Category

Startup
Rocket crashing into the ground
“Entrepreneur” sure sounds like a fancy-ass word. It comes straight from the City of Light, the Louvre, and cuisine — and few people outside of Paris pronounce it just right. It feels elite to call oneself an entrepreneur, akin to artist, poet, or angel investor. But don’t let the uppity title deceive you, because an...
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Five Commandments for Learning through Design More than anything else, great storytellers know how to develop their characters. Early drafts are all about discovering the key character’s central purpose, their central desire. Once the storyteller starts their real script, novel, or game, they need to quickly show the audience the main character they’re following and...
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Designers discuss sketches of a house
Planning to develop custom software is like planning your perfect home. As I look back on almost fifteen years of helping business leaders develop custom software, I can see how much my thinking has evolved. I used to avoid the “building software is like building a house” analogy because there are places where it breaks...
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audio wave
A Startup Redding Podcast Ep. 18 with Lauren Jerome and Kirk Wayman Listen on Spotify, iTunes, or straight from the source. Full Audio Transcript Includes minor edits for readability. Kirk Wayman 0:07 This is the Startup Redding podcast created by a group of founders, funders and entrepreneurs who believe you can have a thriving startup...
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Woman with computer, smart phone, and credit card
…while you’re still discovering what you need A software program can range from a few lines of code to a few million, but if you’re thinking about hiring a software team you are probably wondering how much it will cost. Even if your business is well established, there’s a good chance you have a budgetary constraint,...
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Team working together on a business plan
Before Asking “How Much is this Software Going to Cost?” Part 2 — Business Strategy In a recent post, I outlined the model I use at Mindbox Studios to help innovators embarking on a software journey get a handle on their innovative software needs. Visionary software owners often ask “how much is my software build going...
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How the Best Product Owners Use Data to Build the Best Products Ever wondered how some companies consistently build features that you couldn’t live without but never knew you needed? It seems like magic, some sort of product manager voodoo that can only be tapped if your last name is Zuckerberg, Spiegel, Hansson, or Dorsey. The rest...
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How to Set Great Performance Metrics and Expectations. One of the most common frustrations among business professionals is performance metrics. Performance metrics are how employers value the contributions made by their employees and how employees clarify the expectations of their employer. It’s a simple tool that when used with intentionality can be a powerful asset...
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How to turn the company that you have into the company that you want. I’m blessed to be a part of an amazing community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and visionaries located in Northern California. We’re close enough to Silicon Valley to stay on the cutting edge of technology and far enough away to see the bigger picture...
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What's the Definition of Agile Marketing
Agile marketing is a calculated approach to the traditional marketing process. Agile marketing values flexibility, transparency, visibility, predictability, and adaptability over set marketing processes. The agile approach to marketing was created out of the values and principles of agile software development: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration...
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If you’ve spent any amount of time in tech circles, you’ve heard the term agile being thrown around. The term originated as a software development methodology focusing on rapid iterations, simplified communications, flexible roadmaps, and the ability to move quickly and easily through product versions, updates, and releases. Agile is primarily a mindset backed up...
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Mindbox Business Validation
At Mindbox, we work with a lot of very early-stage startups. In fact, we work with so many early-stage companies and founders that we built a SaaS platform to help them plan out their software. We call it Story Plans — and it’s pretty awesome. Working with startups attracts some really cool projects; it also attracts some...
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“If you’re not growing you’re dying.” I’ve heard this line mentioned multiple times in conversations over the past few weeks. I have no idea what it’s from — maybe a book, maybe a famous speech or a podcast? Regardless, it’s an ideal that keeps surfacing while meeting with clients, strategizing about how to reach their...
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Founder
Startup-ing isn’t for sissies. Period. There are a few qualities that must be present in every founder or the road will be long and tumultuous, leading you back to crafting resumes for corporate headhunters. Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked with over 120 startups from all over the globe, and it doesn’t matter where...
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When you’re a startup, your achievements often become your next set of hurdles. Here’s the latest: Your organization is growing, but finding the right people to help you grow brings its own set of challenges. You need good people to help you now. As part of a small team, it’s not uncommon for inexperienced leaders to be thrust into hiring...
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Drinking the startup Kool-Aid Mindbox has been working on a new product concept for a while. After realizing a need we had internally, we are using the same process we take our clients through, iterating and validating with potential customers, and learning through critical feedback. Today, we are excited to announce this product to the world as we enter...
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The Story Plans podcast is a show about the early-stage startup, I mean, really early stage. Like, the napkin where they scribbled their idea on it is still in their messenger bag, early. The difference between this startup and so many people out there with ideas inspired by a long road trip or hot shower...
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Tandem skydiver in action parachuting
The leap into startupland and entrepreneurship isn’t easy for even the most prepared–if there is such a thing as being “most prepared.”  We could talk all day about the risks, probable changes in income and lifestyle, potential stress factors, and the possibility of failure. Actually, odds are against the entrepreneur. But we already know that,...
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 Every since starting Mindbox and engaging in startupland, co-working has been synonymous with the proverbial “office”. This isn’t new. It’s a thing….kind of old school by now, but in some communities around the country it’s a fresh concept wrought with skepticism. To some co-working sounds like a great excuse to socialize and ignore the task...
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Software customers are not inanimate just because you don’t see their faces We are all tempted to treat a customer like a transaction. They give us money for products or services we offer them. We’re a vendor or service provider, so they’re an invoice. We meet their needs, they pay our bills. It’s basic economics,...
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Just a couple months ago our founder, Joshua Johnson, packed his family into a truck and all of his belongings into a trailer to head to Northern California in hopes of broadening the reach of Mindbox Studios and investing in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Shasta County and the City of Redding. In previous trips to...
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Do you have an idea for the next big startup? Maybe you’re a college techy wanting to escape the Raman noodles. Or maybe you just want a relaxing evening with your Cincinnati tech friends.  No matter who you are, join us this Friday, October 9th at the UpTech Community Grill Out. Mindbox Studios is sponsoring...
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At Mindbox, we believe “A change of pace and a change of place is a change of perspective.” Because of that, a tradition that Mindbox has upheld for quite some time is to work from Crossroads Community Church on Thursdays. We do this to escape the norm, get out of the office, and see something...
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One of the most rewarding aspects of the work we do here at Mindbox Studios is getting to see our clients succeed. Many of our clients are startups just launching a brand new idea, and it’s awesome to watch those ideas begin to take off and gain traction with the world. Right now, Brett Keppler...
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We’re investing in Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem with leaders from all over the Tri-State. There’s a new startup accelerator launching in Cincinnati called OCEAN, and I’m pleased to announce that Mindbox will be partnering with them to help startups get off the ground successfully. I know two of the three founders really well, and I believe the...
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THE GAP by Ira Glass from frohlocke on Vimeo. I saw this video a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since.  Not only does Ira Glass (This American Life Radio Broadcast) never cease to deliver from a story perspective, his analysis on what it takes to produce great work is right...
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Recently we had the privilege of seeing a growing client of ours, Dan Adams of Earthineer.com, in action at a local fair in Oregon. Nicholle Austed serves as Dan’s project manager at Mindbox Studios when Dan needs to accelerate development work on his acclaimed homesteading platform. Check out earthineer.com to see what we’re building with Dan,...
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How Startup Weekend reignited the entrepreneur in me   I recently signed up for a 54 hour challenge to launch a new business over one weekend. I was in good company, however. In just a few years, over 100,000 people have signed up to do the same thing and participated in what’s called, Startup Weekend....
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