Damon’s Top 4 Concepts to Know When Brain Storming A Digital Solution Project

Damon’s Top 4 Concepts to Know When Brain Storming A Digital Solution Project

This outline is an attempt to break down a typical project into the Top 4 Concepts to Know When Brain Storming a Digital Solution Project.

A Typical Project Pitch/Concept & Brain Storming With A Client

You have been presented with an eNewsletter concept. The eNewsletter is to be sent out quarterly to a Sales Force list. The eNewsletter is pretty straight forward containing basic “Hello Sales Rep” information following Company News, but the real basis for the eNewsletter is to distribute Articles to the Sales Force. The number of Articles range from 10-30 an issue possibly more. Inside each eNewsletter there will be information about each Article. The Article information is: Thumbnail, Short Description, Date, Author, Key Messages and a disclaimer message indicating whether you can use the Article in Publications.

The Client states they have done something like this before but had trouble with their IT Dept. They express their interest to keeping costs down. They say Reporting doesn’t sound like something they need, because on the last project their IT dept. used Crystal Reports but didn’t use it properly, which was more work than it was worth and a lot of hassle. They also do not specify whether they have or want hosting for the online content.

1 )The 10 x Factor… Wait… How Many?

If there is a concept, object, parameter or aspect that repeats itself more than 10 times, in any Digital Solution Project big or small, chances are there could be problems down the road if the “10 x Factor” is not handled properly.

  • What about the project is causing the repetition? Is the repetition absolutely necessary?
  • If it is absolutely necessary how much human intervention
    is needed and how much can be avoided?
  • Is this project part of an on-going campaign? In which there will be more projects involving more items of possible more repetition?
    • If Yes. Could it be possible, that if this is part of an on-going campaign that the Sales Force will want to Search the build-up of Data?
    • If No. When we are finished with the project will it, stay alive indefinitely until the stars burn out?
  • Is the Information involved in the repetition coming from someplace? Are we creating it?

2) It Has to Live Some Place… Wait…Where?

If the project involves anything online, it has to live someplace? There are Pros and Cons for Hosting projects at your company.

FACT – Your company is not a Hosting company. Therefore there are certain amenities that are very typical of competitive Hosting packages online that you cannot offer.

  • Does the Client or Account Service know this and could this lack thereof be exploited against Your company
  • Project lifetime, does it plan to live indefinitely until the stars burn out?
    • If Yes. It plans to live forever, are we getting anything in return by letting it live on your company’s Server?
    • If No. Hey maybe it should live upstairs.
    • If Unknown. My Mom let me move home after college, but she twisted my arm to know how long I would be staying if she could do it to me we can do it to the client?
  • Is the Project part of a larger campaign in which there may need to be other things hosted side by side?
    • An eNewsletter has images; the images have to live someplace online in order to show up in the eNewsletter. The Articles inside an eNewsletter that are being linked to have to live someplace online in order to be downloaded.
  • Does the project have predetermined hosting restrictions? Is the Client’s IT department controlling the final destination of the project?
  • What kind of project is it?
    • Is it Downloaded
    • Is it Watched
    • Does it have Video
    • Are you Saving any Data

3) Data Collection/Reporting… At Some Point Someone is Going to Want to Know Something About Some Project

Whether the Client or Account Service says they want Reporting/Data Collection, or not we have to plan for it as an automatic addition to the services we provide to projects big or small without question.

With the idea in mind that if the Client knew the benefits of the Reporting they we’re opting out of or turning down, they would wish/want it later. At which point if we are doing it already your company looks like heroes standing on top a gold mine of data.

Every department at your company uses Data in some way. The more Data we collect the more other departments will indirectly benefit.

FACT – “98% of All” hosting companies have Reporting as an automatic turnkey amenity of their hosting accounts. By simply hosting with an outside company we would automatically gain Reporting on a project to project basis.

  • In the current platform, does Data Collection or Reporting add to the overall cost of a project?
    • If So. We have to ask the question… Why? When Standard Reporting Mechanisms are free?
  • In the current project brain storm, is reporting possible?
    • If Yes. What type of
      Output is possible with the current reporting platform?
    • If Not. Why and what can be done to make it possible?
  • Are there any aspects of the project that could benefit from Data Collection/Reporting Does the Manager of the Sales Force want to know how many people they are reaching or what Articles are being downloaded?
    • If these questions are asked, are we going to be caught with our pants down without an answer?
  • Is there Areas or Departments inside Your company completely unrelated or related to the project at hand that would benefit from the Data Collected/Reporting?
  • By hosting everything upstairs in one place we miss out on smaller Data Collection/Reporting possibilities. If I did a report based on “VISITS” to the Sun box upstairs, the Data would be useless.
  • If I did a report based on “VISITS” to an individual hosting account with a single project hosted on it the Data would be very useful, giving a detailed account of traffic status.

4) Demystifying the Mist… If Certain Aspects of a Project Sound Strange…Chances Are…They Are Strange

If you’re brain storming on a project and the more and more you talk about it, the stranger it sounds or the more complex it gets. Chances are there is an easier way to do it, you may not have the right tools or the project has not been thought out well enough.

  • What about the project sounds hard to do?
  • What about the project is unknown?
  • Are you trying to find some solution online, to solve the problem?
    • By finding a solution online, have you solved the problem or introduced another problem that will require another solution introducing yet another problem?
  • Does the problem involve calling a Customer Service Line?
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The Greatest Super Heroes of All Time – Everyone Has Had to Open a Jar of Pickles

What is it about a super hero that captures our imagination? Is it founded in that weird Hulk sensation we all have opening a stubborn pickle jar, or that out-of-the-blue Spiderman reaction time we’ve had catching a glass of water before it tips over? Whatever the circumstances are everyone has had that one moment of extra ordinary.

The concept of a super hero is ancient in nature, in fact most of the super heroes of today have some sort of roots tracing back to legends and mythology from around the world. Abilities like super strength, flying, animal familiars, super speed and invisibility are the classic traits that turn up over and over again.

The Flash is very much like the Greek Messenger God Hermes, Ice Man is very much like the Nordic Frost Spirit, the Hulk is very much like Hercules. The list goes on and on.

Some heroes of modern day are so well known one could argue they are even more familiar than the legends from antiquity. For example if you picked someone at random from any country on earth and asked them who Beowulf is? They might know, but then ask the same person. Who Superman is and I’m pretty sure you’ll get a wealth of information. The alter ego of Clarke Kent, phone booths, spandex, the letter “S”, a red cape, the strange green rock called Kryptonite, his love Lois Lane.

“Look Up in the Sky, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Superman!!! ”

While Superman as a character is great in theory and was in 1938, after reading about Superman flying into our 15 million °C Sun… without a burn mark on his body… or moving our Moon a few degrees to the left without somehow adversely effecting gravity on Earth the suspension of disbelief is cheapened a little.

This same storyline problem holds true for characters like the Silver Surfer who is imbued with a 4th of the power in the universe, or like the Green Lantern or Dr. Strange who have at their will “all” the power in the universe heroes that are almost so super that you can’t help wonder… how is it possible to not win.

The very definition of a super hero is someone with almost god like abilities, yet to read about a super hero with god like powers whooping up bad guys right and left with little effort isn’t very interesting.

So where does this leave us? Where do our expectations of a super hero become tangible enough that a good story line can emerge? With the volume of great comics that have existed over the years this question is almost impossible to answer.

To all comic fans schooled in character lore it is hard to boil down, reduce into, and extract a singular character or characters that embody the essence of greatness, but I think without question to comic readers and non readers two characters emerge almost always. They are Batman and Wonder Woman.

Batman sometimes known as the Dark Knight or the Detective has been around since 1939, almost as long as superman and has gone through many variations but the baseline story has remained intact since his inception. The storyline is roughly: A middle aged man, filthy rich, his parents were killed in front of him as a boy, who has vowed to rid his once peaceful city and the world of crime and corruption. Oh and I forgot to mention the best part… Gadgets. Batman as he is only mortal and cannot fly, is not all together very strong and is not super fast has to use gadgets to tackle his problems.

Despite being mortal with no super abilities Batman has actually saved Superman in many instances, his mortality has been put to the test extensively and in some cases Batman has been beaten so badly he literally dies on the spot only to be revived by one of his companions and in some storylines the villain is so powerful and cunning that Batman can only fight them into stalemate long enough for help to arrive.

Batman is my personal favorite, while wonder woman comes in a close second.

Wonder Woman has existed since 1941 and was originally introduced as a fighting force alongside the soldiers of World War II. Born from the god’s as an immortal she gives up her family and immortality to help out mankind by leaving her Amazonian island. Her special powers consist of lighting fast reflexes, beyond human strength and heightened senses giving her a very Herculean persona which is pretty typical.

So what makes Wonder woman so interesting if she has such typical powers? How have her comics survived all these years?

What makes Wonder Woman so untypical is that where almost all mythological stories and comics from around the world contain men having super strength, lighting fast reflexes and super senses Wonder Woman as her name states, is a woman. What makes her so wonderful is that since 1941 she has been defeating the best of the best as a mortal armed with two bracelets and a bit of indestructible rope.

She like Batman has fought alongside the virtually indestructible Superman and saved him many times, she has been completely beaten to within a fraction of her life many-many times in some storylines she has even gone to the afterlife and picked a fight with Death himself to save other heroes to bring them back to the realm of the living.

What makes comic storylines like Batman and Wonder Woman so great are that they dig right at the core of what makes us human, they provide a glimpse into the essence of what makes a regular person like you and me rise above the fray to do good things. Comics are stories nothing more nothing less but if you… You’ll have to excuse me… there is a devilish jar of pickles that I have to go open…

Fate, Destiny And The Freedom of Choice – The Growth of Mind and Morality

When we think of the freedom of choice we think of the ability to make a decision on our own accord.  The choice could be right or wrong or mostly right or mostly wrong or neither the possibilities are endless.

With that said I started thinking the other day about everyday problems that we are placed in that would be almost impossible to solve without some sort of preparatory knowledge.

SIMPLE EXAMPLES OF PREPARATORY KNOWLEDGE:

Trying to Build a Book:

If you were given a single page from a book, it would be impossible to insert it correctly into the completed volume without Page Numbers. Yet to have page numbers means the entire book would need to exist before the page was issued. So it would be logical that: If given a few pages, and if the pages contained possible connected information; a character is born, a character is getting married, a character dies for example we could attempt at inserting the pages.

The Card Catalog at the Library:
When we go to the Library to find a book, we must reference the entire Library to make a successful search?  Meaning the Library had to be indexed prior to us finding anything in(the card catalog)

Identifying a Strange Animal:
When we see a strange animal, our minds quickly take the animal and compare it to other animals that we have already seen. Once we have enough comparisons made our mind then makes an educated guess .  So it would be logical to assume the more animals we see the more animals we could identify.

The situations above in a way show that freedom of choice is only relevant if the outcome of the event contained in the situation is “indexed” prior to making a choice.  Because how can we say we have freedom to choose when in fact if given a single page to a book with no numbers, the only Options are to … Eat the page with Ketchup… or to insert it into the book knowing full well that page will be inserted incorrectly.  Both options regardless of the freedom to choose are not really options of choice but a guess of options.

So you could say that the Freedom of Choice is really the ability to make a single decision whether the choice is right or wrong is irrelevant if the the situation has never occurred and has no plausible answer at the time, but more importantly the freedom is in the memory of the choice and the reuse of the choice as reference to make another less, equal to or more complex decision.

Yet what this also proves is that the more education one has of a certain situation one has more options to choose from giving one a richer and greater selection of favorable outcomes.

SIMPLE EXAMPLES OF PREDICTING THE FUTURE BASED ON PREPARATORY KNOWLEDGE:

Watching Someone on a Bicycle Peddle by on a Bridge:
Lets say you are walking across a bridge and along side you someone passes you on a bicycle.  Chances are you could choose to believe that the very same person will be cycling on the bridge exactly .003 seconds in the future.


Dumping Out a Bucket of Water in The Sun:

Lets say I have a bucket of water and I dump it out on the concrete on a sunny day.  Chances are I can choose to believe that the water I have dumped out will evaporate.

In both of these examples although they are extremely simple, the conclusion or choice to believe is based on knowing the outcome prior to having to make a choice.

So if we can see that the freedom of choice really only works if we have prior knowledge of the situation, then could we say that the lack of preparatory knowledge of a given situation relies more on Destiny or Fate?

This reinforces that choices made under the circumstances of ignorance live outside the quantifiable spectrum of probability and human understanding?

It’s an interesting idea because what this would also mean is that the “Smarter” one is the more accountable his or her actions are?  This basic concept is literally how we use the judgment of  a child’s actions in court.

But does the term Smarter constitute Mind or just Intelligence? If one spends their entire life growing smarter without really questioning the “Why” or the “How” or the “What” of their actions then does one’s Mind really grow?

Essentially we can without very much thought assume the growth and healthy maintenance of our Body through natural means. Eating healthy, exercise, sleeping… But when we say Growth of Mind, are we tapping into Choices in Morality?

PREPARATORY KNOWLEDGE – CHOICES THAT DO NOT RENDER HIGHER UNDERSTANDING OF MORALITY

If someone can solve a basic math problem let’s say 1+1 = 2. The ability to solve this problem you could argue doesn’t result in a higher understanding of Morality.

By knowing the exact PANTONE color of a swatch of Purple, also one could argue doesn’t result in a higher understanding of Morality.

Knowing how to start a fire, or fill a cup of water, again one could argue doesn’t result in a higher understanding of Right or Wrong, Good or Evil or Morality.

With these examples and with the examples encapsulated earlier in this article, I am attempting  to layout a basic foundation about the Freedom of Choice and our global understanding of Morality in order to bring “any” reader to a single conclusion about how we tackle our problems, and that even if the choice was wrong, how we need to keep sight of the ramifications.  how the very idea of “An Eye For an Eye” doesn’t make any sense whatever if the person or people have different levels of Morality than yourself.  I was extremely inspired by Barack Obama’s speech when he won the Nobel Peace Prize and I think that what he says towards the end of the speech is so well done everyone can benefit from watching it.

The continued expansion of our moral imagination.