Abundance

I was rereading Abundance by Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis (Founder of the X Prize), on this hungover saturday morning.

In the first chapter Abu Dhabi’s project to build a post petroleum city, Masdar, to tackle the future scenarios of an oil and water poor middle East is discussed.

Through the dying hazes of the alcohol permeating my brain I was once again struck by this passage on the nature of scarcity:

Even in a world without oil, Masdar is still bathed in sunlight. A lot of sunlight. The amount of solar energy that hits our atmosphere has been well established at 174 petwatts (1.740 x 10^17 watts), plus or minus 3.5 percent. Out of this total solar flux, approximately half reaches the Earth’s surface. Since humanity currently consumes about 16 terrawatts annually (going by 2008 numbers), there’s over five thousand times more solar energy falling on the planets surface than we use in a year. Once again, it’s not an issue of scarcity it’s an issue of accessibility.

Moreover, as far as water wars are concerned, Masdar sits on the Persian Gulf – which is a mighty aqueous body. The [Read More].

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ideal Action

Entering the inner citadel

Sometimes when reading we try and find answers, a clue to the internal monologue that will push us to the ideal character or the ideal action that will get us what we want.

But we have to remember that we can simply act to become the ideal character or act to take the ideal action that will get us what we want. The key is that we have to do it for our own internal validation, not external validation.

Which brings us full circle, what is the nature of our internal validation, and how do we fulfill it?

Posted in Inner Strategy | Leave a comment

David Heasman’s Rules of Business

Make a profit from Day One. Focus on getting your customers to love you. Everything else will work itself out Make your business as low maintenance as possible; so you can focus on what’s important. (4 Hour Work Week; The Effective Executive)

If I violate any one of these rules I have to slap myself with a cold fish.

Posted in Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Once in a while a book comes along which ties up a-lot of unanswered questions you’ve been thinking about.

Ryan Holiday’s new book has been just that for me.

If you don’t know Ryan Holiday is the Director of Marketing for American Apparel, and has done work for authors including Tucker Max and Tim Ferriss. He wrote the bestseller Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, where he outlines how he got free national press for his clients.

In his new book Ryan goes about explaining from his experience why traditional marketing is dead, even in his current capacity as Director of Marketing for American Apparel, and what is here to replace it: Growth Hacking.

He then goes on to explain what Growth Hacking is, and how it’s done.

If your reading this I presume you already know what Growth Hacking is, but here’s a Wikipedia entry on it if your still curious.

He cites examples from Dropbox to Hotmail, to his personal experience of launching Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Chef.

The last story is worth the £1.99 in its own right. The 4 Hour Chef was banned from [Read More].

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Everything You Do Is Marketing

Masai Warrior wearing a Lion's mane on his head

I recently started a marketing internship with a London startup called TaskPandas.

Obviously in the days leading up to the internship I boned up on all the articles I’d read on marketing:

The Truth About Social Media 1,000 True Fans 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

I also wanted to get my intrapreneurial muscles ready so I read Seth Godin’s Lynchpin. (Yes I am a reading junkie).

One lesson I took away is that Everything You Do Is Marketing.

How?

Simple.

Before we begin let’s define what marketing is. In my humble opinion marketing is the activity of getting people who don’t know about you to know about you. Converting them into users or customers is the job of selling.

So if we define marketing as letting people know about us, there are a few ways to do this.

We can put up a billboard with a sexy gorgeous woman, with our logo and what we do. This interrupts drivers and passengers and let’s them know about us. This is akin to the kid who screams in the playground about how awesome he is, so that he can make friends.

You don’t [Read More].

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

Some Old Drawings

Sadly it was drawings that I picked out of storage instead (Photo Credit: Luis Argerich)

In this ongoing quest, I’ve finally made it formal.

I’m going to start on Monday the 5th of August. That will make the 30th day the 3rd of September.

ust to establish a baseline, here are some former drawings I attempted in 2010 when I first started trying to learn to draw.J

Some of them are exercises from Drawing On The Right Hand Side Of The Brain. The others are just random doodles.

Posted in Drawing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How To Make A Plastic Drawing Viewfinder For Less Than £2

When you've got constraints, you've gotta get creative. (Photo Credit: Kate Hannon)

I’ve set myself the challenge to learn to draw in 30 days.  I decided before I get down to drawing, I should sort out my tools and resources.

Drawing On The Right Hand Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards…. Check

Pencils of various sorts.. Check

Sharpener, Eraser and Graphite Sticks ….. Check

Paper…. Check

Plastic Drawing Viewfinder…. Uh what?

It’s something that’s recommended in the book. From the 80 or so pages I’ve burned through the book, I gather it’s a tool allowing newbie drawers to project 3 dimensional scenes onto a 2 dimensional plane.

The exact resources:

You will need a piece of clear plastic, about 8″ x 10″ and about 1/16″ thick. A piece of glass is fine, but the edges must be taped. Use a permanent marker to draw two crosshairs on the plastic, a horizontal line and a vertical line…..

The internet being the glorious treasure trove it was, I thought to do a quick google search to see if anyone was selling aforementioned plastic drawing viewfinders.

Google promptly told me in it’s own way… No. (seriously search for it… if there [Read More].

Posted in Drawing | Tagged , , | 4 Responses

I’m Going To Learn To Draw In 30 Days

My Drawings are going to be far far far uglier. (Photo Credit: Arthur T Bens)

I was once on an outing with a girl and we came across a public chalkboard. She started doodling little cartoons and iconic animals, and was encouraging me to do the same. I wouldn’t.

It wasn’t that I thought it was silly (I love doing silly things), I just couldn’t in any manner at that time. For me it was akin to someone asking me to roll my tongue when I couldn’t, or speak Spanish when I couldn’t.

I couldn’t draw. Not even to save my own life. It seemed the neural connections in my brain just didn’t exist.

However I know exactly why I can’t draw.

Back when David Heasman was a young sapling in the British Primary Education System, he used to get frustrated when asked to draw anything. This continued through into his later years. And it wasn’t the frustration with drawing that used to bog him down, it was the frustration that such a manual method was required to put one’s imagination to paper. I used to dream of a device which would transfer the image of your mind onto the paper. Just as I used to think learning languages was redundant as the Universal Translator [Read More].

Posted in Drawing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Responses

Bye Bye

It's been a long time. (Image Credit: alexkerhead)

It’s been a while.

During the past year of reconfiguring satellites (a gross exaggeration of my Masters Project) and recruiting an army to take over the world (another gross exaggeration of my marketing efforts for UCL’s Entrepreneurs Society) and general student times (that bit’s exactly what you think) I’ve not had the time to figure out what to blog.

So today I say bye bye to the old blog. I’m going to do a subtle rebranding. The mission statement underneath the blog’s logo is going to read like a shizophrenic’s diary over the next few weeks. I’ll be refreshing it with almost every blog post as I try and figure out the general theme I’m going to blog about.

However in the meantime I’ve got a few projects in the works. One of which I’ll be blogging about heavily for the next 40 days.

So in the words of Arthur C. Clarke and every other single hype writer ever…

Watch This Space.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to draw Wireframes in Photoshop

Amazing Blog Author’s note: This tutorial was supposed to have helpful images along with the instructions, however my uh, hard-drive blew up, and those images weren’t backed up. I’ll update this post soon with the aforementioned images. Moral of the story, always always work in dropbox.

As I so elaborately wrote about in my previous post, I’ve been teaching myself how to use the adobe creative suite. And by use I mean for something other than creating crappy posters. I have been learning how to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver to build websites.

I’ve been using an infiniteskills video course to guide me, but as I haven’t finished it yet I’m unable to write a review. Instead I’ll give a quick tutorial on how to draw a website wireframe in photoshop.

 

Uh… What’s a wireframe?

Before I completely dive in, I’m sure it would be useful to actually know what a wireframe is. Many people out there on the internet do know this, and if you’re one of those…. just skip this paragraph. Otherwise these words will just be a waste of your time.

If you don’t know what a wireframe is, worry not. A wireframe [Read More].

Posted in Web Design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment