Archive for January, 2007

Designing a logo

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Now, I admit, I made this a bigger deal than perhaps it warranted. On the other hand, why start a company if you don’t aspire to be the best: if you aspire to mediocrity, you will likely achieve poorly, its by aspiring to greatness that you at least achieve mediocrity.

It all began with the design of the logo. You see, the complication with design projects where you are a not a designer, is that you know when something isn’t right, but you cannot communicate what would make it better.

I knew I wanted my logo to be meaningful but not obviously so; I didn’t want it to use overly recognisable symbols (like hands, arrows, stars of humans); and I wanted it to convey the essence of my brand. Sounds fair enough, right?

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Negotiating Contracts (Part 2)

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Once the price and scope of works was finalised between myself and my supplier, it was time to finalise and sign the contract.

This process generally involves lawyers and long documents and much to-ing and fro-ing, but we are a small company, and my supplier is as well. There were no lawyers involved on my side, and the contract that the supplier proposed was only 3 pages long. However, we were able to pool together other contract and non-disclosure agreement templates from other software development projects we had done in the past, and just decided to use common sense in compiling a reasonable contract. We realised early on that with our budget, and the suppliers Eastern European location, the likelihood of us ever mounting a legal challenge on any point, and of a resolution ever being achieved through legal means, was negligible. The costs of such a process were prohibitive, and the discrepancies between the legal systems in both countries was too difficult to contemplate.

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Negotiating Contracts (Part 1)

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

It was quite a scary process for me to finalise the contract with the development house I engaged to develop my site. They are based outside Australia (where I am based), and so all negotiations and discussions were conducted via email and telephone. You don’t realise how difficult it is to develop rapport with someone unless you can see them and engage with them in a physical environment. My business partner at the time found a useful technique to deal with this constraint was to engineer many different excuses for phone calls. For a period of about three weeks, she arranged calls, and made requests for various documents and reports. What she was actually doing was testing the suppliers punctuality, accessibility, language skills, reliability, and personality. Doing this over a few weeks meant you ironed out any potential irregularities, if they were being unusually attentive this would become apparent after a few weeks.

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Sleep deprivation

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

The thing I find the hardest to cope with while trying to start a business and work full-time, is the sleep deprivation. This is made significantly worse is you try to be healthy and exercise, because the only time I can do so is before I go to work. This means waking up at 6am, after working til my eyes collapses from exhaustion the night before.

Why this lunacy! I hear you ask… Because I am stuck in the Catch-22 situation that if I don’t exercise, I feel sluggish and tired, but to exercise means to have less sleep and therefore also be tired. I have now gone for a few months experimenting with the theory that I feel less tired if I get more sleep and less exercise, but I don’t think it has worked – I am hideously tired all the time. So I am now experimenting with my new hypothesis: that pushing through the initial pain of insufficient sleep and throwing myself out the door for a jog will actually increase my energy levels and reduce the amount I need to sleep. I will let you know how it goes… I’m on day 2 of this plan.