Wow! Time sure does fly! It seems like only yesterday that we announced the launch of our new web service called RealtyNinja which makes awesome websites for the busy real estate agent. The reason I am writing this post is because I noticed that our last post was almost 5 months ago!! And one thing I always tell my clients is that a blog can be a good thing, but if you let it go stale, it can do more harm than good! So here is me updating the blog to keep things ‘fresh’ and also to let you all know that RealtyNinja is getting more and more awesome as the days go by. We have added a whole bunch of amazing new features and plan to make it the best real estate agent website creator in the industry. Check it out for your self:
Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
In line with my last blog post, I am re-evaluating my relationship with the people I follow on Twitter. I started out on the right track by following those people I was genuinely interested in and then I started following anyone who followed me because I thought it was the nice thing to do. I came under the impression that it was rude not to follow someone who so kindly followed me and then I started thinking that to get more followers you have to follow more people. This has resulted in me never reading anyones tweets no matter how interested I am in them because I have to wade through a swamp of random, useless (to me) tweets.
I am now going on a twitter followee cleanse and un-following anyone I am not actually stoked to hear from. This may result in a backlash where I lose followers myself, but I don’t really care; quality not quantity eh?.
I am torn on how I should handle comments on this blog. Should I disable comments all together? Should I only show the positive comments? Should I reply to comments? It is also difficult to tell which comments are authentic and which comments are from people who really don’t care about what you write, they just want their comments picked up by search engines or get a comment approved so that they can then spam you.
What is the point of blog comments? Are they just badges to hang on your site that say, “Look at how important I am, people are commenting on my blog”? To be honest, I think that is how I have been treating them up until now. After giving the subject some thought, blog comments in my opinion are for turning a one way dialogue (blog post) into a 2 way conversation; be that between blog author and commenter or between commenter’s themselves. With this in mind I am now going to make an effort to reply to every comment on our blog. After deleting the obvious spam comments I simply do not want to spend the time contemplating whether a comment is authentic or not, so I am just going to accept and comment on them all!
Let’s see how this experiment goes. And please don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the time that anyone takes to comment on something that we write.
I am a big fan of breaking large projects into bite sized, easily manageable pieces. Call them phases, stages, parts or what have you; it is all the same. The point is taking something that has a deadline far in the future with a million to-do items and turning it into something that has short deadlines with easily managed and concise deliverables. To effectively accomplish this you have to sit down and have the big picture discussion with the end goal clearly in mind and plot your course to completion; this is where I find lots of projects get tripped up. Even if you have broken it down into 2 week deadlines, you still have that looming 3 month deadline and waste time on the overhead of having to meet deadlines to meet other deadlines.
This is why I like to use the Phase Now and Phase Later approach. Why not have that big picture discussion and compile a list of concise, clear deliverables and then sort it in order of priority. Once you have done this, put as many priority items as you can in comfortably manage with a short deadline (couple weeks) in a separate list and call this Phase Now; everything else is Phase Later. Get the most important stuff done first and then keep moving down the list from there. Of course this does not work for every project and in every instance, but I have found that things tend to get done quicker and lots of time is saved by not having to implement unimportant details upfront.
Last Monday I had the horrifying experience of having my wisdom teeth removed. I was out of commission for two days straight and when I tried to come back to work on Wednesday I was confused and useless, after which I promptly developed dry socket and was again incapacitated. Suffice to say, it was as if I had vanished from the office for a week with no warning and no contingency plans in place. The effect it had on our company was of epic proportions for a company our size; absolutely nothing!
Do you know what this means? It means that we are one step closer to nirvana and passed a test that could have easily been very detrimental to Base-10. This does not mean that we can all go on sabbatical, but it does mean that what we have created is stronger then ever and will continue to grow. It is not about the individual, it is about the team. I spend more of my waking hours with Ramin, Thorsten, Negar, Fredrick, (anyone else I work with) etc, then I do with my family and I do not regret it, for they are also my family. In my mind Base-10 exists to enrich the lives of the people around us because this is what they have done for me. Who would have thought losing my wisdom teeth would give me such wise insight?
In my opinion, far to many people continue to reinvent the wheel. There is nothing wrong with building a better wheel that is suited for your specific task, but don’t start from scratch just for the sake of starting from scratch. To continue my trend of hemorrhaging proverbs, suck it up and stand on the shoulders of giants. You will still be respected as alpha geek and your boss will be impressed because what really matters is doing it right, doing it well and getting it done. Chances are someone out there has already done what you are trying to do and they might have even done it better then you could yourself. This means that if you have the right tools and resources you don’t need to and should not sacrifice quality. Here are some tools we have used in various projects for a solid foundation to build from or even just use in our concepts and working demos. I have also included tools we use for debugging, development, design and other such tasks. I will continue to update this list as more come to mind: (more…)
Not many people know how Base-10 started or where it came from, so I am going to give you a brief history lesson that will shed some light on our origins and how we came to be.
It all started back in 2003 almost 7 years ago… Ramin and I both trained in Kickboxing and attended Champions Martial Arts. Ramin was 19, I was 17 and we were not even good friends at the time, in fact I clearly remember Ramin picking on me. We had been training together for more then 5 years at the time and knew that we were both computer geeks. Ramin was into graphics and 3d rendering and I was into linux system administration; we were both into gaming. This is how we first connected, by fragging and ganking each other in Counter Strike and other such games. One day I was approached by Amin Sabounchi, another member of Champions, asking me if I knew how to make websites because he was interested in getting a new real estate site for his business. I told him what any 17 year old underachiever, wannabe computer hacker would say, “Of course I do!!”. To tell you the truth, I did not know how to make a website, especially a dynamic real estate website.. all I knew was some super basic HTML and the general concepts involved.. I had no programming experience and absolutely no design skills. Armed with nothing but an idea of where to start, I bought a book on Perl (Programming Perl!!) and called up Ramin with a proposition. (more…)
A great business card is absolutely essential to set you apart and it is often the first peek a potential client gets into who you are and how you conduct your business. A sloppy card will speak just as loudly as a stunning one. If you want to leave a lasting impression, you need a great business card (not just a good one).
The fact that most people have very ordinary, familiar business cards works in your favor. As soon as you hand someone a unique card it will almost always lead to a positive reaction, and hopefully a positive working relationship. They will also most likely hold onto the card even if they’re not planning on doing immediate business with you, this could lead to future business or a referral. You are in fact conveying a feeling, establishing your brand and transferring crucial information in one efficient unit. (more…)
Some of the best business advice I have ever received was also some of the simplest. I came across it when Ramin and I attended the 2009 Interbourse in Whistler BC. We spent a week surrounded by the world exchanges elite and soaked up as much insight and wisdom as possible. What truly stuck were the words offered by Gustavo Montero, “stick to your core business, especially when your business is in its infancy.” This has had profound effects on the way we conduct our business and which directions we take. (more…)
I think I have tried to get blogging going for our company about half a dozen times. It’s not as if the rest of my team is against blogging, it is just hard to justify taking the time out of a day that already has too few hours. We all read blogs and even rave about how useful and cool the posts can be, but as soon as we have to bite the bullet and get down to the big dirty, we just don’t.
To answer my own question, yes it does make sense for us. But just like many things we should be doing, it is going to have to become habit.. one of those “teach an old dog new tricks” sort of things. Lets call this my mid-year resolution, to be consistent and turn blogging into a habit. Here is my plan:
Now all I have to do is keep my own word.