Monday, June 23, 2014

Project J.A.R.S. Updates, Gripes and Cool stuff

Project J.A.R.S. has had a busy month which is why I am doing the blog a few weeks ahead of our normal schedule cause we have found so many cool startups over the last few weeks. In our last blog we talked some of the problems startups experience and ways to keep themselves motivated. Well if you are looking for inspiration...lets start with Developer news and then we will move into the tech and business stuff that I think everyone will enjoy. 

YO! Not just a Philly Thing

Right off the top lets talk about how Mosche Hogeg, CEO of Mobli and Co-Founder of Yo. Now get this...Mosche Hogeg is located in Tel Aviv and he wanted a simple way to get in touch with his wife using his smartphone. He didn't want to bother with email, or send her a text. No those would lead to lengthy conversations which would suck up his valuable time. (Men we are short and to the point sucks right?) so according to him he wanted a one word notification that would "let the person know they were being thought of or were need." according to the Business Insider story by Alyson Shontell. Now let's stop here for a moment, as many of you know or may not know I'm from Philadelphia and we own and hold it as a cultural trait to use the word Yo for everything. In greetings it's  "Yo, wassup!", if we as Philadelphians see something surprising we say "Yooo!!!" with a few added words of course. 

When I saw this app I was so taken back by the fact that no one in Philly thought to build this app ourselves. So dug around and found that this idea for the app was actually kicked around for quite a bit before it was released. According to Tech Blogger Robert Scoble "This is the stupidest, most addictive app I've ever seen in my life" Well let me tell you our readers something, if your from Philadelphia or the surrounding areas Yo is word associated with everything from food to romance to everyday interactions. It's a calling card that identifies Philadelphians because just by how you say Yo, and use it in your daily life it will can tell the locals which part o the city you are from or if your a neighbor say from north or south New Jersey.

The power of Yo has reached an all time high and I am saying this without being funny, Yo thats wassup. because so far investors have committed 1.2 Million dollars so far for the app. I personally would like to thank Mosche Hogeg  for inadvertently paying tribute to a city and a culture I love very deeply, your million dollar app has a home right here in the city of brotherly love.

Wearables: the dawn of a new age?

Mark O'Neill wrote a very interesting story on Wearable in the workplace called Wearables At Work: Early Adopters Will Win according to him the age of the smartphone is reaching its sunset and the new dawn will bring forth wearable technology to replace it. I know this seems a little far fetched but its really not if you think about it. The clock is constantly ticking when it comes to how we use technology and it is speeding up. Now you can exercise without having a trainer just by downloading an app to your smartphone, you want directions to a restaurant put on your Google Glass and let it take you to your destination. Your watch is now moving in the direction of the Dick Tracy watch, now your calls are coming in on what used to be your time piece. I think we all must realize that our tech is catching up with our childhood fantasies. The days of watching Star Trek and saying that would be a cool device to own has just landed in our laps.

The future of technology has opened many doors that were once closed, we are seeing advances in medicine with the use of robotics and nano technolgy, not to mention learning more about the human brain by using technology to explore the most mysterious regions of the brain. Everything from buying a car to shopping for clothes can now be done with a simple click of a button. I think Mark O'Neill hit it on the head with this article. Take a moment to read it I think you will be very impressed.

Robots and self replication

+Fraser Cain from has offered an interesting challenge to robot builders, the challenge is to build a robot that can build another robot from raw materials then those two robots build another robot etc. etc. Robots that can replicate themselves is a cool challenge I mean think about tit you purchase one robot and it can build other robots to perform other task you need to have completed. Fraser has included rules to keep people from building Terminator robots, (which in my opinion is quite wise) to get more information go to  and checkout the rules and the reward of joining the challenge. Project J.A.R.S. is going to follow this challenge because we like to see innovators get the press and credit for their work. 

Solar Roadways

Okay this is the last one for the day, and you may have heard me talking about this tech before, its called Solar Roadways. Well here is a little background straight from their site to fill in the blanks 
"Years ago, when the phrase "Global Warming" began gaining popularity, we started batting around the idea of replacing asphalt and concrete surfaces with solar panels that could be driven upon. We thought of the "black box" on airplanes: We didn't know what material that black box was made of, but it seemed to be able to protect sensitive electronics from the worst of airline crashes.
Suppose we made a section of road out of this material and housed solar cells to collect energy, which could pay for the cost of the panel, thereby creating a road that would pay for itself over time. What if we added LEDs to "paint" the road lines from beneath, lighting up the road for safer night time driving? What if we added a heating element in the surface (like the defrosting wire in the rear window of our cars) to prevent snow/ice accumulation in northern climates? The ideas and possibilities just continued to roll in and the Solar Roadway project was born."
So far Solar Roadways has been very busy with their campaign on Indiegogo which was a huge success they have raised just over $2 million dollars for their project and it looks like they are ready to move to phase three. Solar Roadways is an example of environmental technology, they are developing a solution that has global ramifications. If they can get their solution to work with our roadways here in the United States and other countries they would be able to provide a cheap energy resource that we as global tenants can use everyday without adding to the problem of global warming. With Solar Roadways we could reduce the carbon footprint in our atmosphere drastically over a few years buy using a technology that depends on an abundant resource we call the sun. +Jim Ault one of the founders of Project J.A.R.S. has been following Solar Roadways and has committed Project J.A.R.S. and our resources to helping Solar Roadways via social media and other resources. This is what Project JARS is about supporting those with ideas that influence change. 
Well that's all for this edition of Project J.A.R.S. monthly blog. As always please feel free to drop us your comments and suggestions. You can find us on Twitter @projectjars or here on Google+ 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Common startup problems and how to stay motivated.

Progress in times of difficulty

It's been a few weeks and Project J.A.R.S. has hit a few snags. Like all startups problems arrive when our personal lives counter our dedication to completing business ventures. We have had members come and go, teams built and teams broken. The Project J.A.R.S. team members are not unlike the people, teams and small businesses we support. We are going through growing pains, and like all startups these pains can set you back, bring your project to a halt, or inspire you to move forward. Project J.A.R.S. is moving forward although we had to change gears to make our progress more productive.

As many of you know we have been looking for software developers and supporters to help with certain aspects of Project J.A.R.S. because let's face it no one can do it all. Like every startup in the history of the world we have encountered the following issues let's see if you can relate:

  • Managing work and Home: any business venture, entrepreneurial idea requires commitment. It requires balance of family and business which in itself is a job. The managerial staff and team members all have lives outside our current project and from time to time they come into conflict. If your working on a bootstrap budget you know this can be a serious issue when trying to pay a mortgage, car insurance, college tuition, babysitters, etc.with all that the pressure is intense and can spread into your project causing stress that spreads across your team.                                                                           
    • Solution: Break out the calender and start rescheduling parts of your projects, stretch out non-critical completion dates. Take time to step away from the project to complete family responsibilities first, work responsibilities etc then come back to your project. You will have better focus and less interruptions which will allow you to complete your project task.                      
  • Trying to do it alone: you cannot I..... repeat you cannot run a project by yourself. It may seem cost effective but its actually more discouraging than anything else. If you are experiencing the problems discussed in bullet one then I can guarantee you are going to be very stressed and get very little done. It's a good idea to ask for help, add some team members or partners to your project or business idea.                                                            
    • Example: Lawyers, and accountants will always keep you from making common business mistakes people make when doing it by themselves. These types of professionals are work as needed only and they will protect your interest legally and financially.                                         
  • Money: The major reason most startups and small businesses fail is because of the lack of funding and bad money management. If you are planning to get a loan, then here is a piece of advice, make sure your loan covers the worst case scenario, not what you think you will need to be successful the successful one. Why? well when getting funding and I am using a loan as example people only request what they will need if their idea is a success, but as you know most projects hit set backs, rental cost , insurance issues, legal issues, payroll shortages, product or services are not ready for the projected completion date, same products or services bring in less ROI than you originally thought...shall I go on?                                                                                                                        
    • Solution: Plan out as much of your project as possible, research your idea the profitability of your idea. Audit yourself, and plan your finances accordingly, I cannot stress this point enough because there is always going to be a setback or a ton of setbacks when starting on a new venture. Here at Project J.A.R.S. we have had many setbacks, and without careful planning we would have folded before we even got a started. Money is a crucial tool in business and like any tool if not managed correctly you will hurt yourself or others will hurt you if you are not prepared. Planning for the worst case scenario allows you to have capitol for those emergencies or unexpected expenses that arise removing the stress of trying to find that last $5,000.00 dollars you needed for say production or licensing. Its a good idea to think your project through before starting it helps on the long road to success.

Staying Motivated

Project J.A.R.S. is on course for success, we have made some changes to management staff and reset completion dates in order to make sure when we role out OneConTec that we are prepared to service our many members. We do not want to hype up our services and deliver junk. We have had meetings with our advisors and team members which produced solutions to many of our internal problems. Project J.A.R.S. is motivated by the bootstrap community and their support. We feel the energy of success and it has helped us in ways that I cannot put into words. Removing negative opinion, and following the examples of those who came before us fuels our desire to deliver.

We would like to thank +Natasha Green creator of the #theSalon  +Carlos Romero CPirate Radio and Ikohaus Digital Art +Saul Fleischman and #Ritetag and all the members of The Women in Tech Community and The Startup Bootstrappers Community on Google and all of our mebers and friends who support our efforts. You keep us honest and working hard and we can't ask for more than that.