What would be the most wonderful day for you? Day when you first saw the Ocean? When you first flew an airplane and saw the Earth twenty thousand feet below? Or maybe it was the day when you saw the only full Solar eclipse in your life?
For me it would be all of these, and many more days when you have no worries about the future, like in your childhood. You could simply observe and take it slow. You will have your food on the table, hug and a good night kiss. You're free to roam and explore. People who considered you the most beautiful creation - your parents, are at your service, so you could focus on absorbing Earth's wonders and feeling life in and around you.
Frogs and bugs, birds and small mammals, pets and farm animals. Are they also as excited to live as people? Who owns the Earth - us or them? People who own land and factories, or remaining indigenous clans that survive without access to consumer goods we're all so dependent upon? We should learn from them!
As years of advanced civilization passing by, fewer and fewer useful jobs can be done by one person alone. Houses built by tens, airplanes built by hundreds, road networks and software built by thousands. Nobody in their right mind makes shoes or clothing alone anymore. Nobody wants to cook. Through our lives we're trained to perfect a narrow set of skill with no real long-term benefit to humanity, as they become obsolete faster than we reach our retirement age.Economies of scale took over people satisfaction from being the best in town at something. One-man business is not possible anymore. Expectations are unrestrained, choices are abundant and it takes effort to finally stop looking for something. Better deal could be just around the corner if you kept scrolling.
Maybe it's time to stop looking for a web developer in Somers, North Salem, Goldens Bridge, Katonah, Brewster, Northern Westchester and Puntam counties?
Hellow fellow visitor! Let me tell you a story about my entrepreneurial ventures.
I started thinking about making my own business about 15 ears ago. My job at the time platoed to a comfortable load, and I had some free time to think about what would be cool to do. I commuted to work 50 miles each way and it was getting tiresome and expensive! I came up with this idea for carpool partners search website - Commute4Less.com, which was supposed to connect people riding in the same direction by matching their home and work zip codes. The site was really cool in my mind, because carpooling could easily save people lots of money every month on tolls, gas and car mileage.
As part of the application I developed my own forum with fancy interface with responses shifted relatively to their parent post, so it produced much simpler to navigate view, and helped to keep discussion on point. Much better than traditional forum boards with flat message structure.Through Craigslist ad marketing I was able to attract only ~1500 visitors to the site in about two years. Unfortunately all of them were from different American cities and actual match count was really low. I struggled to attract more people from the same locale, and website eventually stalled and was taken away. I spent close to two years developing it in two successive iterations, with many improvements along the way, thinking that this new feature will finally bring people in. Well, it didn't. Sigh.
Marketing and sales - isn't it the hardest part of any business? I cannot master it, no matter how many SEO advice books I buy!
My next project took a lot more thinking and development time. Did it succeed? You'll be the judge.
StuffPool.com - what was it? Original idea came from living in a consumerist society, and having too much unused crap accumulate in our dwellings. Do you remember what you bought two years ago if you have never actually used it? And where did you put it last time, remember? So didn't we. Personal catalogs of belongings with ability to share underutilized items with other participants - what could be more popular?!
I even included ability to create groups, like extended family members or hobby groups and delegate only certain types of items to those groups, to limit which of your belongings could be seen by what people. Could this whole idea fail? No way, Jose!
The truth is - either interface was too complex, or people are generally lazy and didn't like to spend lots of time entering thousands of items (with pictures) by hand, - there was very little traffic to that website. I couldn't believe it! I tried to remediate situation by purposely limiting groups of items to share only to media, like books, music and videos. I spent almost $150/month on AdWords to get people to join, using mega-attractive terms like GET FREE BOOKS AND MOVIES NOW!
No dice! I could only collect about 200 members most of whom never came back after initially signing up. After half a year of fruitless struggle I was devastated and eventually gave up on the website. In retrospect I think this was actually a best possible outcome, because at that time my database work proficiency was not very high, and I am afraid site could've become unresponsive if enough people joined. Still, it was great experience and another lesson about American people, valuing personal assets and time more than saving few dollars here and there. I still see a lot of benefits in having everyone's belonging catalogued, but I just couldn't find a way to make people as enthusiastic as I am on this.
I spent close to three years working on it, emphasizing assets vs. sharing vs. both aspects of the application in several successive stages online to get people to join and bring their friends. Another huge FAIL in my book.
I felt unaccomplished and lonely. Often I feel it now too. Technology to the rescue! I started developing unique "communication application" as I called it, and my first website of this sort - Who2Talk.com. It was totally cool project based on one particular idea from my school years.
In middle school we had this popular activity creating and sharing "Friends albums" where we listed innocent questions on the front page, like Who is your favorite Actor? What do you like to eat after dark? What kind of pets do you have? Filled neatly with some artistic touches - patterned borders, titles in thick color markers, and enhanced on every other page with unique scrap-booking treasures - pictures from magazines, lyrics to popular songs etc, - we gave these albums to each other - for recipients to create their page of answers, and read what other classmates have had answered before. It was so much fun reading these albums! Made it easier to find shared interest and discover new friends.
Could I butcher this great idea too? You bet I could!
I was learning new development trends of 2010-s at the time, and was able to take advantage of serious SQL-Server database and new MVC architecture, which handily separates content from presentation. I was ecstatic for all the people who will be using my application! I made it so each user could grab a number of questions from available set into their unique questionnaire. When connecting with people - your questionnaire was given for them to answer. People also could answer questions randomly or when invited by other members to connect. When (if) a lot of people participated, you could totally see a person through their answers! Instead of judging and dismissing people by their photo, it gave a new way to get straight to the point, and find potential friends by personalities! And start to communicate with them to become less lonely and more happier.
But reality took ugly turn on me again. I underestimated complexity of steps required for successful use of application. Another mistake was that I advertised it in different American geographies and had very small marketing budget, therefore I could only attract small number of people from the same territory. Plus people were confused where other people were from, because there was no indication of each other's locations.
I ended up with about 900 confused members, initially excited to join, who grew frustrated and less and less active. They all stopped to come back after half a year. Marketing money ($150 monthly for half a year) ran out. Worst of all, site couldn't jump-start acquiring new members by existing member's recommendations, because it was for lonely people, duh! Application basically froze to standstill.
At that time I started to have employment worries, since IBM began to downsize: outsourced divisions and closed number of sites, including our own Somers complex, where I worked at the time. I moved on and it took me some time to get back on my feet, so I forgot all about Who2Talk.com for a while.