January 18, 2018, 03:29:42 PM

Author Topic: Where to get started???  (Read 1757 times)

Owngineer

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Where to get started???
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:13:30 PM »
As the title says, where or what is the best resource to get started?  I was programming since Sperry mainframes were around (okay, I was in jr. high then) and lynx was the only browser available.  Since those cutting edge days I've become the definition of late adopter but now need to catch up.  With that background, what books, online classes, etc would y'all recommend for an avid consumer of IT to turn into a producer of content?  Blogging and podcasting would be some of the first things to develop and eventually I'll figure out the whole social media thing :P
Owngineer - Turn your technology into your business
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Heidi

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Re: Where to get started???
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:56:34 PM »
Hi,
Asking questions is a great way to get started. 

First you need to decide what you want your business to be about.  That really comes first, so you can pick out a domain name, etc.  Go back and listen to Jack's podcast's.  Earlier ones too.  He often gives ideas of productive sites someone can build, should help you come up with your own ideas or use one of those if it fits you.  Do you see a need you can fill?  What keeps you up at night?   

You'll probably find that as you get started, you may not know exactly how it will all work out, but as you add content and build your audience, it'll come together.  If you wait until everything is perfect, it will never happen.

For using WordPress, I have some basic tutorials spread out over a month.  http://wordpress101forboomers.com

Josh also has a WordPress tutorial site, check out his video wordpress critiques and other tutorials. 
http://wpvidcast.com/

Lots of info in these forums, if you have a question, search for an answer.  If you can't find what you need, ask.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:58:41 PM by Heidi »

Matt

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Re: Where to get started???
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 11:45:21 PM »
I think the best advice is just get started. You can figure out where you want to go later, but for now you'll need to:

1) Get a domain name

There's plenty of information on how to choose a domain name. If you've got a rough idea of what you want to blog about then get something that roughly matches.

One tip here, and it took me a long time to learn it, is don't fall in to the whole SEO (Search Engine Optimization) thing. Google change their mind all the time so you're not guaranteed to remain at the top based on just that. Content is king, and the perfect example was mentioned by Jack that when he started the number of searches for "Survival Podcast" was zero (he now has over 35,000 daily listeners!).

2) Get a hosting account

I use Host Gator and have never had any problems. Jack also recommends them, and if you sign-up through the link on Jack's http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ then you'll ensure that he gets some extra money without it costing you any extra. For now the "Baby Croc" package is all you need.

3) Install WordPress on the hosting account

There are plenty of guides on this, just search Google.

4) Point your domain at your hosting account

Again, there are plenty of guides on this.

5) Start playing and get blogging

Start playing with WordPress and see what it can do. Even if you decide what you're blogging about isn't the right path for you, all of this isn't time wasted - especially the hosting account, as you can host multiple blogs from the same account. When you start your next blog things will be much quicker and you'll know what you're doing.

As for what to blog about, I always love reading and seeing pictures of "old" technology - i.e. when hard drives were as big as a house or the fact (not sure if it's true) that NASA put men on the moon using the computing power of a greeting card that plays a tune when you open it!

Also, don't put yourself in to a box. Obviously you love technology and are an engineer at heart, but if other things interest you why not blog about them?
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Owngineer

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Biz plan
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 08:48:13 AM »
Great feedback and I appreciate the time y'all took to give it.  Here's a little more background.

I've sat on panels and advisory boards for lots of innovative companies, almost all of which were not web based.  A typical example might be a chemist at a university who figures out how to make anti-graffiti paint and is looking to start selling a key ingredient to paint companies.  These folks will be very smart but may have no idea how to start a business.  I was once one of them but studied at the school of hard knocks until I became an "expert" at science based business start-ups. 

So far I've done the following:

1. Wrote a business plan/strategy
2. Got the domain name, www.owngineer.com
3. Wordpress installed by wife (also an engineer) who is learning this as we go
4. First couple of posts are up (with years worth of topics written down)

It usually takes me about 100 hrs of study to get conversant in a new field while I search for a beach head to branch out into the details of a field.  I've listened to all the FMWJ episodes and that is what opened my eyes to this way of reaching MANY more people than my 1 on 1 mentoring.  That said, my plan is to get the blog populated with a decent amount of content, get a podcast going, have some kind of forum to get community feedback and spontaneous learning, and eventually branch out to conferences and other things. 

The first couple of posts on owngineer.com are more or less straight out of a business plan and getting feedback from the community will be very helpful in tailoring the material.

Thanks for the input and it's a great help to have a sandbox to kick around these ideas!
Owngineer - Turn your technology into your business
www.Owngineer.com

Matt

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Re: Where to get started???
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 10:03:21 AM »
I don't know why I didn't see you already had a blog as it's in your signature! That's what you get when you write forum posts at 06:30...

It sounds like you're heading in the right direction. The first two posts on your blog are great and I look forward to reading more in the future.

If you are looking to get a mailing list going have a look at Www.mailchimp.com as it's free for the basics and you can pay for extra features as you expand.

Keep up the great work,

Matt
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Heidi

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Re: Where to get started???
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 10:53:05 AM »
You have a great start! 

What type of resources are you looking for?  You've got the basics and a great idea.   

Reading your posts helps, and yes there are a lot of smart techie people who'd like to run their own business but have no idea.

One son (awesome programmer) was approached by some venture capitalists with 2 million to start his own tech company.  He looked into it, but they had control of the company, its direction, products, services.  They did have a system in place, necessary bean counters, lawyers, etc.  Which helps and they've gotten businesses up and running and have a vested interest in a successful business.  I can see their model working. 

My son has a young family to raise, and talked to enough start up founders to have an idea of the work involved in getting a company up and running.  He did not like them having control of the company and decided he'd rather get out of debt, house and all, build up some savings and bootstrap his own deal.  Longer deal, but he has contract in place with his employer that he can continue to work on his pet projects on the side.  Something may take off before then.  He can't help creating, making new stuff and he has built up an awesome reputation in his field.

I like your business criteria.   I hadn't thought about the no patent until a friend explained it on her site.

Part of her copycat notice at bottom of site:

" Patents are prohibitively expensive, and designed by the government not to protect the rights of individuals, but to provide another source of revenue and control for the government and lawyers. We are good at what we do. We have endless ideas and endless creativity, and competition does not scare us. Impatient thieves do not scare us - they are too busy taking shortcuts to make a success of it anyway, and they won't want to take the effort to actually MAKE a product and fill orders."