Request for Mentoring - Iteration Six

After test out iteration five of the request for mentoring form with a few entrepreneurs and also getting more feedback from mentors, there are three changes made since the last version. The first change is removing the value proposition section and replacing it completely with the elevator pitch section. A few of the entrepreneurs that filled out the previous version wrote the same first sentence for their elevator pitch and value proposition. The value proposition is redundant and has now been removed. The second change is adding a clear distinction that sections 4 - 7 refer to the strategic area that the entrepreneur has chosen. Entrepreneurs that had filled out the previous version were not correctly attributing the past objectives, past strategies, results, and future objectives with the strategic area they had chosen. Adding a clear distinction now clears up that confusion. The third change is the addition of section eight: questions. In discussion with a mentor from Cofounders Bridge, he pointed out that it's valuable to know what an entrepreneur is expecting from a mentor. To communicate this expectation, it has been framed as a series of two to three questions the entrepreneur needs to ask the mentor.

Mentoring Network: Rough Sketch

After presenting to my thesis committee, one of the pieces of feedback I received was that I was too focused on just the conversation between the mentor and entrepreneur. They asked me to take a bigger perspective to understand to structure of the system around the request for mentoring form, and how the different pieces of the puzzle would then fit together.

To answer this question from my thesis committee, I had to go back to my notes I took while meeting with Garrett from Good Company Group. While Garrett and I were discussing applications of my thesis research, he sketched out a rough framework of a mentoring network. He pointed out four major segments to this mentoring network.

The first segment includes all possible entrepreneurs that are interested in mentoring, which means that the first segment also has to create a filter that weeds out entrepreneurs that aren't committed to their business and moving it forward.

The second segment is the group of entrepreneurs that have passed the initial business readiness filter. This group of entrepreneurs may then submit requests for mentoring when they want to have a mentoring session. However, a key factor that Garrett pointed out is that mentors are a valuable resource, their time is valuable so it shouldn't be wasted. To ration mentoring to the group of entrepreneurs in segment two, we can look at three possible areas to design a mechanism that prevents over-usage of the mentors. The first area is frequency and is determined by the amount of times an entrepreneur meets with mentors. The second area is feedback from the mentor to the mentoring network, letting the mentoring network know that the entrepreneur did not value his or her time. The third area is price, which basically means the entrepreneur would have to pay a small sum in order to meet. For example, this could be from purchasing the mentors coffee, to paying ten to twenty dollars. The purpose for price is to create a sense of value of the time the mentor spends with the entrepreneur.

The third segment includes the organizations within Philadelphia, or any other startup ecosystem, that acts as an interface between the mentors and the entrepreneurs. Essentially, the matchmaking group receives the request for mentoring form from the entrepreneurs in segment two, and then sends it off to the group of mentors in segment four. The organizations in segment three can also provide a space for the mentor and the entrepreneur to meet and discuss the entrepreneur's business.

The fourth segment includes mentors from various areas including business development, customer development, finance, fundraising, legal, marketing, operations, product development, sales, and team. Furthermore, there would have to be a hierarchy in place that would allow for a time manager to know the schedules of all the mentors from each mentoring area. The time manager would then distribute out the request for mentoring form to the mentor that has time to meet.

Finally, the match is made and the entrepreneur meets with the mentor.

To second iteration of the mentoring network visual.

To Table of Contents.

Lo and Behold, I am become as a God

Title of art piece: Lo and Behold, I am become as a God

Short bio of my piece: “Lo” - the first letters ever sent over the internet. Meant to be the word "login," the internet crashed after the second letter was sent from UCLA to Stanford. These two letters have now come to symbolize "lo and behold" - giving weight to the significance of the internet's birth. I find M. Square's journey in Abbott's Flatland to parallel our human journey with the internet; experiencing the internet as a space for individuals to create new bodies, a place to upload our minds into a land that is eternally virtual and for the moment, virtually eternal. It seems that John of Patmo's Revelation has come true – his vision of a new earth, a new heaven, and our new bodies. John writes as if he saw the internet, “Lo, a great multitude, which no man could number of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,” all spoke together (Revelation 7:9 KJV). This new medium may make us feel as a God, but it still reflects humanity's basic anxiety of death and our will to overcome it. We will to upload our minds into new bodies, into a land that might be eternal and endless. This art piece is our crowdsourced bodies and voices experiencing an ascendance, an upload, into a new dimension where all knowledge is available with a single download. I'll end with Abott's words, “Lo, the secrets of the earth, the depths of the mines and inmost caverns of the hills, were bared before me.”

More to come... pictures will be uploaded after I set up the piece at Little Berlin's >get >put.

Successful Blob tracking with Audio and Video Sync

I'm currently using the Xuggler wrapper for ffmpeg to record audio and video together. I had previously tried using GSVideo to do this, but it wouldn't work on Windows - only seems to work on linux... maybe mac? Anyways, I'm also using javacv to access opencv in a processing sketch. I'm still getting audio spikes, but I'm not yet sure why...

Get Put - Update

Some of the ideas I've been throwing around as having a preamble available to download for my art piece includes images of an Earth-rise as seen from the moon. The only thing about these images is that they were sent through the OpenCV blob detection library in order to make it look like it could be a scene from the book Flatland by Abbott. Having the book, since it's in the public domain, also available for download, seems like another nice addition.

Enjoy the images:

Does the sound of downloading make you want to upload?

I'm currently working on an art piece for the exhibit >get >put. The following video is a rough preamble to my piece. More to come as I begin constructing it this week and weekend.

Thesis Committee Presentation and Feedback

Late last week, I had my thesis committee meeting. The people on my committee include Sharon, Jonas, Jeremy, and Angel. The expertise they bring to the table includes entrepreneurship, design, and writing. I had presented a summary of the thesis work I had been doing over the past two months. You can see the slides I used on slideshare:

There were two main takeaways from the feedback they were giving me. The first important piece of feedback is that I did not make explicit the jumps I made from observations of mentoring sessions to the request for mentoring (RFM) form. The second takeaway is that I did not show the system that would have to be in place to support the RFM.