Building on a Foundation of Horrible Ideas
I was fortunate to attend my first PIGSquad meeting. This event was filled with developers, artists, gamers and interested folk. I was able to learn a lot about this outstanding independent game scene in Portland.
Despite my admittedly horrible game concept that I shared with a select few, I got some good support from some people I had just met. This demonstrates to me a wonderfully open and resourceful community of game makers who are willing and able to be supportive of even the dumbest of ideas presented.
I had my video camera with me to capture some of the feel and excitement of the PIGSquad meeting.
A lot of people at this PIGSquad meeting used Unity to help produce games. I saw some space shooter game that this guy cranked out in like a week using Unity and free open source graphics. I was impressed.. although I wasn’t a fan of how the guns shot.
I saw a lot of people with pens and paper and that’s kind of the way I like to work when it comes to developing stuff. I was sort of drawn to flashing lights though.
Mimic was one multiplayer game that I totally destroyed someone I was playing against. It’s sort of hard to explain but basically your character that you are playing comes back from the past as a clone and plays for you in the future if that makes any sense. It makes for some awesome strategy when it comes to playing against someone.
I talked with someone that helped release a game called Starship Rubicon, it’s a pretty awesome looking game too that seems to combine some of my favorite aspects of games, shooting and strategy.
For the next PIGSquad meeting, I hope to have a working prototype of my dumb game and perhaps a couple of awesome ideas for it.
Two Kates is a web series written and directed by by Zach Schultz and starring Kate Knappett and Kate Knappett.
A comedic and dramatic look at isolation, depression and anxiety, “Two Kates” follows an agoraphobic woman (Kate) after she has recently had a clone made of herself in order to keep herself company and to be more productive in her online business. Struggling with obstacles both internal and external, the Kates attempt to care for each other as best they can, helping to guide one another through a world that makes them both very, very uncomfortable.
“Two Kates” is a 7-part monthly web series that can be seen for free at TwoKatesShow.com, with each episode also airing on Portland’s local community-access television stations.
After watching the first episode, I have to say it exceeds my expectations and left me wanting more.
Watch the first and future episodes here…
I had a chance to talk with the creator and star of Two Kates
Initially I saw a video Zach put up on indiegogo after watching that video I was sold on this project. The show is well produced and obviously Zach, Kate and everyone involved have dedicated a lot of time and energy to make this happen.
Currently the Facebook page for Two Kates has 82 followers as I write this. The show has just been released, I would imagine that number to grow as more episodes follow. It intrigues me to think about how difficult it is to produce anything and to grow a large audience for it. Right now I feel somewhat elite in knowing that this show has just been released. I’m looking forward to following the growth of this show and the audience along with it.
I’m guessing that it won’t be long before Netflix or Hulu comes along and start giving creators like Zach decent budgets to run with.
Don’t forget to check out the first episode and like the Facebook page…
I once read that innovation is not about creating new things but finding new uses for things that already exist. This idea presents itself as a challenge… How can I use this? What can I combine this with? Where can this idea be applied elsewhere? This practice and thinking may not come across as innovative or genius but rather appear to be rather stupid. More and more I’ve realized there is a fine line between what might be considered stupid and innovative.
Some of my best ideas have developed and grown from some of the more questionably good ideas. The best ideas generally don’t develop without a heaping pile of bad ideas.
In 2006 I started a website called Millions of Hundred Dollar Ideas ( www.MoHDI.com) a sort of depository for my uh… not so great ideas. While the site doesn’t get the love it used to. The regular practice of innovation continues on stronger than ever.
Some years ago I had this concept for a line of shirts that would have embroidered on it either a rock, paper or scissors graphic. The idea was that instead of selling just one shirt at a time people would buy them in packs of three so they could have the option of playing the classic rock, paper, scissors game with others who owned the shirt. Not only would I get people to buy the shirts but at some point they would encourage others to buy the shirts too in order to play with them. Not too long ago, this idea evolved into something a bit more intimate as it made more sense to have the game played on underwear as opposed to shirts. This would add a new level of to this game/ product and was probably the best evolution of this idea.
I used to hang out with a guy named Jake who would always say something about developing ideas that always stuck with me. It was something to this extent…
Whatever your idea is, if you boil it down to the simplest form where no one can stop you from doing it, you can move forward with it. For example Jake wanted to have a radio station, now as a large idea, this is a rather complicated and costly process. At it’s simplest form though, with a few pieces of hardware and an internet connection you can broadcast to the world and have some sort of a internet radio station.
I’m not a clothing maker, I don’t know how to make shirts, underwear or socks for that matter. With the idea of making this new clothing line with rock, paper and scissors on it, I’m creating a massive amount of work for myself in a field that I probably don’t want to be in or dedicated to for a long time to just see this idea grow. At it’s simplest form though, without having to design shirts/ underwear without having to spend a large amount of money on materials and have factories crank out my new line of wildly popular and amazing clothing… I can simplify this idea down to a form where no one can stop me from making it happen. This simplified form is a button with either a rock, paper or scissors hand image on it.
The idea of having a social game that is vicinity based and required no modern technology is pretty wonderful. Imagine being in a networking setting where the people you want to connect with are rather apparent by some sort of button or pin, you could even have some sort of radar system on your phone with more detailed information about the people you are around. Imagine having a button or pin to indicate to others how hungry you are, perhaps to show your current mental health state, maybe it shows what your current net worth is. It’s interesting how easy it is to break down social barriers with others by simply providing them a tool for a warm interaction with a complete stranger. It’s nice to think that a violent game like Rock, Paper, Scissors might actually bring people together in some way.
I love ideas, I like to see them evolve and give them legs to run with.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, MoHDI
I’ve been loving the Vine app from twitter lately. It’s an app that allows you to share short videos and animations with you friends. Check out some more vines I’ve made.
I like to imagine that my social networking experience is a beautiful and wonderful thing that connects me directly to experts, helps me find good jobs, save money, do good and so on. I have this strange notion that we live in a time where technology connects us together and we are able to accomplish amazing things because of it.
This is the experience I would like to have while roasting vegetables, let me walk you through it…
(the above graphic explains my idea experience, click it for a more detailed view)
About Me and my Struggle
I am 35 years old, male, vegan, I try to eat healthy and I enjoy cooking.
My plan for dinner tonight is to do roasted vegetables over quinoa and arugula.
It’s almost dinner time and I’m realizing I need to get my vegetables started soon so that they will be done at a reasonable eating time, ideally before my girlfriend gets home.
I love cooking but I still have a lot of scientific questions about the process. I would prefer to get cooking advice from an expert than potentially making a mediocre meal.
Issues with Common Tools
Google – Google offers great searches and will give me a whole lot of information on cooking, I still have to filter through content to find my solutions to my specific problems. I also can’t quickly ask a follow up question.
Quora – Quora gives you direct access to experts in a variety of areas, the process is kind of slow and not great for timely issues.
I start the quinoa in the rice cooker with a little vegan soup broth. The rice cooker is awesome for making quinoa the way I like.
I have beets, carrots, pineapple, mushrooms, onions, garlic and sweet potatoes as well an assortment of spices and staple cooking supplies.
Having successfully roasted root vegetables before, I’m concerned about the pineapple and mushroom addition.
Since time is an issue, I don’t want to be searching online for answers, I want the answers to come to me, this will allow me to prep up the food I’m planning to cook with.
I quickly take a picture on my phone and send it out to twitter and instagram asking for help.
with 949 twitter followers and 460 instagram followers my plea for help goes out to master chefs and expert cooks all across the internets….
In almost no time, I get a call from a professional chef, answering my question about roasting vegetables.
Following the advice of the chef, I make the best dinner ever.
My girlfriend is highly impressed with my awesome cooking skills and I’m super pleased with my social cooking experience.
Not surprisingly my ideal experience and the reality have some variation. The biggest difference happens when I reach out to my social network to find expert help.
I quickly take a picture on my phone and send it out to twitter and instagram asking for help.
with 949 twitter followers and 460 instagram followers you would think one person out there may be not only capable but also available to assist me.
In my first tweet I ask for advice and include my phone number as a specific way I would like to be contacted in order to best get my questions answered quickly.
I’m looking for some roasted vegetable advice any excellent cooks out there have a few minutes to talk? please call me —
I don’t mind putting my phone number on twitter. In 2010 I did a simple test about putting your number of twitter check that out here. Back then I had no instagram followers and 587 twitter followers. The basic results from that indicated that unless you are some sort of famous superstar people aren’t going to abuse your number. As much as I like to think I have a massive following and everyone is interested in what I’m doing at all times, the reality is that most people could give a hoot.
After a few minutes I post my instagram photo not only my instagram followers will see but also my twitter followers too. A photo explains a lot about what I’m doing and gives some context to what it is I’m looking for.
Time passes and I’m slightly frustrated as it’s clear that my dinner is going to be delayed and I still have questions that need answering.
I send out a grumpy tweet indicating my frustration with my social network experience.
I get a nice response from the amazingly awesome @wormulus. For many reasons, her reply and conversation meant a lot to me.
While my social network didn’t quite provide me with an expert chef to answer my questions, I reached a point where I just needed to cook and do what I can to make an outstanding meal while not totally knowing the best way to go about it.
I experiment a little with my roasted vegetables and add pineapple to my dish and quarter mushrooms to cook with my root vegetables, I make a delicious dinner.
My girlfriend is highly impressed with my awesome cooking skills despite dinner being ready an hour after I had intended.
Next time I need advice on cooking I should call my Mom. Honestly I think if I would more regularly engage with others and their questions I may get more help in the future on my project. In general people are not very likely to call a phone number to provide assistance.
Engineering my Ideal Experience
I do believe there are several ways to engineer my future experiences so they will match my ideal one.
Engaging With Others – On my part by engaging more with others, I might be able to get better direct feedback. Most likely if I was regularly engaging with others on social networks they would feel more apt to assist me with my problems.
Better Reach – I should be able to reach out to people that don’t follow me yet are interested in the subject of my tweet or instagram post.
Support Ticket – When you call for technical support, they will often open up a support ticket for you until your solution is found, why shouldn’t my social networks work the same. I could state my issue or my problems where I ask for support, a simple indicator icon could show that the current issue is either outstanding or resolved and perhaps entice more people to assist with my needs.
Reward – An expert cook might be more apt to pick up the phone and call if when they could gain social credit for such help. After listing themselves as an expert cook, could then get some sort of reward for their actions. This might work somewhat like Aardvark did before it’s demise. At the very least a public thank you might just be enough.
L. Nichols is amazing and if more people were like her the world would be a much better place. I hadn’t seen what she has been up to for some time so it was refreshing to go through her site and flickr images. Check out her site and follow her awesomeness on twitter @wormulus.
It’s difficult to get people to call you without a direct benefit to them. Maybe next time I should offer one of many direct benefits I could offer.
If I was Rock Hudson or some other famous popular movie star, I would probably get a mountain of phone calls because a good number of people believe that connecting with celebrities is valuable. This is also why celebrities may regularly be getting good freebies all over the place.
A lot of experts are probably busy being experts at what they do and they probably get paid pretty well to do what they do. They might not have time to answer my basic questions, I guess that’s why they are experts.
I shouldn’t rely so much on what others have to say about something, there are a lot of ways to learn to do something and sometimes you just need to dive in and learn from doing it.
I think the experience for people looking for help through social networks could be greatly improved. While cooking is one specific area, these concepts could be applied to pretty much any subject. With a few small adjustments to asking for help online, I feel that I can better engineer an experience that I would ideally want for myself.
If you still have some suggestions on roasting veggies, feel free to answer my question on quora through this link.
One of the many goals I have for 2013 is to make an effort to do more for people on their birthdays. This year I’ve decided to paint portraits for people’s birthdays.
This task isn’t exactly the easiest in the world and while I may not be able to paint everyones birthday portrait, I do plan on putting together quite a good collection before the year is over.
Painting portraits will not only be a fun regular creative practice but it makes a wonderful gift.
My mom’s birthday is January 1st. I figured this was a good start for the portrait project. I’m glad she has a sense of humor because my portrait skills aren’t quite dialed in yet.
In my first attempt at doing a portrait, my mom’s portrait turned out looking like a Chucky doll then someone asked me if the painting was supposed to be the Goblin King from the Hobbit, I’m just glad my mom doesn’t take things too personal. I figure as the year progresses so will my skills.
The next portrait I did for my mom looked a lot less like Chucky
It be super cool if it was your birthday and you received a bunch of portraits of yourself done by your friends and family. Perhaps this concept might grow into that and soon replace the less personal facebook timeline birthday posting.
As your friends have birthdays this year, consider making a portrait for them, write them a song or poem, draw some art, do something digital, do something physical, make something for them from you, do something with heart and passion and try to give something that only you can give.
Please feel free to contact me if you or someone you know has a birthday coming up and would like me to make a portrait of them. Let me know the person it is, their birthday, and ideally a photo stream of them and I’ll try to make a portrait of them.
To summarize this post:
Finding the process to achieve your goals is better than setting your goals.
Happy New Year!
This is the time of year to take a look forward and figure out how to take care of business. Like most people, I have a lot of ideas in my head about what I want to accomplish this year, I realize as the year progresses so will my goals and resolutions. For the new year, I’m more interested in implementing new processes that will actually help me achieve whatever goals I set.
Find a Process
Learning a process that will actually help me achieve my goals is way better than having a list of goals. Since there are a nearly endless number of ways to go about reaching goals it will be important to find the right process that consistently works for me. This may involve trying several things out.
I’ve failed at achieving a lot of my goals in the past, instead of learning from my mistakes I’m going to focus on learning from my successes and try to implement new processes that work. This is something I picked up from a book called Rework that I recently read. They also had some other good advice about working and getting things done.
I have a variety of different goals or achievements I would like to accomplish in 2013 each may require a different process in order to best make them happen.
One of my resolutions is to work more on MoHDI.com for 2013.
A new process for me in order to achieve this is pretty straight forward and is what I’m currently working on learning and implementing.
List, Sort, Do.
Here is how this works.
Since MoHDI has always been a depository of ideas for me, it’s easy to list out a ton of ideas to work on. My thinking is to keep the list under 50 items in order to not be overwhelmed by a list of ideas.
I initially was going to do this list on paper but soon realized how much easier doing this on my phone would be.
I found an app called Paperless for my phone and so far it seems to be pretty helpful for me. I think I could do a lot of similar things in the free Reminders app that came with my phone and I’m sure I’ll use a combination of the two to actually make things happen.
Here is what one of my lists look like.
I’ve already sorted through and the top 5 items are ones I’m actively working on.
My next step is to pick one and work on it, ideally for a 15 minute block of time.
Most of the items on this list are for content that I would like to make for MoHDI. Some items might require a few minutes to write about and post, others may require a lot more, either way by working on items for small blocks of time I actually can make good progress.
Since I generally write about ideas or things, I really don’t have to do much more than to get the idea across. Ideally I can present ideas in a clear, concise manner with proper grammar and spelling but sometimes I may present something or write about something quickly to get it out.
If it was perfect it wouldn’t be mine.
For the kinds of things I write about and post about, it’s generally more important to get my idea out there. There are exceptions to this and it’s intrinsically rewarding to make things polished and nice. Locked up ideas have no value so it’s important to just get them out, good ideas will evolve and become polished .
Sometimes an idea can be explained with a simple doodle, this is my favorite way to present an idea. Long wordy posts are typically just that, long and wordy. As much as I like to explain and rationalize ideas and share my thoughts on them, I realize it’s more important to simply present an idea and allow the audience to come up with their own opinions and thoughts. No one likes to be told what to think, they do like to be encouraged to explore their own thinking.
The main thing is to keep creating.
I feel this is going to be a good solid process for me to regularly produce good content for MoHDI.
This listing, sorting and doing method might not apply to every goal I’ve set for myself but different goals might require different processes.
Another concept I have for taking care of business in 2013 was to create a reverse list or a count list. This is particularly helpful when it comes to job hunting as that is a crucial goal of mine for this year. Instead of having a list that you go through, you have a list you fill up as you go. For instance I might say to myself that I want to send out 10 emails with my resume and portfolio on a daily basis until I get a job. The same list concept is super helpful for taking care of things at home too “I will do 3 things to make the house look cleaner daily” you would be surprised at how just doing a few things each day regularly really helps.
When I think about how I’ve gotten things done in the past, the best processes are often the ones that require a minimal amount of time, energy and are actually fun to work on. When you make your process better, you are working smarter and can make way more things happen. Working smarter also means being more adaptable and be able to adjust as needed. The path to your goals and resolutions should be a process thats as easy as breathing.
In addition to creating processes, It’s going to be important to track progress and actually see some sort of headway and have measurable results, documentation and recognition is crucial in the process of achieving goals and resolutions. While writing on MoHDI the results are easily viewed by page visits, comments and interactions. Even a small step forward is progress and is way better than making no progress at all.
While I know my goals will change, I feel that once I find good processes that work for me, I will be way better off in this coming year than just having a list of goals far out of reach.
There are a whole lot of ways to do things and articles and tips on going about them. Without a good process your goals and resolutions will remain out of reach.