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Restarting the Big Three

I finally have some things to throw into the Big Three, which has been left vacant for too long.
  1. Product Research - I have an idea. On the technical side, it's pretty much "a small matter of programming", which is to say that it might take some time, but nothing that too involved in any specific step. The trick is that you have to get buy-in from a bunch of people, and you have to know the size of the market, etc. I don't know how to do this. I'm much more excited about the R&D than the marketing, which means it is the marketing I need to force myself into.

    And, yes, there's the knowledge I have to develop to be a member of the R&D team.
  2. Old Business - With TEDx, we've broken it up into "Old and Busted" and "New Hotness", a la Men In Black II. I'm on the Old and Busted team and there's a little bit of administrivia that needs to be done with it. Soon, it'll all be done and I'll be able to dive into the New Hotness.

    Plus, I've agreed to make an HTML5 frontend to someone's backend, and agreed to help someone with parts of another web tool. I need to spend time with those.
  3. Me - I did an act that might be mistakable for crunches this morning. I made an argument this weekend that my window for exercise is after I wake up but before I go to work, and I have to start using that window. I will start slow, like I did with Couch to 5K, but I will start.
So, that's my top three points of focus. What's yours?


  1. I thought I was done with volunteering to provide free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to local K-12 schools and other groups. Now I can't decide. I either need to do or not do.

    I've been working on some a small matter of programming projects for years. Scope creep discovered while working on the project and making the code flexible enough to be useful and robust enough to handle all the edge cases has been very time consuming.

    There is no way to know the size of the market for products---especially if there is no existing product similar to it. Even in retrospect, what would you have predicted the size of the 3D printer, Arduino, automobile, BeOS, cell phone, electric car, flood insurance, geothermal heating, home computer, iPhone, Izod shirt (the alligator wasn't worth the extra cost for me), Kindle, paper clothing, Pet Rock, Starbucks, and West Lafayette Fuzzy Taco shop market to be? Some states have legalized marijuana: what will the size of the tourist marijuana market be? One of the drivers of product market size is the number of people that will actually buy the product---the best that can be done on that is a guesstimate. Even taking money out of the equation, how many people will attend the free Bindley Bioscience Center Open House on November 30? I wouldn't spend much time on market size predictions because
    they can be so wrong.

  2. Which to borrow from The Lean Startup is to create a Minimum Viable Product(MVP). The MVP doesn't even have to exist. You can have web page were people can sign up for it when it comes out (sort of like a kickstarter without the hassle).

    If you don't get any hits then probably a non-sellable idea.

    Trouble is that the idea is sort of split between the users of the product and the providers of the product (to not give too many details away).

    It is probably easier to figure out the potential market of the users but much harder for the providers.

    About all you can do with providers is cold call everyone around town and see what their reaction is. If you call 6 and only get 1 bite that gives you somewhere to start.

  3. I can't find a definitive reference for this quote on the web. Henry Ford reportedly once said something like
         If he asked what people wanted they
         would have said "a faster horse".

    If your idea is innovative I wouldn't worry much about what people think of it now. It's more important to try
    to predict what people will think of it when the product is ready.

  4. Mark: I get what you say about market size. That's 90% about convincing the people you want to get money out of.

    Consider the "Malibu Stacy" episode of the Simpsons. Lisa said that, as long as one girl took a Lisa Lionheart, she was proud, but Stacy Lovell was left with a bunch of worthless stock. The Angels want to be sure that there's at least some chance of ROI.

    First I heard about the Bindley open house.

  5. Honestly, I have no idea how to foster an interest in STEM, or how to convince educators to let me engage.