26 May

Amy Poehler’s Wise Wisdom


“Just figure out what you can do today, and go to bed knowing that you’ve done everything you can.”

– Amy Poehler

Getting lost in all the things that need to happen is my greatest struggle right now.  On days like these, I invoke the funny wisdom of some of my favorite achievers.

The plan for tonight is to build a spray paint booth a la this lovely Pinterest find and put a 1st coat of paint on the prototype panels.  And I’m going to deconstruct the competitor parts I bought to analyze the joint structure on their unit.

That’s the plan.  I’ll post pictures.  What’s yours?

23 May

Get Real

I just love to overcomplicate things.  I’m exceptional at it.  My MVP’s are way too intricate.  I get stuck making a prototype because I’m trying to design the mass production process at the same time.  I haven’t gotten 10 customers yet because I get lost thinking about how to get 1000.

When you’re starting, you’re supposed to build a board of advisors.  But that sounds like we’ll meet in dimly lit oak paneled rooms and talk about my business once we’ve discussed the stock market performance of pharma companies & rehashed part of the Revolutionary War.  Never really appealed to me.

But I realized over lunch at work with cohort that I do, indeed, overcomplicate things.  But also that I have a board.  A board of Get Real.  I’ve got a few people that help me get out of the weeds and back in front of the next thing that needs to happen.

We meet informally, usually when I’m stuck.  And they’ve never met each other.  But these people help me untangle from the options and the “perfect” to accomplish the real & possible.

I’m also on the Get Real Board for a few of them and some other friends.  And it’s such a privilege.  I always make time for those phone calls.

Starting stuff is hard.  It helps to have great peeps to help you get & stay real.

Who helps you get real?


20 May

Hi & Hello

I’m honestly not really sure how to write a post to imaginary readers that I may or may not have. Seems a little weird. But let’s get started.

I’m all-systems-go starting today on my next adventure: launching a consumer product I’ve designed & building a company on the side.

I’ve just wrapped up my MBA from the GA Tech Evening MBA program & read all the books on everything startup. I’ve also just accepted a promotion into New Product Development Management after 6 years as a Product Design Engineer. So I’ve got lots of know-how. It’s time for some know-do.

So the plan is to document the whole experience here. Do you need investors? Does anybody else bootstrap? How (exactly) do you design experiments to test your product? What’s the best launch plan? Is there still time to eat, shower & feed the cat amongst a career & side business? How do you get PR? How effective is Pinterest promotion? Should I start on Etsy? How do I manufacture? Do I have the right value prop? Do customers want lots of colors? Custom colors? What should my logo colors be?

Here are a few things I do know:

  • I love the city of Atlanta & want to be part of building it into an entrepreneurial hub. My products will say: Designed in Atlanta.
  • Lean Startup/Customer Discovery/Business Model Canvas are the way to go. Failure for me will be launching a product that nobody wants. Ideas/designs that fail in customer discovery & hypothesis testing will be deemed successes. Big ones. Even if it’s my favorite design or closest held belief.
  • I do not subscribe to current work theories. Who said work is 40 hours per week? Why 8 to 5? I prefer to hire the right person/attitude over experience. Why is it hard for certain people groups to get work? Is tenure the best arbiter of additional vacation & perks?
  • Economics is one of the strongest forces for good available. Whatever I create or do, leveraging economics for social good & change will be a top tier priority. Here & abroad.

So this is the game plan. I’m working every week on finalizing the design/manufacturing & testing the business model & I’ll report it all here. Good, bad, ugly, goofy, tough & fun.

Let’s do this.