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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