Whats in a name?

Howdy folks! Some of you might be wondering about what exactly my business is going to entail, so let me give you a little more insight. I’ve alluded to starting a business that will basically encompass what I’m doing with this web app as well as future endeavors. In addition to building my own web apps as ideas come along, I will build apps and provide consulting for clients as needed, and possibly some web hosting and video development as well. Rather than storing all my eggs in one basket, I’d like to do some exploring and venture out into other web-related areas as opportunities present themselves. That being said, I don’t plan on spreading myself too thin and getting over diversified in the process. I will stay focused on aligning the business with my competitive advantages to deliver a quality product. In case you’re wondering, I don’t have a business plan written up yet. Basically, the web app is going to be my guinea pig in this business experiment. I am completely focused on my product and getting it to market. Then I can analyze the results and build my business plan based on what I learned along the way.

Right now, I am looking into registering a name for this new business and it’s proving to be much more difficult than I anticipated. The names are easy to come up with (floodgates are open), but much harder to settle on. Everywhere I look now is a potential business name: Stapler Systems, Coffee-Mug Technologies, Fingers Typing on Keyboard Solutions. I actually went as far as to look in my refrigerator and cupboards. Misty walked in and saw me standing in the kitchen with the fridge door wide open and a notepad in hand. It went a little something like this…

Misty: “Uh…whatcha doin there?”
Zack: “Isn’t it obvious? I’m looking for a business name.”
Misty: “Why do I even ask anymore?”
Zack: “How long has this been in here???”

Maybe it’s my inner-perfectionist taking over, but I would like my business name to be something meaningful and unique. This is my stories title after all, and the welcome mat to my business. My story is about building friendly, efficient, high tech systems that help people perform better in their day to day lives. My title needs to be symbolic, easy to remember, and creative. With so many possibilities, it’s hard to pick one and run with it. This process has got me analyzing my past, hobbies, software, favorite movies, books, foods, animals, vegetation, cars, cities, streets, colors, and everything in between. Hence, I am now officially late on one of my first milestones: “Name the Business”. Not Cool! Hmmm…Cool Systems, LLC? That’s not bad.

My next puzzle to solve is whether to build a Sole Proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Any advice? I’m leaning towards sole because it’s less costly and time consuming to set up. However I like the limited liability, unlimited owners, and increased growth potential aspects of LLC’s. I will have to do a little more research on this before I reach a decision. That will have to wait though, as I want to spend the weekend drawing up my initial prototype of the web app.

Off to work I go…

Great Wide Open

Hello and welcome to Something Ventured! My name is Zack and this is my personal blog all about starting a professional business. I’m currently 29 years old (this is subject to change), I reside in Portland, Oregon, and I build web apps for a living. This consists of driving to work every day at 6:30am and sitting in a cube until 5pm. I then drive home, watch a little TV, go to bed, and wake up and do it all over again. Quite the rock star life I’m living, eh? Well, that’s about to change. I’m going to take a big risk and roll the dice. I am going to try my hand at being a Web Entrepreneur and start a business. My first ever attempt and I am going to do it all live, right here. This blog will bear witness to all my accomplishments and shortcomings along the way. Good, bad, ugly…I’ll share it all!

Building a web app is my first order of business and the primary focus of this blog. In the process, I aim to be as transparent and informative as humanly possible, without giving away my idea. I started this blog to keep a journal of my efforts, share my journey with the world, and hopefully inspire and motivate those of you in the same boat to take the leap along with me. It’s time to come up with an enthusiastic response to that lingering question: what the heck am I doing with my life? This blog gives me a live audience and provides that much more motivation to follow through and do it right. Make no mistake…there will be mistakes along the way (which I’ll share for your viewing pleasure). I hope this will attract both those anxious to learn the process, like me, as well as those who have been there and can offer advice. If nothing else, I want this to be a good learning experience. If you have good venture tips/tricks/stories, please share.

So now that you know the purpose of this puppy, let me just briefly tell you how I got to this point. After college graduation and living on my parent’s couch for several months searching/begging for work, I finally found a job. And now that I have it, I wonder why I wanted it. It’s now apparent to me that I should have been brainstorming web apps on that couch instead of sending off resumes. But, that’s not how it went down. It’s been around four years now and I’m gradually making my way up the old ladder, although I’m pretty sure it just leads to more ladders. Maybe what I need to be doing is digging holes. This is starting to sound a lot like the game LoadRunner (classic computer game). Anyways, the excitement of being in the real world with a college education and shiny new job has worn off. I am realizing that if I’m not careful I could wind up spending my life in a cubicle, only to retire and upgrade to a nice, roomy coffin. It’s time for me to slap myself out of it and wake up. I need to unplug myself from the Matrix, walk off the set of the Truman Show, wake up the day after Groundhogs Day, make somebody an offer they can’t refuse…something. At very least I need to watch less movies. Seriously though, it’s time for me to make my own way and be my own boss. Any of this sound familiar? Good, then you are definitely in the right place!

Why not step over that line with me? For those of you who already have – congratulations, maybe you can offer us some guidance on our journey. For those of you who are happy where you’re at – congratulations, kick back and enjoy the ride. As for the rest of ya’s – I say it’s time to take a risk. You know the old proverb: nothing ventured, nothing gained? Welp, I reckon it’s time to venture out and find us something. Let’s roll!