Andy here, back at it with another post. Hope you enjoy todays projectee –
To recap my week, it’s been quite interesting . I am trying to discover the right systems to approach my apps with, battling with emotions and putting all side projects away in order to focus on this project. Cliff asked me yesterday, “Is this what your doing full time.” I said, “In fact it is, Cliff, yes. ” Sometimes it shocks me too, but my intuition is telling me that this is the right path in my career.
I’ve never been able to focus on just a single project. I have a preconceived notion of my work and if I don’t get to that point, I scrap the project and nobody ever gets to see it – thing is I never get to where I want, so I’ve scraped all projects and nobody’s ever seen my work – except for these 5 apps. My friend once mentioned to me after watching me tear down a project from the wall, “You need to get your work out there” and thats exactly what I’m doing, thanks Audrey. I’ve never felt like my work was good enough to be shown to the world, but I came to terms with my self that it will never seem good enough and I need to push away from my hesitations and just start sharing, thus starting this project. And no matter how I feel towards a project at the end of the day, I need to post it anyway. After all, once I create a project, it is not even mine anymore, it is owned by nature. Putting something on the web, is the most accessible my projects can be, leaving me feeling vulnerable and uncertain about how people will view my work. But, if I did try to make my projects perfect, nobody would get to see them, so this is a nice balance between the two. I hope I can become numb towards the expectations of others, as they view my projects, and start creating for myself, which will take my designs to another level. But I need to work to get to that point and no matter how shitty the apps come out, I will continue posting. This past week has been as much of a test of emotions even more so than developing my skills.
The more boring the environment, the more exciting I need to make my work to keep things interesting. I used to enjoy listening to music while working, but I can’t because it distracts me. I used to enjoy working while working in hectic environments, but I can’t because every person in the room, just like every note in a song shifts my attention away. I't’s been interesting to note my focus patterns. I’ve realized that I am totally in control of that focus. I used to wonder where my focus really goes, and why I can’t fully give my all to any given project, but I’m starting to realize, most of those problems are due to external factors. I’m starting to enjoy boring and plain environments, which always seemed like the most daunting, but that is where I product the best results. My work prior was not stimulating enough, so I needed to find external energy. I’ve come to realize that nothing stimulates me more than building an app.
Why Apps, is it just the cool thing to do for your portfolio? Disregarding my true love for the iPhone and many different apps, I am a business man. My family has a high threshold for success and thus we are always analyzing and picking the world apart for the next opportunity. Discussions at the dinner table or driving in the car with my dad or grandpa, I had a chance to listen in on amazing wisdom. So from a young age I started understanding the beauty of making money, not money, but the process behind being successful.
Many people strive to make money, by emphasizing the money aspect. They don’t really care about the process of getting there. As long as they make money, they’ve achieved what they are looking for. For example, a cab driver, he’s not focused on what he’s going to do next to get his check. He knows exactly what he needs to do, in order to pay rent and support his family. In fact, being a native New Yorker, I’ve taken many cab rides with numerous conversations about the unfairness of success in America. “Only the rich can succeed” they usually slide that in at least once into the conversation. I usually agree to here his opinion on why he feels that way. But the truth is the statement couldn’t be more false – there’s a reason all cab drivers feel that way, it’s because they drive a car all day. They are not working towards a passion and I can seeing why, for them, it feels impossible. Most importantly, it’s not about trying to figure it out, you already have everything you need, so pick something you enjoy, that involves your brain, that makes you think and stimulates you to the point of your dreams and keep your self busy with that project.
When I’m not working, I’m not happy – end of story – and by working I mean, using my brain. My dad always told me to “Work smart, not hard.” I’m not sure if everyone feels this way because I know a bunch of people that are happier sitting on the sofa all day playing video games – but my father is not one of those people. From a young age he had me involved in real estate projects where he allowed me to add my own flair by doing renderings for potential tenants while at the same time, he involved me and still does to this day on higher level meetings, so I can learn about the business. Throughout my life, I’ve been able to strongly balance both business knowledge with my design skills. The funny thing is I always hated designing, but appreciated and knew the impact it could have on businesses, so I continued to do it. Until today, I’ve been working with that same mindset – and App Designing is the perfect complement – I don’t design because I like it, although it’s becoming more enjoyable, rather I am designing as a means to create businesses. Business has always been my goal and will always continue to be. That being said, when Steve Job’s announced the iPhone in ‘07, it was the first time I found a product that existed in continues harmony with my life and vision of the world.
Cool, thanks for reading that post. I guess fridays make me feel a bit sentimental towards my past. There’s no coffee here, so I’m going to grab a cup and write a bit about todays app when I get back. …It’s interesting how time works on the internet. I’m about to take a twenty-minute break, but the text will continue to read on for you, as if I never left. Perhaps a design decision while making the internet was how to handle posts over a long period of time. Should the internet mirror the content creators time, or have a time zone of its own. The internet has its own time zone?
I was bouncing ideas off of my friend Sean yesterday evening. We are both part of John’s furniture initiative, Forged, trying to help him develop a sales strategy. So as we discuss apps, we throw in some furniture chatter. The problem with John’s product is the cost of the pieces. Although the furniture is beautiful, the market is slim with people looking for an 1,000 dollar bench. Yet, the market for people looking for free furniture is huge. Sean said, “ I always see nice, free pieces of furniture on the street, why don’t we just sell those or cheap and make an easy profit?” Sean is into making quick and easy money, but sometimes those ideas can turn into the best. I started stretching the idea further and asked Sean if he’s ever seen the Paperclip Ted Talk – he didn’t so I began explaining to him the concept, Kyle Macdonald, traded a red paper clip for a fish shaped pen. He kept trading for something better and eventually got a house. I leveraged this idea to ask Sean, what if we stretched the idea to focus on products including, but not limited to furniture, with the purpose of creating a trade economy. Instead of buying and selling a product use the barter system and see how far a product can take you. In doing so, if you do find furniture on the street the platform will give you a reason to grab it, b/c you will be able to trade it in for something more valuable.
Up front, it seems like a good idea. The only problem I for see is shipping or getting the product to another person. It would also be interesting to see a timeline of each product and what it ended up becoming (i.e. house turned into paper clip)
I’m not sure this idea is original, so I’m going to browse around the app store to see whats out there. And again, if you like this idea, great because you’ll probably be able to find an actual developed app that provides a similar service.
First off I’m going to type in “Barter” on the App Store and and see what comes up
BarterBay - not even worth linking, but I did anyway for common courtesy. The app currently has zero ratings for the current version, which has been around for 10 months. Great sign for the industry :P. I do feel bad for people that spend money on designers and developers only to create an app that nobody needs. If I actually was going to produce an idea, I would make sure to user test it and make sure there’s a market. Speaking of user testing and market research, I should devote a day specifically towards that. But overall, the app is a mess. It offers items for sale and for giveaway but I can’t seem to find any products for barering. Maybe it’s because the app failed to send me a verification email, blocking me out to create my own post – however, some things I did observe. During the sign up process I liked it gave me a snippet of the user interface for trading - it was basically a grid of images for each user to post images of their product so you can easily view and compare the two - the only issue is that it wasn’t even live on the app! Also they’ve included a chat section, where you can message people to inquire about the product and make an offer (not original, but important in this type of app, where your going to potentially meet the person to make a sale) The app also works using current location so it seems all items posted are for pickup or delivery near you, which does limit the scope of available products. If there was a way to ensure the validity of products before they are shipped and to provide users with a free shipping method - it would be the preferred choice of transportation. Although there is a bit of out-of-app experience needed, I rather take the extra 5 minutes to ship a product than to drive out to the middle of nowhere in order to trade an item with a person that I don’t know really exists. But overall this app seems like a bad and unorganized version of Let Go, and it uses the word Barter as a cute way to say Buy and Sell products.
And that concludes my research for all of the apps on the app store that include the word “Barter” in the search terms.
So, I’m going to take a different route. Time to search Google: Either going to search “Apps for bartering” or “Bartering through the internet”, I like the latter search and I’m curious what will turn up – exciting.
I stumbled upon a New York Times Article, “Bartering Expands into a New Age”, regarding Thomas Daily, who created one of the most successful bartering sites, ITEX, a small business and community barter network. His primary focus is to provide businesses a chance to barter services with each other, “In small businesses you have to pay cash for your mortgage and insurance and other necessities. But barter helpls you conserve that scarce resource”, said Daily. I appreciate the specificity of ITEX especially in a skill based economy. For sure IPEX daily created a unique, scalable business solution that earned him a spot on the stock exchange, with over 18,000 businesses involved. I tried reaching out to Thomas Daily on linkedin at 12pm to hear his thoughts on my app, but I’ll to wait and see if he responds: will update here _____It’s currently, Friday at 3pm, still no response from Daily _______
Last, but not least, I’m going to rewatch the Paper Clip Ted Talk and take some notes as this guy is the inspiration behind the entire idea. 13 minutes later……………………
Wow, incredible speech. I commend him for his Journey. Towards the end of the talk, Macdonald received an invitation for an accredited acting role in Hollywood, CA. At the same point, he happened to receive a call from a landlord, who heard about Macdonald on the news, who was looking to exchange the house for something of Macdonald’s in order to provide some noticeability for his small town in Canada. Macdonald suggested that he’d host a house party with auditions to star in the film – over 3,000 people showed for the weekend-long party and the part was given to a financially struggling boy who just got out of high school, who knows where he ended up today after getting that part.
The two main aspects that I take away from the talk as it relates to my project is 1) It’s fun telling the story about the object, but its more interesting to understand the story behind the people behind it. 2) At the beginning of the talk Macdonald mentioned the possibility of one day turning his paper clip into a house - and that’s exactly what happened. As Einstein said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” Once again, Einstein’s theory has been proven correct. As I continue to design I will remind myself of my goal and where I want to end up, and I know my project will take me there.
I want to focus this app on the journey that each product takes on a life of its own. Where it ends up and who’s life it enters. And who knows, maybe Sean’s free sofa can end up saving a life. <3
I ordered a Boosted Board and it just arrived at Best Buy, so I’m going to pick it up now–––big day, big day.
The purchase took longer than anticipated. I actually went to the best buy in aurora to pick it up - about a 35 minute drive - and decided to drive it back. It wasn’t fully charged, so the battery ended up dying on the way home. Long story short, I made it back to my computer.
On the car ride to Best Buy, I started analyzing the different trading patterns that an item can go in.
I am struggling to understand the flow in its entirety. But it’s almost sabbath so I’m going to put my computer away for now and pickup the project on Sunday. I think Sunday’s will be a good day for me to touch up previous projects and complete any unfinished work.
I just placed my first round of wireframes to the top of the project. I have some thoughts on how to proceed for the week ahead.
I need to cut-down on the writing and add more visuals.…will continue to explore today.