early notes on intro to entrepreneurship

Capitalising on:

1. Unexpected Success

2. Unexpected Failure

3. Unexpected Outside Events

So my big idea is to find a solution to my design problem. I have a design idea but it has no form. The design is a 36-page document describing a narrative for an interactive house.

1. I have recently tested my knowledge-base against others in my field and I found I had proficiency in python, which I’ve only recently started learning. This could be called an unexpected success. This success has motivated me to continue learning python and to also learn Unity, Twine and others.

2. I also found that I had novice-level knowledge in both Adobe Photoshop and Javascript, both of which I’ve spent some time with. In fact, I took a course in Photoshop and have been using it to create cartoon artworks for the past five years. From this I have decided to train up in Photoshop, technical drawing and Javascript. And to also study product design and science.

3. I don’t see many opportunities in outside events. Climate change and the boost in sustainable design? The wane in crowdfunding as people begin to realise how saturated the market is? The recent increase in awareness and positive messages about mental illness? The fact that one of the people I look up to as a person of authority in the literature field (a usually conservative organisation) has come out as transgender?

And even if any of these things are significant – in what way could I capitalise on these opportunities and also how would that affect my entrepreneurial focus, or would it at all?

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I learned a new word today…

Incongruity


The relevant use of this term in business is something that just doesn’t make sense.

1. Economics

I feel we’re pretty lucky in New Zealand, that though the world economy is fraught with problems, many of our economical institutions and constructs seem to work. Which poses a dilhemma for me, because without a problem to seek a solution to, how do you discover opportunity? The only thing I can think of that might be relevant is WINZ – RealMe login allows you to keep on top of most things going on with your benefit (I think there is a similar system for student living costs.) But what if your situation but not your finances change and as a user you need to talk to somebody? You have to either sit on hold listening to Tim Finn for 3.5hrs or make an appointment, wait in the waiting room and hopefully eventually talk to a (usually very friendly, accommodating and helpful) advisor/case worker. The part that seems like most people ‘just get over it’ is as a user the experience is terrible. Why is it allowed to stay like that? Because just like students at a horrible factory-for-beneficiaries (emulating the prison system) high school or most Ivy League colleges in North America – the institutions have forgotten that they are there to serve the user not the other way around. The government pays them to help us. They are not the ones giving us money (we are users, not inmates) – but that’s how they perceive the system and as the result of an indirect contamination (like a virus) – as do we.

2. Reality

Okay so my industry is writing and design. This is my reality. What problems come from my reality? 2.1 Access to research material, 2.2 Online distractions – while simultaneously requiring the consistent access to the internet – for research, for backing up documents, for writing this blog, answering crucial emails and messages. 2.3 Staying motivated to keep writing every day without a human being who understands my process reminding me and consistently inspiring me – like McKee’s book did or like my tutors in all years of the college where I earned my creative writing degree and all of my tutors at my first college in Television, Theatre and Radio. This is more interesting to me – I see alot of problems that could be opportunities for innovation. But a solution needs to be simple and invent-able using existing technology.

3. Values

I hear this alot. If you come up with an innovation and you haven’t talked to your target market, you are cutting yourself off at the knees, because you don’t know what your user wants. On the other hand as a writer, I am my user. As an artist I don’t pander to my audience – because that’s the first caveat in the creator’s code. This paradox could itself be a problem i.e. an opportunity.

4. Rhythm

Here, I’m reminded of my first section – economics. Daily/weekly/monthly life rhythms are interrupted by things that we tend to bear the attitude of ‘just get over it’. It’s part of life and we accept that there are things that we don’t like, but who are we to change them? Well, we are the innovators, so we are exactly the correct people who should be charged with changing them. So what rhythms in my life are interrupted? The business of other people walking in and out of my life – this is a distraction as much as it is a positive one. ‘Just get over it’. Okay, fine. But what if I don’t. What if I come up with a simple solution using existing technology that allows me to stay connected and close with my people, yet still have enough time devoted to focus on quality writing and design, without demanding that my others accept (which they would never do, and I would never ask) my routine? What if there was a solution that would solve this perfectly? My first thought is a man shed. My second thought is a tiny home in a foreign city or a town in the mountains (or a cabin in the woods – not a Drew Goddard one.) My third thought is something like the Saent (google it, a crowd-funded system for turning off distractions on the computer. Apparently it works, but I found the software-version far too simplistic.)

I think that one thing will happen alot when attempting to innovate; the problem you are trying to solve has already been solved. But perhaps it isn’t as effective as you think you could make it, maybe you could create an improvement. Or just move on to the next problem.

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My first meme – thoughts?

myfirstmeme.jpgHere’s how I see this going down

Captain Atom dematerialises Mr Gone and the JSA except for Spectre who is impenetrable and he forgets to dematerialise Nny because Nny is just lucky that way. He doesn’t bother to dematerialise Curse of Spawn, because he can rematerialise anyway and is already dead – Cap knows this.

Mr Gone is now dead along with most of the JSA sorry Alan (the first Green Lantern) – you didn’t see it coming. Nny tries to kill Captain Atom – but as we all know he’s pretty unkillable, he stuns Nny knocking him unconcsious, and again forgets to kill him.

Eddie and Rick get drunk and fart. Rick pops out for a wank.

Eddie punches Spawn in the head, which makes him angry, but before he can kill Eddie, Dr Strange pauses time. I would love to see the two Doctors go at it, but Dr Fate isn’t impenetrable so Cap would oust him at the first opportunity, like I said.

 

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looking forward – big day today in USA for Stephen King fans!

Stephen King’s It (the first of 2 reboots) released today in USA and hopefully soon elsewhere. I’m going to wait till DVD though. Still I’m looking forward to it!pennywise.jpg

This is going to be interesting. Hopefully it will be better than the 90’s tv movie which had its strengths but reached nowhere near the depth and style, imagination and violent awesomeness of the book. The first movie (2017) has a mostly all-child cast; there are no grownup protagonists. So I’m guessing that’s how they’re doing the two movies – taking the storyline of them as kids in the first movie, then the return to Derry about 30yrs later when they’re all grown up in the sequel. I think this is a good concept, hopefully it works. And I know most people think it’s good that Beverly’s orgy scene and other choice sequences aren’t in the movie because there is probably no way they could do that (it could be done, but not by Hollywood) without being exploitative, but I do hope the sociopath sub-plot of the bullies will be in the movie. They have said that they are putting alot of the darker stuff in that was avoided in the TV movie (which was also in two parts, remember.)

My favourite scene in the book has to be the sociopath sequence with the fridge at the dump. That and the time the Losers Club fought back with stones – which was in the TV Tim Curry as Pennywise version. But it didn’t have alot of weight to it. In my opinion, one of the coolest things about the book was killing off a main character at the start of the book then pivoting away and telling an epic story of murder, love, spirit, faith and growing up.

I hope this won’t be another Ender’s Game scenario. Fans of Card’s book will know what I mean here.

on the subject of looking forward, in November in the USA Thor: Ragnarok will be released

I’m surprising myself by being more excited about this movie than I am the JLA movie. And I’m a DC fan to the core – Clayface, Green Lantern, 90’s Flash, JSA, Plastic Man, the list goes on.. I love their characters, worlds and stories. However, the teaser for Ragnarok looks like something a bit different. Whereas the teaser for the JLA movie just looks like more of the same. I’m going with different on this one, because to me that brings up other words like original and unique – two of my favourite character assets.

 

 

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super meat boy – level 1

Level One

I got through the main stages of level 1 – forest, quite easily. Once I got to the boss stage, I found frustration. I gave up for a while. Recently I had another hardcore attempt at beating it. I succeeded but it took me two hours. I found that while earlier I had thought that there is only one solution to each problem. That is, in fact, not the case. There is a swinging saw x 3 construct where you wait for the right time and then you run back and forth, then full on through them, without dying. But in fact you can combine the right time with jumping over the last saw and if you do it this way then you don’t have to be quite so precise about the timing.

I found that there are some tricky bits toward the end of the stage that are not so difficult, it’s just that you have only a second to decide how to approach them and because they are so far towards the end of the stage, you will have experienced these problems very little. Whereas the earlier problems will be by now like second nature. Except that fatigue sets in and you keep making stupid mistakes, which gets you killed repeatedly at the early, easy obstacles.

I find Ed McMillen’s design to be deliciously precise and particular, which may seem a bit formulaic at first, but I think it’s more that he pays attention to structure with this game. It’s not less artful. And I think structure and style, with substance, can make a game like this shine. There is quite obviously attention paid to style – and it’s unique. The substance comes through in the modern approach, the older target audience and the precision and difficulty level of the game’s many and interesting obstacles. Most stylish in this game are the character design, the quirky gore aspect, and the fun, slightly edgy graphics (not quite as edgy as some of McMillen’s earlier works, or even as what came later – The Binding of Isaac.)

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2 poems

Lips

Nothing out here is colourful.

The fluffy brown stuff,

On the brick steps, is just that.

I shouldn’t let this place get me down.

The wood is just wood,

A tree is just a tree.

The rocks show no faces,

I am my enemy.

We were there together.

An end without a tail,

No stories of her,

Just turns of the hand of a clock,

And lying in each other’s arms.

Fair Prey

Minds at rest, children’s,
These prowl the night, and find the Beast to torment.
Rays of dark upon my ear, ripping my mind to shreds.
The Beast is in sight, the scavengers’ screams of hunger, I hear.
Lines of dead souls, ripped out from their faithful bodies and strewn on the ground.
To never foresee minds coming,
To never again feel their master’s scent of justice and ego-testicleness
in their bones.
For, what would you have me say,
Or do, to you,
Fair prey?

 

see more here

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Tombstone (1993) – Dir: George P. Cosmatos (Rambo: part 2, Cobra)

Cosmatos has directed some really bad movies. I really don’t want to insult the guy, but it kinda feels like Tombstone is a great movie despite the director. Unless you credit him for the performances, the film isn’t directed particularly well. The story and the performances are just so bloody good that this film is fun to watch every single time, (I’ve seen it probably ten or eleven times.)

Kurt Russell is the star; Wyatt Earp the real life star of the wild west. However, everybody who knows this movie will agree, that the standout performance is Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.

The two most famous lines:

I’m your Huckleberry.

and

Alright, Lunger. Let’s do it.

Both of these quotes are between Kilmer’s Doc Holliday and his nemesis, Johnny Ringo – the devil in black, played by the supremely misunderstood, expert character actor – who looks so much like a leading man that people have been miscasting him for years. A brilliant actor and a star without the ego – Michael Biehn.

The first quote is from a scene where Ringo gets drunk and goes looking for a fight. Only to find no one wants to mess with him. Except Doc Holliday. And when it looks like there could be a death battle, Ringo’s boss, Wild Bill reins him in and takes him inside.

Later in the film, the two have a final showdown. Ringo seems genuinely afraid of our lovable anti-hero Doc, but he won’t show it. A bit of false bravado and he tries to unleash the beast within, as he utters the famous line. And the two have a final one on one up-close and personal quickdraw gunfight. Which is over pretty quickly.

Whether it’s historically accurate isn’t really the point. It’s a powerfully effective, beautifully violent and interesting, not to mention romantic, action film without the silliness, or the massive budget – of most of Arnie’s material.

I think a better director, like say Tony Scott or James Cameron, could have made this a blockbuster movie with real guts and charm. As it is, this is still a hard movie to forget. It has some dynamite scenes and a whole shit load of sentiment.

My favourite scenes are – well yes, you guessed right the showdown between Doc and Ringo. But also when Wyatt takes the gloves off and enjoys one more ride for Wyatt Earp and his immortals.

 You tell him I’m coming, and Hell’s coming with me!

That moment is like when shit gets real. Somebody died in a bloody mess. And it was gory, tragic and sad. Wyatt is burned by this and all the mess that things have turned into. And he’s been avoiding the fight this whole time, because he just wants to retire and live happily ever after with his family. But the cowboys pushed too far, and he’s lost his nut. Now he’s going to kill them all. It’s a real balls out moment.

5 stars

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True Romance (1993) – Dir: Tony Scott (The Last Boy Scout, Spy Game)

If you haven’t seen this film, I feel sorry for you. It’s a Tarantino script and his best, in my opinion. Directed by the late, great Tony Scott and starring Christian Slater in his most empathetic role (Clarence Worley) and Patricia Arquette (Alabama – that’s her name) at her sexiest and possibly, most powerful; The scene where she gets the shit kicked out of her by Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) is forever etched in my brain.

Technically, it’s an action film; but really, a contemporary romance about sex, drugs and rock and roll – from the mind of possibly the most relevant filmmaker of the time. And directed by one of the world’s best directors of emotionally affecting action movies.

Clarence (Slater) falls in love with a call girl (similar to a prostitute) and decides to kill her pimp so they can get married and run away together. It’s a wonderful idea, but things don’t exactly turn out as he had hoped.

A road movie to the bone, but more romantic and beautiful than the more artistic and pulp – Pulp Fiction.

Standout bit parts by Dennis Hopper – a retired cop, Christopher Walken – the gangster, Val Kilmer as Elvis (is brilliant), Bronson Pinchot as a pathetic assistant (who introduces Clarence to the buyer played by the truly great character actor – Saul Rubinek), Gary Oldman – the pimp and Brad Pitt as a stoner called Floyd.

What else do you need? Watch it now! It’s got balls! True Romance is a beautiful story about love in today’s world; a world of greed, violence, moral degradation, the destruction of family values and death around every corner.

Among the best elements in this film are: It tells a story about an uncool guy who just wants to be cool. But he’s painted as the coolest man alive – perhaps because the narrator of the story is the woman who’s in love with him (and because Tarantino may have been writing a bit about himself.) It starts off – about a guy who lives an ordinary, nerdy life and doesn’t get out much. He’s not the kind of guy you’d expect to go on a murder spree, for example. But his imaginary friend, Elvis is also his consul and tells him what he needs to hear to take violent action to solve the immediate problem (the pimp.) Things escalate from there. But these two are not psychopaths like the pair in Natural Born Killers or Kalifornia. Rather, everybody else seems to be either violent cold-blooded killers or cold-hearted police. And all Clarence and Alabama want is to attempt to survive. They don’t kill anyone, except in self-defense, and nobody who doesn’t deserve it – at least that’s the viewpoint that we witness.

The writing is fiercely colloquial and clever, interesting, poetic and fast. The directing is beautiful in cinematography, framing, structure and the style of the performances. The structure is basic, but it doesn’t need to be anything else, it also doesn’t call attention to itself. It’s really about the characters; their motives and struggle. None of the characters are without depth, even Floyd is vital to the story and an interesting character and he plays probably the smallest part in the film.

The plot is more straight-forward than Pulp Fiction, you don’t have to be clever to ‘get it’. However, that doesn’t make it predictable. The writer is smart enough to throw in things you wouldn’t expect and weave the narrative into a satisfying and exciting journey. Anybody could get killed – like in The Sopranos. Anybody could win. Anybody could lose everything. I feel the point of this film is that love is the answer, though. Even in the world of the time, full of violence, danger, tragedy and struggle – love can still break through all the mess and make it a journey worth travelling. And I for one am drawn to these characters, even the bad guys. I care about these characters as if they were myself.

Tarantino makes a point of juxtaposing an ugly, broken, smoggy, slummy city world with characters who are fighters that you want to root for and they are people with real heart. Hate the world, love the person. It may not be as unique as a film like Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. or Cronenberg’s eXistenZ, but it’s beautifully written, beautifully told and it really transcends the genre of contemporary love story/action film. Two opposing genres (one aimed at women, the other at men) perfectly mixed into one luscious story.

5 stars

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My Top 5 Movies of the 90’s (a series of articles)

Top 5 movies of ’93, ’94, ’96 and ‘99

1993

  • True Romance
  • Tombstone
  • Dazed and Confused
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

1994

  • Night of the Demons 2
  • Oleanna
  • Brainscan
  • Airheads
  • Shallow Grave

1996

  • Tromeo and Juliet
  • Basquiat
  • Crash
  • Trainspotting
  • Scream

1999

  • Sunshine
  • Galaxy Quest
  • Audition
  • The Boondock Saints
  • eXistenZ
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a day in the life (this is fiction)

My day has two beginnings. I wake up, firstly at 9am. Get out of bed, walk down the hall and into the kitchen to take my pills. I never remember doing this, but I always do it. It’s an automatic routine now.

Then I return to bed and wake again at about 11am. I collect my daily diet soda (zero sugar as I’m prediabetic) and arrange myself in my study. I set up my laptop on my desk and start checking emails, website inboxes, facebook comments, twitter notifications. Respond to anything interesting.
Update my goals on the goal tracking website and check in with my habit tracker. You can list 7 habits that you want to start. Then you can tick off every day that you’ve done it. The idea is to keep tracking these tasks, and improving your follow-through until they become habits. You can rank them by priority, high, medium or low. And set up how many days of the week you want to do them.
Then an algorithm assigns points to each habit. Your total points for the week should be 80 or above – is the goal, I’m normally about 45. If I do achieve 80-100 (100 is 100% of habits achieved) I’ve decided to give myself a reward.
Rewards are difficult for me, I love my work (though still not really even part time and very low pay) and part of my work is appreciating entertainment which is also my leisure. So a reward that has nothing to do with work is hard for me to come up with.
A few ideas I had were a special meal at my favourite café – waffles, 2 strawberry thick-shakes and a gelato. I couldn’t do that more than once a month because I have to keep my sugar low. But I was going to do that anyway.
Another idea was to watch a tv marathon for a day, or half a day. But I already watch at least a movie each day.
One more idea was to go to my local department store and spend $20 on 2nd hand dvds or games, but that could get pretty expensive and I already have a lot of regular weekly expenses. So I’m a bit stuck for rewards.
And although B. F. Skinner will be rolling in his grave (he created the positive reinforcement system and was very against punishment) – I’m thinking maybe I should punish myself for not being above 80% achievement.
After I’ve done all that, keeping in mind I’m still slowly waking up and I haven’t left the house in at least six days. And I have paranoid delusions which I’d like not to go too far into detail about, except to say that I have them and it’s about this time that they are the most difficult.
After all that, I usually watch some television. I know I should read a book or something, something intellectual rather than ‘opium for the masses’, but there are some pretty good shows out there and though I’ll not say it relaxes me, I feel it at least distracts me for a while.
It’s now 5pm. For some, most of the day is wasted. For me, I’m just waking up, getting energised. So I talk to my family and at 6pm on the dot, I take a long walk. Shower and hopefully clean teeth later, I take two hours for the delusions again, or distract myself with the internet.
At 9pm I begin my work. The first hour is for 350 words of my young adult novel. In the second hour I either work on rewrites (currently 20pgs each day on my script for a graphic novel.) Otherwise I write 2pgs of each of two screenplays. With the goal of finishing 2 screenplays (or equal sized manuscript – stage plays, video game storylines) every 3 months; so I’ll aim to have 11 manuscripts completed by this time next year.
Next year will be a year for promotion and distribution, I’ll just research, submit and prepare documents for submission – I’ll still write, but I’ll take a lot of would-be writing time to try and get my work out there. For the final hour I write 3pgs of a short story.
It’s now midnight, I’m a bit tired but not as lethargic as the morning. So I devote an hour and a half to reading 15pgs each of two textbooks on computer programming, animation or adobe software. I self-study and my favourite way to learn is a combination of reading books and trying stuff out on the computer.
I’m also learning 2d digital painting, one day I’d like to sell some of my works, maybe on t-shirts. I have this one piece I did called The Evolution of Derek. Derek is a character in my graphic novel.
The first sketch I did, (before the graphic novel was even conceptualised and some of the story was based on the ideas within the sketches themselves – rather than the other way around,) was terrible, but I liked bits and pieces of it, so I redrew it keeping and elaborating on those pieces. Eventually I settled on a character and spent several hours in Photoshop evolving him, colouring him digitally and stretching/filters until I was happy.
Lots of people think he is very disturbing, but he’s just a face, a face I created. The Evolution of Derek is milestone sketches representing each stage of Derek’s evolution as a character, with a large image at the end, of the final design.
I have to go to bed before 2:30am, because I get up around 11am-12:30pm – and if I don’t get around ten hours of sleep I’m a zombie who behaves a bit like a heroin addict.
That’s my day and I have one more thing to say. I take my pills before bed. This is my least favourite time of day because I worry. I worry constantly until I fall asleep. And before I do, I get up several times for drinks of milk and 3 hot cheese sandwiches. I worry about the closest people to me and how the consequences of my choices and behaviour has affected them. Apparently they worry all the time about me, but I can’t think why. Sometimes I cry for about an hour before falling asleep.
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