Nerds, Geeks, Zergs, Warlocks, Wizards, unite!

For any fan of video games, e-sports have become quite popular.  Recently, a 1 million dollar reward was given to the team that won a big tournament for LoL (that is League of Legends not laugh out loud for those of you who have not played any games recently).  There are only a few games that I can think of that are currently extremely popular in e-sports, and those would be Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends, and Blizzard’s world renown Starcraft 2 with an expansion coming soon.  This post is for the big gaming companies!

On college campuses across the country, you see promotions for all sorts of companies: Microsoft, Levi’s, Frozen Yogurt, Axe, Trojan, Captain Morgan, Bacardi, and more.  One company I have never seen was any sort of gaming company.  My question is why not?  So here’s my idea to not only market, promote, but even expand the world of gaming and e-sports.  I’ll use Blizzard in my example because they are in fact one of my favorites, and probably have the most aesthetically pleasing marketing, logo, etc… in my opinion.  Also a single game of Starcraft is much easier to organize and set up than a game of LoL for 10 people.

Idea: A nationwide tour across college campuses!  This could be a promotion… Winner from each campus gets a free copy of Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm expansion.  Games these days cost nothing (well in terms of the cd itself since they can just be downloaded), as can be seen by the extreme popularity of the downloadable version of Diablo 3.

I envision ESPN-U College Gameday meets Comic Con.  A traveling tour bus with a huge Blizzard logo and seductive picture of Kerrigan would be the marketing design on the bus.  The interior would come with up to 10 “stations” of high quality computers allowing for a “mini” tournament across the nation on each campus.  Day[9] would obviously be a part of the traveling troupe along to cast the events live on Youtube, with a very attractive female spokesperson to welcome the nerds on campus to play.

Benefits:  A tremendous amount of promotion that I have never seen a video game company make.  Video game companies probably don’t need to market this much mainly because all the geeks already know what’s going on through websites like GameFAQs and Reddit.  However I believe it would be great for those in the gaming community to have an event like this.  Even if there are no good players on the campuses across the United States, it would be great fun for Day[9] to be casting and having live viewers make fun of the bronze league n00bs as they try 6pooling each other futilely.  The stream views alone would probably bring in revenue.

In terms of marketing, promotion, and business, I feel this idea has nothing but benefits.  It gets a large group of the consumer base involved in the community (18-30 year old gamers in college).  I would have loved for an opportunity to meet Day[9] or Bomber, or Olivia Munn, and enter a Blizzard tour bus as I’m sure any Starcraft or Diablo fan would.  Field promoting is something I never see in gaming, and I feel it would be a way to get nerds out of their dungeons filled with nachos, pizza boxes, and soda.  It may even help fellow gamers meet other gamers to make new friends (I think this would be a great goal to add), and while it does not generate revenue directly, I feel it creates better feelings about the company.

PROBLEMS:  Here are some problems I’m arising.  Now lets think about costs…  First there’s gas, the cost of the bus, the cost of marketing, the cost of the computers, maintenance etc…  However Blizzard already has to pay for all of these things anyways.  This would just be a more effective way of reaching out to gamers.  This is something new, and unique.  So here’s a problem: when is the best time to reach out to these kids?  They’re all busy studying, going to class, etc…  Who has the time?  Well considering the gaming community is likely on Reddit most of the time, the idea starts there.  Have a schedule colleges ready with guests.

At Florida State (Go Noles) there was something called “Market Wednesdays” when organizations across campuses, and businesses were allowed on campus.  This was where I often saw promoting for companies like Microsoft.  Why not get a spot on a day like that on campus?  The bus enough would be enough to attract any nerd or gamer to see what was going on.  Have a couple attractive female “models” from each campus and you’ve got yourself a cool hangout for a day.  Have various players compete throughout the day on a first come first serve basis.  Heck I’d be willing to skip a class once for the opportunity.  It could also be a benefit to take the best players from the day to compete for a top spot at another event at night, at a popular destination (with lots of computers) or even the bus, set up in front of a popular club or bar.  Then have Day[9] do his thing, casting live from the campus of “UCLA” or “UF” or “Bama.”

So here’s a checklist:

Check with universities and nearby venues to host the event.

Create schedule of events.

Post schedule to reddit.

Have people sign up prior to event

Host mini tournament during the day or night

Host main events at night.

There you go Blizzard, I hope to see a huge tour bus soon

PetCo, PetSmart, PetSuperMarket this ones for you guys!

What’s one thing that can cause even the toughest, hard hearted person to their knees?  It’s a puppy.  Now my original idea was to take the mobile restaurant fad and make it into a store.  In California, people have started selling clothing and flowers out of these mobile shops.  At my University, mobile fast food joints would always be stopped in front of popular bars and clubs in order to sell 8$ hot dogs to drunken students, and you thought NYC was expensive?

First, the issue is my state, in Florida you are not allowed to sell anything besides food out of a mobile vehicle, and selling puppies on a side road is not legal which is a good thing.  We don’t want puppies going home with people on impulse buys only to be sent to a shelter after a couple poops on the carpet.  So with that information, I haven’t looked much further into it, but for the big name pet stores, why not expand?
Why not get a mobile vehicle to park at a beach if you can?  Your audience would be every man woman and child who likes puppies at the beach.  The guy on his skates with his Golden Retriever is definitely going to stop by and see what’s going on if his pup stops him in his tracks to smell your delicious treats.  This of course is just an example, and I’m not even sure if any beaches would allow such a “store,” to be parked along the sidewalk of a busy beach.  That’s for someone else to look into.  Not only that but this is merely an ideal example of a location for the shop.  At a popular afternoon happy hour bar, people would bring their puppies all the time.  Why not set up shop and sell treats?  Instead of buying 1$ shots for themselves, they can buy their puppies 1$ treats.  While that is in Florida, I’m sure the loophole of “food” items could be used to be allowed to sell in front of the bar.  This doesn’t even have to be only for PetCo, PetSmart, and PetSupermarket, but for any entrepreneur out there.

What this would do?  Create JOBS.  That’s what the economy needs, is JOBS.  We would need engineers to design and maintain the trucks.  Drivers/salesmen, managers to make sure all the trucks are being maintained, and are coming back with the right stocks of items.  More analysts to see what people are buying.  Would the truck be profitable?  Possibly depending on the location.

So where do puppies come in?  First of all I would be against any sort of selling puppies simply due to the fact they would more often than not be impulse buys.  The puppies would be there as a giant advertisement.  If a family stops by your mobile pet store and see’s a puppy, you can tell them to stop by the store in a day or two to see if they have thought everything out and still be interested.  The guy walking down the sidewalk with his girlfriend?  Oh man, he just figured out what to get her for Christmas.  The puppies are to bring the customers.  Now is everyone going to buy something from your shop, vs just play with the puppies?  Probably not, but that goes for every store.  However, as a dog lover, if I’m walking down the street and take a minute to play with a bunch of baby animals, and I see a treat for a couple bucks, I’d probably end up getting one to take home to my pet.

Another idea for this project would be for the stores to work with local animal shelters to find homes for pets.  It would be philanthropic.  The goal would not be to sell the pets on the spot, but to have them there in the case that some family walks by and just connects at that very moment.  You would provide the address of your store or shelter and move on from there.  A dog needs an outing anyways, especially those being locked up in shelters.

Summary: We would need a truck that opens from the side with items hung along the walls and treats in breathable containers that allows the scents to disperse grabbing the attention of nearby dogs.  Then we would need puppies or shelter pets, not to sell (because that’s not exactly legal) but to use to grab peoples attentions.  Then you would need a small area for the dogs to just “hang out” and allow people to pet them.  However the risks involved with that are up to the companies discretion, obviously aggressive dogs would not be a good choice to use for “show.”  Finally keep some bowls with, and maybe even free kibble sample treats nearby for dogs who just happen to be passing.  If the dog likes it enough the owner will probably buy some after they get the puppy eyes.

The dilemma of starting a non-profit.

The main idea of this entire blog is that everyone has an idea for a business, and with all the news in the past few years of entrepreneurs making it big, everyone wants to do it.  So here’s an idea I came up with just to do some research on and some of the dilemmas involved.

The vision: to further scientific education for children in lower income schools.

Age groups: k-12

Goals: To provide field trips to locations where science is involved, to provide scientific kits that can allow teachers to add something to their lesson plans which may spark interest, and to further education in lower income families.

The biggest issue for me in starting up: do I want to stick to this as my life work?  As a recent graduate in the job-seeking pool of candidates, I think to myself, what happens to the start-up if I find a job?  Am I OK with just stopping out of the blue after maybe just setting up a couple field trips?  Am I OK with just putting it into the hands of someone else?  Do I want to spend the rest of my life doing it or do I want to put something on my resume simply to get a great job by showing my entrepreneurial spirit?  The vision is there, the goal is great, and it would be a benefit to humanity.  Am I afraid of failure?  What happens if I fail?  Is the time I’m currently spending on daily activities more worthwhile than this?  Well the answer to that would be no since all I’ve been doing is applying for jobs while working and interning part time.  Perhaps over-analyzing is a weakness of mine and why I may never be a great non-profit entrepreneur.

Now how do I start up?  I don’t have the 1000$+ to invest into purchasing the required licenses.  If I had that money would I even be able to make anything of it?  Optimism would be key here.  I can probably afford to start a website, but would I be able to make the website aesthetically pleasing?  It seems this should not be a lone venture, but who can I ask to help?  Do I ask random friends who have the same personal questions as I do (listed in my first paragraph)?  Are any of them willing to split cost of licenses?  Would they be as interested in the cause as I am?  Can I just use a website like WordPress instead of purchasing a domain?  Do I have to hire people to help me run things?  So many questions.  Let’s say I was able to answer all of them and I obtained the funds to start up.  What is the business plan?

I would be working closely with local museums, nature centers, universities, and other educational destinations at first to provide free field trips.  On top of that we would use funds to purchase any variety of science kits that can aid teachers in their science lesson plans for a day of “crystal” making, or creating a fully functional vinegar and baking soda volcano.  How would I continue to gather money?  Through advertisement, going to businesses to request to leave donation jars.  That probably won’t be enough.  Now here comes another dilemma.  Let’s say I was able to find a starting job paying 70-100k, would I be better off donating 500-1000$ to a museum or nature center as long as they allow a group of children to have a free field trip, then deduct that off my taxes?

The idea is simple, it solves a problem, but then what are the opportunity costs?  Is actually starting the non-profit even difficult or is it just fear of not being able to commit?

iMedical Devices, next gen medicine.

I had this idea about a year ago and wanted to actually e-mail Apple thinking this was an incredible new step for them.  I thought maybe they would even promote me to some sort of high executive position within the company simply for coming up with the idea.  What a ridiculous thought, blame my tremendous optimism in life for these delusions.  A guy can hope right?  Even as crazy as that sounded, I’m just being honest, and trying to offer some humor to those of you reading this.  Anyways here’s my idea for Apple: Medical Devices.  Hearing aids, blood glucose testers, defibrillators.  Why not?  Maybe they would be stretching themselves really thin.  I mean there is already a phone in nearly every home.  Why not a small device which takes a blood sample, and attaches to a port in the iPhone with an app that helps analyze the data?

Picture the future of people walking around with white devices with a faint off whitish grey crescent Apple in the ears of the elderly.  Make it cool “fashionable” to walk around with a device that monitors your insulin levels.  Perhaps even move into the pacemaker market, make high-tech stethoscopes, heart monitors, etc…  Anyways this is all imagination, but what better company than Apple to begin making such products to aid those families which already have iProducts anyways?

New ideas are few…

How often do you come up with an idea that you instantly want a lawyer for in order to discuss with someone else?  An idea you think is worth billions.  Too bad we can’t just “sell” our ideas and have someone do the work while still receiving profit and credit.  Regardless, I still find myself coming up with ideas which I think are “brilliant,” only to find that the idea is already in action.  The question then remains, can I do it better?
There I was sitting my in my car the other day thinking about looking for another job.  What could I do to separate my resume from all the others?  What can I do to impress hiring managers?  I’ve written many a resume and have only had limited results.  Then an idea popped into my head,  it was genius (in my mind), I would do a video resume.  On my half hour drive home, I went from thinking of making a video resume simply for job seeking, to planning a website for other recent graduates and job seekers to upload theirs.  I even thought of a name, vesr.com some sort of wordplay for “VCR” symbolic of a step forward in technology, while also taking the idea of creating a catchy name that also subtracts a letter somewhat like flickr.

I had a vision for the company.  I would create jobs for others.  I would create jobs for web designers.  I would create opportunities for make up artists.  I would would find work for sales people.  The idea was to not only upload video resumes, but to have a place where people could go to, get fixed up for a professional resume shoot.  Why not?  I swore it was brilliant.  Upon reaching my house, I Googled “Video Resume” and to my demise there had already been a couple websites.  I was not impressed, but could I do better?  Could I actually create jobs for people?  Would people searching for jobs be willing to pay someone to film a video resume?
Who knows, I scrapped the idea.  It seemed like a great idea.  I had a vision, a dream for a good 30 minutes of my life, but it didn’t seem worth pursuing in the end.