Action is the BIGGEST key to success

cdn-million-dollar-billFor those of you who know me, you’ll know that I rarely have a shortage of what I consider my “million dollar ideas” to build on. In fact, I fairly regularly add to the list. A while back I wrote a post about thought vs. action. It seemed to me it was a turning point in my thought process…one of turning it into action. Fast forward a little over 6 months and where am I now? For starters, I’m off on leave (that’s really hard to say and hard to talk about). A long story short, I’m a big ass ball of stress. In addition to that my “million dollar ideas” list is larger and not a single one has been checked off anywhere near complete. There are some tiny modules that are working here and there, but nothing impressive at all.

I consistently find myself in a position where I’ve got a great idea and don’t act on it. Years back when the whole Napster vs. RIAA thing was coming to light of being illegal I was chatting with friends and telling them about a different, legal way to do MP3s on the internet and ensure the artists continued to make money. Well that idea is essentially what is now known as iTunes (and many other online music stores). At the time however, there were none…not a single online shop doing it. I’ll stamp that with a big FAIL on it as well.

Last week I was watching episode 9 (second segment) of Dragons Den on CBC. I love the show. There’s something fascinating about watching people do stupid things. But at least they’re up there doing it. I had been chatting with my brother about an idea I had which we were calling BlueBinder (@BlueBinder) and how cool it would be to pitch it on Dragons Den and get some capital, but more importantly the expert knowledge of these highly successful dragons. All five of them would be a valuable asset to the business. Well just the other week, GrubCanada pitched (successfully too I might add) and the thought of BlueBinder flickered and almost died. Then a friend forwarded me an article from TechCrunch about GrabyMyTable and it knocked another dent in the side of BlueBinder…though I’m sure OpenTable will give them a good run. Luckily there is still at least one USP (unique selling point) I have with BlueBinder and I’m hoping to capitalize and honestly competition is a good thing…it gives you someone to target. That being said, action is imminent and required IMMEDIATELY. This idea, is honestly on life support right now but can definitely be revived for huge success. I’d love to find out some information on patenting the idea/process that I have for BlueBinder’s USP.

Referencing these recent ‘insights’ I went back to have a look at the list of “million dollar ideas” and started going down the list:

  • SPRY: While not a million dollar company right now, at least it’s in progress and slowly making some income. Most would consider that a good thing and I’m definitely in that boat.
  • uPlay: I guess you could make this similar to Pandora—at least from my understanding of Pandora. Since I’m in Canada I have a hard time accessing it to actually test drive it.
  • BlueBinder: As mentioned above, similar sites exist out in the market place that are doing certain components and other various concepts but none are actually doing it the way I think it should be done or how I want to do it.
  • Community Connection: This one was a huge learning experience. Over $20k of personal cash invested in it (and still trying to pay that off) and a huge education as a result. The publishing industry is definitely an interesting one. The product was ahead of its time and I have no regrets for doing it. There’s a slight twist I’m planning to put on it that will hopefully have it making some revenue when I decide to revisit it in 2010.
  • Back 2 School: I can’t take full credit for this one. A lot of the basis of this idea was from my fiancee. A mother in Ontario has done something similar (it took me forever to find in Google), though not the same concept. I even had contacted various people at Staples, Grand & Toy and Office Depot to get communications going. It’s definitely a little bit of a challenge to get high up enough into some of these organizations.
  • Hotel Reviews: Again, not a complete idea of my own but the guys at Oyster are doing something similar. This one is moving forward slowly and will hopefully launch in Q1 of 2010.

The best part about ALL the ideas above is that they’re similar, not the same (with the exception of the iTunes one from the mid-90s). What does this mean? Well it means I need to take action. The only way to become successful is by taking action. It goes back to the wonderful grade 11 physics class with Dr. Flint and the whole “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” theory. I never realized how that would actually play over into life as well as the scientific realm.

Of course the list of “million dollar ideas” above is not complete. It also doesn’t give more then a 40,000 foot high-level view of a few of the things I’ve been thinking of. Have you got suggestions on things to add or features you’d like to see on them? Simply comment below.

My thought around this for a moral of the story is take action. And more to the point, why not take action today. Tomorrow is not a promise.

I look forward to hearing about your lost “million dollar ideas” from sitting around with inaction. More importantly I look forward to hearing your stories of success. Please, leave a comment.

No Comments | Filed under Blue Binder, Code Development, Life, Travel

On-call shenanigans

I have the ‘privilege’ of being on a rotating on-call schedule with my team at my ‘real job’ and this week is the first week I’ve had to carry around the BlackBerry. Our team is so awesome and things are so solid that it’s rare we get a call unless Mother Nature decides to drop something on us. So confident I tweeted about it.

Well I'm carrying the BlackBerry for the week 24x7 now. Confident it won't ring!

Tuesday night was good. It didn’t ring. Wednesday, not so great. Let’s set the scene. A smokin’ hot fiancee who has to be in the office for a 7:00 am meeting which means a wake up before 6:00. A 13 month old asleep in her own room. Me, over tired and exhausted but in bed at a decent 10:30 pm. Fast forward to 12:53 am while we’re all dead asleep. I wake to this annoying ring, but at least now I know what the on-call phone ring sounds like. I see the number and it’s indeed a 403 area code — the same as where I work & live. I answer with what I thought was a wide awake sounding “hello” to which I receive dead air. “Hello. Hello? Yeah this is Marshall, web business on-call.” Still no answer, dead air. Then an ear shattering beep in my ear indicate new voice mail. I must’ve been a little slow to answer.

After a few rings of the phone and now the ear shattering beep, said smokin’ hot fiancee begins to stir. “Oh crap” I think to myself. “Can’t have her wake and I really don’t want to get out of bed.” So I dial into voice mail. Thank goodness the password is easy (yes, it’s 1-2-3-4)…presumably so we can remember at the hours normal people are asleep.

Well thankfully the voice mail is NOT from work. I believe they’re human, but their antics may preclude them from having a certain level of intelligence that I want to classify them in that category. Here’s the message.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

My first thought is this is one of my co-workers playing a dirty prank on me. Then I realized that there’s no way any of them (specifically this one McMullen guy) could ever change his voice to be that annoying. So I laid there in a daze trying to figure out what to do.

  • Call this guy back and tear him a new one? No, from the sounds of it he’d like that.
  • Go downstairs, call him back and tell him how drunk he must be? No, then I have to move.
  • Lay here and do nothing but go back to sleep. YES, sounds great.

So I went back to sleep. My smokin’ hot fiancee got up on time (yes her alarm work me too) and got to her meeting on time as well. I on the other hand just wanted to sleep, and sleep I did. I woke a little late, but still managed to get to work at a respectable time. I then remembered the “call” last night. I also remembered his phone number wasn’t blocked. Hopped online and punched it into Google. 403-764-7… BOOM! There it is. Some guy’s selling his Toshiba laptop on and included his number.

Now is where I have my dilemma. Do I call the guy and ask him about his laptop then break into asking if someone died last night while his sister was sleeping and his bunk boyfriend went to bed? Do I do nothing? Do I attempt to make something bigger out of this then it really is? Oh what to do, what to do? There’s honestly so much out of this I could soap box about. Like seriously, you hope I die in your sisters sleep?! Apparently he really does love me (or one of the other three guys that get the phone each month).

Tell me what to do? What would you do to have fun with this guy (and no, not in the booty call way this call was clearly about).

No Comments | Filed under Life, Pointless Thoughts

Who’s Murphy?

Honestly who is Murphy? He must be a pretty famous guy since he has laws. The question came up this morning in a pointless office conversation which someone said “Jesus Murphy” and I was like “hmmm…who is this Murphy guy?” A little bit of Wikipedia searching turned up information on the association with Murphy. A generic Google search pulls the Wikipedia result but not anything else more specific beyond that. Looks like it is some Eddie Murphy guy though, and not the dull boring actor of late.

No Comments | Filed under Pointless Thoughts