Saturday, March 10, 2018

South Sound Conference

I attended the South Sound Conference today, a conference on all things tech related to the industry. I went into this expecting not much at all, not knowing what exactly was going to be discussed. However, I enjoyed my time at the panel and found it pretty insightful to listen to. The main points I  got out of the conference was cyber security, networking, and woman in tech.

One of the more interesting panels I listened too during the conference was the cyber security talk. I was a little familiar with some of the people that were on the panel as one of them was the president of the grey hat group, which I have heard about. I don't know much about cyber security as a sport, so all the information I learned about it today was new to me. Like how the teams were made and the colors. I forget exactly why the America colors were picked, but I think it had to do with where one of the first cyber security event happened. Anyways, blue team were the defenders of the network, red team was the penetrators, white team was the judges, and the newer team added was the orange which pretended to be the customers struggling with the service. I never knew they had fake customers who called the blue team during the event. It would defiantly add a layer of communication to the sport. I also found it funny how the team members would curse out the customers because they're so stressed, but I guess thats what you have to do in a real work place scenario. I also learned about an important resource to learn about cyber security, I am curious about cyber security and want to learn more about it, so having these resources to learn more about cyber security.

During the conference we were able to go and see the internship projects that students were doing this quarter and presenting what they worked on. I got to talking to Micheal at his internship booth. Micheal worked at T Mobile in the automation department where he would help create tools that would automate the process they due on a daily basis. I asked him questions about jsPDF and what it was. He explained that is was tool for creating html elements out of PDF documents or vice a versa, can't recall. Also talked about some of the other daily activities they do there with the other interns and coworkers. Overall it was a great experience to learn and hear about how other interns work and what they do.

Lastly was the woman in tech conference. I had a meeting with my counselor at that time so I missed about 30 mins of it, but was able to view the rest of it. I found it very interesting, as being a man you can't really experience what a woman goes through in a daily life, and you so it escapes your mind at times. Hearing about their experiences gives more insight on how the workforce can change for the better for both the woman and companies themselves. There was some disagreement I the crowd with they were saying. One woman thought they were claiming that woman in tech have gotten much better to the point that they don't have to worry about it. However, the panel stated it was just their experience and not a view of the industry on the whole, but that things were getting better for woman in tech. There also a couple other comments by the audience that I think were all right, I think the disagreement between was whether which idea was more effective at helping woman in the industry. I thought if the ideas were used together like 50-50 teams of men and woman, team projects of mixed genders, and further investment at younger girls, that it would have a sizable impact on the industry in the amount of woman in it.

Overall, I am glad I came and visited the conference. I got to meet some friends and listen about things in the tech space.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Movie Review of

For class we had to watch the movie, a documentary about two entrepreneurs who create a website during the .com boom. It follows Kaleil Isaza Tusman and Tom Herman who create a company called There are two things I want to talk about this movie and that is the business decisions made by the two owners and the video editing of the movie. 

When we first meet Kaleil and Tom they start off with deciding the name for their company shooting our ideas like (terrible name) and other horrible names I can't remember. That was about the first 15 minutes of the movie right there and if your partners are already having arguments about the name I feel like it isn't going to go well. Next they start going to investors trying to get funding. The first major issue was that Tom kept pitching ideas they could do that they weren't actually going to do and Kaleil would get angry with him. This represents that the company is disorganized and is unsure of the direction they want to take, which is not the image you want to pain to investors. Making that whole scene very weird, I don't understand why Tom would do that to Kaleil and the company, it just hurts their chances of funding. 

Another thing that seemed weird was that they were getting VC funding very early. As of now in the movie they have no website, prototype, or really any employees and they were already seeking VC capital. From what I learned in class that is something you do later in the company as VCs will want to strip your company away from you in order to get the most amount of money out of it. They also went in blind before looking at the contract without a lawyer which again seemed very weird, especially for a deal that could make or break your company. 

Talking with a friend of mine who is a business major, he kept telling me not to invest in office space, which makes sense to save and invest your money, but it seemed Kaleil and Tom did not do that. Later in the movie they spend a lot of money on what seems to be a pretty big office space and lots of other needless stuff. For example, they had a big celebration party at a hotel with the Florida Governor I think, even though what they were celebrating wasn't all that much to really celebrate since the company can still fail, as it does. They had all these developers working on the website too, and it looked like the website still had a lot of bugs in it. What I think happened was they hired a bunch of developers late and told them to make the website as quick as possible. What they should have done was been working on the website from the beginning and then hired a couple more developers later on.

My last rant on the movie was the video editing and how unprofessional the whole thing felt. All of the title effects looked like they made it in 5 minutes and picked a random generic font out. Then I think there were several montage moments in the film, one were they went to different investors and another going around the city. In each montage they played this horrible music that sounded like they got it off of some royalty free website. It was just horrible to listen too. Then every scene of the camera was shaking and in weird angles, almost as if the whole movie was shot with a handheld video recorder (which it probably was). It also seemed like they didn't have enough content, as I saying before about the first 15 minutes of the movie being about the name of the company. Just a lot of really boring parts through out the movie that really didn't the minuets of screen time it got. Which makes me believe they didn't have anything else to show. From other business documentaries I have watched they usually have sit downs with the characters and ask questions to get further insight into their thinking. They didn't all that much in this movie, kind of impromptu interviews like in a car or something, and it just looked weird and unprofessional.

Overall I think the movie was a good lesson in running a business and what not to do in order to succeeded. Which gives the movie more purpose for people to look at and learn from who are interested in starting their own business.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Shadrock White Reflection

Today we had Shadrock White come into class and present to us, he is the CEO of Cloud Power. My first impression of him was very positive, it felt like he was the kind of person who was honest and knew what he wanted to do if that makes sense. He also seemed very confident in what he was saying and that made it easier for me to feel confident in his words, all around seemed like a really good person. A couple of the notable things I took away from his visit was the bootstrapping, strong network of people, and don't build wheels.

Bootstrapping is ideal for start up businesses as it helps the owner keep the majority of their shares and to give proof of concept. Shadrock gave told us that bootstrapping is when you go out and raise the evaluation of your company by getting the least amount of funding possible, and then when the money is only necessary do you seek out funding. Obviously, you always need funding when your first starting but the initial amount is very small compared to the actual funds needed when running. The problem is that once you get initial funding you loose more of the company and shares, and in the end have less money than what you could have had. By working with low amounts of money first you hold onto those shares and raise the value of the company, keeping that share money to yourself. This also has the benefit of providing a proof of concept to investors later on as it shows that you were able to have a successful business with a little amount of money, making it easier for them to invest in that business and you.

Networking is always important in business, but making good connection takes more work than just a button click. One thing that stood out from Shadrock than the other visits is that he talked about having a connection or friendship with his investors well before they actually invested in the business. Shadrock mentioned that this made it easier for lunches when talking to investors because it was like talking to a friend, not someone your trying to get money out of. Speaking of friends, making an investor a friend makes it easier as well to get investments. He talked about angle investors and how they look mostly at the person rather than the business, because they want good people like them to be successful and help people, not really to multiply their money. I really like this approach to investing because I feel the same way about getting money as Shadrock. I don't like getting money unless I feel I would need it or if I was actually able to make the investment grow and not loose their money.

The last note I got out about Shadrocks visit was that to not build wheels, use wheels. He talked about some technology they were building, the cloud applications and how the frame work they had built was similar to another product that had already been built. This made it easier to create and faster to build and they didn't have to reinvent anything. They could have started from scratch and the took the time to make something all by themselves but that doesn't make sense in terms of a business and programming structure. If it has been done before in a good way and you can use, then use it and don't waste time on it trying to get something you made work. Another example was that they use their AirLift technology to develop an in house program for management of their customers, again not use another service but their own already made code to make something new but on the same foundation.

Overall I enjoyed Shadrocks visit and what he had to say about business and how he got started . He felt like a good person and had a lot of useful tips on business and life.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 to Dot.bomb

The boom was a moment in time where any company that had a website and tried to go pubic basically did, and got a lot of investing and interest around it. However, this caused a huge negative effect on the market once the bubble bursted, and everyone realized that the .com's where not actually that special.

There was five stages to the bust, the innocence beginning, boom, insanity, bust, and the crawl back to sanity. Each stage was a time in the market where the market was learning about the technology and how it changed.

It started out in the early 90's where the Internet was live, but the browser GUI was born. When the GUI was being shown to investors and other people of interests, people realized that this was going to be the future of the world. So people started investing early into these technologies. The big players at the time was Prodigy, CompuServ, Genie, AOL, and Delphi.

Next was the boom, where more bigger companies came into play. The internet has become something that people can use so more companies doing more things come about. Like Netscape, Amazon, Yahoo, USWeb, and so on. This helped further the boom and make the companies worth even more.

Insanity happened next. At this moment there was so many companies that where going public that people were investing in that had no actual value. There burn rate was so high compared to their profits that they didn't make any money but kept getting investments. This is the point in time where people started to realize that these .com's weren't actually special or doing anything to generate revenue.

Then the bust came. All the investors started to pull out because they realized the .com's weren't getting them their money back. This left a lot of companies to go under since now all the revenue from funding was gone.

Eventually the web comes back and actual websites start to make profit as a business. At this time we see companies like Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, and Expedia come alive and make money. Once this happens the investors start to return and the market stabilizes. We also see a lot of acquisitions like MySpace being bought by Murdoch for 580 million, and YouTube being bought by google for 1.65 billion.

The 90's were truly a weird time for the market and the internet as it started to mature into an actual business and make money. In the end it came out with some awesome websites and business that we can't imagine not having today, but the road leading to today was a bit rough. Those are the sacrifices that are made when a new market is formed, winners and losers.

My Mission and Vision Statement

A mission and vision statement is a part of the company that some people miss when judging a company. It can tell you a lot about how a company operates, culture, and environment that people work in. If the mission and vision statement are dull and don't support the employees then the workers will feel unmotivated and bored and won't be as invested into their work as some other company that supports them. That is why I have designed my mission and vision statement to be proactive and support growth and a healthy working environment.

My mission statement was designed to support creativity and innovation, as they are important in science and technology. The statement reads "To create innovative inventions that make life easier, healthier, and more enjoyable". I want the employees to know that when they work that they should be trying new things and to help make the world a better place. In our business that better place would be in the gym or outside working out, however they are never limited by this. If one inventor makes something completely out of our field, but we see that it helps the world in some way, then we should support it because the employee will want to stay and we get better innovations. Helping the company to stay strong.

My vision statement was designed more towards the gym and what we really want to do as a company. The statement read "Our vision is to provide the greatest gym experience in every gym in the nation. While also having the single greatest fitness app for people". This is to steer people in the right direction when working within the company. It tells them that when we work that our work should be headed towards the gym experience and making sure that our company is the one leading the innovation.

With these mission and vision statements I hope that our company culture is strong with innovation and excitement for technology and the gym.

How I Will Protect My IP

Having an IP is the basic foundation for a lot of companies. Like Google and its algorithms, Microsoft and its games, or even publishers and their narratives. Its what gives these companies the edge in terms of their business. So protecting your IP is extremely important. I will protect my IP with copyrights, patents, and disclosure agreements.

The copyright will be used for the slogans and brand of the company. Having copyrights for these parts will ensure that no other fake company or competitor can come into the market and pretend to be us and take customers away from us. It also will show the legal system and judges in court (if we ever have to go to court over copyrights) that we were protecting our brand and deserve to be protected under the law.

Patents will be use on the invention of the hardware for the gym machines. Since we are designing a new technology for gym equipment we do not want it to get stolen or copied easily and loose our edge. However, a patent is expensive so for the first year we will hold out on getting a patent and just keep it a trade secret. This will mean we have to use disclosure agreements and NDAs to ensure no one leaks out the information to another company. After a year will get the patent filed and be protected under the law for our invention.

Without these means for protecting every company with a secret would be so locked up in terms of secrets and information we would not see the amount of innovation today. That is why they are important to have now so that future technology keeps on innovating for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

John Dimmer

Guest speaker for this day was John Dimmer, an entrepreneur who worked at Free Range Media and helped create multiple businesses around the country. So of the business he has funded and created was Honda dealership, Airstream dealerships, and banks.

John went to high school with Andrew back in the day and his dad helped both of them to be stirred in the direction of starting their own business. However, John graduated with a degree in finance and worked in the industry for a number of years. He worked for about 5 years at a bank trying to work his way up and decided that the only way he would move up would be if he started his own business. So he teamed up with Andrew later on to create Free Range Media and when they sold made enough money to retire, however he wanted to do more. About 3 weeks later he became a angel investor and starting investing in other start ups to get back into the market. It was a success as he has helped many major companies become developed and be highly successful.

During his presentation he had some good tips on what to focus on in school in order to become a successful entrepreneur. John suggested that when you have free classes available during school that you should take an accounting class. He explained that an accounting class teaches you the basics of keeping score of your company. That is what accounting is for, to keep track of your business and to give you an idea to whether or not you are heading in the right direction or not. After all if you were not keeping score how would you to cut down on expenses, grow the company, or hire new people. All this accounting can do and make you a more successful business owner.