Tuesday, August 02, 2005

You know what else would be useful?

I just watched our 'local' BBC lunchtime TV.

And it seems up in somewhere (not here), a bunch of scam artists are taking advantage of people's good nature to persuade them to leave out bags of old clothes in the name of a non-existent charity. Apparently, it is a big business.

You know what would be useful to help in such things... a truly localised website that people check on a regular basis for matters such as recycling, reuse and charitable matters, where they can be advised of and/or report on such things immediately.

Now, wouldn't that be a great idea?

Hidden in plain sight.. er.. site

This is fast becoming a 'memo to self/staff', but as the latter seem to find my blog more useful and fun than anything I say in person, it's worth sharing here.

Just now a lovely lady from our Council (well, a company they are paying/subsidising... now there's an idea!) knocked on the door and asked me if I'd like to know about a scheme to give me money to lag, draft exclude and all manner of other neat stuff. Give me money!? Of course I would! Saving green, both moolah and planets, is where I'm coming from!

I now have a form. And freephone.

What would have been nice would be a website… now there's an idea!

Anyway, no sooner had I popped back upstairs and online than I find a press release telling us green waste gathered from a certain council’s gardens is being recycled and used in parks and flowerbeds throughout the borough. Cool. These guys are on the ball, and I am sure the residents are well aware and a well-coordinated scheme is matching supply and demand.

If not, a website would be useful here... now there's an idea!

Now, I wonder if the same thing happens in our postcode - where would I go?

A website would be useful… now there's an idea!

I now am on my fourth composter (courtesy of neat subsidies for all the bins).

If you want to know how, well, a website would be useful… now there's an idea!

Anyway, around our home there seems to be an excess of supply vs. demand. It would be good to get rid of it. So we're on the case (well, when Emma reads this we will be).

If there is something, we'll ask the guys in question to post it on their very own content page.
And when they don't we'll find the time to do it for them.

That way when the public ask about such things, they'll soon find there's one place they know will have, or soon get, the info and answers they need. Junkk.com.

Now there’s a good idea!

No use having an great idea if you can't tell anyone

It is agreed; it's too long. My blog, that is.

So I am going to try a new tack, which is basically punting a notion (a short one) up there as soon as it strikes. These two lines don't count, right?

As you may know, we have not yet launched Junkk.com 'properly' to the public. We want to stock it up a bit more with data and ideas before we push the big PR button. And to do this, we have been approaching fmcg blue-chippies to do just that. No money... (yet, until we've proved we have the visitor numbers. But if anyone does want to get in now...) just an approval and a few minutes of the relevant department's time.

We have not been having the greatest success. I think I know why. Yesterday Uncle Ray, our BizLink business advisor, went through our contacts list and asked about progress.

As I started explaining, he gave me that 'don't procrastinate' smile of his and told me to contact ... this one... and this one (sfx: random finger jabbing)... now! So I did. Know what? Both emails bounced. Know why? Both heads of marketing were 'no longer at that address'. Two, top blue chip MDs, this week, at random. Gone. Sheesh.

This makes my job very difficult. But I guess I should be grateful I still have one.

Even if it writing long blogs.

Can you be good and still have fun?

That thud, just picked up on the Hawaii tsunami sensors, was our lovely Chief of Prose and Comms hitting the floor.

Because, I've gone and done it.

I've pitched our idea to Jeremy Clarkson (well, Top Gear, but I'm sure he reads all the emails).

I'm hopeful, because despite our area of work we often nod in agreement as much as we wince at some of the team's activities, investigations and pronouncements on the activities of the 'mentalists.

We know good. We know fun. We think they may be up for something that does both. Everybody wins. Just like Junkk.com.

Fingers crossed!

Does lucky make you good?

Napoleon once said that he wanted (or preferred, which would make more sense), his Generals to be 'lucky'. This seems to be a view prevalent across society today, and applies across just about every job function one can imagine. And lucky can be profitable with many, especially the worlds of finance and football management. A guy is sitting in the hot seat when it all goes right, and all of the sudden they seem to be accorded guru-like status... and rewards. Ditto business. But with a few notable exceptions, luck is not a substitute for talent (though it makes good copy, hence the only winners are the media), and the fall can be hard.

A while ago we submitted ourselves to a BBC reality TV show called The Dragon’s Den, where successful (or possibly 'lucky') business folks got to assess your idea with a view to investment. As we're not averse to a boost from any quarter, and there's always a use for exposure, it seemed a worthwhile effort. Now we're quite glad we didn't get accepted. Despite some reassuring noises in the invitation to submit, it became apparent that there was not so much interest or intention on the part of the programme makers to find genuine opportunities and make them work, but to generate more car-crash TV, with sweating victims crumbling in front of ruthless interrogators.

A lot just didn't make sense to me, and I am a complete novice in such matters. These guys had a brief moment to outline their concept and proposal, the 'Dragons' posed a few questions (often very good ones, and the failure to answer them by the guys on the spot further convincing me that Business Plans were being pre-screened for holes rather than potential) and then wads of cash were pushed across the table to buy in, on the spot, 'take it or leave it'.

And despite the amounts being, to me, relatively minor, a lot of folks gave away their blood, sweat and tears to these guys... and for what? Money is always nice (but equally easy to spend unwisely if not well directed), but other than this and a bit of temporary profile, what were these business brains going to bring to the party?

Well, today it was announced that the company of one the 'judges' of the programme, Red Letter Days (I guess the press will have a field day with that colour), went into administration. Which is quite sad. Especially for any of those 'invested' in. I understand that there is already a new series 'in the can', and it will be interesting to see how the BBC presents it in light of what's happened.

It at least serves to convince me that we delve even more deeply into what any investor can do for us, short medium and long term, as they will us.

We've been lucky. But we want to stay good.