Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

So I’ve been attending an entrepreneur conference in Chicago this weekend and I’ve found the whole thing very interesting.

First there was the keynotes, which underlined the nature of Chicago’s seeming up and coming start up nature. And then a couple of sessions I attended were quite volatile.

The Education 2.0 session had very passionate people arguing about content and censorship, about rural Internet access, and that the start up world is looking at web 10.0 as opposed to the schools systems just sort of figuring out and having meetings on web 2.0. I ended up getting contact info from a VP at Britannica and the CTO of the Chicago Public Schools. Both seemed genuinely interested in reviewing IF and helping us work in classrooms.

Saturday morning I attended a session on responsive web design, which essentially showed how you can use the @media screen tag to create alternate views of your site based on max width, resolution, and other criteria. Very helpful if you want to create HTML for multiple devices and have it change based on CSS criteria alone.

Another morning session was on social data and this too seemed to catch people’s attention. The general concern is that there could, and already is, a sort of “character rating system” which will compile data on all of your purchase history, your social history, employment history, financial records, and allow someone to segment the population by who should be provided an easier path to wealth than others. Do you go to the library or the bar? Do you purchase healthy foods? Do you read comic books or economic journals? Do you maintain a savings account? What sort of things to you say on Facebook or Twitter? This seems both inevitable and deeply frightening.

The last session for Saturday was about Gamification and the panel was made up of iconic game designers involved in Mortal Combat, Tony Hawk, Call of Duty, and more. The discussion talked about rubberbanding games and then using social media and various kinds of rewards to keep people at a website.

I’m taking Sunday off to decompress and assimilate everything. I had not planned to attend the Monday sessions, but it looks like it has most of the entreprenurial content. It looks like a must-attend day from Textfyre’s perspective.


The life of an entrepreneur is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. For all of the Mark Zuckerberg’s in the world, there are thousands of guys like me. We have a vision, a passion, a singular belief that we can create something special. We will scrounge up dollars to keep our servers running, scramble to networking events that just might lead us to an important contact, and endure ridicule and debasement for our “fantasy”. Our families don’t get it at all. Our friends are supportive, to a point. Our advisors are helpful, but excruciatingly and irritatingly calm and collected. We ourselves either lose weight or gain weight, eat badly, sleep horribly (if at all), and do poorly at our regular jobs because we’re simply not inspired by the grey cube walls of doom.

And yet we persevere. We find inspiration in little things. We continue to poke and prod our network. To find new ways to develop our business plan. To bring new advisors into the mix. To improve our product plans. To find new customers. We think about our business and work on some aspect of it every single day. Some days for hours and hours. Some days for only a few minutes.

We believe with every fiber of our being that our plan is solid and it can succeed. We believe that we’re doing something worthwhile and good. Something that will create jobs that people will love. Something that will create products that people will love. Something that will make the world a better place.

I’ve been working on Textfyre for over four years. We have two published products. A third product incredibly close to being published. A new business plan. New markets (Kindle, iPad). New authors. New Advisors. We still have people investing their time in Textfyre and believing that it can succeed. We have great tools and great plans for new games.

We’re not Facebook and we’re not an overnight sensation. But we’re still working at making a great company, even if it takes years and not hours to get there. We’re still working.