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Sort Value: Developer's Notebook Report - All to All - (8)
Time Id Color Title/Caption Start Date   Notes
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Shop 5295 Business consulting 12/30/19  

Jonathan from Epic Enterprises Consulting came over to my house and we had a meeting. We covered a lot of ground and had a good meeting. See attached for a scan of my notes from the meeting.

- Maximizing vs optimizing - Sometimes we (people) just try to push on the gas and get as much out of things as possible. Very natural - this is called maximizing. The other less common option is doing what is best or getting the optimal results vs the maximum results.

- MVP - We have heard that MVP stands for minimal viable product. Well, it was explained today with a few other variables. What about minimal viable plan, minimal viable service, minimal viable (fill in the blank), etc.? Cool concept.

- We always need improvement

- We were talking about expectations, boundaries, and defining the scope. Without those pieces, you can get run over or overwhelmed pretty easy. Once a scope is defined, you can say yes (if you want to), and then say this is the price for doing that. Tie the two together if possible.

- Definition of a company - a group of people - teamwork at a deeper level

- We spent quite a bit of time talking about the term "Executive" and what does that mean. My current view of an executive is what I see on TV (media) of a boss at the top who commands his employees and somewhat has the final say of things... not something that I really want to be. As we talked, we started to redefine what an executive could be... Here are some of the ideas and concepts: An introspective person who has found themselves at or near the top of a competency hierarchy, who seeks out and wields or aligns themselves with true principles. Respect for other, respect for self, helps and loves others, loves to learn and improve, helps to protect the vision. I liked those ideas and concepts much more. I could do that type of being an executive.

- There are five major roles that need to be fulfilled in a company. Instead of just roles, ideally, you actually have people in place who can carry each of these roles and own it. Otherwise you just have a smaller number wearing multiple hats. The five people are: An organizer, a doer, a creative type, a consultant, and a salesman. The goal is to align talents with tasks.

- What is the definition of success? We don't have to create the same successes that the world has created. We can be our own style.

- Byproducts and harnessing those different avenues.

- People enter the timeline and the story goes from there.

- We talked about lots of our people and what role and talents (attributes) they bring to the table. I listed off 15 to 20 key players that we deal with and have interactions with.

- Jonathan wanted me to read a book, not just read it, but speed read it. He then took ten minutes and showed me how to do this... my definition won't do it justice, but here we go... Totally destroy the structure of the book, browse it, look for single words that are interesting, spoil it if you want to, jump around, create curiosity anchors across the story, make it fun. Then speed read it (glancing over things quickly) and pull out the main points. If something interests you, read deeper, otherwise just try to get the main points.

- Dealing with speed reading, I was thinking that we could help people get interested in adilas that way... sometimes it may look too big or complicated but if people were to browse and find some curiosity anchors and then skim over some of the benefits and features, it may be a better way to consume it then trying to virtually read the whole thing. Just an idea. Make it fun. As a side note, I'm trying to head in that direction by working on the presentation gallery (non linear, visual, outline type format for a presentation or demo).

- Ask yourself, what am I selling? Is it what you are thinking?

- We went over some time management stuff. See my scans for a better version of this... but imagine a small grid with four things down the side. They are: Day to day (fires and being overwhelmed), strategizing, distractions, and time wasters. Then across the top, you have two columns, they are normal and optimal. Pretend that you have an 8 hour day. In the normal column, you have almost all of your day in the day to day (fires and being overwhelmed) column. You only get a few minutes on the strategizing, distractions, and time wasters columns. You are just buried and go from problem to problem (that's what it feels like). On the optimal side, you have about 2 hours of your day doing the day to day (fires and being overwhelmed). You have 5 hours of strategizing (trying to outwit tomorrow's fires), and half an hour each on the distractions and time wasters. These numbers aren't perfect, but represent a better way to do time management.

- Trying to outwit tomorrow's fires - strategizing

- From Jonathan - Books are a form of mind enhancement.

- Life hacking to make something out of what you are given - if you hack it, you make it work how you want it to (at least kinda sorta).

- A knowledge worker - what does that mean? They know something more about something. They need a rhythm or a cadence. They need to have a commitment factor to help them play.

- "10% of what I peddle (sell) is hope." - Quote from Jonathan. I really liked that. I may start using something like that in my pitches. I sell potential, which is a form of hope.

- At some point, every company becomes blind to itself.

- We were talking about disfunctions and trying to reinvent the wheel on different topics. Jonathan was using a word that kept hitting me in the face. It was "rejecting", meaning rejecting or not allowing certain primary functions to take place or do their jobs... We talked about rejecting structure, rejecting responsibility, rejecting proper pricing configuration, rejecting executive time management, and rejecting a coherent form (what, who are we).

- Take the pill of actually solidifying who we are and what we do - scope.

- Dealing with time... It's not too late...

- Positive manipulation - This may sound bad, but we all use this in one form or another. We talked about positive manipulation and how that is both best used and when and why. Lots of variables for it and also lots of reasons to use and employ that kind of a tactic or use that kind of tool.

- Alignment to a core principle - that can get pretty deep.

- Trying to "cheat" the core principles - what cause and effect relationships does that have and mean? This was a conversation about what are we doing and how are we virtually trying to cheat a number of known principles. Not trying to be dishonest, but not doing certain things on purpose. For example, not having an employee type structure, not having proper supply and demand pricing, not having a known form or structure (what does your business do and what products and/or services do you provide).

- Kicking against the pricks - analogy used on animals in agriculture. The prick helped to prod the animal to do certain things. If the animal rebelled, it would kick against the prick and drive it in deeper (causing harm or more pain). We talked about this analogy and how sometimes if you try to avoid or reject certain things, you end up hurting yourself in business.

- We talked about what makes a mom and pop shop a mom and pop shop? What could they do differently, if they wanted to? Key word, if they wanted to. How could certain principles help them become bigger - once again if they wanted to. People, talent, origination, funding, broader scope, marketing, product line, etc. Interesting conversation. Jonathan wasn't saying we (adilas) are a mom and pop shop, but we are on purpose not implementing all of the options, thus keeping us at a certain level.

- He gave me three things to do: 1. Read the book - "The Go-Giver" - speed reading style, life hack, and non linear format. 2. Commit to a consultant. and 3. Start making incremental improvements (as prescribed). As a side note, I said that we were making incremental improvements and he said that would be good. He then added "as prescribed" and that somewhat changed the direction. Just a side note.

- We have to figure out the people first. Then we can get to the other pieces.

- Jonathan was recommending a board of advisors vs a board of directors. Small changes to focus, direction, and style. Interesting. 

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Shop 5296 Business consulting 1/13/20  

Jonathan from Epic Enterprises came over to my house to meet with us. We started out listening to Steve and Eric over the GoToMeeting session. After a little bit, I started to explain some things to Jonathan. We went on mute but had the meeting with Steve and Eric going on in the background. Every once in awhile we would catch something and it would send us off on a tangent and/or direction change. We were waiting for Steve to join us.

Once Steve joined us, we had a good multi-hour meeting with Jonathan, Steve, and myself. Here are some of my notes.

- We talked about analogies between showing a whole mountain vs just an ice berg (how much do you show and/or reveal - it deals with perceptions of how much there is and how much needs to be learned).

-  We talked briefly about the need for the adilas café and a good starting place for our users to come in and be a part of the community. Some of the people come to work, play, learn, buy or sell their own product and services, and participate in the adilas community. We went over some concepts, graphics, and needs in that area.

- I pitched to Jonathan that we have at least 3 businesses that need to be funded, staffed, and managed. We have the main adilas system, the adilas marketplace (others who are buying and selling their services and products to help support the system), and adilas university (education and training).

- We talked about some progress from one server and being able to share logins (one login allowed access to multiple corporations, based off of permissions and assignments). We also talked about how that model still exists but gets tougher as we keep adding other independent servers. Currently, we can share logins on a per server basis. We can't do a single login and allow that user to access multiple servers. The logins are specific to each server right now. As a side note, not everybody needs to be bridged between servers, but certain users work in tons of different systems and on multiple different servers.

- Jonathan recommended a movie called "The Pentagon Wars" - dealing with scope creep. Basically a project that should have been fairly simple turns into 17 years of development and $14 billion to create it. A comical stab at the mismanagement of government spending and scope creep.

- We as humans, are designed to push too far. We tend to go to extremes.

- Making the system more human like... anthropomorphism

- People tend to be either: stable/reliable (45%), warrior/artisans (27%), idealist/humanist (14%), analytical (10%), other (4%) - all rough figures or ish

- Business is a projection of/from psychology.

- Going from order to chaos, order to chaos, and so forth - cycle that has been repeated over and over again in all ages.

- Suggestion - On the invoice homepage and the graphs... maybe add a projection line on the invoice homepage graphs. Show a forecast and/or projection. This could also be done with an average based on number of days. This came up due to the fact that the existing graphs take month over month data and create a graph. Well, if you have just started a new month... you only have a small number of days worth of data vs a whole month worth of data. Sometimes it makes the graph look like it is trending down sharply when in reality, things are actually doing pretty good. Visual helper.

- Talking with Steve and Jonathan - light intro and talking about their respective backgrounds and interests.

- Jonathan wants to help us improve our company.

- Consultants tend to do one of the following actions:  diagnose, analyze, and/or provide feedback. - Sometimes in that order or 3 step process.

- SaaS (software as a service) is a crazy business model.

- Question (dealing with approach) - How do you sneak up on the elephant? Talks about approaches and why's.

- A consultant informs and convinces. A consultant sees from the outside.

- A few things that Jonathan sees right now, without getting super deep: overdiversification, scope creep, scope seep, lack of structure, possible lack of leadership.

- We don't really like to babysit.

- We are trying to work on our to do list or our tick list.

- People have different skills - putting the people in the right place.

- From Steve, sometimes the environment changes how we act and interact with it - it is not just personalities and traits.

- We haven't spent much on selling and marketing.

- We would like to focus on the adilas café approach.

- From Jonathan, book recommendations - "Good To Great", "Rocket Fuel", and "The Go-Giver"

- Building a company is different than running a company.

- By helping our people better focus, that could help us be more productive.

- Steve would like to involve as many good people as possible - He is ok with not knowing everything.

- Steve wants to keep an independent model and/or have multiple cofounders.

- At some point, you will hit the borders of certain things unless you comply with certain principles.

- So many moving pieces - that makes it tough to both see and figure out the roll out and the plan.

- We may need a plan for who will run the business - we like to create it (dreamers and doers).

- Where does one start? Jonathan wants to start with the minds of the owners.

- We just build things... we don't even stop to try to sell them. We love the building process.

- Steve seems to be the creative type and the organizer type.

- Mixing and blending the persons and personalities - we need all of the players.

- We are trying to create a community.

- Analogy of the bee hive... well, if we have a hive, we may need a queen bee, a tree, and some flowers - we need all of the pieces.

- Steve loves to recruit talent and skills.

- Business philosophy and playing the game.

- Jonathan sees, as far as what we offer: stacked valuable services upon other valuable services.

/////////////////// challenges for Steve and I

1. Use more of Jonathan's time
2. Take a personality test from 16 personalities - Try it in different moods, happy, sad, tired, stressed, etc.
3. Trying to align to business principles
4. Steve and I, discuss some of our known disfunctions - see other notes - search for the key word rejecting

No po photos available. Click to view time details.
Shop 5523 Business Consulting 2/10/20  

Jonathan from Epic Enterprises came over and we had a 3 hour meeting between Steve, Jonathan, and Brandon. Lots of talks and discussions about pros and cons of employee model vs independent model. See attached for some of the notes.

- Lots of talk about more freedom and more liberty

- Competency and leadership hierarchy - knowledge workers

- Looking over the long term, how will things line up and match up over time

- Leadership structure and sub structures

- Motivation and pay structures

No po photos available. Click to view time details.
Shop 6023 Business consulting 3/9/20  

Meeting with Steve and Jonathan from Epic Enterprises (business consulting). We changed gears today and dealt with some very practical things, ideas, and decisions. We went over financials, numbers, and talked about sales.

One of the exercises that Jonathan had us do was called "napkin numbers" - this is where you scribble down some basic numbers (pretend it is on a napkin or something small and throwaway) and then you try to quickly fix or right the problems. Another thing that he had us do was pretend that we had just purchased the company, as if we were the new owners. What would be the next couple of steps that we would want to do or have happen? Fun little exercises.

We talked about times and seasons and being able to control ratios of spending, funding, R & D (research and development), and building for the future. We also talked about priorities and laying out expectations and requirements.

Brandon does have a small napkin budget that they worked on. It won't be uploaded for privacy stuff, but file name has the name napkin in it on his local hard drive. Good meeting and we are making progress. Our next meeting is going to be starting into sales and making a sales plan.

No po photos available. Click to view time details.
Shop 6024 Business consulting 3/23/20  

Meeting with Jonathan Johnson from Epic Enterprises. All of met online, due to the corona virus stuff. Steve, Brandon, and Jonathan were on the meeting the whole time. Shari O. was on for a bit but had too much to do. We took a bunch of notes and sent her a copy. The notes are Brandon's computer in a Word document. See attached for a local (on his computer) reference. Good meeting.

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Shop 6165 Adilas Time 4/14/20  

When I joined the morning meeting, there were multiple people on already. Danny, Dustin, Eric, and Steve were on. They finished their business and then each of them ended up leaving except for Eric. He had some questions dealing with custom industry-specific interfaces and the printing of labels. I gathered up some resources for him and sent him a number of links as well as showed him how to access the pieces inside of the system.

Steve and I chatted about some marketing ideas and Danny chimed in that he really enjoyed the business consulting meeting yesterday with Jonathan Johnson from Epic Enterprises. Good stuff.

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Shop 6158 Business consulting 4/27/20  

Meeting with Jonathan Johnson from Epic Enterprises - we took tons of sales and marketing notes. Brandon has those notes on his local computer. There is some flex grid on this element that points to the file (somewhat hidden from prying eyes).

No po photos available. Click to view time details.
Shop 9246 Adilas Time 8/24/22  

Light research on some business info from Jonathan Johnson at Epic Enterprises. I want to pass on the info to Sean so that he can review it. Wayne and I spent some time going over indexes and possible code wrappers and helpers. Then we flipped over and worked on some new corp stuff (adding and editing corporations inside the system).

We have a couple of new projects that are somewhat mixing. We have the change from MyISAM tables to InnoDB tables (database engines inside of MySQL database). We also have a project called the monitoring system that has some cool things that are coming. We have to mix and blend all of the pieces together.

Chuck jumped on and we chatted about 3D printers and building things that we need. Wayne and I finished up our meeting by going over parts, find and replace functions and code snippets. Wayne is going to do some backend clean-up on some of the servers and will end up either using the find and replace stuff and/or pointing users there if duplicates are found. Either way, planning some light clean-up on the databases and servers.