Learning Journeys, framing business ideas

Learning Journeys, framing business ideas

The rain guards that protects my legs from dirty puddle water as I ride my bike along Cycle Super Highway on a cold wet December morning, are a marginal gain that turn an awkward journey into a joint fitness and learning opportunity. They are a tool that solves a problem.
My daily ride into Tech Hub from Canary Wharf has become a sacred learning space for me. It used to be an opportunity to just listen to music but now (on the way in at least) it gives me 25 minutes of uninterrupted peddling in which to absorb a podcast on business theory or practise. No matter what the weather, I look forward to that journey.
People often think of business as good ideas to solve problems, but they need to think as much about convenience/ human behaviour. Of ways to make people form habits ideally.
So when thinking about starting your business (on-line), think about the problems you can solve that easily slot into a persons life to give them an easier or better way of doing something? So, what saves people time or money? What gives them something that they need? What gives them peace of mind? No body wants a drill before they buy it, they want to make a hole- start with the problem. Sell the benefits of your solution.
Websites are tools. Especially mobile sites or apps and most people have a smart phone now. The only other thing they are is entertainment. A mix of the 2 is amazing.


Technology provides freedom

I think I may have accidentally become an Apple fan boy.

Since our company has moved into the app market, we thought it makes sense that we should get an iPad, iPhone, and Android device so that we could actually see what we were producing. We operate at a high level of intelligence in our office!

Since we got them, the iPad has not left my hand. I love it. It provides me with access to the internet that I did not previously have by taking the time to boot up my clunky laptop to browse. The iPad makes everything easy. I use it mainly for consumption – I am on the pulse (literally, with an app called Pulse) with all my favourite news and websites, which have rapidly increased in number to cover all of my interests. I use it check all my email accounts and analytics. I watch tv programs and films on it when I am going to bed. It provides my social networks for use with both business (Twitter) and personal (Facebook). It lets me play loads of cool games. It encourages me to learn through websites like Mixergy (awesome for startup businesses) and iTunes U that have more interesting graphics, animations and diagrams than normal books.

But it is mainly for consumption. For indulging myself in content.

Then I got an iPhone. This has been as much of a revelation to me. I use it as a camera – which is awesome. I have started to make videos so I can provide tutorials with our products to reduce the fear of ‘new product syndrome’. It syncs up to my iPad so I use them both as a calender and since it is always with me, I have alarms going off all day long to remind me what I have to do.

But the most surprising thing I have found is that it has given me the freedom to blog, which is my new favourite hobby – no matter how terrible I am at it. I can blog on the tube, on the train, on the bus, in my bed (importantly as I try and write something before I get out of bed each day). But having an all you can eat data plan makes me feel a sense of liberation to create in the time and spaces that suit me. I have always loved the written word, so I really enjoy making my own and think its very worthwhile to give a back drop of my on-line profile.

So I have accidentally fallen into being an advocate of mobile learning, pure and simply through experience. People like me (God help them) learn best and find creativity in our own time and space. Technology allows us this freedom.

Outdoor working

Everyday when it’s sunny (about 10 days a year from my house in Durham?) I look from my desk window and wish I could work outside. In my head I have come with up with masses of ideas about portable mini office structures, and how to overcome power, connectivity and glare issues.

Just now, I took my iPad outside to see whether it was affected by the big killer – glare. I put my body between the sun and the screen and I still couldn’t see it. So I went and got an umbrella, stuck it behind me. The problem of glare disappeared. Sometimes you just need to start at the beginning.

So now I have got that sorted, which I assume will also work with my laptop I have only 2 problems left to solve:

– power
– internet connectivity

I can solve the internet connectivity issue by tethering to my iPhone. This is possible for £25 a month with Three (sim only). And so i am left with power. My laptop life lasts only 1 hr and i use it for most of my work: programming, Adobe suite, Skype, Tweet Deck. All heavy power consumers.

This I will work on.. In the meanwhile, can anyone help me it here? I ride my bike everywhere so am thinking about a dynamo.