Three months ago I took a first stab at answering the question of “What’s next for edtechlife?” Happily, some of you shared your opinions in a poll I included with the post. Some of those ideas are starting to come to fruition – and others may yet have their day. :)
In any case, it’s clear at this point that it’s definitely (and finally) time to expand the “organization” – I need help, and some of it as immediately as possible. I have one big new project underway (a bit more on that below), but my immediate needs are focused on expanding the services I already provide to schools, districts, and other educational organizations. I have a relatively immediate need for these three things – and figured I share here in case any of you might be interested. These three needs could be filled by one or more people – and all three would be part time, at least to start:
- A Trainer in Southern California – I’ve known for sometime that I should increase the capacity of my business by brining in others to do what I do, but I’ve finally reached the point where I have literally committed to more events this year than I can possibly lead myself. Knowing how much time I need to prepare for these events and how much time I need at my desk to meet the needs of other clients, I know I can’t sustain this load for long – particularly if I want to launch my new project. And in some cases, I am actually double booked right now (with the knowledge of the clients – don’t worry). So, I’m looking for someone with a similar skill set willing to step in and begin leading workshops (or co-leading at first) as soon as possible – as soon next week actually. If you’re in the area and interested, take a look at my workshop topics and see if you might be interested in (and prepared to) lead any of these.
- Someone to Follow Up on Leads and Expand the Business – In essence, this is another function of what I do for myself and my clients and I’m now finding myself with more leads than I seem to have the bandwidth to follow up on. Also, as I move to focus more on new projects I will need help in keeping existing projects running well – and in expanding them. This work could potentially be more of a partnership… and if it were the same person who was helping to lead workshops (in Southern California or elsewhere), this person would more or less be generating more business for himself or herself as well.
- A Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant – Again, this is another element of my current work, and one that I think could be rather productively delegated. I’ve used Google Calendar, iWantSandy.com, and other services (including Mint.com) to automate much of this, but having someone to make entries into Quickbooks, to handle invoices and reimbursements, and so forth would be ideal. This skill set is less likely to be found in the same person who might be leading training or following up on leads – but there’s no reason it couldn’t be if you’re interested in the work.
All of these three immediate needs are related to my current service oriented business. However, I am much more interested in growing in a direction that involves providing a product rather than (or in addition to) a service. I am working toward what may be a separate startup based on an idea for a web-based learning tool, which came out of a brainstorm several months ago and has been evolving ever since. I’d be happy to share the details if you’re interested (and perhaps that will be a separate post), but ultimately, it means I will need additional help (and likely, additional funding as well). This is a project I will not be able to create – or even prototype – on my own. I just plain don’t have the skill set. So, I’ll be looking for help in a few other specific areas – and I’m looking for individuals who might want to be a part of a bootstrapping startup working towards seeking additional funding – while doing meaningful work:
- A Coder – I’ll need someone who can help create a prototype of a web based tool. Experience with various Google APIs (and with the App engine) would likely be a plus. It’s been suggested that Ruby on Rails might be an appropriate language for the prototype. I need to write a more detailed scope of work in the coming weeks and/or months, and I have some folks interested in working with me already, but I thought I would put this out there and see who else replies.
- A Designer – This could potentially be the same person as the coder, at least at first, but I’ll need someone to design the look and feel of the site as well as the logos etc. I have my own ideas, but I’m sure they’re not very good compared to a professional’s – and I can’t implement them myself anyway. ;)
- A Marketer – If this is going to fly, I’m going to need some much more serious market research and an actual marketing plan – and I know that marketing is not my strong suit. This might potentially be the same person as the designer at first, but not necessarily.
I’ll also be looking for colleagues with more business experience than I have myself (particularly when it comes to a web startup) to work with the company or serve on the board. This project is a much longer term scale than the needs above, but I still see this as something to work on this year, with hopes of having something people could actually use in time for the 2009-2010 school year.
In any case, ping me in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be interested in any of these opportunities – particularly any of the first three opportunities, as those are the most critical needs for me right now. I look forward to the talking to some of you about the possibility of working together more in the future. :)