Saturday, February 17, 2018

CEO

Lately, I've started to poke my head in some meetups that focus on entrepreneurship and startups. I want to get a sense of that other people are doing - great motivators and urgent reminders for me to get moving. It's both amazing and humbling to see how young these founders are and the innovative solutions they are providing.
But I do notice one thing: everyone is a CEO. It doesn't matter how big the company is, the main guy slaps on the title of CEO. When I see the title CEO, which traditionally has stood for Chief Executive Office, my mind conjures up images of a corner office housing the big boss, with the president himself, a bunch of other C level bosses, and an entire organization under him. Perhaps that's old school thinking.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not downplaying small companies and small or single-individual startups. I myself run a small company, have created and am creating bootstrapped "startups", so for me to downplay that would be hypocritical. What I am questioning is the seemingly nonchalant use of the title, CEO.
Titles feel good. I get it. I was once "VP" of one function or another, albeit in a smallish company, but that company did have a solid structure, with a CEO, president and a whole organization underneath. I was also once a "Chief Architect", and admittedly I felt good about it, so I understand the importance and empowerment of titles.
On my real estate business cards, I have "Broker of Record", because I am required to by law to use that title, but I have also recently added "President", because clients and customers often don't understand that "Broker of Record" is akin to President, with all that position's responsibilities.
However, as I find myself contemplating business cards for my company, Eight Dawns Inc., which houses all the technology efforts I am creating currently, I am struggling to come up with a title for myself. I admit, "CEO" did cross my mind. Perhaps I should subtitle it with the tagline, "Chief Everything Officer". I also thought of perhaps just slapping on a tongue-in-cheek title like "The Guy" or "Chief Coder" or some title that portrays I'm it. Some might relate to those and appreciate the down-to-earth image they send but some might find them lacking in seriousness making them risky to use.
I fully expect some marketing ninja-gurus to tell me that "CEO" is the exact title that should be used because it projects into the future, to a corporation with an orgazinational structure, ready to go public. And I suppose I do agree with that view. I might be one now but my doors are open to others who would like to join me in some way.
Until then, I will remain humble and take a less pompous suggestion from the internet: "Principal".
If you happen to come across this post and feel strongly enough, please let me know what you think. Leave me a comment or reach out to me in other ways.
(By the way, I wrote and uploaded this post using my app, "Just Write!", which you can read more about here: https://eightdawns.com/justwrite)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reboot 2018

Here We Go Again

It was approximately a year ago that I said the then previous reboot attempt at writing was a failure and tried again to reboot my writing. What a miserable fail that was again! But I'm not giving up - let's try this again.

This year, there's more reason for me write more. I'll explain as I lead up to it with a recap of my different passions in the past year.

Real Estate

Early in 2017, real estate continued its extremely hot streak that had been happening for over a decade. The pitch was outright feverish, with rampant multiple offers, bidding wars and feelings of losing out. It was a very tough market for buyers and tenants alike.

The government took notice. They feared the market would crash and the resulting impact such a crash would have. I was told this outright by an industry governing body representative.
In an attempt to counter this, they introduced new rules to tax foreign buyers and control rent increases. That combined with some increases in interest rates and stricter mortgage qualification rules slowed the market down. The difference was stark between before April and after April, when the new rules came into effect.

Although the market did seem to have some fresh life in the fall, the general sense and psychology is of a softening market. This spring will be interesting to see.

A slowing real estate market allows me to focus more on my other passion, technology.

Technology

Technology has always been my love from a very young age. In particular, I love software. A friend of mine asked me what I do during my downtime in real estate. I told her, "I code." She wanted to know what I meant so I explained to her that I build websites and tools to help my brokerage operate more efficiently. I build websites and tools to help agents showcase their properties (one such tool is omnivisuals.com).

Last December, I got into building mobile apps - a bit late to the game but I nonetheless wanted to fulfill an item on my wish list. The onset of app building tools such as Xamarin and React Native has made it easier than ever to build apps. Since my background is .Net and c#, I choose Xamarin to begin my app building adventure.

The first app I built is called "Just Read!", a news feed reader that presents a user with random articles to read from a large list of sources that can be prioritized. You can read more about and download the app here: https://eightdawns.com/justread.

To balance things out, I called the second app "Just Write!" It allows a user to organize writing into projects and snippets, which can be moved around and combined in different ways and then saved to files or shared to other apps. It also allows the writing to be uploaded directly to the following writing platforms: Blogger, Medium and WordPress. In fact, I'm using the app to write this blog entry (and eventually post it). You can read more about the app here: https://eightdawns.com/justwrite.

Aside from the apps, I have a carrying list of more ideas that I want to build. I want to get to know more about artificial intelligence, a topic that I have had an interest in since University but have not had the chance to delve into more deeply. I want to build systems that help people in some way. The bottom line is I want to keep my love for technology alive.

Writing

With my very own mobile writing app under my belt, there really is no excuse for me not to do more writing this year, although I'm not really sure if there is still an audience. I suppose that doesn't really matter. Just write!

But what to write about? I plan to draw from my various interests, my feelings about daily events, my adventures in real estate and technology, and the people, nature and things I encounter. Perhaps you will see some writing about the driving trip I will have with my boys to Orlando in the spring. Perhaps I will talk about creating a new app. Perhaps it will be about an amazing property I visit. Or perhaps it will be about my search for team members to create a startup or about that YouTube channel I messed around with last year (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkAmqv-EHHksTrgj8HMb-sA). Whatever the topic might be, I promise to write more.

If you are still reading this, stay tuned. Or, give me some inspiration by leaving me a comment.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

So Much for the Reboot

I have no idea who is still reading this blog. It seems blogging is a thing of the past, replaced by Facebook news feeds and tweet storms.  Despite trying to reboot this blog last year, I have not done so.

I have no idea why I seemed to have lost the passion.  It's almost like a long, long writer's block that makes me question my the passion for writing that I thought I had.  Perhaps it's just a lack of discipline or perhaps it's my daily life activities.

For whatever reason, writing seems to have gone to the wayside for me.

Don't get me wrong - when I did write, I did love it.

I will try again.

I will write again.