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Fitness Gone Mental

After a great meeting with a prospect today in Dallas, I was invited and had a chance to go work out with the guys over at the Fitness Combine in Cedar Hill. These guys may have something here. The combine/bootcamp is run by Troy & Brad who  have so many accreditations, I can’t list them all. In fact, Troy who is the primary instructor played national arena football and is a nationally recognized, certified,  fitness instructor.  Send Brad an email and he can tell you all about the dynamic duo.

I have been to a few fitness “bootcamps” but none quite like this. It would be good enough for some people to go get a work out, or maybe even a tip here and there about their nutrition. Expect more than that when you go to the combine. Brad and Troy administers a holistic approach to your workout. They start with a word of the day, today’s word was “Change”. “Change only comes to those who want it”, said Troy, “Change your attitude, change your image, change your lifestyle”…words that stared you deep in the eyes. Troy goes into a 300-esk speech that lacked only the words “This is Sparta!”…and thus the workout commenced.

In the middle of what was a pretty rigorous workout, where I was seconds away from calling “Earl”, Troy preached self affirmation techniques that not only made the workout feel easier, it also built focus on each movement to produce a goal. They atmosphere harbored a sense of unity amongst the participants, and even though I was huffing and puffing, at the end of it all, I still felt pretty darn refreshed.

If you are the in Dallas / Fort worth / Cedar Hill / Arlington / Grand Prairie / Duncanville, area, check them out. You will be glad you did.

Filed under: Rants & Raves

Web Applications in an Iphone World

I know what you’re thinking, another IPhone evangelist. Well, kinda but not really.  The first thing I must do is set the topic straight by letting you know that this post is not about enabling your web application for the Iphone. The post is more about what people have come to expect in the way they interact with an application. Since Apple came out with the iphone in 2007, and I guess even before that with the MAC OS (I wouldn’t know, I am a PC… thanks to all of you leaving for stopping by) … mobile users have changed their expectations on what they expect from their User Interfaces. Apple did a good job creating a UI where you can pretty much get to anything with at most 2 clicks, a slide, a shake and a pop…try it…I am not joking. Don’t belive me, check this out… in 2008, apple only controlled approx 3% of the mobile phone market share, by 2009 they owned 13.3%. Yeah 13% is nothing compared to Nokia’s 45%, but with a growth rate that big and almost exclusive control over the mantra of the simplistic approach to usability… inevitability is just a matter of fact.

So with the ground work out of the way, now down to the real topic at hand. You launched a great web application, or software as a service, whatever you want to call it, and now you are thinking, we need to keep our clients engaged, we need to add more features. IMHO, trying to engage your customers by adding more features is like fishing with dynamite, you might get more fish but hey will be all wrangled and dismembered (for the record, I hav elways hated that term). If anything , you should be looking to simplify your application. This aint field of dreams, if you built it, they won’t come, but if you make it usefully simple and simply useful, they will flock to you like 14 year-old-chicks to the Backstreet Boys, who by the way apparently have a new album…what?…why are you looking at me like that?

Before you go putting another sardine in your application tin can, consider the following:

  • Ask yourself, is a feature addition necessary/ is it a preemptive strike. Your application can’t be stagnant I know, but simpler changes can make a big difference. Changes such as themes or layouts or simplifying the process to complete an action can make you look like a genius.
  • Don’t spend time building, spend time learning. Find out what the pains are from your customer….Hint, they really do know best. Surveys and feedback sites such as Get Satisfaction can help you make your application more customer centric..and trust me, that’s all the rave these days.
  • Always have an application log, and check it always. Your server logs can tell you a whole lot about how your clients use you application and besides, working out those very quiet bugs that just rare their ugly heads every now and then is way more important that adding a jet pack to your app.
  • Check with your marketing department, find out what keywords make you pop up in search results. No, I am not saying build your app away from your core services, I am saying make sure you know what the craze so you don’t miss out on opportunities. Make of that what you will.
  • Is my interface crisp, clean and inviting. Can users get to what they need in 3 clicks or less.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of do’s and dont’s for your app, all I want to do is give you pause. With cooler technology comes greater expectations on how to use it.

KISS ..google that $#iT

Filed under: Tips & Tricks

Do you have a card?

Why yes I do! We finally got our business cards in, and I must say they look pretty good. As usual, we stayed pretty simple. We wanted to leave enough room for those who like to use business cars as micro-notepads. Check it out

Corner 6 Cards

Other than that, we also have our first proposal out and looking forward to closing a deal here very soon. We have made some very good relationships over the past couple weeks, and we are confident they will pan out in mutual interest. We are experiencing a shower of blessings right now and I thank God for the gifts.

Filed under: Progress Report

Last Lap of the First Mile

I don’t think this weekend could have been more telling or bizarre in signs and achievements. Last weekend proved to be actually more productive that the week it followed. Let me explain… I was fortunate enough to established an initial relationship with a Dallas based fitness and health company that is just now coming into their own. They were looking to employ a marketing agency to help them with their website and other marketing efforts and as the laws of luck would have it (if there is such a thing), we just happen to be hanging out at the same social event. We have since extended our contact and the relationship has so far shown great promise.

Then there was the confirmation of our advertising and content delivery concept. After explaining the concept to a friend, they smirked and said “have you been watching TV lately?” At first, I didn’t know what to think, and since I had watched some TV, I responded with “a little I guess”. He then went on to tell me how he was watching TV and a very similar concept had been presented on a reality TV show. My initial feeling from that was, ouch!  However, as I thought about it more, it made me more zealous to move forward because not only did it confirm the prospects of the concept but it established a competitive base which as some of you know me, is an environment I thrive in.

So as we move forward into the last week of our first month in business, I have even more confidence in what we have set out to do. We have a few deals in the pipeline which we will soon close (God willing), and we are ready to take on the “big leagues”.

It is amazing to see how our years of experience and dedication to what we do, pay off in different ways. Unlike what a lot of people think in this society, reward does not always come from a pay check.

Filed under: Progress Report

Just put on the front door!

A lot has happened over the past few day. We attended a few networking events and have made some really good friends (business friends) and some potential prospects (yesss!!).  I made some significant progress on coding our ad engine (even though I am still a few days behind schedule on that).

Any big news? you may ask…well since you asked,  the corner6labs website is now live! The design is meant to reflect our overall mantra…Simplicity and Friendliness. We look forward to your comments on it. Check it out

corner6labs Website

Filed under: Progress Report

Lightning Bolt – Son of Zeus

I don’t know what give me goose bumps more, watching Usain Bolt run, knowing he hails from my home country or knowing that he even went to my high school. Today Usain Bolt set our tiny country a blaze again when he SMASHED his own world record set at Beijing, to run 9.58. Yes, I said nine-point-five-eight seconds down a 100 meter stretch of track.

Having been a sprinter myself in my glory days, I know how hard it is to run the 100 meter race. I might argue that the 100 and the 400 meter race is the hardest race in track, but so my long distance friends don’t crucify me, I will leave that debate for another day.

One of my gripes about Bolt in Beijing (ha.. I have a gripe about a guy that ran 9.69..thats funny right?) was not that Bolt let up 80 meters down the track , yes I was mad about that too, but that he didn’t get the kind of start a 100 meter runner should have. Being 6 feet 5, I can see how that is hard, but when you have the body control he has to go down a straight away with that much power, your start should not be a problem. No so in this race, Bolt, bolted out of the blocks as if been chased by a crazy Rastafarian down Half Way Tree blvd…and to make the pie even sweeter, he stayed low and separated from the pack just 30 meters into the race. WOW!… I love watching this guy run. Here is the race so you can see for yourself. ENJOY!!

Filed under: Rants & Raves

What’s cooking good looking?

So I missed doing a recap yesterday…and actually felt guilty about it. As if you care right? Well, it makes me feel better writing so deal with it. Today will be a short post but as another good friend of mine, Steve, advised…”Always write in your blog, no matter if you don’t feel like it, or if you don’t think you have anything worth saying. People care”. Thanks Steve.

As I mentioned in the post yesterday, I was going to work on the HTML for the corner6labs website…I kept that promise. The site isn’t live yet because we are doing a little content tweaking. I am also going to add a few images here and there to liven it up a bit, but for the most part it’s done.

With the website out of the way…almost, Jose and I set out to do a more detailed definition of features for our advertising engine (hint). We made alot of progress, even going so far as creating algorithms to solve problems that will arise based on certain limitations we will face. See what I did there…I used the word “algorithm”…be you didn’t see that coming.

Filed under: Progress Report

How to prevent child view modules from executing outside a parent view

Long before the days of everyone preaching MVC…MVC, and before I became obsessed with the Zend Framework I use to actually implement a form of MVC in my PHP applications. PHP programmers use to refer to it as templating. One thing that always came up while templating was how to prevent child view templates modules (such as forms) from executing outside of parent views. One technique I employed was to use the PHP define() method to “define” a “passport” CONSTANT variable in my main view file or in the global config file. I would then use the defined() method in child view modules to check if the passport variable existed. here is an example:

define("APPLICATION_NAME","v1.0");

If you have defined your config settings withing a class, you can use the “const” keyword

Then you can check for the constant in your child view files like this:

if(!defined("APPLICATION_NAME")){ exit("invalid view setup"); }

Its is a very simple test but it has proved to be effective time and time again.

Filed under: PHP, Tips & Tricks

Look Mom..I got a tattoo!

I didn’t get a tattoo… corner6 did.  It’s amazing what you find out you can do when you have no other options. With that said, I took it upon myself to design the new logo for corner6… not being a graphic design by trade, I must say… I don’t think it turned out too bad. I took a page from a designer buddy of mine and actually drew it out on paper first and then translated it digitally…thanks Tad. Here it is… not yet in color.

Corner6labs black logo

Other than this… The comps for the new corner6labs website is all done. HTML work tomorrow. Should be fun.

Jose started a profiling campaign that is going awesome so far.

PROGRESS IS BEAUTIFUL!

Filed under: Progress Report

Week 2 Day 2 – corner6labs

Whoa… I have gained new respect for those people who have started their own business from scratch and have been successful. The planning process has been life draining so far. Today we started talking about our strategy to go to market (look at me wearing a different hat). We came up with some good ideas but obviously need to refine them. We decided today that we will try not to over-think or over-complicate things, because when those ideas come rolling out… they gain momentum faster than what we can probably deliver. So we concentrated on setting realistic expectations on what we can accomplish in the next month… or so, which is when the beta of our first technology product comes out.

We also met with a graphic designer to start talking seriously about getting our branding in place. I am pretty excited about that.

At the end of this week we are hoping to give everyone a good description of what we are taking to market and describe the roadmap in more details. Please stay tuned for that.

Over the next few days I will also be diving down into the techie stuff. During the development phase I will be posting a lot of my code here and will even open source some of the components. I am going to concentrate on a completely modular design for the applications so folks will be able to use bits and pieces of the application as they see fit.

My name is Dwamian Mcleish, and I am one half of a dedicated business duo…

P.S. I went and got this laptop as a test machine for the prototype of one our technology products. I got it home, opened the box, only to find it was PINK… We thought it was funny… kept it… name her “Daisy”

Daisy

corner6labs

Filed under: Progress Report

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