Three Words

Video of Roller F****** Coaster

I’ve always said that even if I’m my own boss someday…I’ll still bitch about my boss. Well, I’m not quite my own boss yet, but here goes…I’m a slave driver from hell damnit! I started to watch a little TV last night, and “woop-ah”, I whipped the remote right out of my hands. I wasn’t too happy about that one. I’ve threatened to go on strike against myself at least a dozen times this week.

“That’s it! It’s a walk out! I can’t work under these conditions!”

I’m starting to think Zack might suffer from multiple personality disorder. But on a serious note, I wanted to let you guys know that this blog is definitely not going to be sunny-side up all the time. This is a true story of my journey, which means good times along with the utter crap. So, let’s dig into that a bit, shall we? It’s tough right now because I have a couple important deadlines that I want to meet this week. So, I’m really pushing myself to have my prototype complete and a web-commercial for this blog finished by Monday. Meanwhile, I’m having a hard time staying focused and can’t seem to fully commit myself to my current idea. I’ve found a couple similar ideas out there and it’s building some serious self-doubt. I need to regain my focus and kick that doubt to the curb, but that’s easier said than done sometimes.

There are days when I’m extremely optimistic about what I’m doing, and others I’m thoroughly depressed. Such is life I guess! It does suck though when you think you’ve come up with a truly original idea that you’re passionate about and someone beats you to it. I can’t stand being unoriginal and this is proving to be a huge obstacle for me. However, it’s one I will overcome. I keep reminding myself that there are good things that can come from being second or third or whatever and I can still be the first one to do it best. I can analyze the competition and market in order to differentiate and better satisfy my target. I can change the product into something that meets similar needs in a whole new and exciting way (which I plan to do). And as long as I stay on task and push forward, I can make this thing happen. No brainstorming new unrelated ideas! No over analyzing and perfecting every little detail! No more excuses! Just take action and get it done!

This is not the most fun rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, but it is one of the most important! I hope I don’t fall off.

Gearing Up For Battle!

Zack with Ax

Well, I did some more extensive research on existing products and after much digging I came across one that is similar to mine. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I’m not sure why. I mean, as usual, every time I think I’m being original there’s at least a billion others brewing up the same thing. Anyways, my first reaction, was “%@#$’n *@#$ motherless $%&*@#$ of a #@$%@#@ – maybe I should choose one of my other ideas from the pile”. Then I realized that once again, I was weaseling out of an idea. So, I slapped myself out of it and fought back the resistance. “Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don’t turn it off!” – First Blood.

In my preliminary research I found products that were semi-similar to mine but still pretty distant. This one is much closer to a head-2-head battle. Mine is still plenty differentiated and clearly better :), but to a lesser extent. After further testing and review of this unnamed persons unnamed application, I found it doesn’t do many of the core functions mine will. While his is ok at doing some of what I’m going for, mine will be AWESOME at doing all of it! While his is convoluted and buggy, mine will be lean, sexy, easy and fun to use. It will embrace all that is Web 2.0, I will be sure to keep it as simple and clear as possible, and you’re gonna love it!

So, all this means is I now have an enemy and it’s time to go to war! This is actually a good thing, because it gives me focus. I now have a bizzaro-Zack to differentiate against and better fit the needs of the market.

Sometimes the best way to know what your app should be is to know what it shouldn’t be. Figure out your app’s enemy and you’ll shine a light on where you need to go.

Getting Real by 37signals

I made a list of the pros and cons of his application and am now ready to draw up my prototype. Hopefully, that will be done today and I can move on to copy-writing it and getting it ready for the designer to take over. Who I still have to select and hire by the way.

It’s all work and no play for me :).