Last time I wrote, I was thinking of going further down the Microsoft Excel positioning path. The idea is that I find businesses that use Excel in a somewhat wasteful way, and transform their clunky old Excel-based system into an elegant web application.
I have in fact gone further down this path. My friend Adam and I started something we’re calling Grand Rapids Excel Meetup. The idea is that we’ll bring together people who use Excel and work and let them talk shop with each other and exchange tips and tricks. And if they feel like maybe they’ve outgrown Excel, we’ll let them know that they can talk to us about that.
I’ve been thinking that the positioning could be narrowed even further by specifically targeting accountants. I shared this idea with a friend of mine and he referred to me an accountant he knows. I talked with this accountant on the phone, and not only was he interested in the Excel meetup, but he mentioned that he had some automation work he’d like to talk to me about. Another friend of mine told me the CFO where he works was excited about the meetup, although that CFO lives in Chicago and can’t come. But it’s good to know that an Excel meetup seems to be an idea people are into.
I’ve also been putting out the feelers pretty hard for regular old web development projects of any kind. That’s going pretty well and I have 14 leads right now of varying degrees of size and quality. I even got to the point in one of those conversations where the prospect agreed to send a deposit, although it hasn’t been sent yet. The nice thing is that right now I don’t need any extra work, I just want it. This of course allows me to be more selective in what client engagements I accept and under what terms.
I guess I’ll close with some books I’m reading right now:
- Endless Referrals by Bob Burg
- The Lost Art of Finding Our Way by John Edward Huth
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
- Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman
- The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer (on audio)
- Abundance by Peter Diamandis (on audio)
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
As you can see I’m on kind of an ancient history kick right now. I had read a Napoleon biography some time ago and Napoleon was a big Alexander the Great fan, so that made me curious about old A-dawg. I find it interesting that Alexander was taught by Aristotle who was taught by Plato who was taught by Socrates. I don’t really know anything about any of those guys. Maybe next I’ll study Socrates, then Plato, then Aristotle, so I can learn about the earliest guys first.
It might seem silly that I read so many books at once. There’s a good reason which I’ll explain in a separate post.