Monday, February 27, 2017

Dot.com to Dot.bomb

Andrew started out will a little background on how he grew up. He grew up poor with a disabled father in a bad neighborhood. Schools we all bad except clover park and UW. He talked about five stages.

Innocent beginning
Boom!
Insanity!!!!
Bust
The crawl back to sanity
Bonus stage: uh oh

Before the world wide web(1922 )there were a couple of companies who owned platforms. There was Prodigy which was owned by Sears and IBM that had 1.1 million users. There was CompuSERV which was owned by H&R Block that had 1 million users. There was Genie which was owned by General Electric and had 200,000 users. AOL had 150,000 users. And lastly, Delphi which had 100,000 users.

Innocent beginning(1992-1995): Andrew was working a Microsoft they used CompuSERV. He left in 1993. Met Dave Pool which is the nephew of John Dimmer Senior. Started his company Free Range Media. Stayed at Microsoft for six more months to finish up a project. In 1994 Free Range Media became a legal company. His company built an auto sales site that brought in tons of business from around the world. Andrew spoke at the second World Wide Web Conference about his ideas about what the internet would become.

Boom!(1995-1997): It was an exciting but concerning time in Andrews life. Wired and HotWired were launched. How to publish on the internet. Pathfinder was launched.

Insanity!!!!(1997-2000): Wallstreet market crash. Venture capitalists were funding ideas with huge amounts of money. Anything that had .com associated with it was funded. The public market stock couldn't handle it. Shares were going up three times the normal amount. AOL bought CompuSERV. Infospace went public. Burn Rate book is written.

Bust(2000-2002): Dot.com advertising at the super bowl. A bunch of companies went bankrupt.

The Crawl back to sanity(2002): Class ended before we could finish.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guest Speaker: Shadrach White

Shadrach White started out his talk with telling us about the four things he finds most important to being an entrepreneur. One: be a revenue hawk. Focus on how much money you have most problems can be solved with money. Two: Smile. Create a good culture by being kind. Have a positive outlook on life. Three: Make quiet time for yourself. Every day find time to relax. Four: Read and learn about subjects other than your business. Conversation topics create relationships and be engaging. Shadrach never went to college. He considers himself an outlier. His first business was in landscaping. He moved to California and did odd jobs and small jobs. He realized he didn't want to keep working like this for the rest of his life so he moved back to Alaska. He heard about an engineering charter college and decided to go there. Got his CNE degree. His first business was how to put hardware and software together to make a product. Second business was in creating jerseys. He had an angel investor who gave him 100,000 dollars and promised to give him 700,000 more if his business continued to thrive. He spent 750,000 on marketing. He didn't manage his money well and he ended up owing a lot of money which he paid off over the years. His business partner left him with all the debt. He says make friends quickly but know when someone isn't genuine because people change when money is involved. Third business was in management of document imaging and systems technology. Fourth company is cloud power. He built the company up himself without any VC money. Got the money from doing consulting jobs. He wants cloud power to be a 100 million dollar company. He gave us two tips for having a company. Know what you're good at and what you're not good at and never underestimate the power of a good attorney. He also said look for strengths, weaknesses, opportunity, and threats. Most of all be a revenue hawk!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mission, Vision, and Goals

Mission Statement:
-TrueFit is an app that allows its users a stress-free online shopping experience. Using 3D modeling, any online shopper can try on clothes and accessories without second guessing or in-depth research.

Slogan:
-TrueFit where the online shopping truly fits.

Vision:
-To provide a relaxing shopping experience for every online shopper whether they are Android or iPhone.

Goals
-To have every online shopper sit back and relax with our app.
-To create a fun stress-free environment.
-To in the future use VR and hologram technology.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Guest Speaker: John Dimmer

John started out his talk by explaining how when he was fresh out of college he wanted to start a business but wasn't ready or experienced yet. He worked at a couple places to gain experience about finances and business. At that time he had been out of college for about ten to twelve years. His friend Andrew Fry then asked him to be a part of his company Free Range Media. They had the company for five years before it got sold to another company. They signed him on for the next three years but they decided they didn't need him after sixty days and cut him loose. He was able to not work and still get paid or the next two and a half years. He got bored not doing anything so he joined his dads company Firs Management where he has worked for seventeen years. He owns eighty percent of the company and has stock in many other thriving businesses.

He says there are two important ingredients to the entrepreneurship journey: The big idea and funding.  He talked a lot about preparing for the exit event where you can maximize the price paid for the business or maximize the percentage of retained ownership. The first round of funding is always up to the creator to contribute. There are many different ways to get funding. Equity, debt, other(grants, business plan contest, gov funding, etc). If you don't invest your own money, investors will not take you seriously. Equity is the most popular funding source. There are two critical numbers: How much is your company worth and how much do you need. The worth of the company is determined pre-money valuation, before funding, and post money valuation, after funding. When you are deciding how much money you need you don't want to sell too much of your company because you can loose equity and loose control of your company. You want to keep a little more thn half of the equity in your company so that you can have a good exit.

You can have a s company which is an LLC or you can have a c company which is more complicated. For financing your company you have some options. You can win prize money from a business plan contest, you can get government grants, from veterans programs, crowd sourcing, etc. The best way to get funded is free money like grants or contests. The best way is through Angels who will invest in your company just because they want to.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Copyright and Protection

To protect my business, I would first start out with buying the rights to the name I have chosen, TrueFit, and buying my domain for blogger. My business is an app that uses 3D modeling to create a virtual user so that they can try on clothes and accessories without the stress and hassle of second guessing and stressing over whether it will fit. I would hire programmers and developers from the University of Washington Tacoma to work on the project. Preferably I would hire people who are friends of friends or who I have taken classes with. I would then create a verbal and written agreement with them, different from a strict non-disclosure or non-competes form, that would say that we will all work to strive to improve the company, we will work as a team to make this project a business, and that we put the interests of each other and the company before personal gain. Which would ensure that the people working for me will not sell out secrets and will devote their time and effort to the business? Next, I would put copyright policy on my app to protect all the designs and content the programmers, developers, and I have created. The company will have a trademark symbol and look which will also need to be protected. Copyright protection will also be used for this so no one can copy our brand. We will build the brand up so it is well known and people will know if they are in violation of our trademark brand. As the company grows and the information we have becomes more valuable, I would update the contracts with new and existing staff to agree to keep our program within our company and anyone that shares information will be sued and fired for releasing any valuable information.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How Much Would I Charge for My Product

My product will be an app that lets a user create an avatar of themselves using their phone.  My product would have to have an app, 3D technology, and a database. I would want to sell it to companies that have a big market for online shopping. Sites like Amazon, Alibaba.com, Taobao.com, eBay, etc. This would allow the user to virtually try on clothes and determine whether or not they fit right. "In recent years, mobile shopping has been on the rise, with customers increasingly using their mobile devices for various online shopping activities. According to a 2015 study regarding mobile shopping penetration worldwide, 46 percent of internet users in the Asia Pacific region and 20 percent of those in North America had purchased products via a mobile device, whether smartphone or tablet computer" (https://www.statista.com/topics/871/online-shopping/). The e-commerce market is worth around 2-3bn dollars. "In 2013, global e-retail sales amounted to 839.8 billion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2018. North America is currently the largest regional market for online shopping, with sales worth some 126 billion U.S. dollars reported in 2013, more than double the amount in 2008. The Asia and Oceania region is also becoming a strong contender, especially due to China’s economic boom, with an estimated eight fold increase in sales between 2008 and 2018" (https://www.statista.com/topics/871/online-shopping/). I think I would make my product cost 2ml to add this app to their online stores. Not only would this product increase sales but also customer satisfaction. I know many people who don't buy stuff online because they are worried about it not fitting and want to try it on in person. I think charging ten percent of what the market is worth is a good price to sell it for. The hardest part would be convincing them that my product is something better than they could make themselves or buy off of someone else. My product has to have an edge unlike any other app for trying on clothes virtually.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Brian's Visit

Brian started out his visit by telling us about his company, Sitecrafting. The company started twenty years ago. When he started his company, he used his connections as a school teacher to get clients. He talked about the three C's: Core, Company, and Community. His definition of core was being true to yourself and staying true to yourself. Past experience with a big company who brought in all these people for a website for teachers taught him that he needed a moral code and he needed to stick to that code. The company he briefly worked at used every expert for their advice and then let them all go when they were done. He realized he wanted a long lasting company where people could stay and retire at.

Company stemmed from the story of his father who was given early retirement with fewer benefits at a company he worked many years for. His father would have gotten more benefits and security if he was able to retire when he was supposed to. This influenced him to make his own decisions about what kind of company he would run. Community was defined as a sense of gratitude for the people who have helped you as well as being an active participant in the community.  He said the biggest and most important C was choice. Every day you have a choice to react to your surroundings. You get to chose to react positively or negatively to a situation and listen to what you and your company need.

Brian said he was a big risk taker if he could see the end result working in his favor. One of my favorite things he said is "if someone is going to do it, why not you?". He had lots of stories about people not working out in his company and how hard it was every time he had to let someone go. I think Brian is creating a great company where people can grow and thrive at.