionally have an advantage since bits and bytes are sort of a native tongue, but even the best programmers aren't always great analysts, logicians, or listeners. The internet allows those who understand it to share what we know. Thanks for your willingness to participate in a world where all of MUST know how to operate on multiple platforms, native or not.
Listening to your PC Users Guide to the Mac with one eye, as I write this. I've been bi-platform most of my life, since I'm not a programmer by choice. One pays the bills, one allows me to communicate in whatever media is most appropriate.
[email protected] AKA Jill Frazier
Jill, I'd imagine it's a brave new world for educators!
I definitely have some opinions about this topic, from a non-educator's perspective.
One is that in a world where information is everywhere, the skill that really matters is being able to find the right information at the right time to make the optimal decision. It's almost more of a 'discovery' problem than a 'knowledge' problem. Being able to find and evaluate information when faced with a decision to make an intelligent choice is a skill on its own, and it's not one I see being taught in schools.
Secondly, being able to use a computer efficiently is a skill that I don't see taught either. As knowledge professionals, we sit in front of this box all day, so we should at least be able to use it effectively. Much more on that at http://go.DanielOdio.com/instrument .
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
You're so right. Critical Thinking skills are imperative. And I'll definitely check out your instrument link above. The problem with mass curriculum development is that most learning is highly individualized.
Do you believe that Open Source has a future in a capitalist society?
Happy 2014. I hope that your new adventures in business are exciting and allowing you to show up passionately.
I wanted to pick your brain about the App Builder market. With App Makr your team did a great job of building quite the customer base and community. And from what I understand, that was over the course of a couple years.
If you were to do it all over again, would you do things differently? Did you see the demand for the platform growing or slowing down?
It seemed that you were targeting the non technical consumer. Someone that could drag and drop their ideas into App Makr and produce an app. Do you see the market wanting higher level builders and tools? Or do you still see the market you were (or would) targeting wanting so simple that anything extra or complex would not fly?
Would you offer more training? Or build a more depth community? Or would keep things the same?
As a fellow executive in the field, I would love to have an open discussion with you about what people want and how to get it to them at the lowest cost. At the end of the day, we want to support entrepreneurs in creating a life of their dreams, that allows them to show up passionately each day.
How would you disrupt the market if you were to do it all over again?
I don't believe it's a good time to get into the "app creation as a platform" business. There are already really established players (like AppMakr and others). However, I do see a related opportunity:
We're in a "tweener" period with mobile apps. We're getting past the initial hype and honeymoon period of just having an app. But we're not yet to the point where SMBs (or many larger companies, for that matter) find it valuable to create a direct mobile channel with their users. I've said in the past that I believe that CEOs are going to be fired for missing the huge mobile opportunity, what I'm calling the "mobile crush," and it's already started happening, but your average business owner doesn't yet feel a pressing need to go mobile.
A few years ago, I did a screencast about the rise of data mashups, and I've also talked about the rising prevalence of APIs. The opportunity I see today is to build an app platform that built to interface with these APIs, specifically from peripheral devices, which includes inexpensive monitors, wearables, etc.
Today, a plumber doesn't have much reason to build a mobile app. But if he could install an inexpensive monitor in the pipes to give him a health reading on things like a) water composition (is there lead or bacteria in the water?), water pressure (has a pipe burst?), pipe temperature (is a pipe about to freeze?) then these things would give him lots of excuses to interface with his customers more. He could build an app that a) notified him when these things were about to happen, and/or notify the home or business owner when there were issues. He could proactively replace things that were about to break. And he could do so many things with this from a business perspective! One easy example: "Sign a year-long contract with me and I'll come out before you even know you have a problem, within 30 minutes of me being alerted by my monitors." It's almost like one-click ordering for a service. Just set it and forget it, and he has great justifications to go onsite much more often.
Same idea with an HVAC company. They could monitor the health of the HVAC system and tell a building manager that their A/C was about to break in the middle of summer, replacing it proactively so the building's tenants weren't left sweltering in the heat.
At some point, these devices will become smarter on their own. It's a $32 trillion industry called the Internet of Things. And when they become smarter on their own, it's most likely that the device manufacturers themselves will be the ones making the apps for owners of those devices to interface with them. The Nest smoke detector is a great example, as is the Automatic dongle that fits into a car's OBD port. So at some point, as these devices get smarter, it'll be more about just creating APIs that can interface with the devices.
But the opportunity I see now is for a company to do a software + hardware hybrid. Possibly using 3D printing technology. Because a plumber, or an HVAC company, or whatever other business owner that can do these things today, 10 years before everyone else is doing them, will have a massive differentiator over everyone else.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am diving deep into some of the things that you talked about. I totally agree about your feedback... and I especially like the idea of combining the use of API's with the massive growth potential in the Internet of Things.
Looking forward to connecting with you when I am in SF and we can meet up at Fact o ry
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Good morning Daniel. My friend, Brian,and I had this idea for app that would turn off the text capability of a smartphone once your vehicle is traveling over 10 mph. Our thought is we could market this toward parents of teenagers or insurance companies.
Neither one of us is technical. An off the cuff quote we received from a local developer was for "$50,000 maybe more "
I was able to read your bio last night and understand you started a company called AppMakr. Could we use AppMakr to accomplish our task?
Bill, since the SMS functionality is built into the phone at the operating system level, it would be hard to impossible (depending on the platform) to block it from the app level.
My guess is we'll see the OS' start to have this functionality over time, as regulatory pressure forces them to do so.
Hi Daniel. Its been some time since we worked together (I was at Medialets). I just moved back to SF and would love to reconnect. are you in town next week?
Hi there, Daniel! I'm sure you probably don't remember me, but we spoke a few times when you were focused on real estate in the DC area (I am the founder of the GCAAR Young Professionals Network committee). I happened across this site while looking at a blog post on a WordPress app and realized that you moved to California. Nice! I'd say good luck, but I feel like you don't need it, LOL! Too bad we never met face-to-face... seems like we have a lot of common interests. I tried to add you on Facebook to talk there, but couldn't find you.
I love your idea of capturing content for knowledge building and sharing.
As the tech guy of a 2 person startup, what would be the no.1 thing I should do for content capturing?
The content capturing I am thinking of is mainly in the following areas:
Technical knowledge. E.g., step by step how-to for software like Jenkins. Articles on best technical practices/tools best aid startups. How-to for Design related
Startup knowledge. E.g., my own interpretation of articles by Eric Ries, Jason Cohen, Daniel R. Odio, etc
Domain knowledge. E.g., my startup focuses on digital publishing and graphic novels, so any useful knowledge native to these 2 areas that are not obvious to outsiders.
My current brain dump is in several places like Google Docs, Tumblr drafts, Wordpress drafts, Evernote, etc.
Hi Daniel - in the UK just now, returning to SF on Aug 24th. Let me know when is a good time to connect on the phone before then. I'm on PST-8hrs
Hey Martin, is it possible for us to have a convo in the community section before we jump on the phone? Just post your questions to www.DanielOdio.com/community and I'll put some time into getting you answers. I much prefer to do it where others can benefit from the knowledge sharing, hope you understand.
Today I attended the GigaOm Bunker Session titled "Is App TV Coming Next?"
If you know me, you know that I believe strongly in capturing content. I believe that within 20 years, humanity will be capturing most, if not all, of its content. To me, it's a shame that we produce content which then gets lost, only to be stored inside the heads of the people who where physically present. If we're ever to make a leap in learning past what each individual can experience, we need to have a collective framework where people can learn quickly by sharing in experiences others have had. In short, I believe it should be a basic human right to capture the content you've experienced, and share it with whomever you want.
To many people, that can be a very scary idea. What if someone is having a private conversation with you, and you capture and share it with the world? And although these are very real issues, to me, they are issues that can be solved. The benefit so far exceeds the cost of figuring these issues out that it's a no-brainer (see our experiences with Stargate as an example). In fact, there are opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to find ways of easing the world into the idea of capturing and sharing content in ways that people are culturally comfortable with and that maintain people's sense of privacy.
Today I had a typical experience that highlights how far we have to go before the capturing of content is accepted. I was attending GigaOm's session on AppTV, and setting my Kodak Zi8 camera up, as I often do, to capture the session. That's when Surj Patel of GigaOm came up and told me I couldn't record the session. When I asked him why, he told me to "fuck off". Pretty distressing attitude.
Today I attended the GigaOm Bunker Session titled "Is App TV Coming Next?" If you know me, you know that I believe strongly in capturing content. I believe that within 20 years, humanity will be capturing most, if not all, of its content. To me, it's a shame that we produce content which then gets lost, only to be stored inside the heads of the people who where physically present. If we're ever to make a leap in learning past what each individual can experience, we need to have a collective framework where people can learn quickly by sharing in experiences others have had. In short, I believe it should be a basic human right to capture the content you've experienced, and share it with whomever you want. To many people, that can be a very scary idea. What if someone is having a private conversation with you, and you capture and share it with the world? And although these are very real issues, to me, they are issues that can be solved. The benefit so far exceeds the cost of figuring these issues out that it's a no-brainer (see our experiences with Stargate as an example). In fact, there are opportunities for creative entrepreneurs to find ways of easing the world into the idea of capturing and sharing content in ways that people are culturally comfortable with and that maintain people's sense of privacy. Today I had a typical experience that highlights how far we have to go before the capturing of content is accepted. I was attending GigaOm's session on AppTV, and setting my Kodak Zi8 camera up, as I often do, to capture the session. That's when Surj Patel of GigaOm came up and told me I couldn't record the session. When I asked him why, he told me to "fuck off". Pretty distressing attitude. In fairness, he did come up to me to apologize later, but his attitude highlights how far we have to go before capturing content is culturally OK. I do understand that it's GigaOm's business model to put content behind a pay wall, and that's fine. I would argue that allowing audience members to capture some content would increase the subscriber base. It exposes more people to the brand, and a professional, edited recording will always be better and more engaging than a blogger with his flip-style camera. I was disappointed by Surj's myopic view of the value of capturing content, and his aggressive response when I asked him why that was his policy. And I post this blog not to embarrass him, but because I believe in the importance of allowing people to capturing content. I'm sure some of you will disagree with me, and I welcome your comments below. As an aside, I've had similar things happen before, where groups were surprised I wanted to capture content (never so aggressively, though), and those groups have literally thanked me later and said "you were right, it provided a lot of value to us that you captured the content" after they saw the increase in interest in their brand from the video. Here's the video of Surj telling me to 'fuck off':
My friend Joshua Spodek was kind enough to write about his experiences building out public art exhibitions. One of the lessons he has is counterintuitive - that it can be a faster path to success to get large art projects off the ground than it is to work your way slowly through the art world. Here's Josh -
Art can be an insular field and breaking in is a common challenge, so I'd like to share it with a community that values success and victory. I hope there are insights others can use and share too.
My background is in science and entrepreneurship, but I've developed a passion for making art. I'm not content with just creating it -- like any artist I want exposure and recognition (sales aren't bad either).
The challenge is that New York's art world is notoriously xenophobic and tends to promote from within. My credentials -- a PhD in astrophysics and a company running for over a decade -- mean little to them. Even making great art only gives a foot in the door.
I have a huge challenge that my work doesn't photograph at all and video doesn't capture it that well. When galleries take an interest in my work, a version this conversation happens: