How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain could be the important innovation since the Internet. We are reeling from the Equifax leak. There is a huge trust problem on the Internet. Blockchain solves these problems, however it will take time for each industry to gain the full benefit.

These two videos provide a great crash course in understanding Blockchain and some real world use cases.

 

Follow me on Periscope and Snapchat?

I’ve been testing out a few of the newer platforms lately to get a better idea of how they might work (or not) for Gigable.

I’ll be doing a “scope” (as the kids call it) on Periscope about various topics. You can follow me @mechlin.

Also, starting snapchating and posting some moments to my story. It’s very cool and fun, even for an old guy.  My kids think it’s hilarious that I’m on Snapchat.

You can follow me by snapping this image:

File Jan 05, 2 59 33 PM

 

Dunworth Designs

A good friend of mine, John Mayer has recently launched a new venture called Dunworth Designs. He has partnered with a long-time friend who lives in Wisconsin to create some very unique home decor.

They use reclaimed barn wood and create one-of-a-kind pieces like the one shown here.

Dunworth Designs - Tin Cornice Shelf
Dunworth Designs – Tin Cornice Shelf

This shelf is made using vintage tin ceiling cornice and original antique barn shiplap from southern Wisconsin.

They can also create custom pieces by request.

Best of luck John in your new venture!

Don’t Mistake “MVP” for Casual Experiments

Let’s be honest. We want a quick win. Everyone wants a quick win once in a while.  We come up with a great idea and try to figure out the fastest way for that idea to generate money.

This is a huge trap. Building the next Facebook over a weekend and showing it to a few friends does not equal the next $100b company.  But somehow, we believe this may happen.

The truth is; you need to work it hard.  You need to fine-tune the unfair advantage, distill the massive benefit statement and get more people bought in today than yesterday.  How many more?  I don’t know, but more every day and then the day after that.  Get one more believer than yesterday. Then two more the day after.

Make sure you crystalize your vision.  How does this idea/product/service/song resonate when 1m people are looking at it or even using it?

When you perform a casual experiment or side project, you are thinking small at the start.  This is normal.  Will this idea work?  Will anyone care? You do yourself a disservice by dabbling.  Sure, go ahead and tell a few friends.  Are they being nice or are they excited and want to share it? Don’t mistake this process for MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Someone wrote about getting 10 paying customers you DON’T know.  They will be very honest with you. Once someone pays even $1, they want value in return. The value exchange should be very clear and they should be happy to tell you they are satisfied.  Once you have 10 paying customers you don’t know, throw gas on the fire and go full throttle.  Now you are entering MVP-land. It’s the ONLY way to gain critical mass and call it a business.

Idea: “SnapPosts”

Since social media posts are like ships passing in the night, why not just design around that?

How about a service that let’s you store “evergreen” posts and re-posts them at a certain interval?  Then, the service removes the post from the timeline after a certain period.

Why?  So your timeline is always fresh and doesn’t have redundant posts cluttering it up.

Example: Live events.  Say you are hosting an open house in 2 months. You can create a nice post with pictures, info, etc. and set the post to “SnapPost” every 7 days between a give time period.

Does something like this exist?

#SXSW via #meerkat and @mazzeo

So I couldn’t get down to Austin, TX this week to partake in South-by-Southwest. I was pretty bummed, but I think maybe I may have caught some of the best conversations despite being in Chicago.

Last week, I saw a post on Product Hunt for Meerkat.  Meerkat is a live video streaming app, mobile-to-mobile. It uses your Twitter login and when you start a stream, a tweet is sent with a link to the live feed.

So, I happened upon a few key players streaming from SXSW like Gary Vaynerchuk, Sarah Evans and someone I’ve been looking to meet, Matt Mazzeo.

Via Meerkat, I caught Matt’s daily “lowercase office hours” in the lobby of a hotel where he does quick interviews/discussions with founders and other influencers during SXSW.

Today’s session was pretty great and he even did a quick discussion with the Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis’ agent.  Very cool impromptu conversation about a movie in the works for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Here’s a quick recap of the startups he put on his “hang”.  Hopefully I’ve captured the correct elevator pitch for each of these:

Homerun – Killer stories about sports players built on their stats

Rex.is – Great stuff curated by interesting people

Class.travel – Worldwide travel rewards program

Snowshoe – Plastic ID that uses smartphone screen for recognition

Humin – Contacts stored in a more human way

Clinton Foundation – not a startup but a mention, none-the-less.

Looking forward to more great stuff from @mazzeo on @meerkat!

My #7daystartup Day Seven (Launch Day!!)

It’s 3:07pm CST and I’m sitting at Starbucks (or should we call it “StartBucks”) in West Dundee, IL.  The staff knows me – now.  I’ve been coming here every afternoon for the past week plowing through the work required to get to launch.

I’m pleased to announce that EchlinMedia Stock Music is online.

I’ll be the first to admit that the hill got steeper the closer I got to launch-ready.  I think I need to caveat what I mean by launch.  Since I was following Dan Norris’ 7-Day Launch blueprint, what has been launched is a MVP stock music service.  The best part of this process has been the awesome people I’ve talked to via Dan’s FB group who have helped shape the MVP.  This is the essence of what he discusses in his book.

“You don’t earn till you learn” – not sure if Dan said that, but I might use it as my own. The feedback has been valuable and interesting.  It’s been interesting because the first lesson is that not all customers want the same thing.  The opinions and ideas that have been discussed have been unique and “one-size-fits-all” does not apply to a stock music service.  Also true for just about every business.  This speaks to the exercise of finding the ideal customer profile or avatar.

I talked to 5 potential customers from different walks and they all want something different.  A couple love the idea of a subscription, while others just want a la cart songs at a competitive price.

I think I’ve come up with a model that is easy to understand and provides a fair solution.  It’s basically a freemium model.

  • One free track per month delivered to email
  • Monthly subscription that provides download codes
  • A la carte store ($14-$99 per track based on license usage)

The licensing model is one concept I’m pretty excited about since it could be a good differentiator – in addition to the awesome music 🙂

Here are the three license options:

  1. Audio (Podcasts, Radio, Commercials(non-video), Website)
  2. Animated Video (Video Games, Apps, Animated Videos)
  3. Moving Pictures (Theatrical, TV, Cable, YouTube, Video)

Pricing is relative to license option, audio being the least expensive.  It just made sense to offer licenses based on usage type.

I’ve got some other ideas that I will be testing over the next few weeks, such as a creator community. There still is a lot of work to do on the UX and navigation so that signup and store browsing is simple and intuitive.

This is all very exciting, especially since I got my first paid subscriber just this afternoon!

A huge thanks to Dan and his community for a swift kick in the pants to get this going.

My #7daystartup Day One

So, yes I’ve been inspired to launch yet another project.  It never gets old, right??

Dan Norris, CEO of WPCurve.com and entrepreneur/author wrote a book called “The 7 Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch”.  In this best-seller, Dan talks about the many businesses he started and the lessons learned along the way.  The culmination of his journey is a blueprint for starting a business in 7 days.  Now, I’ve started several businesses and 7-days seems ridiculous.  However, after reading through the book and understanding his approach, it makes a ton of sense. Especially, for businesses that are internet-based where you can get a ton a feedback in a short amount of time.

So, I’ve been thinking about this new project for some time and after talking to a few people in his Facebook group, I’m launching this new idea.

What’s the idea? Since that is the purpose behind “Day One” in Dan’s blueprint.

My ideas is this: stock music membership site

What is “stock music?”  It’s the background music you hear in many different mediums when something is playing in the foreground. For example; TV Commercials, intro music for podcasts, music behind product videos, etc.

The producers of these works usually have a musical connection somewhere.  They either have a roster of music producers who they can tap for custom music.  Or, they search online marketplaces, such as audiojungle. Or they hire a musician and co-produce a customer piece of music.

Well I happen to have hundreds of recorded works that fit into this category.  Some of the recordings will be used for actual songs that I will put on a future album, but those are the “special” ones.  90% of the songs ideas are snippets.  So, why not offer these as stock music?  Seems like a viable idea and it’s exciting to considering putting these pieces of music out there.

There are several unknowns at this point:

  • will I be able to generate enough traffic to the site to sell anything
  • how much time is required to finish these recorded works to be usable
  • should I offer them with Creative Commons License or standard copyright?
  • how should I price the membership?  annual or monthly? lifetime?
  • should I sell tracks individually?

I will be answering these questions and many more over the next 7 days!

Here are my notes from going through the “nine elements” exercise:

Screenshot 2014-12-11 21.59.41So that’s day one – establishing the idea.

Echlin Media

Many smart people have said to make your plans public. This way, you feel accountable to follow through.

Well here it is.  Echlin Media (probably EchlinMedia.com).

The mission is to help small businesses in America. Help them tell their story and find their best customers.

Digital Marketing, Content Strategy, All things creative.

Gigable.net is one of our first projects. I will introduce the team in a separate post.

Let me know if you have ideas or would like to understand this concept better.