The EpicHub.com logo was created using a simple image I purchased online, and, IMHO, the most awesome graphic text generator available online.Check out www.CoolText.com! Their services are free, and their product is outstanding! Here’s an example I made in 3 minutes:
I’m pleased to announce EpicHub has basic functionality! I made my first phone call through my account in the EpicHub website last night! EpicHub offers telecommunications at a reduction in cost of 66% over standard telephony rates! But that’s just the start! We’re going to drive this cost down till it’s free! FREE! How? That’s a SECRET! And this is still just the tip of the iceberg!
EpicHub uses “Outside the box” thinking to create “non-intrusive” revenue streams! EpicHub uses no spam! No banner ads! No pop-up windows! No selling your personal information to anyone! No selling your friends information either! In fact, no annoyances at all! EpicHub offers “True Internet Tranquility!” You’re data is SAFE at EpicHub! YOU ARE SAFE at EpicHub!
At Epic – We get it!
“You want – What you want – When you want it!”
People will tell you to “Follow your dreams!” and “Life is what you make of it!” and “You never know unless you try.” etc. etc.
But those sayings are only partially true. It is true that you can’t win if you don’t play the game. I’m reminded of that old joke about the man who pleaded with God every day to help him win the lottery. So – every day he prayed – but no lottery winnings were ever pocketed – and on the day he died – he went to Heaven where he met God and said, “Lord, every day I prayed that I’d win the lottery, but you never made it happen! Why not?” And the Lord said – “You never bought a lottery ticket.”
With that said, business is considerably more than just going out and “trying.” True, you can get lucky, but think about this — approximately 50 percent of new businesses fail in the first year. This number has also been held to increase dramatically in the first five years of running a business, when the number is claimed to rise as high as 90 to 95 percent. Those are some long odds!
If you’re considering starting a new business, I highly recommend reading “The E-myth” by Michael Gerber:
Don’t get “The E-Myth Revisited” as the message is watered down. “The E-Myth” explains why and how most new businesses fail in the first year. This is absolutely CRITICAL reading for entrepreneurs! And, no, I am not getting paid a commission for recommending this book. It’s a good read, and the money you invest in this book is a drop in the bucket compared to what you can lose by going into business in the wrong way. I know from experience.
The second piece of advice I have for you is this — either get really good at accounting, or hire a fantastic numbers guy. The biggest killer of businesses in my experience is hidden costs – i.e. you think you’re making a profit, but you’re not — and you bleed yourself to death. A great numbers guy or gal can alert you to all kinds of problems BEFORE they kill you.
And the best piece of advice of all should be the 11th commandment – “Know thy customer, as thee know thyself.” Find a problem the customer has – find a habit tied to the problem – create a system that solves the problem consistently – tie the system to the habit – your product should provide a reward at the end of the habit – manage key indicators – service the customer – and own thy numbers.
Prototype Coding 4 of 4 was successful! That’s it! Technology risk over! Done deal!
Prototype 4 is being delivered to the master coder and will be incorporated into the site. All that remains now is coding in additional existing technologies to create the final product. I am now 3 to 5 months away from a deliverable!
After I have my product up and functioning, I’ll need to load a great deal of data into it to prepare it for launch. This will take about a month. During this time, I’ll be beta testing the site.
Mapping this out, it looks like October, 2012 is my target launch month.
Prototype coding 2 is an absolute success! Prototype coding 3 has suffered difficulties, but a solution has been found. And with prototypes 1, 2, and 3 being viable, I now have a deliverable product! So — Game On!
But it’s not the best it can be. I want prototype 4 to be part of the product. Prototype 4 is the largest, and most time consuming part of the coding. But I feel it’s worth the delay on launch to have it included. I should know by the end of the week whether the full product is a “Go”, or whether I’ll have to settle for something in between.
So – prototypes 2 and 3 are now being programmed into the site! Onward and Upward!
I’d like to take this opportunity to describe the Idea Generation process I went through. I don’t recommend this process to anyone with families as I almost lost my family doing this (Divorce). Speed to market is critical for this idea because both Google and facebook are moving in this direction. They just haven’t stumbled upon the solution to a known problem. This presents a wide arena of possibilities and problems that I’ll need to face.
Anyway, as mentioned before, the basic idea hit me while watching a YouTube video on “What is your real product?” The answer to that question came after about a summer’s worth of thinking. It came to me as a simple solution that I could use my simple technology to solve a problem all businesses face. This idea, or rough concept, was then refined over the course of about a week, and turned into a business concept. I then sat down and entered the actual design phase where I turned the idea into a product. This process took the proverbial 40 days and nights. I sat down and started designing the interface from scratch. But any family man that steps “out” for 40 days faces a myriad of problems.
I have a wife, 2 kids, and a grown son. All of them require much of my time and help around the house. My efforts help to keep my wife sane, and my kids happy. So – to make sure I had a family to come back to, I worked between the hours of 9PM and 3AM. For more than a month, I would go to work designing the product at 9PM and would throw in the towel when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more, usually around 3AM. I would then get up @ 7AM to get my kids dressed, make lunches, pack up kids with backpacks, jackets, gloves, umbrellas, etc., and get them out to the bus by 8:15AM. I would then arrive at my day job by 9AM and work till 5:30PM. I would then head home, have dinner, give baths, play with kids, get them to bed, then do dishes and clean up the house. At 9PM, I would start the process all over. Weekends were different. I worked straight through weekends, only stopping to do chores around the house. My wife was understandably IRKED! to say the least.
I was bleeding out of my eyes during daylight hours. But, in the end, I created something amazing! And it was worth it. Designing every little detail as it would be seen “on screen”, gathering and reviewing competitive data, selecting key partners, and marrying it all together was immensely satisfying. And it created a fantastic display. I then turned this display into a full blown presentation.
My presentation wasn’t designed to win investors. It was just designed to show what the system does, how it works, and who gains by its use. But, to date, I have used this presentation to generate quotes from coders and gain venture capital.
I have promised my wife that I will not “head out into the wilderness” like this again for the foreseeable future. And I don’t believe I need to. And as Steve Jobs said: it’s time to Create it, Master it, and Manage it.