I started a business. It made me want to drink copious quantities, smoke myself into oblivion and hit my head against a brick wall. Instead I wrote a blog.
Site Launch Day: 54
User Count: 81
Going right: User count jumped up
Going wrong: Have to re-examine all the wording on the banners to explain the entire proposition in very few but at the same time, very clear, words.
Comment: There are no words.
Did you like yesterday's blog post? I asked my boyfriend. Confident in the response because
a) he loves me
b) he is my biggest fan
c) am hormonal and is very careful to say things that please me
Therefore I was panicked when he paused and made a rabbit movement with his mouth, clearly thinking about the best way to tell me he did NOT like my blog post. If my biggest fan didn't like it, then there was little hope for the rest of the world.
"I guess I would have liked it more, if I didn't think Starwars was shit." he said. "I just don't get science fiction where people are working side by side with beings who have funny ridges on their head."
"I think you mean Star Trek." I said. "Star wars has robots side by side with people."
"But there's that thing with big ears." he replied, confused. "Someone replied that they liked it because it was cowboys and indians in space. Well I would have preferred cowboys and indians in the wild west."
Yes. Some people don't 'get' Starwars and for all the pontification yesterday, why should they? It reminds me once more that there are diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. Something that was echoed this morning when I had a quick skype with an ex-colleague and friend.
"I think the site is great, the idea is great but the banners got me confused." he said. "Talk me through them."
"OK." I said. " The first one says 'Flexible consultancy. We do.' And is accompanied by a guy sitting with a PC on top of a mountain. We consult anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
The next one says 'Value Family. We do.' You can work around your family, both if you are a consultant who can log project hours in the small hours of the morning and equally a client who prefers that his consultant delivers on the weekend for example.
After that we have 'Play Games. We do.' Which relates to the gaming system for all Investment Impact users - you will have noticed when you logged in that there is a profile page with ranks and achievements - its the method via which consultants prove their excellence. You can see their achievements, reviews and the extent to which they have engaged with the virtual way of consulting.
Then 'Save Carbon. We do.' Pretty obvious that virtual consultancy costs less and is greener than regular consultancy and finally 'Love models. We do.' Is a play on words on the excel models. If you click on every banner they will lead you through to a different page."
I resisted finishing with "Ta-dah" and half expected a response like "Duh, yes I see it now." Sadly not. What came was -
"Ok, it's obviously totally clear in your head. And some of it is quite clever. But you need to be clearer. Like the first one. Flexible consultancy. Explain it. It's virtual, it's can be on weekends or in the evening and even by the hour. It's like a market place for freelance consultants."
"That's what I say on the front page."
"I didn't read that far down."
"But I only have space for 5 words or so on the banner. What would you put?"
"Yes." He agreed." That's the tricky part."
Site Launch Day: 55
User Count: 83
Going right: New wealth of back and forth on the whole FB vs. G+ thing. Makes for v. amusing arguments between opposing camps.
Going wrong: Pointless discussion with Client on some supposed bug in the website. Client may be wrong but he's a client. Therefore has to be right
Comment: Doesn't really matter if client is wrong. Impression is everything. Have to console him with extra credits. Which is after all totally worth it.
It's been a while since I've written a blog post in advance. And previously, it's because I've had so many ideas that 3 posts have just flown out all at once instead of how it is now - out of necessity. But tomorrow (Friday) I have my first appointment with a Swedish midwife. You see, I forgot. Having a baby, does not just mean the leave of extended absence when it's born but the seemingly endless time spent on prods and pokes, classes about how best to push it out and of course, peeing. Employers concentrating on getting more bang for their buck, are understandably concerned about the productivity of a female of a certain age - and state - versus a male who, for example, in America gets on average 2 weeks off and has to work his prerequisite 8-10 hours whether or not he has been up half the night with a screaming baby (I think 2 weeks paternity is a barbaric practice - but hey, that's why we don't live there).
If you know me but at all, you will know that I am a full supporter of working around the family and equal opportunities. But as a business owner I totally understand why you would want to employ people who bring good productivity to the table.
Life isn't like that though and it's not just about peeing. Facebooking, coffee breaks and - I don't hate to say it - interminable status meetings demanded by managers who have nothing better to do than micro manage waste so much time. Work-life balance doesn't actually exist. It's a highly theoretical concept that presupposes, life stops when work starts.
Problem: Paying for time within a 9-5 framework and expecting it to be wholly dedicated to your service.
Solution: Remove the framework, and pay-as-you-go and/or for deliverables.
Sure, the two may be correlated. But in an open market where all offers are negotiable, two reasonably sensible parties will have a good idea of what's on the table.
A pregnant woman will probably be able to dedicate a two hour session wholly and exclusively to a project without having to pee at all during that time :-p But she might have to do it at 2am after she woke up to pee! A man will probably be more productive if he takes Friday afternoon off to spend with his kids and works two hours on a Sunday morning instead when everyone is asleep.
In a society where short-termist thinking demands the last drop of energy out of its workforce and families are forced to palm off their kids to childminders, creches and the TV or risk poverty, surely this is a far better way. I don't want dysfunctional children with a better relationship to Jerry Springer than to me (especially since I have far tastier issues to f#ck them up with). Hey Big Bosses.
Excuse me Mr.....do you have the time? Or are you so important that it stands still for you.
If you want a peek at the business that's driving me insane you can click here.
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