John Dimmer was quite the interesting speaker. He came in and talked about how one would go about getting funding from different sources and explained his reasoning behind when he would invest in a company. He gave good reasons and pointed to why a bank would be hesitant to loan money to a startup since they more than likely have no collateral and could easily disappear without a trace of the money to be seen. Aside from banks he explained the reason HE would never give out a loan instead of buying an equity stake in a company. He explained that it was a similar risk for a much smaller reward which wasn’t worth it in the grand majority of cases. Other things he talked about was how he ran several companies and in most states the version of this company that was running was classified as an LLC. However, since California is a cancer, they had to incorporate their California version of the company as a California ‘c’ corporation which means they get taxed twice but it also means that it doesn’t end up effecting their other businesses. Other things he shared was about how there are Angels and Demons who will give you funding for your project and will even help you in your endeavors in other ways through mentoring. However, the latter can give you a deal that looks good on paper but as time goes on they take over the company and take all the hard work you did for themselves.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
For my shipping company, I plan on charging a flat rate of $1.5 per mile in order to keep my business competitive with other freight companies. It appears that most places are willing to pay $2 a mile and the cost of shipping to me would be only around a $1 per mile so there is no reason that I would need to charge more when I could take away more market share early by charging far less than the current competition. Other ways of keeping my business competitive is the promise that my services will offer less in the way of accidents since it wouldn’t be humans driving the car but is instead an AI who’s only job ever is to make sure that it doesn’t collide with anything around it. The specialized AI would have more angles of knowledge through the breadth of cameras and radar available to it. So while I would need to have a higher entry cost to market my per trip cost should be significantly lower since the driver would be paid less than the standard driver since they aren’t expected to have their hands on the wheel and paying full attention the entire time. I could potentially bring down my margin more but that would start to lose me ground in asking for money from investors. Though having a really low price point might make me look really good to a competitor who wants to come in and make sure that the prices stay more stable around a mark that is better for them.
My first idea is to have a shipping company that utilizes drones to ship from brick and morter shops to local customers that can afford the same day lazy tax. I don’t know how viable of an option this is since it may be quite a bit cheaper just to have a person on a bike deliver the goods for a similar price but it certainly involves technology and I think it’s an interesting consept.
Second: this idea revolves around a VR head set that would give you control over a camera somewhere else in the world. This product would revolutionize the way that we could see other places like famous monuments and perhaps even our loved one’s company as we would be able to see what it was like down in their house even if they lived half way across the world. This idea would make the world even smaller than it already is and would bring down the heartache for those who have family deployed overseas.
Third: My third idea is to develop an app that could identify all the flora and mycelia in a particular image. This would be helpful in helping people figure out what is poisonous and what is edible. It would also help to identify potential pests before the grow into a problem species. An app like this would potentially be very difficult to develop though and would be a nightmare in terms of liability if it was wrong about something being edible when it was poison.
I wanted to learn about how to run a business with some semblance of success. During the course of the class I wanted to learn about the structure of a startup and the skills it would take to keep a startup up and running. I wanted to learn what a successful business started out as and what an unsuccessful business looked like at the beginning as well. During the course of the class I hope to better understand where new and emerging technologies need to fall for a small company to make it huge like a company like Facebook or google. I also want to know what sort of technology can bankrupt a company and its shareholders before it has a chance to get off the ground. I hope that we learn what it means to be an ethical business and what it costs for a business to be either ethical or unethical in its treatment of its employees or its competitors. Perhaps most importantly I hope that my experience in this class can transfer to places outside of starting a business and that I can use some of these skills to just work to better sell myself and my services that I can provide. In the end, I hope that this class doesn’t end up being a waste of time and energy on my part and on the part of my lovely professor Andrew Fry. Other than that, I will be happy to learn whatever it is that he can teach me.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Last Tuesday our class was visited by a long-time Tacoma business man named Brian Forth the owner of SITECRAFTING. I quite enjoyed his talk and it was enjoyable hearing about his experiences. One thing that I appreciate about talk was how he described how he always tried to do good by his employees. He went on to say how he always tried to help them get a new job if they were to be laid off and he talked about how firing someone was always the hardest thing for him to do. He did mention a specific instance of how he had to fire someone over the summer and how that ended up being fantastic for the company culture which was an interesting prospect. Sometimes it is just one person ruining everyone’s mood.
I found Brian’s style of thought enjoyable and thought provoking. His off-the-cuff and tangential style helped me form questions I wanted to ask him as it left strands open in comparison to Erik’s talk. I was happy for all the respect that he was shown in our class and I was impressed with all the questions people managed to come up with. I also thought it was funny that at the end of the questioning session someone basically asked him for a job. One thing I like about his company is that it’d be a place to grow as a person and live without too much fear about having to keep that resume ready. I’m glad that SITECRAFTING is doing well and proving that having a business that cares about the employee’s well-being is plausible.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Last Thursday our entrepreneur class was visited by Erik Hanberg. A self-published author who has dabbled in other projects including running the Grand Cinema for a brief period. He runs a business with his wife which has taken over as their principal income for the last several years and has allowed them to take on life in a way that would be much more difficult if they had more conventional jobs. It would seem one of the biggest factors in their success was the time they had to take care of their child. He also mentioned how there was an extraordinarily bad summer where he almost considered going back to work just because of how much less money was coming in.
Erik talked about his time with other small businesses as well like when he worked as a writer for a publication in Tacoma and how that ended up being lucrative as he got shares of the company later and then sold them when the company’s founder wanted to move in a different direction.
Erik also talked about how the most important thing in entrepreneurship is shipping the product and getting it out to your customers. This part of entrepreneurship is something that is applicable to working the day to day grind in many cases.
I enjoyed hearing about Erik’s experiences and I hope to read his books as he seems like he’d be a good and versatile writer as he’s written novels in two genres as well as manuals for jobs he’s done.
/end verbal diarrhea