Friday, March 9, 2018

Mission and Vision Statement

My mission as a founder of the company letsMeet is to create a cooperative space for project builders and business people alike. To be productive is a wonderful thing. Of course I can't back that up, BUT think about how much productiveness will improve the humanity in the future.
I want my product to have easy access to other like-minded, or else-minded (depending on the nature of your project), people. An important factor in being successful is networking. When you meet people, you learn, that simple. My app will broaden people's social circle in hopes of instigating development. Also, for people that would like to use it for casual meetups, there will be an option. However, this might not be a great idea because it can either enhance of damage the brand of the company. I want my company to be an epitome of BUSINESS, but I also want it to be casual and easy to use, attracting wide array of individuals.

My vision is for the app to be multi-platform and have a good chunk of the market share in social media. It's to compete with site like LinkedIn and potentially Facebook if incorporated well. But it will be better! Because I think the problem with many social media is the bad rap it gets. Many people trash on it because they believe it's a waste of time, which they aren't untrue about. LinkedIn on the other hand is a productive app. However, I believe it doesn't do enough. It's a great networking tool and does an okay job at suggesting jobs, but it doesn't push users to collaborate. I want my app to be able to fix the disease of LAZYNESS. of course that's impossible... But someday, maybe.

.com to ...BOMB

An interesting lecture on the random nature of economy.

Today, our professor highlighted the fast moving economy that will thrive businesses and tank them in mere years. To captivate our attention, he used dinosaur figures to represent many companies that started before the internet bubble had burst. There were many companies in line that quickly became popular. Some of them were companies under famous companies such as General Electric. However, all of them didn't stand a chance after the internet bubble burst, with an exception of Yahoo.

He talked about how one of the company (I forgot the name, but it was a company that had a database of people's information like a Yellow Book) at one point in time was worth more than Boeing. When a duopoly company that has been in the industry for a sizable amount of time gets beat by an online Yellow Book, you know something is wrong. That is a good sign the economy is in a bubble. Many companies thrived before the crash when investors were happy to contribute. They were left in the dust afterwards.

Building a company can sometimes blind you on what's going around you. It's stressful enough that you have to manage your business, you also have to understand the economy. Studying the economy will allow you to have a head start on your competitors. For example, the next big thing is supposedly about block-chain and artificial intelligence. Block-chain has already showed itself to the market in a form of concurrency. AI has been around but hasn't been marketable yet. They will go through the rough stages of the economy as well, being unpredictable like how bitcoins is right now.

South Sound Technology Conference

Free food was amazing~

I decided to partake on a technology conference recommended by our professor. The conference, from 9am to 4pm, covered very informational topics in order from protecting the enterprise, cyber defense as a college sport, robotics, women in tech, and being an entrepreneur. I was originally there for the last presentation about being an entrepreneur. However, I quickly found that I was immersed in interesting subjects that captivated me.

One of my favorite topic was about Women in Technology. I always knew about the problem, but to hear it from the women that has been in the industry for many years is refreshing to hear. To make it even better, the audience had some great insights on why they believe this is a problem.

Another topic that interested me is cyber defense as a college sport. I am rooting for its development because of how I love nontraditional e(sports) like gaming. If successful, I think this will change the whole mindset people have about engineering, that they are boring.

I know many people that don't bother pursuing in the tech field because they don't believe their contributions will make much of a difference in the world. This conference taught us the importance of seeing the big picture and to start people young. The tech field might be unappealing to many people because it can be hard. But if the kids adopt it at a young age, it will be second nature for them. Hopefully that will increase the popularity in the tech field.

I was also pleased with the students that presented their projects on this day. It made me realize how much work I have ahead of me.


Guest Speaker Shadrach White

He was among my favorite guest speakers.

Shadrach White is the CEO of CloudPWR. When he first started his company, cloud computing was a new topic which wasn't trusted at the time. The idea of loading precious data up onto the cloud was something that was daunting to many companies. His partner was one of those people that failed to see the potential of cloud computing. Hence, Shadrach left his old company to start his new one based heavily on the cloud.

Even more daunting, not only was he jumping into a new market, he's also marketing to the government sector. The government at the time didn't believe this technology to be trustworthy because of its security risks. However, he made it work because his business is thriving in the state of Washington.

He also talked about one's business image and to rethink about ideas over several days. Brand image can damage your company in certain ways. It can be misrepresenting to customers that will either misunderstand or cease to want to be involved. It is important to consult with someone else before jumping the gun.

Another important topic he touched on is the idea he calls bootstrapping. At the growing stages of a company, the founder should always take the minimum salary possible. In return, it allows the founder to keep hard workers happy, contributing to the success of the company. Another thing to take note is when investors are evaluating your company, your low pay rate will look good. They will trust that you are in it for passion for your company and not just for the money. 


Protecting My Intellectual Property

I will only tell my pets about my ideas.

In the beginning stages of my business, I will only talk about my ideas with people I want to work with. However, when trying to get them on a team, you must be able to convince your ideas are worth your time. To convince them, you must show some ideas that you have. 

It's important to have a good reputations among your friends. They must know your skills and abilities so that they can believe in your idea. If my friends thought that my programming skills are disgusting (not in a hip way), they wouldn't want to cooperate because the success rate is low. If my friends thought that I am all talk and no action, then they will only believe my ideas to be a fantasy. If you gained their trust and have a good reputation, they will want to work with you understanding that you won't be able to fully reveal your ideas.

However, if that still worries you, then you should get new friends... On a serious note, one might go get a copyright to safe guard your property. If your property is in its beginning stage, for example, having an unfinished bits of code, then getting a patent might be impossible. A patent, which is more expensive than copyright, protects inventions of discoveries deemed special and worthwhile. A patent would probably be something later down the line. A copyright on the other hand, is cheap. It protects the artistic side of things. And code is artistic! 

Guest Speaker John Dimmer

This guest speaker is a personal friend of Andrew. I liked his lecture because of how him and Andrew were able to bounce information off of each other since they are both part of Free Range Media. His passion early on in life was to become a successful golfer. However, this quickly changed as he acknowledged its low success rate. He took to becoming an entrepreneur later on in life and has been successful ever since.
His work background experience lies on being a finance person at his previous job. He admitted that he doesn't know how to code. His strength lies in being able to foresee success while being realistic about business. His highlighted advice of the day was to "learn finance and accounting", because of how important it is to being an entrepreneur. His job at Free Range Media was with operations. However, he came across countless times within the job where accounting and financing has greatly helped him. When dealing with money, financial skills are important while doing contracts and agreements. I also agree with the importance of accounting. When you first start up a business, money is tight. You're not going to have many employees working for you. So an accounting skills will go a long way.
Another advice that stuck with me was about getting funded. When your company capital rises, you are essentially losing equity. He also talked about investing in the right places. His order of finding investments were to self fund, find family/friends, angels, and then venture capital.


Product Price

For my product, I wouldn't charge an upfront fee unless the user would like access to a premium feature. Nowadays, social apps are free to download across many platforms. The reason is mainly because the apps usually make their money off of ad revenues instead of payment by customers. If the app or the website is successful, many advertising company will flock to your site to offer their advertisement. 

The purpose of our app is to connect people that would like to collaborate on projects and businesses. It's also used for casual meetups. People don't want to pay for something simple. That's why a lot of social media apps nowadays are free.

To make more money and better content, a premium feature will be in place for users wanting extra features. These will include further outreach, concentrated search, become a better prospect, and etc. It will be similar to LinkedIn's premium feature.

The premium feature subscription price will be roughly $10 a month. Meetup apps like Tinder charges an amount greater and yet they are successful. So I believe apps like ours that are geared towards professional meetups/collaboration will garner faithful subscribers every month. It will also have a casual meetup section that will be far more beneficial to the users than Tinder.

However, like I mentioned earlier, the advertisements on the app will be our main source of income if we are successful. The ads will display services and products that may enhance the users activities instead of nonsense.