All day, every day I feel exhausted. It’s as if I am being consumed by the energy vampire that is day light. Today I fell asleep for 15 minutes at around 9:30pm. Not long enough for a real sleep but I had felt like if closing my eyes at any point today I would have fallen asleep. This very nearly happened in the hair dressers earlier, I wonder if they’ve experienced that before?
It’s now 1:24 in the morning and I am awake, and very much focused on getting something done. I have a sense of clarity which I do not feel most of the time and as everyone and everything is asleep I am left undisturbed. I’ve tried sleeping earlier and waking up at the crack of dawn, but it only lasts a day or two before It literally exhausts me. Introducing exercise to get a good nights sleep but it still doesn’t help that I have no energy in the day time to contemplate exercising at the right time.
It’s a mystery, so I’m going to speculate it has something to do with the fact that I do not tan, I burn. Over to you science! Figure me out.
So last week I travelled to Sheffield with Chris Mead to pitch my latest start-up to investors for placement on the 3 month dotforge accelerator programme and investment / equity deal. I’m pleased to say that GigOwl has been accepted! I’ll be in Sheffield from April 22, with Chris as Co-Founder, where we’ll be working with 7 other start-ups, learning from and meeting a variety of global entrepreneurs and pushing this into a stronger more refined product.
We had also applied for Oxygen accelerator, the team now behind the popular Launch48 events, a choice that would have been closer to home and with more familiar people. After speaking with Simon (CEO & Co-Founder of Oxygen Accelerator) about continuing on to the interview stage with them, we decided to withdraw our application and accept commitment to dotforge.
This is my first time round the accelerator scene, and we’re also part of the inaugural selection for dotforge, so it should be a massive learning experience for everyone involved.
Three paragraphs in, well done if you’re still reading I’ll now explain what GigOwl is about.
Our aim is to create an active marketplace around venues that can host events and live music, and to increase employment in entertainment professionals and changing the way in which everyday people plan and book venues.
Want to celebrate your birthday on a Pirate ship? We’ll help you find it.
Musician looking to play to a crowd? GigOwl will help get you that gig.
Event Organiser, Promoter or Venue owner? List your venue or private room to dramatically increase the amount of bookings you take.
Studios, hotels, restaurants, churches, halls, pubs, clubs, ships, boats, castles, paddocks, practise rooms, farms and fields! Start making more money by hosting live events or increase your footfall by filling your entertainment slots with reputable musicians and acts.
It has evolved greatly in concept after a lot of hours spent researching, the original goal however is still the same, we’ve just added a few. I originally set out with the idea of creating an easier way of musicians getting gigs, along the way there have been some realisations. There are a lot of solutions already out there capable of doing this, though there are evidently some that aren’t delivering or simply aim too high up the ladder, and plenty of promotional systems for musicians to promote themselves and request gigs. I think we’ve discovered a different starting point that will make a difference all the way up the ladder, but there are still elements I hope to build on from a promotional and business tools perspective, that will come later.
It’s taken a lot to get my mind into a state to focus on one product, and even now i’m fighting with myself to stop a hydra of an idea developing, but we have 3 complimentary perspectives of problems that revolve around venues, events and entertainment, a plan across both B2B and B2C markets, and just about the right level of skills to take on the task. We have the very talented Sam Fitzpatrick in an advisory role, helping to carve out truths and pain problems that musicians and promoters face around independent live music, and I personally won’t stop until I can easily book and host an event on a full size pirate ship.
I was going to go into how much code I’ve had to learn in the last 3 months, what I built a long the way and what realisations I’ve had, but that would dilute this post, and there is so much more to learn, so that’s a story for another time.
I expect we’ll be looking for a very talented person who loves to code, who is a little crazy and can engineer equally as crazy to get involved in the future in order to push the development much further than what I can do alone.
You can help us push this idea by sharing GigOwl with all musicians, event and venue owners and organisers, audio and visual technicians, anyone you know or simply by liking this post.
Please like, share, comment on this post and help us reach further!
For more information on what GigOwl is trying to achieve see http://www.facebook.com/
Thank you to everyone who has advised, supported and assisted so far!
I am excited massively be the idea of Google glasses, or Project Glass if you want the secret dossier style name, the thoughts that buzz around my head with the concept of this technology… I just can’t wait.
People who know me, they’ll tell you I’ve not been a fan of Apple, never have – I enjoy their smartphones and tablets but I was a late adopter to those, I use them because in my opinion they do it better than any of the others I’ve experienced, but I’m screaming at the big G right now, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
How many times have you said to yourself, “Damn it, I wish life had a search function”. Well, here comes the crazy because I see these as the answer to that. Basic object recognition? Constant snapshot / video capture? Where did I leave my freaking keys, here’s a picture of the last place you looked at them.
That’s right, they’re to your right on the window sill, your tiny monkey brain didn’t see them because it wasn’t really LOOKING it was just seeing. Don’t worry though, the G Spec’s got you covered.
So your CEO or worse still CFO comes downstairs, glances over at his cogs in the machine (that’s us by the way) what’s that floating next to your pretty face, hovering next to your head?
Only exactly how much you’re costing him by the minute / hour / day, and exactly what you’re meant to be working on at that moment in time, how many meetings you’ve got planned or how many issues you still haven’t closed today. Wait, Augmented Reality was supposed to be fun right? No, its the executive toy that has a purpose.
That’s right, these things are going to empower the employers and business owners so much that you’re going to need some Mission Impossible style face prosthetics so mess with the facial recognition tell you’re boss how much more fuel he can cram in his supercar
if when he downsizes your team.
I’ll add to this post over time, but that doodle can go straight to hell.
It’s been 2 weeks since I left my day job, and nearly two years since I officially worked in an agency marketing role but I’ve just realised something about myself. Whether it’s the planning and strategy, the learning of new ideas, tricks and methods to use different technologies or what, but its something I get passionate and confident about when explaining to others.
I don’t claim to be a great marketer but stressing the importance of user experience when it comes to interaction design, language and tone is priority one.
If you would like me to help with marketing strategy for your business, id love to hear from you.
I don’t think I have a doodle for this post (been on a client project for the last week or two) so we may have a weird image. Looks like I do have a doodle, though its not really been worked on. Figured out how to screen capture so i’ll be recording my work on this one, its a vision of London in 75 years.
So I’ve been free of the 9-5 flow for just over a week now, have I been treating it as a holiday, am I actually doing things? Do I know what I am actually doing?
- Consolidated my email into one cloud system and practising the inbox zero mantra.
- Established a base-line of objectives for GigOwl, I’ve a core platform diagram on my whiteboard and every’tin.
- Explored & researched the a possible pivot on GigOwl to give a better selling proposition.
- Registered as self employed.
- Opened my business bank account.
- Learnt how to give my old white Macbook a new lease of life with an SSD and how to reinstall without boot discs.
- Getting my teeth into CodeIgniter and the making use of the twitter bootstrap for GigOwl – live prototpying. CI looks to be a great framework for a rookie like me to pick up fast.
- Staying up till 5am – 7am a couple of nights, then sleeping in till 11 am, due to the above learning.
- Working on a freelance website due for launch end of month.
- Met up for a few good drinks with a few good people.
- Got myself a new mobile phone number, still waiting on apple to unlock the iPhone before that becomes useful.
- Consumed over 22 litres of sparking water!
- Sent a gift.
- Setup client invoicing.
- Started work on validating another idea (not very tech)
- Researched more GigOwl competitors
- Started work on GigOwl’s blog!
- Did more exercise than the week before when I worked 9-5.
Didnt manage to do
- More validation
- More prototype
- More meetings with collaborators
Around this time just over a year ago, I had just completed a long weekend road trip that took myself and 3 others across Europe in a couple of £500, clapped out cars from Kent, UK to the home of Ferrari in Modena, Italy and back again sponsored by GForces, in aid of a charity called BEN.
A few months before that I spent a weekend with some awesome colleagues in Chester at the Pageant of Power (Northern version of Goodwood Festival) promoting CarSearch, our social driven used car portal built into Facebook, again this adventure of ours was funded by GForces.
Both were amazing experiences that I am truly grateful for, and I’ll never forget either. I am writing about them both because, I built Car Search, the road trip to Italy was the prize of successfully promoting Car Search (I was chosen as a co-driver by the competition winner Chris Mead), both events were funded by GForces, and because today marked my last day working at the company.
I’d like anybody who reads this, especially those who work at GForces now, you should know that opportunity awaits around every corner, but having a company that will support you and give you a chance to take that opportunity is the rarest of things indeed.
A lot can change in a year, and as much as I really appreciated working at GForces (thank you guys) I’m now seizing a new opportunity that’s more in-line with my own ambitions, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
Today, I work for myself.