Sunday, January 21, 2018

Thoughts on Guest Speaker Erik Hanberg

Erik Hanberg walks into the room. The very first thought that popped into my mind was, "hey, I have a coat just like that".  Before his talk, he removes the coat and folds it neatly, and places it on the table. That's how you know he is a legitimate, successful entrepreneur.

Jokes aside, I thought that what he presented during the talk was what really lets you know that he's legit. The first thing that stood out to me was his graph of the two types of income, while he was talking about his experience working with a non-profit theater. It made perfect sense; hourly-paid people are on a linear spectrum of income, while people like actors, artists, entrepreneurs, etc. have a concave upwards curve. For the latter, the more ? the more money you make. I actually don't remember what it was, but it made sense at the time I was listening to it. What he was trying to say was that if he had owned that theater, he could make a lot more money and work a lot less. I thought of that idea to be so awesome. But I kind of figured that it isn't so easy to achieve that. I am not too business-inclined, and so the technical talk that followed kind of lost me. However I could tell it was actually as complicated as it sounded (at least for me).

Another thing I clearly remember was the one part of the title of the slides and what its meaning is; ship. Shipping basically means "getting it out". No matter what kind of product or service you are providing, you need a way to distribute it and actually make something out of your business. I totally agree. I have an acquaintance that happens to be a SoundCloud rapper (which refers to people who produce rap music for SoundCloud and usually do not or can't make a living off of it). I personally think the music is really good; the only problem is its exposure to the masses. Based on the tracks' stats, there isn't much activity. So if the music was more effectively advertised, or "shipped", perhaps they could make a living, maybe even more than a living.

The last segment of Erik's talk was about his books. I'm going to be completely honest; I think I was asleep for a lot of this. Although I was interested in how one might write something and make money from it. I really want to start writing and drawing graphic novels. What he talked about gave me an initial insight, and at the end of class, I submitted a question about how I could make money from writing, specifically the type of writing I want to do. I hope I get an answer.

Overall, I feel like Erik Hanberg's visit was worth every minute. I learned a good amount from his talk.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Three Ideas I Had in Mind for a Business

I thought of some ideas that correlates to what I personally want to experience in life. Let's just get right into it.

Parking Lot Parking Spot Monitor (PLPSM)

The first business idea that came to mind was some kind of system that could keep track of taken and free parking spots in a single lot. Here's how it might work:

The actual product is an entire system of sensors, each placed on a parking spot, connected to monitors that'll display all the available and unavailable parking spots and updates in real time. There could be a bunch of lights, each above a spot. The monitors could be actual screens or just a panel of lights and labels. Each floor would have their own monitor, displaying the layout and status of either just that floor or the entire lot. It could also be connected to the internet, and drivers could check the status of a specific lot on an app on their phone or on a website.

The business is selling this whole system to an entity that owns a parking lot, with the installation included. The price would vary depending on the size, location, difficulty of installation based on the architecture, and other things I can't really think of right now.

Personally, I really hate driving through 5 or more stories of parking only to find nowhere to park. I've always dreamed of a way to know if I can park in the lot for the day--before I waste gas trying to check every spot.

Random thought: I think the acronym would sound cool if pronounced "PLOP - sim", or just the letters PLPSM.

Arcade: Advanced Credit and Ticket System

Recently, I went to Round1 at the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila with my siblings. The arcade had a kiosk where you'd buy credits and load them into a game card. To play everything, you'd swipe the card instead of inserting coins. Tickets are digitally awarded to whichever card was swiped. I am pretty sure a lot of arcades do this now. However, I was thinking of upgrading this even further.

My idea is a whole new arcade where your phone is your card. You would download its app, register, and stay logged in upon entering the arcade. You can load credits into your account with a credit or debit card, and you could do it anywhere, anytime. This way, you don't have to stand in line to purchase credits, and not have to worry about misplacing a card. The machines would be able to read the app somehow; you could perhaps physically tap your phone if the phone is able to do that with other things, or hit an activation button in the app to play after a vicinity scan. Or to make it simpler, a QR code scan could work too. Tickets are rewarded and loaded into your account based on performance. You could think of it as replacing the previously mentioned game card with an app. Extra features like personal stats, arcade leader boards, and/or past people who you've played a game with could be a part of the app too.

Of course, it would probably also include the physical cards as well. Sometimes phones just don't work, and some people might not even have phone access at all. I'd want it to be as people-friendly to as much people as possible.

Basically, this idea is a way to make the arcade experience much more convenient. Although this might make it look like everyone is just on their phones all the time. 😐

Foot Dryer: Hand Dryer but for your Feet

Honestly I couldn't think of anything else.

So, you know about the motion sensor hand dryer in most modern bathrooms? It's that, but mobile, and for your feet. Instead of being mounted on a wall, it's a mobile object you place anywhere it can lay on. The best place is most likely the floor. It might be shaped differently, since it would need to dry the top and bottom of your feet; probably a horizontal notch to hover your feet in with the air blowing on all sides. In that case, while standing, it might be best to dry one foot at a time. Make sure to keep your balance. You could use it for drying your feet while exiting the shower, or the keep the sweat at bay while sitting down and doing something intense at a desk.

The business is basically just mass producing these and selling it to random stores or individual orders.

And those are my ideas. I want 15% if any of these are actually launched and successful.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Entrepreneurship and Tech: What I Want Out of the Class and Whatnot

Full disclosure, I took this class due to that fact that I need elective credits. I honestly had no interest in starting my own business or company whatsoever. On the first day of class, I listened to a speech from Andrew Fry for two full hours straight. I believe it altered something in my brain, because afterwards, the idea of becoming my own employer doesn't seem like such a bad one to me.

If I want to set my standards decently high, I would probably find a job as a software guy by a small company, which I think is a really good place to start (although I most likely will only be able to be hired by retail or something (I lack a good amount of optimism)). I would like to learn the ins and outs of the management of such a company and the business behind it. That way, I could maybe help the company more efficiently; for example, I may have to adjust my own work to fit their needs. I can do this if I know exactly what those needs are and what they entail. Also, if for some wild reason I decided to start my own thing, I would know exactly what needs to be worked out to make the business even remotely successful.

I would like to learn how different technologies help shape the success of businesses. I do know a few examples, like online ordering and pick up, or touch screen soda machines. But what I want to know is all the other technologies that are being used and how they help those businesses beat the other guys.

Also, my dad really wants me to get an internship. My hope is that the guest speakers are looking to intern someone incompetent like me. I also hope that the course will make me competent.

I actually look forward to this class 👍

Thoughts on Guest Speaker Erik Hanberg

Erik Hanberg walks into the room. The very first thought that popped into my mind was, "hey, I have a coat just like that".  Befor...