Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Ring it up!

02.15.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Ring it up!
Is this our old cash register? We'll see later today...

Headed out later today to determine if this (picture right) is our cash register. We’ll be using a modern point of sale system with inventory control for our transactions as a matter of course. There’s something about an old brass National Cash Register (NCR) machine that adds a little something to any store.

Couple that with the fact that it came from Dayton, Ohio – close to the old country for us. It’s something of a connection across distance and time that is nice to contemplate. Clearly there will be some restoration work required and that could be fun too.

If it’s not this one, we’ll find another. But it’s certainly worth a look and the price is “right.”

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Quick Store Update

02.13.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Quick Store Update
Example of furniture we're considering for the store

We managed a little time inside the shop over the weekend. The remodel is going well with the framing nearly finished in advance of putting up the dry wall. We needed to get the top areas of the space enclosed due to the nature of the building to make the space possible to heat. When talking with the owner, it appears this was an organically grown building starting as an office for a lumber yard and then getting bits and bobs added on over time.

The store next door is essentially a box built inside the building which works for them (high end furniture.) We like the high ceilings and want to preserve that loftiness while making the space weather tight. It’s an interesting set of tradeoffs and the owner has been fabulous in working with us to shape the space as we envision.

On the product front, we now have 5 products that we are developing (prototypes at this point.) We have sources established for most of the other products we’d like to carry as well, though the variation is great in suppliers. We’re hoping the San Francisco Gift Fair this coming weekend will help us establish more stable relationships with a number of those suppliers and provide some additional ideas.

On the fixture front, we’ve got one cabinet that is being sanded and refinished in the garage right now. There are a few other pieces we’re working through with a local collector. We hope to outfit the balance of the store with a local artisan who creates distinct pieces from salvaged material.

It’s going to be a busy week!

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

The new test tubes are here!

02.11.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on The new test tubes are here!
Test Tubes for my Evil Experiment

I felt like Navin R. Johnson when he shouted “The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!” when I saw the package of test tubes yesterday.

But seriously, we’re in the midst of some experimentation for the products for the store as well as getting the physical plant up to snuff. Thus, I came home to 1,000 12x75mm borosilicate test tubes.

Right now, we’re planning up to 6 products that we design and produce for sale in the new venture (along with many others we procure and resell.) Given that we’re aiming for a May/June opening, product development needs to be progressing at a healthy pace. So, we’re putting a few ideas together and testing them out to see if they work with our target markets.

It’s very exciting having innovation manifest in a physical medium. I’ve lived so much of my career in my head, that it constitutes a refreshing change for the better. As we progress a little further, I’m looking forward to sharing the core concept, the name, and the links to the online components of the project.

Stay tuned.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Commentary, Humor, Innovation

Yesterday was a Killer!

02.10.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Yesterday was a Killer!
Garden variety Pacific Ocean Cyclone

So, I wake up normally at 4:30, as is my custom.

I attempt to get my head spun up and get ready for a busy day.

Here’s the agenda: clear the normal communications backlog from over night, drive to Menlo Park, meet one of my co-founders to finish an investor presentation and demo, head to Kleiner Perkins for a pitch as part of Venture Beat’s DEMO tour, head back to Half Moon Bay to help my spouse with a task, drive to Martinez to get a look at potential fixtures for the store, pick up the kid from school, piano practice, a call for business development purposes, and then a catch up with the day’s communication backlog. Go back to Menlo Park to the Dutch Goose for a Venture Beat hosted party. Come home to perform the night time ritual before bed time for my daughter.

I think we could agree this sounds hectic.

Here’s what was not on the agenda: The site became unavailable for me, and all users about 6:30am PDT yesterday morning. Now thread troubleshooting throughout the day with myriad calls and emails to Vanuatu, Ohio, and other locales to attempt to get the site back in working order. Ugh. If you are a curious sort, you can read what happened here. I didn’t make it back to Menlo for the party. The night time ritual was honored.

The results were: We got the presentation together for Kleiner and Venture Beat and delivered it effectively (we think.) We hacked a solution to allow us at least to demo, while the overall site was down, and ultimately managed to put in place an alternative and get standard back up by 6pm that evening. Special thanks to Steve, Bart, Ish, and Bruce as we navigated through this morass. The rest of the day’s events came off without a hitch.

Coming back to our trip to Sand Hill road to talk with the Big Guys, it was instructive. We were coached on some areas we could be a bit more thoughtful about and emerged with a better idea of where, how, and when we are going to take

One thing is clear, bootstrapping is great. But at some point if you’re going to go big, you need some cash to make it happen. We’re going for it. Show Us the Money! (If you want to be a part of our funding round, write me a note 😉 SEC Disclosure: This is not an offer to buy securities. Any purchase of securities in a company like must be as an accredited investor and handled through the appropriate channels and procedures.

Off to a similarly busy, though hopefully not as dramatic day today. Let’s hope it’s a little luckier than Thursday the 9th!

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Remodel underway

02.08.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Remodel underway

Just a quick pic of the in-process work on the space. A wall has been knocked out, some of the floor work is underway. We still have a long way to go!

Store undergoing remodel

« Previous Entries
» Next Entries