This post comes from a quote I gave my friends at the The Lab. See full post HERE
I’ve enjoyed the Apple Watch so far and I feel this is partly due to having reasonable expectations. I like wearing a watch so the Apple Watch didn’t have to convince me to put something on my wrist, of that I was already sold. I think the wrist is a great spot for small amounts of information that are needed at a moments notice i.e. time. For the past few hundred years, time has been the “killer app” that’s moved watches from the pocket to the wrist. I think the Apple Watch will need to go one better than just time, but as the apps evolve we will see simpler and simpler apps that use machine learning, geo location and ‘time’ to deliver the exact information we need at a glance. For instance, if we’re standing at the same tram stop we do every morning and we glance at our Apple Watch, chances are we really need to know when the tram will arrive, not the actual time. When apps get to this level, it will be less about scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, or showing off the watch to friends, and more of a seamless interaction that will be so natural you won’t realise the value until you accidentally leave it at home.
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We launched our current Startup (Quad Lock) at the end of 2011 when we first heard of crowdfunding through Kickstarted. For us the end of 2011 was the perfect time to launch and the good news is, now’s still just as perfect! In my opinion now’s always the perfect time, no matter when you’re reading this now’s the time.
I also truly believe that never has there been as much opportunity for Startups to bootstrap their existence and growth through access to people, access to funds, ability to transact and the ability to go global from day one.
25 years ago it would have almost been impossible to bootstrap a small Melbourne based startup like ours into a multimillion dollar business with product selling in over 100 countries. Today this is now almost common place with many small bootstrapped startup companies leveraging the internet to build self sustaining businesses while reaching a worldwide audience.
Below I’ll cover some of the reasons I think this is now possible, and the best thing is everyone that has access to the internet has access to them all. I realise most of these aren’t new ideas but I wanted to make a comparison between the past and the present.
I talk with lots of people from the startup/freelance/sme scene here in Melbourne and many people are moving from having a “on the side business” to more of a “serious” business, be it part time or full time. Many of these people have started with a WordPress blog and then ad in e-commerce latter on. This makes sense as they have grown their website and traffic over time, but the ecommerce option are limited compared to a platform like Shopify thats super easy to use and update.
This is why the new Shopify Buy Button is so cool as it can be added to an existing WordPress blog/website buy simply copying and pasting an embed code. The cool thing here is that you get to use your WordPress site to do what it does best while letting Shopify handle the ecommerce side of things.
Facebook recently reached out to Quad Lock and offered us the opportunity to tell our story. The video touches on how we started the Quad Lock business and how we’ve used Facebook Ads to bootstrap our startup from an idea into a multi million dollar business with products now sold in over 100 countries.
Note: I wrote this article back in 2012 but only just found it in my draft post of my WP blog so I figured I should publish it anyway…. Opps!
November and December are some of the most important sales months on the calendar, they are also the two main months where the Shopify Build a Business competition is either won or lost. For this reason it’s important that you get it right!
Based on our experience last year on www.openacase.com we’d like to give other online retailers and Shopify Build a Business competitors our top five recommendations for selling during the “Silly Season”.
If your product makes for a great gift anticipate that sales are going to at least double and have more stock than you need. The worst thing that can happen is that you run out of stock during this period so plan for success and be ready to sell more than ever before.
Spread the word that your products makes a great gift, don’t presume that your potential customer will make the connection. You have to tell them! This is true because often when potential gift buying customers see your advert or product they may not be personally interested, but once you remind them that have others to buy for they will see your products as a solution to their problem.
Keep in mind that the majority of products purchased during this period will be gifts so a change in marketing strategies may be necessary.
Lately I have been reminded of the importance of quiet time, I’m not the quietest type so I find I have to make an effort to get some quiet time other than sleeping. I really think your subconscious is a smarter than your conscious by a decent multiplier, not sure what it is, but it’s defiantly smarter. I think your subconscious is especial great at taking in multiple complex factor processing them and delivering the best solution. I always find that my subconscious makes the best decisions and have to remind myself to use it and more importantly give it time to work.
I believe this is the reason we always return from holidays or long weekends where we really take some time off with a few good ideas and/or better ways of doing things. I think my brain capacity (granted it’s pretty limited) spends most of it’s processing power in the present and that it needs to be released from the present to really operate at a higher subconscious level.
So things I’ve been doing lately to help include driving with the radio off, walking with nowhere to go and fishing by myself. I have also tried to use my daily tram ride to do nothing (not play with my iPhone) but this has lead me to believe that 15 minutes isn’t long enough. I think 30 mins is a minimum to get things working on a subconscious level and the longer you stay there the better it gets.
My first blog was started back in 2011 with my Co Founder of Annex Products Chris Peters. The blog was a place to throw all the useful information that we could find on the fast growing entry level and open source 3D Printer industry. A year later and a few machine reviews in we found ourselves with 3D Printers Australia the number one site for all things 3D Printer related in Australia. We made a few phone calls and filled all the advertising spaces within a day, many of which still advertise today!
We then had this great audience and ended up even selling a few entry level machines, which turned into a full time gig and a spin of business Rapid 3D. Rapid 3D has now sold to almost all the Universities and many high Schools and Design firms throughout Australia including Melbourne Uni, Swinburne, RMIT, QUT Canberra and many more…
So I guess it shows just being involved in something that you find interesting and accepting opportunity when it presents itself works, and that not every business needs to be a well defined plan with a set course.
So I’ve told a few people about this over the last few months and most people didn’t know so I think it’s worth a post.
I’ve been using Facebook ads for a couple of years now and the truth is that the majority of our customers have been acquired from the social network. However using Facebook properly is almost a full-time job as it’s in a constant state of flux.
I think managing Facebook ads is like Fly Fishing your favourite river, you know what you’re doing and you’ve been there before but every time you return it’s a little bit different, there’s a new snag been pushed down stream, the rivers running higher/faster or the fish have seen all your flys and their not interested.
I’ve been riding my Evolve Electric Skateboard for almost a month now and I have to say it’s fricking awesome! The build quality, battery life and the way it rides are all just awesome. Not being from a longboarding background I really didn’t have any idea just how great longboards in general rode in comparison to a skateboard. The Evolve board effortlessly roles over stones, sticks and pavement expansion gaps that would send you flying on a skateboard. The other thing I didn’t realise is how the Evolve board would be more similar to Snowboarding or Wake Surfing! The twin kingpin Super Carve trucks have an awesome feel and the Abec 11 Flywheels grip like crazy! Continue reading →
So after many customer requests and a few months of development we (Annex Products) have come up with our first non iPhone product. We have decided to make our first product for the Android market in our Quad Lock range and what better place to start than with Samsung’s flagship smartphone the Galaxy S4.
Chris started on the design back in May when we first got our hands on a Galaxy S4 and started by printing a few prototypes on our Cube 3D Printer as seen in orange on the left.
After a few iteration and a few commercial prints later we were happy with the overall design and have since moved into tooling first for the case and now the Poncho water resistant cover.