Joining the W3 Innovations Team

September 21st, 2009

For the past few years, I worked at a desk job that I enjoyed more often than not and learned a lot from. But, at the same time, I wanted more than a steady job and a decent paycheck, and trusted that my talent and work ethic would help me succeed in whatever I chose to do next. As luck would have it, around the time that I was thinking about my next move and taking more control over my life, the opportunity to join the W3 Innovations team came up.

When Justin described the founding team and his vision, it became clear that W3 had enormous potential to be special and I wanted to be a part of it from the ground up. Since leaving my previous job, I have enjoyed every second of it and have not looked back. Every day is different and challenging–sometimes, I apply my previous training to assist W3 on the legal side, and other times, I work on other areas to help the company, such as with marketing, product testing or brainstorming sessions.

Only time will tell how successful we will be, but I know that with this group of smart, motivated individuals working to build a successful company, the sky really is the limit.

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Broken Thumbs Apps

August 28th, 2009

Today we proudly announce the creation of Broken Thumbs Apps. Our mission is to build great casual games for the iPhone. Our first app has been under development for the last two months. To learn more about Broken Thumbs Apps, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, or become a fan on our Facebook fan page.

In a future post we will explain our decision to move forward with Broken Thumbs Apps, including some of the trials and tribulations during the creation process.

Until then we are very excited about the potential of Broken Thumbs Apps, and we eagerly await our first app, Snaked, to be approved by Apple!

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The Ups and Downs of Crowdsourcing – A Real-Life Example

July 29th, 2009

Recently we ran a contest on 99designs.com for a new logo for one of our divisions (which will be unveiled in August). We chose to run the contest to get some real-life experience using crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is when you take a task that is normally done inhouse by an employee and then outsource it to an unknown community using an open call.

We learned a few things about crowdsourcing worth sharing here:

  • Be as specific as possible. This is true for almost any project, but it is magnified twofold when you are giving a project to a group of people you have never met before. If you start to get a lot of designs that you feel are missing the point, it’s probably because you are not communicating your needs well enough. Be detailed and make sure that even someone who does not know you can understand your requirements.
  • Feedback, feedback, feedback. One thing that we did really well was responding to any and all designs over the seven-day period as quickly and as often as possible. We wanted to create a meaningful dialogue with the designers to help build a blueprint that would entice undecided designers to enter the contest. Remember, the more you put into the contest, the better your results will be. It is the GIGO (garbage in/garbage out) truism all over again.
  • Bad can be good, but good is great. The great thing about the contest was seeing all the creative ideas that the designers came up with. Some of them did not fit what we were looking for, but they often sparked more ideas, which eventually led us to the logo we chose. It was much different (and definitely better) from our original idea for the logo.
  • Crowdsourcing does have its down side. If you think crowdsourcing will save you money, then think again. Crowdsourcing can end up taking twice as much time to manage, and you may end up with something less than ideal for your needs. Still, it’s enjoyable to brainstorm with a large group of excited, motivated people who you would otherwise never have met.

Although I would not advocate using crowdsourcing for an entire project, I do think it has its uses and advantages. For example, it could be very useful in providing your core team with a different perspective. One of the problems with innovative companies is that the longer people work with each other the more they tend to think alike. Crowdsourcing can give you and your team a new viewpoint to consider. It’s also a great way to evaluate your future contractors or employees.

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W3 Innovations is now on twitter – @w3innovations

July 8th, 2009

We are now officially on twitter. To follow us just type in @w3innovations or click here to see our page http://twitter.com/w3innovations.

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Brainstorming vs Blamestorming

June 30th, 2009

I love the DirecTV commercial where the rival cable company is trying to brainstorm ideas to be more competitive. Then one of the employees jumps up and his solution is to have a “blamestorming” session, and he quickly blames a fellow co-worker for the mess. It’s hilarious with a lot more honesty than you’d think.

One of the most important aspects of building a long-term successful company is the ability to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable exchanging ideas. The old saying that “no idea is a bad idea” is true. Not because you don’t get a lot of bad ideas, but because the bad ideas are the ones that often reveal otherwise hidden problems about your product and/or solidify the truly innovative ideas.

You need to have the room full of people with differing viewpoints. If you have too many yes people, which many companies do, or an environment where ideas are shot down before they are given a chance, then you end up much closer to blamestorming than brainstorming.

Here’s a link to the ad: Click Here

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What W3 Innovations means to me?

June 1st, 2009

When you think of your dream job what comes to mind? Is it a job where you are the boss? Where you set your own hours? And make large amounts of money? In truth the dream job is where it doesn’t seem like a job at all. It’s where you go to work and you enjoy interacting with your coworkers and the work you do gives you total fulfillment. In reality, your dream job is not a job at all but something you do to obtain a comfortable, enjoyable lifestyle.

For me, W3 Innovations is a company where I work with smart, equally driven people to build uniquely inspiring products. It is a place where innovation is more than just a word, but a standing principle. It is where everyone is part of a team, with team rewards and recognition.

As I look out to W3’s goals over the next couple of months, I understand that it is going to take a lot of hard work (and a little luck), but I am very excited about engaging in every new problem and in working with a solid team.

It may sound trite, and a bit naive, but I truly believe the sky is the limit for W3 Innovations even in these trying times.

We intend to use this blog to communicate with our community on new product announcements. It will also be a place for our team members to post their stories. As we learn lessons from our business and programming efforts, we plan to pass them along to the community as well. We also want to hear from our users on how we can make our products better. Stay tuned for more postings.

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