Fun fact: most marriages don’t survive a home remodel

Nor, as I found out last week after ranting, raving and posting utter nonsense – does my own sanity. Wow.

Feeling TONS better, stomach finally settled – and I figured out what was wrong. Growing up, both houses I lived in had double pane windows. Until last week, I didn’t have them at home, and hadn’t since I was 18 (I think).

Becuase of that memory, I started thinking, probably over thinking, a horrific car crash I was in at that age. I almost died. Two large sedans crushed my car so bad, the three of us hit a semi loaded with wood. Some was even poking out of the lead sedan.

My little brother & I were banged up, as were two friends. Car was totalled and naturally, that started my longest (that I can recall) ever headache & back ache.

Moving out of home about a month later, back still sore (and ears, I think, have never, ever been the same) – no wonder the hammers drove me nuts last week.

Pro-tip: next time you get *any* remodeling done, if you value sanity, check into a hotel. You’ll thank me, the economy will thank you, and remember, the third time pays for all.

/back to work.

timethief

The Thief Who Stole Time Itself – the gray cloaked wonder (fiction)

My first fiction (under my own name) in a few years; a short piece, the title is, “The Thief Who Stole Time Itself,” by Jeremy Goodrich. Also, am going to be writing more fiction in the future – to ensure people do not confuse my science, my math proofs with fantasy.

License is whatever you wish – including derivatives, copies and more. Share, enjoy and marinate if you choose. :) Thanks in advance for reading.

Legend has it, in the rolling hills of Jefferson, there was a wind born in the South. This was not the first time a Southern wind rolled into the small, eco-centric village. However, this wind blew with a hint of change. The summer solstice was nine days ago, the third child of an old family arrived into town.

Growing up, due to his small size, he was picked on. The locals all hated outsiders, even displaying contraband flags all across their locale, in defiance of the laws of the land. A trickster had taken the mayor hostage, feeding off his magic powers for decades.

How to break the spell?

The Thief grew up crafty, for he learned to know when violence approached. Likewise, he grew up stealthy, adopting the gray cloak of mist, shrouded comfortably in the fog that wrapped the sleepy little town.

Finally, learned music, because for every point, there is a counter point. The guitarist may lead, but, without the drummer to set the tempo, there is no pattern. Through music, the Thief unlocked many other wondrous skills over time.

That fateful night, armed with these three truths, the Thief contemplated his next move against the wizard. Crafty, the old man was, and steeped in his own lore. The magic was real, even though the villagers still did not believe.

“Ready?”

Green eyes flashing, the thief crouched lower, gesticulating wildly to the red haired giant standing next to him. The larger, stronger man was a credible threat. Rock, the man’s name was, and a rock he was.

Being small, the Thief had learned sometimes growing up, conflict was unavoidable. Even worse, despite his craftiness, he learned in a fight, somebody always cheats. Otherwise, things would never degenerate into a physical conflict at all. So, given that his blade, when it came to brute force, was a yard short of menacing the Thief pulled a clever trick to avoid conflict.

Rock would simply approach the target and smile, showing two open, empty hands at waist level. His light brown eyes would crinkle in a small smile, his breaded chin twitch. If the adversary was crafty themselves, they would see the two open hands as a threat, and defend themselves.

That’s usually the time when the Thief liked to strike home with his dagger, into the neck artery. Silent, swift and done carefully, it provided the easiest, swiftest way to neutralize an opponent. Neither Rock nor Thief enjoyed physical conflict, but, when necessary, violence was savage, epic and instant.

“I’m ready,” the Thief replied, giving a quick nod. Every idiot villager knew about the wizard’s lair, filled with gold, treasure and art from the whole world.

However, only the Thief knew the secret. The real treasure inside the wizard’s lair, the real power of magic, was the key to time itself.

Grinning, the Thief turned to his partner, and smiled fiercely.

“Let’s go.”

Rock nodded, and they crept out into the mist shrouded night.

Created for free with the marketing meme generator at hookupJS.com

Learn how to use the FREE online marketing meme generator at hookupJS

I wanted to share a quick tutorial here on how to use the free marketing meme generator, including “branding,” the logo if you wish.

  1. First, is, visit hookupJS free marketing meme generator at our website.
  2. Next, if you don’t have a logo hosted somewhere online, ignore this step, but if you can, upload a logo somewhere that’s CORS compatible (warning: this tutorial is for developers or wannabe developers, only. Eg, there’s not “free tech support,” unless you’re willing to do as much “code,” as I am.
  3. If you have a logo, add it to the area on the website to use for your image. I’ve got mine, lol, so the image by default looks like this.
  4. meme-generator
  5. Customize the headline. After all, this is YOUR meme, your message. Your moment to show the world what a badass marketing guru you are, deep down. Show us the good stuff. See mine, here:
  6. Meme in progress

    Meme in progress

    Now, after I’ve gone through all that effort, I can download the image, shown below in this screenshot:

  7. Legends say, “X marks the spot.” Online, the people say, “click here,” twit.
  8. Can you find the hidden button that says "Click here" in the middle of the screenshot? If not, you are not welcome to train here, Padawan. Seek knowledge and fortune elsewhere.

    Can you find the hidden button that says “Click here” in the middle of the screenshot? If not, you are not welcome to train here, Padawan. Seek knowledge and fortune elsewhere.

    The screenshot of what’s happened so far, along with the hidden secret, wrapped in a puzzle, surrounded by mystery, of how to acquire the free meme generated by our tool and download it to your local computer. All free, online, no account required. What is this mystery Jeremy speaks of? It’s confusing. I need pizza.

  9. Now, I’m almost done. Bear with me, just a moment. I’ve used the magic button, and then, I found gold. Downloading the image took but a moment in time, that saves nine.download
  10. Then, well, I’m ready to unload. Didn’t I say that I was acting like Jay-z? I can’t wait to meet him, I have so many questions.
  11. I’m shipping the image, here and now, that I just downloaded through the power. The magic. The mysterious, hookupJS, the ultimate free tool to post to Facebook, engage your audience, and build real relationships with your fans. All free, open source, fully functional today and available for download on Github.
  12. postingtofacebook
  13. The account I have on hookupJS is free to anybody; once we get Facebook Graph API approval for managing pages, reading insights, and posting to pages. They keep things very well organized and have a high bar for apps, which makes me excited to work with them and get this launched. After all, that means us, as marketers, get to experience free, open source awesomeness like this regularly.
  14. hookupJS free account dashboard shows the post has been sent to Facebook.

    hookupJS free account dashboard shows the post has been sent to Facebook.

    See, the post shows a green box now, instead of black when empty with a “1,” that shows 1 post during that time block. If I had posted two, it would show two. Also, note that the history shows when, what time block, the previous posts happened. Eventually, this becomes a way to benchmark what times of the day your audience is most engaged, and, you can compete for “Audience share,” by time of day in your category. All coming soon, but for now, the dashboard still gives more historical insight than any other free tool on the market for Facebook – and, more than Moz, BrightEdge, Conductor, Buffer, Hootsuite, for free & with open source, full functional download like WordPress if you don’t want free SaaS.

  15. See the past posts to the social media channel after clicking the box.

    See the past posts to the social media channel after clicking the box.

    Want to see it posted to my page?

  16. Here you go:
  17. Meme posted to Jeremy Goodrich, indie Author and startup CEO, personal Facebook Fan Page

    Meme posted to Jeremy Goodrich, indie Author and startup CEO, personal Facebook Fan Page

    How’s that for eating my own dog food?

  18. BTW, if you’re curious – it’s awesome. Thought you’d like to know.
  19. The roadmap is public, on hookupJS.com, the crowdfunding is on Indiegogo, we’ve had zero support so far but more free, awesome stuff in the works no matter what.

Who doesn’t love a guy that gives it all up for free, no questions asked, without even asking for a kiss on the cheek first? :)

Bam! Two minute creative, with hookupJS. Nah. 1 minute creative. It's unreal.

Working hard: here’s some good advice about co-founding a startup

At the earliest stage of a startup, when an idea is morphing into a company, you’ll probably have the first of your difficult conversations: you and your cofounders need to divide responsibilities and assign ownership of goals and the tasks that need to be accomplished to achieve those goals. Final decision authority has to be established for individual areas and for company wide decisions. Some of this will rest with the CEO, some of it with the head of product, engineering, or sales. Those roles might be filled by the the same person, but the responsibility flows through the role, not the person.

Remember that this conversation can get contentious if people feel they are being cut out of decisions they believe they should own. It is really hard to cede authority, but it has to happen in order to create a manageable strucutre.

Talk about these issues early, write down your decisions, and regularly review them.

From here – http://www.aaronkharris.com/cofounder-management

Reason I’m sharing is because, obviously, we just shipped something today. Rather than trying to crowd fund in October, as I wanted, we waited. I’m broke. Out of gas. No funding on the horizon. :)

But, we have free, awesome, amazing software. How cool is that? It saves me time already. Frankly, I am not in the mood to hear, “Does it…?” It’s free. And, will continue to be free, at least, until I’m broke, then it’s gone, because the github repo will go with it. Will the software, the ideas, take root, grab hold and survive?

Though, it’s a hysterical image – and we still call her, “Great,” despite the interspecies fornication. :)

Brad Feld, venture capitalists who have, “Been There,” and stories

Reading in his blog today, via Hacker News, was interesting.

This was the quote I wanted to share:

There are also companies, like my first one (Feld Technologies) that bootstrapped and never raised any money. Well – almost no money. We funded the business with $10 (for ten shares of stock) and my dad personally guaranteed a $20,000 line of credit with his bank. We promptly spent the $20,000 on our first few months of operations, realized there was no more where that was coming from, fired everyone, paid back the line of credit over the next six months from our very modest positive cash flow, and then made a profit – and had positive cash flow – every month for the rest of the seven years of the business up until the day we sold the company.

See how interesting that is?

FunAdvice, the business I helped found in 2003, is still generating a quarter million visitors per month. Ninety percent is still from Google Search, as it has been since 2006, nearly nine years ago, and the only year since 2007 the site averaged below that size audience.

250,000 people per month for life earns about $2,500 per month

It’s an incredible annuity, to be certain. However, it’s not big enough to justify the $20+ million we were offered at peak (2009) nor is it worth, at present, the value on paper at the time I sold my stake in the business.

There is a lot of merit in analyzing the business over time, or 4chan, or Bianca.com from the mid nineties. During Bianca’s hey day, it was the biggest forum of it’s kind. I was there daily for years in college. Webby award winning community, bastion of free speech and hope. Etc, etc. 😉

Fast forward to 1999, Search Engine World was taking off. Brett Tabke, famous Publisher’s Conference founder, was learning how much value there was in sharing the new found world of information retrieval, research papers and, “Black hat,” search spam. In 2000, the largest webmaster forum for years started and I used the handle, “Han Solo,” for fun.

Nearly twenty years later, I’ve been involved in some of the largest, most powerful social networks of the digital era. However, the normal perspective from clients as to why & how I help is with search. Information retrieval is the backbone of search; just as it’s the backbone of digital.

The need to learn, to grow, to teach and enrich our own lives comes with an increasingly digital footprint. Last month, I filed a patent pending on more than twenty years of experience in building, participating, organizing and managing digital communities. Novels, stories and publications I’ve produced and written under a half dozen names reach a hundred thousand people a month.

Agondy, my personal blog, is one of the least influential outlets I own to share my thoughts.

Think about that for a moment. The cobbler’s children come to mind, when in fact, the individual might be the Picasso of shoes. However, to judge his works by the state of his children’s feet would do an injustice to his art.

I applaud Moot’s decision to move on, just as I moved on from WebmasterWorld, from Bianca, from FunAdvice, from MySpace and Geocities. There’s something poignant, meaningful and profound about the life cycle of a digital community. See, when I look at those places, those sites that even if they exist, are a pale shadow of the past, a dim echo, I see the points of inflection. As a moderator at Webmaster World, as a participant in Bianca, as an owner, President, co-founder of FunAdvice, quoted in the media and inflated ego, to boot.

It’s hard to separate your identity, sometimes, from the causes you believe in, the people you admire & love and the actions of your life. It’s hard to carve out a sense of individual, amongst the tribe, to put it into Seth Godin’s oft coined term.

If I get judged by the reach and size of this blog, so much the better. It’s my place, my spot…it’s not a commons, it’s not a community. It’s Jeremy’s Digital Universe and while people are free to browse, I set the rules. The tone. The color palette, the lighting and the mood.

Step in, be curious, be open minded…or ignore it. Step away, hide in the shadows, pretend networked killer robots aren’t possible…just because you can ignore magic doesn’t mean it’s a bag of tricks.

Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic to the uninitiated; I’m happy with that. There are a dozen sites I can name off the top of my head which reach hundreds of millions of people per month, where my copy still lives. Still breathes. Still inspires, gives hope and meaning. Without my name, with no traces, no digital signature to know the artist behind the curtain.

Cheers to anonymity. Cheers to hope. Cheers to Richard Fenynman, famous physicist.

Why? Because like other famous authors who used an alias, so did he. Rubbed shoulders with Einstein, to boot. So to those who think my behavior strange, that I shun the spotlight, that I refuse to sign my name and instead, use a pen name…to anybody who thinks we’d all be better off with my name in lights, well, why?

I think the universe is better off if each of us can share the spotlight, can feel like the hero in our own story. Even if I share some stories, I’m a commercial artist. It’s about getting paid, about making people smile. Not writing my name in the snow like a small boy. Besides, do you know how much you have to have in your bladder to write six letters in cursive?

hookupjs-coming

Now shipping: open source tool for Facebook posting and scheduling

For a while now, I’ve been thinking, long and hard, about the business model we’ve been building. As a team, there are revenue goals, business milestones and more we need to hit.

However, as a very selfish individual, I miss my old software. I miss my team at Intuit, I miss my children and yes, my life isn’t where I pictured it today. I would rather sell it than give it away.

*But*

The “Missing old software,” bit is why I’m writing the post and the only reason I miss the team at Intuit is because those relationships were built over a longer time than the current team and I have been working together.

Also, it’s a lot easier to focus on team building when you have revenue, aren’t, “In the red,” etc. That makes it a bit hard to focus on culture, but, I’ve been taking a step back this year, on purpose, after burning myself out shipping and doing too much during the holidays.

If I’d been less selfish, last time, I might have the last SEO software I built today.

Some of the clients I had back then I still have, so, the only things missing are the team and the technology. The team I’ve been rebuilding, along with the software.

Sure, it wouldn’t be, “Cutting edge,” in every sense of the word but in 2006 at the time I helped design the tool set, the automated page analysis market was still very primitive. That’s nine years back now, and a lot has changed. If the software was open source, just maybe, it would have found a home. Grown. Or at least, been kept alive, on life support, as a hobby project by anybody who cared. There was no opportunity to do any of that, because I was selfish.

We didn’t give it away, we kept the source code to ourselves. I didn’t expect to be a full time consultant again, but after a few months, I decided if I am going to do this, I’m doing it right. Adam and I hired Hans, joined forces more formally.

Now we’re shipping. I’m tired. It doesn’t, “Feel,” like victory, because there’s not money in it – yet. The software saves us some amount of time, but not a ton – again, yet.

The operative word here is, “Yet.” I don’t know what’s going to happen today, tomorrow or next year. The upshot of giving away our tools (more coming) is that if I end up going around in another circle, nine years later, I have a better shot next time than I do at present.

I’ll have a foundation. Building blocks. Another link in the chain, and the more I’ve been learning, reading and grokking open source movements in general, it’s the absolute right way to do technology. I’m a tinkerer at heart. I leverage other people’s hammers and view the world as one huge box of nails.

Today, and from now on, we’re sharing our hammer with the world. Like it, love or leave it, for people who appreciate the fine art of pounding in yet another nail, filling in yet another box, this one’s for you. It’s not shiny shiny – yet.

If we’d left all the details off, we wouldn’t have a product. If we had fine tuned to our hearts content, waited for Facebook’s permission to publicly use the variables we need from Open Graph, well, we’d be admitting that our business depends on Facebook. To a degree, it does, in terms of access to their tools, data and infrastructure.

But, we know our business is really people. There are distribution channels that come and go, like fads. It was Google, it still is Google, and next year, it’ll probably be Google still. But there’s Facebook now, which didn’t exist in the 90’s when I first learned the ways of Excite, Infoseek & Inktomi. The world’s changed, people have moved on, and for the first time in nearly fifteen years, we’ve got a new HTML standard. Five.

For a few years now, I’ve been telling people, I feel like now, today, is the very best time to be building things. So, I’m putting my money where my heart is, in case the rest will follow. If it doesn’t, well, consulting is getting better. Clients are doing incredibly well.

Retention over time is increasing, too, which is humbling like nothing else. Thank you, everybody.

Try the hookupJS freebie, download it & give it a spin. If I can install it on my macbook pro, the rest of you, ‘Marketers,’ have little excuse. :)

home

Busy, busy bee: submitted to Facebook, fingers crossed

I still can’t seem to beat Jeff, but, I moved up to #36 in my network now. Thanks for the invites, everybody :)

2015-01-13-linkedin

Once our software is live, it should be easier to actually, you know, start helping people at scale. That’s the dream. Oh, we submitted to Facebook, fingers crossed. First time I’ve done that ever. :)

Ironically, I did the final “push,” updating text, that I was slow on, via Github. Bugs gone, that was the very last thing to do…I slowed the team down in the end, but, in the big picture:

  1. Ten weeks in total since we got our CTO
  2. Ten weeks to submit a beta product to Facebook
  3. Early feedback has been great from everybody and we have even more awesome in store.

Now, soon, it’s time to let the public kick the tires. Clients are all good; average year over year growth is 100% among current clients. Double. Can you freaking believe it?

:) Good things happen when you work with great people. Epic things in store, and this year is already amazing.

Experimenting with 3d, visual novels and more

So far, the best I’ve used and gotten furthest with is Ramify Games Visual Novel creator. It’s mobile, easy, interesting and fun. However, it doesn’t (to my knowledge) have a few things that I want to eventually incorporate into my interactive fictional adventures:

  1. Sprite driven animations & workflow – these are “core,” to some of the premium games that HTML5 & javascript games compete with. Without being able to implement or add a new mouse, for example, this is a gap that can be filled. The use case is fairly obvious, but if you want to animate an arm swinging a sword, for example, a sprite + javascript to play through those sprites in a Z-layer seems like a “No-brainer,” feature. Trouble is, I don’t (yet) know how to do this with a tool as good as the one I’m using.
  2. Integrate movies with a click or unlock during the flow – I have some 3d short film that I’ve created as a proof of concept; if I can add this with a “Change Vars,” movie = name, that solves the problem right there to play the movie inside of the scene. After playing, the scene would resume the exact spot in the visual novel as pre-film, OR, optionally, a new, “Start scene,” which is used right after the movie is played. The use case, after the movie where the monster dies, the hero sees the treasure, etc, as the “prize,” in the story is played, the new scene to startup is with the bloody carcass blurry in the background of the evil dragon. Or similar.
  3. Easily integrate the above features with say, Ramify Games Jstory or similar and export to the Baker format for compilation into iBooks, Android or iOS stores. This way, it would be possible to monetize the exported product (interactive fiction, visual novel, cross platform game, etc) within each of those distribution channels. With the tracking of say, Google Analytics or similar, you could even optimize the purchase, retention, enjoyment of features, provide extra “call backs,” to the server later on to extend the story and more.

The way I see it, a great platform like this one already exists. The open web is very, very powerful. I played with HTMLVN recently, downloaded a program called Belle and more. As a part time author, I’d love to pay for an upgrade. Help design a product. But, I’m too busy.

Thus posting this wishlist here, because I’d be happy to help support any project that opens up these avenues, as that project will also start to earn a TON of money on affiliate fees, running an aggregated store for downloads, offering marketing / distribution help & more.

To me, this is the very best blueprint for games of the 21st century. For even more fun, check out this list of game design tips from way back. It’s fantastic advice, and if these “loops,” could be optimized, expanded, machine learned & tracked, it would extend the ideal product far, far into the future.

With haptics and emotion tracking, it becomes even possible to personalize and improve the game the more it’s played. Truly revolutionary.

IOT is returning us to the web, away from the app store

If you haven’t, read Panic’s year end report. Go on, I’ll wait.

Done?

Good. Now, remember this quote:

It’s still an awful and nerve-wracking feeling to know that, at any minute, we could get thrown into a quagmire of e-mails, phone calls, code removal, and sadness, just by trying to ship something cool.

That’s the feeling of being beholden, 100%, to a random, larger than you entity. Thanks to the lack of net neutrality, some companies that use more bandwidth already pay taxes on their ability to provide services to people that pay a subscription fee. Next month, we’ll see if Comcast wins, or the internet wins. I’m rooting for the web, if not, it’ll be tragic for all of us.

I’ve thrown my hat into the ring, numerous times, on the side of open over closed. That’s why the software I’m building now is open source. Even if we fail, as long as we ship something cool, it won’t die. It won’t fade away.

Many, many times I’ve helped develop software. Nearly zero of those projects, from almost a dozen years of collaboration with my longest running business partner. Not a single line of usable, open source, awesome code. Anywhere.

We did amazing stuff. Ericson’s an extremely talented individual, when he puts his mind to the task at hand. So is Widhadh, Mike, Adam, Hans…I’ve been lucky to always work with fantastic business partners, everyone. However, we’ve all been greedy, until now.

2015-01-06-internet-of-thingsOpen source isn’t a trend, it’s not going away, and in fact, more & more of the web is dependent on open source. Cryptography, data security, privacy. The future depends on the populace knowing enough to validate that yes, we’re free. Otherwise, we’ve traded the Great Firewall of China with a Red, White & Blue Version.

Why would the Panic story help tell us why companies should avoid the app store?

Sure, you can leverage it, but, mobile isn’t a channel just like, “Flying people,” aren’t a channel. Yes, people are using wi-fi on planes, no, that doesn’t mean they are new people. Those mobile users who were on your site in 2003-2006 pre-iPhone? They switched; it’s still the same people, just a smaller screen.

If we can build haptic interfaces (and we can) with HTML 5 and no app store, well, it’s pretty clear where the future is, and it’s not in a walled garden.

How many family members get free marketing services from you?

Digging a ditch is thirsty work. Via Wikimedia Commons and the US Military.

Digging a ditch is thirsty work. Via Wikimedia Commons and the US Military.

Last week, after hearing from a family member I hadn’t talked to in a while, I made a decision. Roll up my sleeves, jump in and help. When there’s work to be done where I grew up, there was only one thing to do.

Grab a shovel. Dig in. Lend a hand.

Seems to me that everybody should treat family that way. It doesn’t take up a lot of time helping people, but, some folks get surprised. Could be because after saying I make $100 per hour, they expect, because my family members own multiple businesses, we’re somehow swimming in money.

Sigh. Nope. Not even close. With misconceptions, though, it sometimes means that you have to be the bigger person. Offer to help, even if perhaps, it’d be great if they paid, because time is money.

However, for family, isn’t it always easy to help bring in the groceries, for example? I’m sure most able bodied men would not hesitate to help out carrying something for a family member who’s older, sicker, weaker, less muscular or similar. Most women wouldn’t hesitate that I know, either. They’d also be less likely to complain than most men I know. :)

Again, this is one of those stories that’s not really mine to tell. I’m an actor on a larger stage, a player if you will. My time is now, eventually, it won’t be. I must admit a certain curiosity, though, about my kids. Will they want to keep the massive digital archives that will be passed onto them? A family tree on steroids, after a fashion.

It’s almost the new year and a lot of people make, “New Year’s Resolutions.” If I may be so bold, what if you helped out your own family next year more?

Family isn’t always the people who gave birth to us, who share our genes, our hair or skin color. It’s the people who stand by you, more than friends, who love you even if at some point, you were a schmuck soccer player, perhaps too intent on digging for gold to be bothered to play the game.

I can’t avoid the skills I use to earn a living and the nice thing is that the skills I have are very, very useful to any business. It makes me smile when I think of how much I’ve helped, even if I don’t get paid. Money isn’t the point.

Family is. I hope you cherish yours this holiday season. Have fun, smile and lend a hand. It feels fantastic.