I decided it might be a fun idea to document some of my previous projects. I have an entrepreneurial drive (which might have started with my newspaper route) and I love to solve problems, particularly with technology. One problem I have found though is that sometimes when I’ve solved the problem, I want to move on to something new. This is great in a business environment where there are always more things to solve but when you have created something and you are the only one working on it, it makes it difficult for it to sustain itself. I’ve also realized that while I understand marketing and sales, and can build processes for them, the activities to do those things well don’t get me excited and I stop doing them after a bit. This can really hinder the growth of a business or project! 🙂
WordPress for Business Websites
A number of years ago, when WordPress was just starting to establish itself as a platform for more than just blogs, I started a website teaching people how to build their business website on WordPress. I created an ebook and attempted to sell it and affiliate products that related to this idea. I made a little bit of money but found this project actually worked best as a lead generation tool for people looking for help with their own website. This led to a number of development projects I worked on.
For a while I did a bunch of projects for different websites. I did custom registration forms (with some crazy logic) for a Side-by-side rally and a youth football league. I helped maintain a non-profit’s website, including donation forms for certain events. I built a countdown single product sale landing page for a custom jewelry site. In addition, I helped build an election site for a local politician, a beanbag selling website, a couple of affiliate sites of my own, and I partnered with a graphics designer to update her client websites from the designs she created.
When contests on your website were all the rage, I created a contest platform that allowed you to get points based on those you shared the contest with. Think of a chain letter, an MLM, or a Pyramid scheme where you received so many points for those you shared the contest with directly and then slightly less points for the people they shared it with, and then less for those people’s shares.
Video Home Tours
A number of years ago a couple of friends and I started working on doing video home tours. They would take high quality video of the home, edit it, and then post it online for the clients. This was fun but in the end was taking too much effort and time to do the filming and editing and we were up against the growing ability of individuals to do this on their own so we didn’t pursue it too hard.
Photography Studio Rental
While I am not a photographer, I had this brilliant idea to rent space in a nice central location in Provo and provide all the things a photographer would need to take pictures in a studio. Then I would rent the space out by the hour and enable photographers to take indoor pictures without needing to rent a large enough space and purchase all the equipment. I talked to about 50 photographers who all thought this was a great idea. I purchased props, backdrops, and lights and set things up, renting a space on a 6 month lease (bad idea). I think we had 3 rental slots we sold (probably partially marketing and sales again) and 2 of those were from one photographer. In the end I lost a bunch of money but I learned a huge lesson in testing the value of a service.
Looking back I found that the photographers weren’t trained on the lights and this caused anxiety. When you take pictures outside, you just deal with the lighting while inside, you have control over it all. If the pictures don’t turn out, it is a reflection of your skills, AND you had to pay more for access to the studio. Just wasn’t worth it for the photographers.