I regularly read this piece of advice by Jason Fried of 37 signals on practicing to make money. With the public sector knuckling down to boost revenue and “act more business-like” I think there is much to learn from internet and digital-focused businesses. As a new team, i REALLY think it pays to act like a business unit within the organisation as we have yet to prove our worth in some folks eyes. I’m betting making money will help change that.
Read How to Get Good at Making Money from the creator of basecamp, which many of use.
Understand the buyer
…I made the discovery that people’s reasons for buying things often don’t match up with the company’s reason for selling them.
Understanding what people really want to know—and how that differs from what you want to tell them—is a fundamental tenet of sales. And you can’t get good at making money unless you get good at selling.
People are happy to pay for things that work well.
I can’t say enough about bootstrapping. Whether you’re starting your first business or your next one, my advice is to bootstrap it.
Lace up your boots and dive right into this article What Screens Want which will be doing the rounds at conferences and talks for months to come and rightly so:
One of the reasons that I’m so fascinated by screens is because their story is our story. First there was darkness, and then there was light. And then we figured out how to make that light dance. Both stories are about transformations, about change. Screens have flux, and so do we.
So the pep talk is that things are starting to suck, but there’s a capacity for change in what we’ve made, who we are, and what we believe. Everything was made, and if we want, we can remake it how we see fit. We only need to want it.
And then we have to build it.
On 28th October 2013 the Bristol vision institute hosted the annual Richard Gregory lecture in the Wills Building, University of Bristol. The talk was titled ‘Better than being there – Being there better, How technology is shaping the future of media’.
Matthew Postgate has the job of shaping and leading research and development for the BBC. His talk covered the approach the BBC is taking to embracing emerging technologies, practices and coping with the challenges that brings for a global organisation. Here are my notes:
- Evaluation of tools to educate and entertain which is the mission of the BBC
- Broadcast is considered a system of creation, delivery and consumption which hasn’t changed much since 1922
- Key theme of change is now we are in the information age
- IP end to end
- Data centric
- New devices and new interfaces
- This has led to a change in how we create media to deal with the shift
- The new broadcast system is split between create, deliver, consume and the BBC have four themes as a framework: immersive, pervasive, data rich and interactive (personal and adaptive)
- IMMERSIVE: trying to get to the halo deck from star trek
- 2012 Olympics used super hi vision
- 8k cameras which are 16 times quality of current HD and uses 22 surround sound – sound not only left to right but also up and down
- Showed an example of using the oculus rift VR headset and a 360 camera to film music practice
- PERVASIVE: Ability to be everywhere and showing live events on mobile to complement
- Designing for four screens: TV, desktop/Laptop, tablets and mobile are considered for all design
- Hewlett Packard say ‘information as a utility’
- We expect to arrive and be able to use and consume immediately
- Wallpaper thin television using tablet control is coming in the next 20 years
- Friends and family can join you from their location to watch things remotely together
- Different surfaces emerging
- Media will become more contextual as there is already more media than we can possibly consume
- Media will begin to seek you out based on what systems know you consume using software agents
- DATA RICH: no longer sealed, more akin to datasets
- Will be commonplace to overlay data to your screen, even during live events
- INTERACTIVE, PERSONAL, ADAPTIVE
- You’ll be able to zoom into the screen
- Interactive to become personal
- Adaptive abilities enabling previously fixed programmes to change, such as using your location to alter the activity live, such as using your local weather during a radio show
- We shouldn’t lose sight of the storytelling
- If we can take the traditional broadcast skills and add new science and then combine we’ll have even better broadcasting
- We should be brave in re-inventing broadcasting
- The use of contextual media will mean that your device knows your activity and will deliver the right type and length of content based on expected location, calendar entries etc
This week, in between three days out at events, my mind began to wander towards our team and service activity for 2014. In short I have been thinking about the scope of the work, embedding digital into our daily activity (hat tip to Michael Edson) and getting things done. After a few months to settle in, I now have clean air to run in with a better sense of some actionable work. I must focus and ensure we ‘DO’ now. Here at the highlights of the week:
- I attended the local tedx event, Tedxbristol 2013. Lots of students in attendance who I enjoyed earwigging
- World usability Day hosted at the M Shed and a great 1 track affair with a diverse agenda
- Disaster planning
- Team catch ups and progress meetings
- Reviewed the student as producer project requirements before their deadline
- Uk Museums on the web 2013 hosted at Tate Modern in London. 120 or so of my peers in a 1 track informal series of talks about work recently done and plans for 2014. I met a very friendly and supportive bunch who I look forward to working with in the near future. The 5:30am bus to London I enjoyed less!
- Discovered youtube tv which enables you to send videos to your TV from any device on the same network.
- Released v1 of our service Digital Principles into the wild. These will really help us in the coming months and support the digital strategy which is coming soon. The 8 principles began life as over 150 scraps of paper that I collected from conversations with my team, other groups in the sector, the service, funders and partners.
Digital continues to permeate throughout the service by way of our internal processes and by our users. The Office for National Statistics shows that 86 percent of UK adults have used the internet at least once in the past three months. Physical location is no longer the defining factor when we refer to users of our service. In order to effectively use our spaces and reach the widest audience digital needs to be at the very core to the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archive service. We need to offer digital services that will enable us to help deliver our mission. These digital principles allow us to ask “why” for all future digital direction.
UPDATE: I have moved the principles to their permanent home over on the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archive labs blog.