Studio Learning Startup

Studio Learning Startup

What is this startup about?

Our startup is going to change education by design to a model that engages the whole school community to co-create the education experience.

What stage are we at with it?

We are testing our Business Model Canvas with a Minimum Viable Product currently. That is going well. We’re now turning our attention to connecting with investors who are interested in change by design. We think well designed software can help drive the required changes. We’re seeing the trend towards social change through software. This makes sense to us and we’d like to help make this one happen. We’ve just submitted a pitch to RiverCity – we didn’t get accepted but going through the process of preparing our pitch (which we hadn’t done before for this project) and submitting our application taught us alot.

The founding team is experienced at building web applications and ecological learning but we’re all novices at getting investment – but like everything we do we’re just going to give it a go and learn by doing!

You can also see the public part of our MVP at studio.figjamit.com.au – however membership is only open to the community at the participating school.

Studio Learning Startup

Changing education by design – Studio Learning Startup MVP

How can you get involved / stay updated?

Contact Meli if you’d like to hear more about this project. We will be launching a cause on causes.com at some point and a newletter or micro-blog in the right forum so stay tuned.

mvp_2

Minimum Viable Product

We use the customer development process which is firmly focussed on delivering business benefit and to us that means building your minimum viable product. Most of our customers are time poor and cash strapped SMEs and Startups – so this lean and flexible approach really suits. If you have your Business Model canvas ready, or you are in the process of developing it, we can work with you to build only the application features you need to meet your value propositions for your target customers.

What we offer:
Manageable Sprints
We understand what it’s like to take on a new project – your other work doesn’t just disappear. We design the length and effort for each sprint to suit you, taking into account your availability. If you need to be heavily involved in the creative process but can’t work on it full time, we expand the duration and stagger the sprints so we can co-create with you.
Experienced Team
We are a small team with corporate backgrounds in eCommerce who are now working for ourselves. Our backgrounds mean that we know what best practice is and our experience has taught us how to use it to add the most value. Together our skill sets cover the entire life cycle of IT ecommerce projects in many different sectors.
Flexible Process
We have our process sorted and we tailor it for you to get the right balance between risk and results. We use world best practice with an SME reality check! Every idea you have for your project is managed from when you thought of it until it is implemented using our own workflow apps in Podio (which is a bit like Facebook for Projects). We help you test your hypotheses with customers using cost effective tools, like paper prototyping, to get the design right the first time.
Sustainable Pricing
We want to make a living, not a killing. We have set our prices to make them competitive and sustainable. Our developer rate is $110 per hour, while the co-creative rate is $77 (GST inclusive). Fully resourced sprints of 10 development hours cost $1485 (GST inclusive).

You can read more about the Customer Development Process here.

Contact Us
30 Forest Way Stokers Siding, NSW, 2484, Australia
Bob: 0413 770 149
Meli: 0435 052 515
P: 02 6678 2902
E: [email protected]

Getting a Better Understanding of Sustainability

 

Bazerk Sell on a Fair Trade Platform

FIGJAM uses the customer development process to generate business models.

We are still working on testing our value propositions – I did think we’d be up to section 9 on our canvas by now but it all took longer than I expected!

So value propositions – that’s right – “How will we add value by fixing problems or meeting the needs of our customers?” For our business customers there are heaps of problems that we can help them with, like:

  • Handling business-to-customer logistics,
  • Listing products online with a complete back story and
  • Connecting with customers

But like Steve Blank says in Building A Startup, solving a problem is good, but meeting a need is phenomenal!

What are our business customer’s needs? A key one that is emerging is that they need to “Sell In A Sustainable Way”. They need to survive in an ever changing and very competitive landscape that tends to favour big business with (often) unsustainable models.

What if we could meet their need to survive by offering an alternative to the supermarket paradigm?  Now that is a value proposition we are spending a lot of time thinking about and the focus has been sustainability and how to help them achieve it.

What does sustainable mean?  Local? Fair? We’re not sure how it will translate into our canvas yet but we do know it isn’t about dumbing down the options so that only the big businesses survive in the long run while the short run is littered with the wreckage of small businesses with great products and great ideas that didn’t survive because they couldn’t crack the supermarket “big-time”, or worse yet, when they do they find that it is not designed to meet their needs.

Angela L Finn (yes Meli’s sister Angie Finn) has been researching sustainability in fashion for 10 years and she feels strongly that design can contribute to building sustainable industries. Her research findings have inspired and formed our ideas with respect to sustainability in the organic marketplace.  This also seems to fit neatly with our focus on design in our own project – we are using a customer driven approach largely influenced by Tim Brown’s ideas from Change by Design.

Sustainability and the Future of Retail

How sustainability is implemented in all markets is going to lead to changes. J Farrer and AL Finn  had this vision for the future of Fashion retail n 2008:

“It is the future. There are two different kinds of fashion outlets. In Store A, the virtual store assistant welcomes you whilst a scanning beam updates your shape and size. “Co-creation and customisation this floor,” the voice chimes, “emotion and intelligent clothing first floor, track-and-trace swap shop third floor, and artisanal collections penthouse.” Customers of Store A co-design clothing, innovate on style and expect eco-effectiveness. Sustainability, or ‘people, profit, planet’, is the bedrock of a cradle-to-cradle fashion textiles system.

Store B has masses of colour and trendy merchandise, at the lowest possible prices, piled high. ‘How to do it’ fashion projections line the warehouse walls, and holograms march the catwalk. ‘Buy one get five free’ offers proliferate over in the natural fibre fabrics section. Mobile phones text what to buy, what will suit and what size from an unknown supply chain. ‘Rent a look’ is popular.”  (see full citation below).

How Can/Will Design Impact Organic Manufacturing?
The only thing we can be certain of is that there will be change. We are not hiding the fact that we plan to disrupt retail – our business model currently has a business-to-customer (B2C) distribution channel.  We think the current retail model – where food needs a longer shelf life so it can be shipped all over the place – isn’t any more sustainable than it is for Fashion.
Want to Get Involved?

We are looking for suppliers and consumers in the Organic market to participate in our research.  From a business perspective your involvement will give you valuable insights about the online market in general and also more specifically about your company.  As a participant you will receive the results of any competitive analysis that we undertake on your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with us online or at meetups and ask questions in person.

Here’s how you can get involved:

References:

Finn, Angela. Fashion Manufacturing in New Zealand: Can Design Contribute to a Sustainable Fashion Industry?: this Exegesis is Submitted to Auckland University of Technology for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Art and Design, October 2008. Diss. Art and Design)–AUT University, 2008.See the full article here

Farrer, Joan, and Angela L. Finn. “A solution to fashion textile unsustainability.” PerAda Magazine: Towards Pervasive Adaption 6 (2008).  See the full article here.

 

Fleshing out our experiments…

Bazerk-Organic-Suppliers-Segment-1-300x289My head is spinning with everything I am learning about the organic market on this project – it really makes me see the value of being involved in a business modelling process – you learn so much and get to focus on strategic ideas.

The Bazerk team have been testing our value propositions this week and finishing off our experiment on the Organic Suppliers customer segment hypothesis.   Our HypothesisWe hypothesised that our “business” customers in the model are SMEs in the Organic market place who NEED to continue to compete effectively in the market place, which means capitalising on the internet (making more direct online sales and being able to manage the logistics of those sales) but also WANT to reconnect with customers.   Our ExperimentTo test this we:

  • Identified organic suppliers of the products we think will sell on Bazerk – which we sourced from directory sites.
  • Conducted a competitive analysis on their websites to gain insights into their needs and wants.
  • Researched market size on the ABS and other research sites.

Presenting the Results

We are creating images or slides shows to document our hypothesis and experiment results.  Why? Not only does a picture tell a story but I find that creating an image to communicate my thoughts to the team really helps me think!  We also create an experiment evidence artefact in our Podio workspace for the project.

What’s Next?

Everyone in the team is working on their own hypothesis this week so I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Get Involved?

We are looking for suppliers and consumers in the Organic market to participate in our research.  From a business perspective your involvement will give you valuable insights about the online market in general and also more specifically about your company.  As a participant you will receive the results of any competitive analysis that we undertake on your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with us online or at meetups and ask questions in person.  Here’s how you can get involved:

About Bazerk

Bazerk Founders

Introducing the founding Bazerk team.

Introducing the Bazerk founding team.  We are working together on a startup that we hope will revolutionise the way you buy organic products to make it more sustainable and buyer-friendly.  BAZERK is based in the Tweed Valley and we are going to provide a co-created online marketplace for organic products that will allow LOHAS customers on the platform to regularly buy organic, sustainable, fair and local products.  Our customer segment not only want to support Organic businesses by buying their products, they also want to buy them consistently and at a fair price for everyone involved.  We are expecting to disrupt the retail space with this business to customer (B2C) offering.

Progress Update

We are now having a break from the project while we consider our options for moving forward. We are not sure where this is going to go.

Bazerk Business Model Canvas V2.0

In Phase 2 (which ran pretty loosely from February to March 2013) we consolidated our ideas and started building a minimum viable product using the BigCommerce Platform.  The current iteration of our business model canvas looks like this (see image).

In phase 1, which ran for 4 weeks, we developed our business model using the customer driven / lean launch process developed by Steve Blank.  We’ve talked to more than 120 customers in all of our different customer segments.  We’ve conducts surveys, interviews and Q&A sessions.  We’ve learned heaps and also chalked up considerable hours on the project.

Background:

Testing the Value Proposition Hypotheses in Phase 1

In week 4 we are looking at the Value Proposition hypotheses and each of the team members has taken an hypothesis each to work on.  In the previous 3 sprints we’ve been all working on the same Customer hypotheses – which was great as we were all learning about the process together.

One of the challenges we are facing this week is how to connect with local businesses and engage them in our research.  Why so difficult?  Well firstly we are still at the hypothesis stage – we don’t even know what our final business model will be and it is a bit daunting contacting local businesspeople – who are busy – and asking them to give you their time!  I am testing the business value propositions and I have to admit I have shied away from cold calling them – wimpy I know – and opted instead to email them and ask them to complete a survey.  I have hand picked the businesses – but most of the email addresses I am sending them to are “info” or “sales” @businessurl – so I am not sure what sort of response I will get.  Time will tell.

Get Involved

Why would local businesses what to give me their time on this project?

By participating the decision makers in these businesses will have the opportunity to:

* Influence the solution we build,

* Gain valuable insights into opportunities for small businesses on the internet,

* Answer probing questions that may trigger your own strategy plans

If you operate a business that produces Organic products and you are interested in participating in our research, please contact Meli.

Congratulations to Heymaker! on their successful Pozible campaign.

Well done Heymaker! We are really excited to see this great result and look forward to what they have planned.

Do you need funding for your Creative Startup?

Check out Pozible. It provides project creators with a platform to present their ideas and compete with other creative projects for crowd funding. Anyone who likes the idea can support it by pledging money to the creator’s project. In return for support, the project creators will offer rewards depending on the level of funding; essentially differentiating itself from the normal funding process.

How’s It Work?
Say your project is to create a YouTube style site that helps Australia School Children create short films and share them in an annual short film contest. You might promise rewards like this: if you pledge $10 you get a thank you on your facebook wall / blogg page, for pledging $500 or more you get two (2) tickets to the opening night party at the Sydney Opera House, if you pledge more than $1,000 you get to be an official sponsor.

So an essential part of the idea is that you make up the rewards and you can be as creative with these as you are with your project. I got to admit – I think the currently listed projects could be a bit more creative – virtual hugs? Whatever works I suppose.

When you start your project you set a funding goal, like say $20,000. If you reach your funding goal, your project is successful and the funding is provided by the pledgers. That’s after Pozible take their fees, which are between 5% and 7.5%.

And keep an eye out for KickStart – their site currently only allows US citizens to start projects but they are planning to expand to other countries soon. So far more than 20,000 projects have been funded through KickStarter with an average value of $10,000 per project.

Do you know of any others?

Sydney Startup Weekend – Day 3

Day 3, another day, a little tired, but ready to finish the damn thing and see how it turns out. This is going to be short, as I’m tired, but I figure it would be good to get my thoughts down after doing day 1 and 2 already.

We met in the morning, we talked. People had some more ideas, we talked some more. We talked about things we’d already talked about the night before. (this sounds like a song). Finally, we did what all good projects do and wrote a plan on a whiteboard. It was a good plan, it had things we needed to achieve and people who had to achieve them.

Then we all went about achieving things. The energy returned, we were all working on the same thing. What was originally a business plan for a ‘Health Check’ for small businesses grew into something more suited to online coaching. People organised videos to go onto the site, prepared presentations for the pitch, worked on budgets, and coded new pages for the website to the point of having a working prototype. The team worked exceptionally well, everyone added so much to the end result, until finally it was 5pm and time to down tools and get ready for the final pitches.

We were given some good guidelines on what to put into our pitch and criteria that the judges would be using for making their decisions. These were things such as: how well it was executed, how unique the product is, how viable it is, potential for rapid growth etc. I found it interesting that there was no criteria for longevity of the product – although if a product can get massive rapid growth and make enough money at the start, maybe longevity isn’t so important.

 

I was blown away by the quality of the pitches. There were quite a few great ideas but the execution of them was amazing. The winners, FitUsIn did an awesome job, but there were others that also looked to have a lot of potential.

The whole event was really worthwhile, a lot of friendly and helpful people, interesting ideas, and knowledge of the process involved in getting an idea from concept to execution. Awesome job by all the people who made it happen, the volunteers and the people who took part. More than anything it was heaps of fun.

Sydney Startup Weekend – Day 2

Well day 2 was huge. The team met in the morning and started working on our idea. Our team consists of Frank, Tony, Johan, Eric, Eduardo, David and I. David is another developer, while the other team members fill roles in the business, marketing, and the everything else needed to get a startup running. David and I started building the website functionality based on the business needs. We decided to go with the biggest feature first – an online survey that allowed businesses to determine what areas they needed to be coached on via a spiderweb graph. This was done really nicely with an SVG radar graphic thanks to David.

We used a really lightweight node.js backend API hooked up to a mongo database, meaning it was javascript all the way from the front end right through to the database. This meant we could build a JSON object in the browser, submit it via ajax using jQuery and then save it directly into Mongo, and read it back later.  Obviously in a live system, we’d need to add validation and checks to ensure that the data going into the database is valid, but for the purposes of a fast prototype, it works fine.

While we were building this, the rest of the team were validating the business model and working on refining the offering to see  how it fit with the judging criteria for the project. We were scored on Execution, Innovation, Delivery, and

We also wanted to get a live site up and running so that the rest of the team could try it out, and also potentially to show to users for validation. Using some of the free Ninefold vouchers, we were able to get a linux image running and deployed our app to it. Frank registered a domain, and pretty soon, we had a live domain running the prototype.

The rest of the afternoon was spent discussing the business model and refining the offering. This was actually a much bigger process than I’d imagined, and I got a lot out of this process. This is really where the hard work of a startup happens. The technical side of things can often be done given enough time and money, but the business model needs to be sound in the first place. Getting from a good idea to a viable business model is hard and it takes a lot of refinement to make sure it’s hitting all the right points without getting too complex or overdone.

By about 9.30 we’d all got to a good place with the idea, and also had some great advice from mentors along the way. It was suggested that we’d be best getting a good nights sleep, so that we could start early and fresh.

This suited me fine, I was knackered, so I headed back to the hotel, hope I get a good sleep tonight! Looking forward to finishing things on Sunday and doing the final pitch.

Sydney Startup Weekend – Day 1

Today I attended the Sydney Startup Weekend at Fishburners in Ultimo. It was a huge day, starting at 5am to catch a plane from the Gold Coast airport. Meli and the kids dropped me off at the airport, and my friend Pete picked me up at the Sydney airport. Thanks Pete, it saved me a lot of running around, and it was great to catch up for a coffee as well.

The first thing I realised once I got to my hotel was that I’d forgotten my business cards. ARGH!! After a bit of googling, I found a printer nearby who could print some for me today, so I put together a quick design using GIMP, emailed it off and after a few emails back and forth, the good people at Helios Print (http://heliosprint.com.au/) sorted things out for me. After a bite to eat in Chinatown, I head up to Darling Harbour to pick up the cards – they look great and considering I only took about 20 minutes putting it together, I’m really happy with the result. Glad we got a good logo to start with (thanks to Greg at http://monotron.com/ for the awesome logo). 

 

That left me a bit of time to practice my pitch. I’ve had a few ideas through the week, but I’ve gone with my idea of StartupWatch – a website where startups have a profile and people can signup to see a status/health check of the startup and how they are doing over time. The idea is that investors, staff and users of the site can see how it’s going and whether it’s worth investing time, money and effort into. It’s also to add some transparency to the whole startup thing, as I’ve seen a few times where investors and staff have no idea where the startup is going, and where the money is being spent. If StartupWatch took off, it would be a necessary part of business for a startup and questions would be asked if they didn’t have a profile on the site. So that’s my pitch – unfortunately with only 60 seconds I didn’t fit all of that in on the night!

I finally found Fishburners after misreading the map on my phone. The place was packed, and there seemed to be ideas bouncing off the walls. The room had a great vibe and the temperature must have been over 30 degrees, just from all the people and energy in the room. After the introductions and drinks and pizzas, it was time to get into the pitches. I met some great people, luckily everyone had name tags on as I’m terrible at names!

The organisers were very helpful in getting your pitch down on paper and pretty soon there was a long line of people all getting ready to pitch. A lot of good ideas were presented, and people gave some great pitches. After the pitches, each participant had 3 vote to use on the pitches they liked. I only got 2 votes (and one of them was from me), but I was happy just to have the experience of getting up and delivering a pitch, something I haven’t had much practice at. There was some great negotiations at this point as people did more selling of their ideas and started recruiting people to their teams.

The judges picked 20 pitches to go into the next stage, and from here, the winning pitches started forming teams. I was lucky to get onto a team with Frank, who has a great idea (more on the idea later). Everyone on the team seems super keen and it looks like being a great fun project. Interestingly, developers and user interface designers seem in high demand, which is great for me. Things were so drastic that at one point, that a winning pitcher (is that a word?), offered an iPad3 that he’d just won as a reward for a developer to join his team!

Frank and the other guys on the team organised a quick get-together downstairs to kick things off, then it was back to the hotel to try and get some sleep before what looks like being a huuuuge day tomorrow. It’s been a great day, well done to the organisers for making everything run so smoothly. I hope everyone has name again tags tomorrow.

Hi Nimble, meet Klout ;-)

I’ve been asked by Nibmle to expand on my idea about having klout-like quests in Nimble to make selling fun.  This is the power of Twitter – I am an unpaying customer who’s just doing a 30-day trial of the product, yet I’ve heard directly from their customer service team (Hi Garick), their CEO (Jon Ferrara) and their EMEA Director (Richard Young) – how is that for customer service? I’m impressed.

Just in case you haven’t seen Klout yet – I’ll explain.  Klout gives you a score out of 100 that measures your influence – things like how many people follow you on Twitter, etc all count.  Then Kout helps you improve your score by setting quests for you.  For example an early quest is to invite all of your Facebook friends to Klout.  When you complete that quest your score increases if some of your friends then join Klout because of you. Get the idea? It sounds horrible doesn’t it, but I guess we like it!  Although I have to admit I’m a 12 (out of 100) so not really a big fan (ha!), but what I did like about Klout is the idea that experts can teach others how to make things happen via tasks that are scored (quests).

Enter Nimble.  I have to do sales for FIGJAM.  I know pretty much nothing about how to go about it.  What I need is someone who knows all about how to get sales for my type of business to give me a tried and tested marketing plan that I can implement.  By “marketing plan” I mean set of individual challenges or quest. By “implement” I mean I do these quests one-by-one when I have the time to get results.

For me the huge value add is that I get told what to do in increments that I have time to digest and act on.  I don’t have time to read a book about how to influence people etc, I just want to cut to the chase people!  So quests for me would be things like: Join your local Startup Meetup (1 point), Attend Startup Meetup and Give your Elevator Pitch to 10 people, collect their business cards to get your points (3 points), Add 10 contacts to your leads database (1 point), Set Up a Pitch Meeting with 1 of your Contacts with a >20% probability of sale) (1 point). etc.

Obviously my idea needs something like the apps features in Podio, where members of the community create apps and share these with other users. That is if you know how to make something happen – you’ve done it hundreds of times before – you can teach others how to do it by creating a bank of quests that they can choose from for their marketing strategy.  There could also be the option for real marketing dummies where all you select a package of quests that will suit your business.

I can see this working for bigger SMEs as well – just imagine say you are in-charge of marketing for an SME – you have a distributed sales team, you know what you want them to do, how you need them to go about it etc.  You write quests and assign them to your team.  As they complete their quests they earn points – these could be the score that is used to determine sales bonuses (may be not).  Your team can then see eachother’s scores, suggest quests etc.  So rather than having to write and distribute a marketing strategy you just create all the tasks you need your team to do, make them fun and track them being completed.

That’s all I have time for today – the girls are up and need breaky.

This is the type of functionality that we develop at FIGJAM using our lean process.  We work with distributed teams using Podio to manage our process. We specialist in startups. I write the user requirements, Bob builds the solution, I do the testing – as I like to say we didn’t just do team buildng, we got married. I’ll have to blog on this … I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a little plug right?

Do I have time for this?

I suppose the answer to that is that I need to make time because you can’t have a business without making sales.

How is Nimble going you ask? Well so far I haven’t seen enough to justify paying $15 per month. Perhaps this is because I’m not in the target market? FIGJAM is an SME but we have a low sales volume – in that we only do about 8-12 projects a year. Perhaps Nimble is for SMEs that need to reach out to many more leads and then $15 per month makes sense?

So back to me!  Compare it to Podio, which for me is free, and it doesn’t stack up.  With Podio I get access to more than 600 content rich, workflowed applications to help me run my business.  What I value in the Podio solution is all the ideas of the people who have built the apps. This is where the value-add is. In a way it is like having access to a business plan / advertising / insert knowledge area here expert who can quickly tell you what you need to get moving.  Sure it’s not exactly the same but you probably get 80% of the way there with 20% of the effort.

Take writing our business plan. Bob and I started this pre-Podio.  We were making progress but it was slow.  I found a good template on the web, copied it down to my laptop, did some work on it. Bob did likewise, only he choose to do his in a wiki (see where this is going).  Basically we wasted time.  Then we got Podio, tried the Business Plan app and in 10 minutes (not exaggerating) we had finished the first draft of our business plan – together! Podio’s app made iting a business plan a matter of filling in the boxes, which all had  helpful instructions displayed on screen.

There are hundreds of different helpful apps like this.  It has helped me write creative briefs for graphic artists that were so good the artists, who had been working in the industry for more than 10 years, both commented on how useful and thorough the brief was. I’d never done a creative brief before but when I saw the app in Podio I knew I needed it. If you want to check out Podio read more here.

This is the type of tool I need for managing leads. I want something that is going to take the guesswork out of it for me so that when I have a spare 5 minutes to devote to sales, I can add the most value with it.  From what I see so far, Nimble doesn’t do that. I’ll have to check out what Podio has in more detail! I am using a lead management app from the Podio app store but it doesn’t have the social integration that Nimble has. Perhaps if I used it with Bottlenose?

What I’d really like is an app that makes “making sales” into fun. For me it is not fun! I will do anything to avoid cold calling or pushing my “product” on to people, unless it is in a fun way. I do like sharing stuff on Facebook and this might appear pushy, I don’t want to do that. Or maybe I do, I’m so confused!!!!!!!

I think I’m on to a good idea with my Klout meets Nimble product idea – if a Podio app could do that I’d be using it.

On the password management front, I have belatedly realized that all I need to do is get Google Chrome. This will manage all of my passwords and sync them for use on my mobile devices.  I’m not sure how it will manage it when I am doing work for customers because I’ll have different user accounts on the same sites, but I’ll check it out.  I installed it for a customer last week and got it all beautiful for her and then thought I should do this for myself … do you do that?  You can get it here: https://www.google.com/chrome

More on Podio’s leads management next and I will look into Nimble’s tools for managing activities.

Can you manage all your social activity from one place?

Nimble – day 3 of my 30 day trial. So far so good. Now I can see all of my social contacts in one interface and manage my contacts, see our shared connections and basically more easily keep in touch with people, I love this.

I have been able to create deals, which helps you manage your leads in that it puts a little bit of process around them, like status and activities. What would be really great is if this part of the app could take on some of the Klout ideas and set quests for you. I don’t know about you but I need some encouragement to do sales (not my favourite tasks) but it is a necessary evil.  I can see myself enjoying it a lot more if it was quest based. Klout are on to something with that feature.

The other app in this space, which I have looked into, is Bottlenose. It doesn’t have the leads and activity integration but it has this great feature called Sonar which gives you an image of your social interactions not just a text stream. I really relate to this and can see huge potential for where it can go. Keep an eye on it. I can see it helping you virtually travel the globe visiting your connections all through a visual interface where the things that interest you in each region appear dynamically to tempt you to take a closer look. A bit like “Six Degrees of Separation” meets “Around the World in 80 days” via Pinterest. I want it, maybe I should get Bob to pitch it at Startup Weekend at Sydney.

Back to Nimble, on the down side I couldn’t see my Google Calendar events in the activites stream, although I did successfully link up my calendar. There is an open support item on their support site (which is easy to use btw and has a good feedback loop in place) saying they are having trouble w this. I have tweeted them about it so we’ll see what happens.

As much as I am liking Nimble, I’m not sure if it is worth $15 per month, but still early days. My other reservation is that I love and use Podio and I’m not sure I want a separate app, but Podio doesn’t do this yet…what do you think?

Not feeling so nimble yet.

OK so I’ve had Nimble installed for a few days and haven’t been back to it since setting it up.

I’ve got to say that I am struggling a bit with the growing number of accounts I have to manage and would love it if I could have something like Nimble in Podio.  Bob and I use Podio extensively and love it.  I know it is not for everyone, in fact one of our customers told me yesterday that they found it totally bamboozling and for that job (very simple web site) I agree as it was overkill – however for web application design projects with a project team who are technology savvy it is ideal – but that is probably another post!.

That’s right, this one is about Nimble. Well my problem today is that I can’t remember the user name and password I used to create it, doh!  Ok I have to sort this out,  Mashable (who I love) have a promising article on this called Five Tools for Keeping Track of Your Passwords.

Christina Warren recommends three products that store your passwords on your computer (1Password, KeyPass and RoboForm), one that stores them on the cloud (LastPass) and Firefox Sync (a Firefox add-on).  Her readers also recommended Passpack, which is what I am going to checkout as it also allows you to share your passwords securely with team mates (Bob and I will need this).

It is easy to sign-up for a free account – the first problem I have is that I need to create a new account!!!!! Wish I could sign-up with my Google Account (as I am not going to change this).  I don’t have this option but I can use my Google mail address as my username .  I am glad I am doing this as I really need to – for a long time I have been using the same user name and password whenever I can (helps me remember them but is not so good security-wise).  I do want to do better!

The next challenge is that I have to create a packing key, which is a sentence that I need to remember and if I forget it I can’t recover it and therefore will not be able to use Passpack! WTF? I am going to have to get this emboidered on a tea towel of something and keep it under my pillow ;-(.  I’ll have to write this down somewhere.

It took a bit of time to add my accounts, I haven’t done them all yet but I thought I’d start with the main ones I use to try it out first.  The 1 click log on does not seem to be working – well didn’t for my gmail account anyway.  I also had to create another user name for sharing passwords – one that I can’t change no matter what, hmm. I am a bit disappointed as in my mind I had imagined that you would set up all these accounts and then the application would just log everything in for you and provide an interface for you to change all your passwords from – ie allow you to manage your accounts, rather than just store the details for them.  Am I asking too much?  Maybe this is a good startup idea!

I think I might give LastPass a go. Here is the introductory video.

That is about all I have time for today – It looks good – I will consult with Bob and perhaps give this one a go tomorrow! Then I’ll be able to let you know how I’m going with Nimble.

Do you use a password vault?  If so, which one and would you recommend it?

Jack be Nimble, well in this case Meli better be …

Welcome to my blog. If you know me you probably know that I am a pretty regular social media poster (or poser you might say? But I am finding it hard to keep track of all my different accounts – it sux.  I’ve decided to give Nimble a go. I’ve signed up for the 30 day trial today and and so far it looks really good.  I was able to sign-up and connect to my facebook account, facebook page, linkedin account, twitter account and youtube account as well as google+ all from the one screen.  Now I can see all my social messages in one place (like an email mailbox) or I can sort them by source (ie see all twitter, linkedin etc).  I can do my status updates in twitter and one other product at the same time.

It all looks good so far. I’ll let you know what I think – I’m not sure if it is going to be worth US$15 per month.

If you haven’t seen Nimble yethere is a good summary from Emily Price on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/04/04/nimble-jon-ferrara/

If you are using it, let me know what you think.

 

Nimble

Go to Nimble

 

Our New Website

Welcome to our new website!
We’ve been so busy lately working on other projects that we haven’t had a chance to get our own website up and running.
But we’ve finally made it, so here it is!