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Building the Business

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004120/00001

Material Information

Title: Building the Business From Startup to Management, Product Development to Mass Distribution, A Look into the Creation and Development of Vaerda Technologies, LLC
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Jamrok, Taylor A.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Business
Entrepreneur
Vaerda
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With the publication of Etiquette of the Banker in 1775, money, business, and the art of building your own enterprise has become the subject of countless books, classes, lectures, movies, television shows, and websites. Each medium strives to teach the interested learner through examples and past successes. For the future entrepreneur this is an excellent starting point. However, adding to this boundless body of work was not the intention of this author or this thesis. Instead, rather than attempt to learn the entrepreneurial spirit by emphasizing corporate research and case studies, Building the Business endeavors to take a more hands-on approach to corporate development, i.e. to learn by doing. I have spent years reading, researching, and experiencing business. This thesis is the result of the surfeit of corporate knowledge and advice I have gathered. My Building the Business thesis has evolved into the development of my very own organization, a limited liability company called Vaerda Technologies, LLC. Of course, along with the establishment of a business comes the need for ideas, research, a business plan, website, potential client lists, partners, employees, registered trademarks, business cards, contacts, profit and loss statements, brochures, proposals, and of course, a product. This thesis offers my answer to each of these important aspects of the viable business in addition to the many other necessary pieces of the modern business organization. Development of Vaerda has been years in the making while hundreds and hundreds of hours of difficult work will finally come to fruition in the very near future. This thesis demonstrates my educational focus for the past three years while also providing a stable bridge between my life as a student and my life as an entrepreneur.
Statement of Responsibility: by Taylor A. Jamrok
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Strobel, Frederick

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 J3
System ID: NCFE004120:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004120/00001

Material Information

Title: Building the Business From Startup to Management, Product Development to Mass Distribution, A Look into the Creation and Development of Vaerda Technologies, LLC
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Jamrok, Taylor A.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Business
Entrepreneur
Vaerda
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With the publication of Etiquette of the Banker in 1775, money, business, and the art of building your own enterprise has become the subject of countless books, classes, lectures, movies, television shows, and websites. Each medium strives to teach the interested learner through examples and past successes. For the future entrepreneur this is an excellent starting point. However, adding to this boundless body of work was not the intention of this author or this thesis. Instead, rather than attempt to learn the entrepreneurial spirit by emphasizing corporate research and case studies, Building the Business endeavors to take a more hands-on approach to corporate development, i.e. to learn by doing. I have spent years reading, researching, and experiencing business. This thesis is the result of the surfeit of corporate knowledge and advice I have gathered. My Building the Business thesis has evolved into the development of my very own organization, a limited liability company called Vaerda Technologies, LLC. Of course, along with the establishment of a business comes the need for ideas, research, a business plan, website, potential client lists, partners, employees, registered trademarks, business cards, contacts, profit and loss statements, brochures, proposals, and of course, a product. This thesis offers my answer to each of these important aspects of the viable business in addition to the many other necessary pieces of the modern business organization. Development of Vaerda has been years in the making while hundreds and hundreds of hours of difficult work will finally come to fruition in the very near future. This thesis demonstrates my educational focus for the past three years while also providing a stable bridge between my life as a student and my life as an entrepreneur.
Statement of Responsibility: by Taylor A. Jamrok
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Strobel, Frederick

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 J3
System ID: NCFE004120:00001


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i BUILDING THE BUSINESS: FROM STARTUP TO MANAGEMENT, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TO MASS DISTRIBUTION A look into the creation and development of Vaerda Technologies, LLC By Taylor A. Jamrok A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Scie nces New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Frederick R. Strobel Sarasota, Florida May 2009 TM

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ii To my family and friends who refused to let me stop, no ma tte r how much I would beg ... and plead ... and reason ...

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iii Table of Contents _____________________________________ Dedication / Page ii Table of Contents / Page iii Abstract / Page iv ___________ The History of Vaerda _______ ____ Introduction Page 1 Section One Building Businesses Page 2 Section Two The Idea Page 14 Section Three Startup / Shutdown Page 18 Bibliography Page 23 TM

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iv BUILDING THE BUSINESS: FROM STARTUP TO MANAGEMENT, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TO MASS DISTRIBUTION Taylor A. Jamrok New College of Florida 200 9 ABSTRACT With the publication of Etiquette of the Banker in 1775, money, busine s s and the art of building your own enterprise has become the subject of countless books, classes, lec tures, movies, television shows, and websites Each medium strives to teach the interested learner through examples and past success es For the future entrepreneur this i s an excellent starting point However, adding to this boundless body of work was n ot the intention of this author or this thesis. Instead, r ather than attempt to learn the entrepreneurial spirit by emphasizing corporate research and case studies, Building the Business endeavors to take a more hands on approach to corporate development i.e. to learn by doing I have spent years reading, researc hing, and experiencing business. T his thesis is the res ult of the surfeit of corporate knowledge and advice I have gathered. My Building the Business thesis has evolved into the development of m y very own organization a limited liability c ompany called Vaerda Technologies, LLC. Of course, a long with the establishment of a business comes the need for idea s research, a business plan, website, potential client lists, partners, employees, register ed trademarks, business cards, contacts, profit and loss statements brochures, proposals and of course, a product This thesis

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v offer s my answer to each of these important aspects of the viable business in addition to the many other necessary pieces of t he modern business organization Development of Vaerda has been years in the making while h undred s and hundreds of hours of difficult work will finally come to fruition in the very near future. T his thesis demonstrates my educational focus for the past t hree years while also providing a stable bridge between my life as a student and my life as an entrepreneur _____________________________ __ _____________________________ Dr. Fredrick R. Strobel The Division of Social Sciences

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1 From a young age I have been fortunate to maintain a very close relationship with my godfathers, Mr. Dennis Paquette and Mr. Philip Phillips. In the twenty one years since they first held me in Northampton Hospital these two men have taken the roles of m entors, confidants, teachers, travel partners, family members, and "landlords". Mr. Phils, the incredible artist and Renaissance Man of the family, has had great influence in developing my artistic and creative skills while always cultivating my thirst fo r knowledge. At the same time Mr. Dennis, practically a businessman since birth, has taught me much more about the world of business and entrepreneurship than he is willing to take credit for. Of the many lessons that these two men have taught me over th e years one in particular has had a very direct influence on this thesis and the idea that brought it about: "You have to own the business."

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2 Almo s t a decade and half before the idea behind Vaerda Technologies, LLC came int o being, a very important and influential event took place in my life. This consequential occurence is one of the reasons I am writing this thesis today. It is one of the reasons education has always been a priority in my life. It is one of the reasons I have pus hed rather hard for early graduation. Perhaps most importantly, it is one of the reasons Vaerda is now in existence. I fell in love. Should you ever have the occasion to spend more than ten minutes with me it is very likely, if not simply inevitable, that I will direct our conversation towards one of my greatest passions : cars. The first car that I can remember truly falling head over heels for was the 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10. 450 horsepower. V10. Convertible. Impractical. Red. I was roughly seven ye ars old at the time and quickly falling in love with one of the most beautiful examples of modern American design infused with classic muscle car breeding and engineering. Although this event took place some fifteen years before the inception of Vaerda and is seemingly quite unrelated to our topic, that red convertible changed both my direction and focus, be it for better or worse, by permanently altering my priorities. Even at the age of seven I knew this automobile was not just something I wanted to s ee hanging on my wall in poster form. This car was something I wanted sitting in my garage. I could not even drive at this point much less drive a six speed manual with enough torque to spin the world in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, these seem ingly minor details did not matter as the heart simply wants what the heart wants, and I desperately wanted that red Viper.

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3 This brings us back to Mr. Dennis Paquette, Mr. Philip Phillips, and their infinite wisdom : you have to own the business First we must ask w hy must you own the business ? T here are numerous ways to become successful both inside and outside the corporate world The dirty little secret is if one is adept and willing that owning the business can become a way to stack the deck in y our favor. By owning the business one has ful l control over the direction your company should take and the decisions that must be made in order to get there. Rather than climb up the corporate ladder to the corner office a business owner can eliminate th e middle man and start out making the important decisions. If the business owner ha s the talent, the leadership abilities, and the stomach for risk then their business has the potential to do great things. But remember, o wning a business is not for every one. Determining whether or not you can own a business is less important than determining whether or not you should own a business. At the age of seven I did not know the answer to either of these questions. All I did know was I needed to try. Thus it w as established that I needed to o wn my own business. Well, at seven years old and wanting nothing but a Dodge Viper, this gem of advice did not go unheeded. Interestingly enough, the you have to own the business mantra of my godfathers manifested itsel f in the form of golfers and golf balls. In retrospect perhaps my younger brother and I should not have chosen such a frugal and, quite frankly, oftentimes inebriated demographic as our primary customer base, at least not at the ages of seven and four. H owever, we had the means, the location, the product, and for just $1.00 you could purchase three slightly used golf balls from two strapping young fellows just after the eleventh hole of Oakdale Country Club on most weekends. I think we all

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4 know what came of our industrious little golf ball empire considering the fact that no matter how hard one may look, it is quite impossible to find my face or the face of my brother gracing the cover of Fortune Magazine. This may have been our first attempt at establis hing and owning a business, but it would not be the last. Looking back on the golf ball "business" and our early introduction to sales I now realize just how many excellent lessons my brother and I were taught over the course of our firs t business endea vor. Naturally we were much too young to appreciate or even recognize these lessons at the time. However, now that we are able to understand what it was we were learning each Saturday and Sunday, below is a brief list of some of the business lessons we a cquired on the golf course: This one is just an important reminder Business Lesson #1 You have to own the business. Business Lesson #2 The product may seem to be the correct item being sold at the right place and at an opportune time but that does not mean your projected customer base will actually want or need it.

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5 I remember a tremendous number of golfers found it quite e asy to pass our golf ball stand, completely ignoring my brother and me as we sat there usually attempting a shy greeting in t he direction of the unresponsive golfers. It is important to remember that no matter what product or service you are offering there will almost always be prospects who do not want or like what you have. This is an important business lesson to learn early on in one's career as my brother and I both did However, at the time and at our age it came across as simply mean. I should mention that we did come across some very generous people who more than made up for those who ignored us. To each of those golf ers, thank you for supportin g two young entrepreneurs. B ack to the more difficult people W hen encountering unresponsive, uninterested, or simply negative potential customers, one must remember that there is no harm in moving on to the next hopefully mo re enthusiastic potential client. As a bu siness owner you will never attain all of the accounts or win o ver all of the potential customers Moving on and moving forward is an important lesson to learn and remember. F orgetting this will lead towards a slippery slope into bankruptcy. Although William Dillard's quote is very applicable when it comes to real estate, the fact of the matter is many business es c an benefit from this lesson. Where you sell can have just as much of an effect on your profit ma rgins as what you sell. Determining the Bus iness Lesson #3 "There are three secrets to real estate: Location, location, location." William Dillard

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6 location, location, location of your current and future markets in addition to their current and future needs leads to successful businesses. In this vein, perhaps my brother and I could have increased our fina ncial returns by positioning our stand further away from the clubhouse as the eleventh hole was just one away from the pro shop. Had we been located further away from the clubhouse we would have given our clientele more time to (hopefully) lose their golf balls on the course and therefore increase their need to purchase more from us. My brother and I may have been able to dramatically increase the number of golfers we reached by finding a way to travel (perhaps by golf cart) to the potential clients rath er than waiting for them to find us. However, further innovation such as this would have resulted in increased expenditures likely at too great a cost for the future potential income Regardless, until your organization develops a reputation and it wil l need to be a positive one developing a client base will always require getting out of the office and actively searching for potential clients. Until the world learns how they can benefit from your products or services it becomes your job and the job o f your business to find and show them. Business Lesson #4 Waiting for your potential customer base to come to you is much less effective than going ou t and finding them for yourself at least at first. 1.

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7 So there you have some of the most important lessons we came across in our first attempt at entrepreneurship. The next business opportunity took me away from the golf course and manifested itself in the form of a l awn mowing service. Actually, this opportunity was not really a business nor was it much of a service now that I think about it. You see, six years following the collaps e of our used golf ball dynasty my father determined I was old enough to start mowing lawns, a decision I am sure he regretted as soon as I drove the lawnmower into a tree. Don't relinquish too much power before the time is right e specially when that power is horsepower As a business owner it is imperative to know when the time to take charge has a rrived and even more important to know when the time has come to step aside giving the power to th os e people you have chosen to work for and with you The business owner cannot successfully accomplish everything it takes to run a success ful organization and in the end that is why your employees are assets As Andrew Carnegie wisely said, "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it." Relinquishing power spreads responsibility, inc reases the sense of unity and shares the credit among the people in your organization, allowing the busines s owner to focus on more important issues such as developing leaders within their organization T his approach to power and leadership will Business Lesson #5 Don't relinquish too much power before the time is right. However, when that time does come, make sure you can relinquish your power.

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8 Business Lesson #6 As a boss patience is even more of a virtue. empower your employees and over time will add to the power and influence of your organization as it runs more efficiently Empower yourself by empowering others. Anyway, in regards to the lawnmower and its power lesson learned Needless to say I was not allowe d to mow my family's lawn anymore (I was unable to attain my father's level of precision cutting, anyway). Instead, I began mowing the lawn of our next door neighbor, Mr. Bershere. Previous to this I had been taking care of Mr. Bershere's dog Falcore whe n he was out of town and at some point I began mowing his lawn as well. Unfortunately, I was terrible at this job. More sprinkler heads were destroyed in the mowing of that lawn than I wish to count. Regardless, Mr. Bershere was always patient with me remaining very kind, very generous and very forgiving. Ask Mr. Bershere. As one of the great leaders of her time, Catherine the Great once said, "I praise loudly and I blame softly." This tolerant and compassionate approach to leadership is one that results in grateful employees who stri ve towards continued successes or try even harder the next time. As a person who revels in the idea of instant gratification and immediate results I try to continually remind myself of Lesson Six. And

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9 if things are not going the way you had hoped or anticipated always remember; d on't react rethink. In the end, the lawn mowing opportunity never developed into a true business. It was really just a job a word I have dreaded for nearly two decades Had I been better at mowing lawns enjoyed being outside a little bit more and p erhaps devised a way to get other people to do the actual work, it cou ld have had potential. Luckily the third and final business opportunity we will discuss in this chapter became very much the bona fide business I had been searching for all of the many years previous. Scene three : It is the first semester of my senior year in high school. Hidden amongst the typical list of never ending high school courses; Statistics, AP English, De sktop Publishing, etc., I find myself taking Computer III, an introductory course teaching the HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. HTML was something that I had no experience with up to that point. In fact, I chose to take the course simply because it wa s being taught by one of my favorite teachers and because it fit into my schedule quite nicely. At this point I believe it is important to have a cursory knowledge of HTML and more importantly, to know what this language is capable of creating. For this we turn to the Internet and a website created in you guessed it HTML. Accord ing to Mr. Ross Shannon of HTML Source Online, the HyperText Markup Language can be explained by examining the three words comprising this rather long title: 1. HyperText is th e method by which you move around on the web by clicking on special text called hyperlinks which bring you to the next page. The fact that it

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10 is hyper just means it is not linear i.e. you can go to any place on the Internet whenever you want by clickin g on links ther e is no set order to do things.. 2. Markup is what HTML tags do to the text inside them. They mark it as a certain type of text ( [ italicized] text, for example). 3. HTML is a Language as it has code words and syntax like any other language Now that we know what t he HyperText Markup Language is it is even more helpful to know just how the language works. Again we turn to Mr. Shannon for an extremely quick crash course in HTML: HTML consists of a series of short codes typed into a text file by the site author these are the tags. The text is then saved as [ an ] html file and viewed through a browser like Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator This browser reads the file and translates the text into a visible form, hopefully rendering t he page as the author had intended. Writing your own HTML entails using tags correctly to create your vision. You can use anything from a rudimentary text editor to a powerful graphical editor to create HTML pages." With nothing more than a rudimentary un derstanding of this powerful albeit basic language almost anyone can develop a simple website and put it on the Internet for all to see provided you have the necessary means to host the webpage but that is another issue entirely. As an example the following lines of code were quickly written to prove the point that the beauty of HTML is in its simplicity. The end result can be found at http://www.vaerda.com/V Test.html

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11 HTML is quite simply the best place to begin when learning to design websites. However, when the time comes to start building more intricate webpages, HTML will begin to hold the designer back. But for my initial purposes and for the purposes of Computer III, HT ML was an important and necessary starti ng point. And as it turned out even I was able to whip together simple webpages thanks to a little memorization and a tremendous amount of help from my HTML course book. Unfortunately, I was by no means a natural a t this type of work, nor was I fluent in this new HyperText Markup Vaerda Technologies, LLC






Welcome to what may be the most basic website you have ever come across...

...it may look nice, but it's really just two images and some text.

T. Jamrok


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12 Language. One should realize that I spent five years of high school attempting to learn Spanish with very little success so why should learning this language be any different? It wasn't. I eventually realized I should probably move past HTML and focus on something to which I was better acclimated. Nevertheless I could not help but think of how much I liked the idea of web design not necessarily from a design perspective but rather from a business perspective Here was something that could potentially provide both a product and a service to customers without a great deal of or need for large amounts of startup capital and overhead. There was no physical product to build, no golf bal ls to find and clean, no lawnmower to maintain. There was just the code and the resulting website. The only major expense would be time, if I could handle developing and maintaining HTML code for fairly advanced websites. I couldn't. Programming HTML s imply was not one of my fortes. However, I was fairly good at noticing opportunities at the time What I noticed while sitting in my Computer III class was the proficiency in HTML displayed by the ninth grader sitting next to me, Mr. Edmund Whitehead. A fter noticing Edmund's programming talent everything began to move quite rapidly. Within a matter of months we had established Jamrok Consulting Group (JCG), created our first website at http://www.jamrokcg.com (which is still online today although it has been redesigned since 2005) and by December of my senior year we were developing the first website for our very first local client. Edmund and I quickly found a basic busi ness model that has worked well for us since the beginning of JCG. This model begins with me locating and working with our

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13 potential clients. I find the business, establish a working relationship and then design the basic look and feel of the c lient's n ew website based on their various ideas and specifications With this Edmund then writes all of the necessary code and back end information to make the design a working reality. At this point in time Mr. Whitehead is proficient in over half a dozen progr amming languages including HTML, CSS, Javascript, XML, PHP, MySQL, Java and Python in addition to numerous other acronyms that you and I know very little about He has made excellent use of each of these languages for various clients over the past thre e y ears we have been in business. Edmund and I continue to develop our client base for JCG. Our clients have ranged from local doctors and land trust organizations to paper product companies, nonprofit organizations and national wildlife conservation age ncies. I personally believe we have accomplished great things through JCG and I hope our clients feel the same. However, Edmund and I both recognize that this very good thing must come to an end eventually. Ed will be heading to college four months from now and I will be graduating from mine in less than two Things will change as they always d o. Having this in mind in 2007 I knew it was time to start thinking about ideas for the next business... I still wanted that Dodge Viper. Business Lesson #7 Find the right people ones who share a common goal and everything else begins fal ling into place.

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14 On July 17, 2007 I was swimming in my neighbor's pool with my brother, Cameron and my friend, Will Renneker. The three of us were relaxing and cooling off after another humid summer day in the S outh Our conversation, having already covered the subject of cars, eventually turned to that of business. The topic of business, more specifically business ideas was a rather common subject with the three of us. Cameron, Will and I all have something in common in that none of us like s work. We especially dislike the idea of ge tting jobs. Will was thinking about getting a job that summer (and by Will I mean his parents wanted him to get one) and none of us really liked the thought of that either. Instead we three members of the "Brain Trust" began desperately trying to come up with new business ideas that would help us strike it rich thereby postponing our unhappy entrance into the job market At the very least you have to own the business, remember? After quite some time the best idea we had devised was developing a new webs ite in which online users could u tilize programs like Mapquest or Google Maps to upload local speed traps for other drivers to see, learn from and watch out for. Access to the site and its information would be free of charge while we three entrepreneurs would hopefully make a nice return on our investment by offering advertisement space on the website, say for radar detector manufacturers or anyone else who simply dislikes law enforcement and speeding tickets. With the unstoppable Edmund Whitehead at the helm to develop our necessary code this seemed to be our best and possibly only idea at the

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15 time. Anything to help get poor Will out of a job as that would be no way to spend the summer. This idea just felt like a great one. In fact, once we left th e pool and returned to the house we learned it was actually too good of an idea. S peedtrap.org had already beaten us to it. Well done, Speedtrap.org. Free speed trap information, maps, advertisements; it was our business model to a "T". At the very lea st it was nice to know that some of our id eas were actually pretty good rather late but overall pretty good. On a side note, it seems as though Speedtrap.org might be able to expand their business model by collaborating with a portable GPS manufacture r such as Garmin Ltd. or TomTom Intl Speedtrap.org could license their very useful speed trap information to the GPS manufacturers who could in turn deliver speed trap information right to the driver while he is on the road via his or her own GPS. The changing speed traps could even be updated each time new maps are being uploaded to the navigation system. Just a business idea anyway, back to the story. Disappointed, we turned from the computer towards my father who was sitting in his usual place in the den and relayed our story. After a brief discussion regarding what we thought was our own idea and what we could potentially do to distinguish ourselves from Speedtrap.org, my father opened the Money section of that day's USA Today and pointed to the middle article on the first page Included in the article was a drawing of the United States and within that drawing was a small caption reading : U.S. costs of leaving PCs on unattended each year: $1.7 billion of electricity or 19.8 billion kilowatt hou rs: Enough energy to run 1.9 million homes annually.

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16 My father asked, "Why hasn't someone develop ed software that turns a desktop computer on or off at certain time s to save energy ?" Bingo. By the end of that question the idea behind Sleep R TM Software and Vaerda Technologies, LLC had materialized. We were going to develop a piece of software that would automatically startup and shutdown an organization's computers in order to save energy, money and even help protect the environment. Each night of the week, every weekend, holidays; all are times that computers are left on by employees, students, everyone; accomplishing nothing but wasting energy and money. If priced properly an organization could even cover the cost of the software in a short matter o f time thanks to the many energy dollars that would be saved. We now had the idea thanks to my father. We certainly had the drive and motivation to attempt this challenge. It was time to try and make what would eventually become Sleep R TM Software and V aerda Technologies, LLC a reality. Little did I know just how long this process would take or what it would entail My father, Will and I spent the remainder of that evening and a great deal of the remainder of our summer discussing the many details behi nd the new software idea while bouncing other possibilities off one another. Numerous opportunities and questions presented themselves at this very early stage of brainstorming and development: Where should we go to find the necessary startup capital? Whi ch organizations would benefit most from the software? What would be an effective business model for the product and company? Would we be able to find interested clients? What could we do to market our product effectively?

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17 In time, each of these questions would be answered. At that moment, there was one question that took precedence over all of the others. Only one needed to be addressed immediately if our idea was going to work. Who would develop the software? Almost immediately my father suggested appro aching one of the many programmers he knew from his work as Manager of Technology, Design, and Innovation at Sonoco Products Company, a paper products manufacturer located in Hartsville, South Carolina Just as quickly I chose to dismiss this possibility. At the time I strongly felt there were two sensible reasons for making this decision. First, I did not want to worry about Sonoco claiming intellectual property rights over our software since it would have been created by a Sonoco programmer (even if th at employee worked on the product exclusively outside of his or her job). Secondly, I had hoped that Sonoco might play a part in testing our piece of so ftware once it had been written in addition to becoming one of our company's first clients. In the nex t chapter you will see just how much time, effort and distress could have been saved had I not made this early "executive decision and by decision I mean mistake Instead I turned to Trinity Collegiate School, the Darlington, South Carolina high schoo l from which I graduated in 2006. I approached a former teacher, Mr. Josh Hicks, the same favorite teacher of mine who taught HTML in my Compute r III class. Mr. Hicks and I sat down to lu nch and discussed the startup/ shutdown software idea. He immediate ly supported the concept (as he was always an extremely encouraging person). After continuing our conversation while I attempted to gauge Mr. Hicks' level of interest in the project, I presented him with the question I was still struggling to answer:

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18 Who would develop the software? Thus began the search for Vaerda 's software developer. I have learned from numerous sources business magazines, books, entrepreneurs, etc ., that developing a business will inevitably take more time than you can predict, esp ecially if the business is software related. Well g uess what I had chosen and l ittle did I know just how true a statement this would turn o ut to be. Our search began in early September of 2007 less than two months after we had established our venture i dea Our search would last well over a year and bring us to the doorsteps of nearly half a dozen different programmers. We found, approached, began working with, and eventually walked away from some very talented people before we found the right person. There were many, many days during this long process when the whole idea seemed both pointless and hopeless. It would often occur to me that I was simply unable to instill a sense of urgency or a feeling of likelihood for success in the Vaerda project. Perhaps it was simply too great a coincidence that each programmer we approached was always either too busy or untrained in the necessary are a s to take on our project Maybe they simply did not believe in the idea and wanted to stay as far away from this terrible concept as possible Maybe it was foolish of me to believe in this idea in the first place This possibility hurt the most. Encountering naysayers in busines s or any field for that matter is going to happen. It is inevitable; a simple fact of life However, the real

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19 Business Lesson # 8 When things are looking darkest, your options become the simplest. In fact, there are just two: 1. W alk away. 2. S tart working twice as hard. problems do not occur until you start listening to these people or perhaps worse, projecting your own insecurities through others as I seemed to be doing. Luckily I had the good sense or at least the stubbornness to ch oose the latter. Unfortunately, almost immediately I ran into our next major obstacle: the competition. While continuing to research the energy and financial savings that our softw are could provide organizations I came across not one but three competitor s already producing an a lmost exact replica of the startup/shutdown software we were attempting to develop. Only in this case, we were actually creating the replica as Vaerda would be the new kid on the block facing experienced software developers To ma ke matters worse, the names of these organizations were 1E Ltd. Faronics Corp. and Verdiem Corp Verdiem Awfully close to Vaerda, no? I can honestly tell you that I had never h eard of this company when developing o u r startup/shutdown software idea or the name of our business In fact, I am absolutely certain this coincidence is simply due to the fact that both the founders of Verdiem and Vaerda are all very familiar with our Latin roots (thank you, Mrs. Vero and your three years of high

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20 school Latin) Regardle ss, from an outside perspective this was not going to look very good. At first un covering this news was quite a shock We were cur rently six months into our then unsuccessful search for a programmer and out of nowhere came an onslaught of comp etit ion The next few days were pretty depressing. However, i n the grand scheme of things discovering the competition when we did was a blessing in disguise. Although Vaerda was no longer going to sweep the nation with a never before seen piece of so ftware it was good to know that our idea was not a completely ridiculous one. If other organizations could make this work and make a profit then so could we. Vaerda would be late to the party but we were going to get there eventually. It was just a matter of time. Fast forward six months to the summer of 2008 and we ha d finally found our programmer, Mr. Christopher Robertson a Sonoco employee If you recall my earl y "executive decision" to refrain from approach ing Sonoco employees (as this was my father's place of business) you now know that this decision pushed our entire business back one year. I am even more embarrassed to say that Chris lived just a few streets away from my parent s home The programmer we so desperately needed was literally Business Lesson # 9 A crisis is a productive situation you only have to take away the flavor of catastrophe." Max Frisch

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21 within walking distance the entire time of our year l o ng search. Had I the athletic ability, I would have kicked myself Anyway, you move on A nd in retrospect having the year it took to find Chris was extremely beneficial both to me and to the company Duri ng that period although I felt extremely helpless when it came to the software development side of the business, there was plenty of time to begin working on the many non product related aspects of the company Below is a list of items we successf ully began develop ing and eventually completed early on in our startup process thanks to the surfeit of time that my terrible executive decision provided the company. 1. A plethora of research, the development of cost and energy saving formulas, and potent ial client lists were undertaken and completed 2. I personally had plenty of time to d evelop register, publish, and edit the preliminary versions of the Vaerda websites. 3. While sitting in a plane on the runway of Atlanta International Airport the name for ou r new product hit me like a small Cessna A short time later while flying 30,000 feet over the countryside the first draft of the Sleep R TM Software logo had officially been created. 4. The initial draft of our Energy Star ¨ Partnership Agreement was complete d. 5. Numerous advertisement ideas were being developed for television, online media, paper print, etc. 6. Box and conceptual art renderings were created as part of future Sleep R TM Software packaging.

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22 7. The groundwork was being laid for various additional project s and ventures that I had had in the back of my mind for Vaerda's expansion in the future should we ever get to that point In the end I attempted to complete or at least begin any project that would help keep me and hopefully everyone working on the s tartup process interested, encouraged and optimistic as we searched for our programmer. Finally and perhaps most importantly, I took the much needed time to develop Vaerda's corporate business plan one of the most significant documents of our organiza tion and of this thesis. Vaerda 's business plan is the final result of many many years of business research and planning. This twent y two page document addresses some of the most important questions our company has faced throughout the course of its ince ption : What is our corporate strategy in regard to surviving the trials and tribulations of startup? Where will we find our venture capital? What kind of corporate image do we want to portray ? What types of organizations will compose our client base? What can the future hold for Vaerda? Divided into three sections ; The Business, Corporate Divisions, and Appendix of Supportin g Documents, Vaerda 's business plan examines in detail subjects ranging from our industry analys is and corporate business model to ou r three scenarios for success potential profit allocation, and future programs. When it comes to building one's business, this is where the journey begins.

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23 Bibliography _____________________________________ Axelrod, Alan. Elizabeth I, CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader who Built an Empire New Jersey: Prentice Hall Press, 2000. Barry, Douglas. Wisdom for a Young CEO: Incredible Letters and Inspiring Advice from Today's Business Leaders Philadelphia: Running Press, 2004. Bateman, Thomas S., and Snell, Scott A. Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. Battelle, John. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture New York: Portfolio, 2005. Bernste in, Peter W., and Swan, Annalyn. All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make and Spend Their Fortunes New York: Knopf, 2007. Carlson, Dr. Richard. Don't Worry, Make Money Hyperion: New York, 1997. Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Bri ef History of the Twenty First Century New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006. Heath, Chip, and Heath, Dan. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die New York: Random House, 2007. Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich New York: Fawcett Bo oks, 1960. Mathis, Robert L., and Jackson, John H. Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives Ohio: Thomson South Western, 2007. Maxwell, John C. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will

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24 Follow You Nashville: Nelson Bus iness, 1998. McCormack, Mark H. What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street Smart Executive New York: Bantam, 1986. McKay, Dr. Matthew. Successful Problem Solving: A Workbook to Overcome the Four Core Beliefs That Keep You Stuck Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, 2002. Perreault, Jr., Dr. William D., Cannon, Dr. Joseph P., and McCarthy, Dr. E. Jerome. Essentials of Marketing: A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach New York: McGraw Hill, 2008. Pockell, Leslie, and Avila, Adrienne. The 101 Greatest Business Principles of All Time New York: Warner Business Books, 2004. Rosenberg, Jerry M. The Essential Dictionary of International Trade New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004. Shannon, Ross. HTML Source Online. 26 Feb. 2007 14 Oct. 2008 < http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/starthere/whatishtml.html >. Stewart, Martha. The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as you Start, Build, or Manage a Business New York: Rodale, 2005. Swartz, Jon. "Leaving PCs on overnight cos ts companies $2.8B a year." USA Today 25 Mar. 2009, 4B. "Tech's green problems (MONEY)." USA Today (July 17, 2007): 01B. General OneFile Gale. Wofford College. 8 Oct. 2007 .

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25 Bibliography Harvard Case Studies Fryer, Bronwyn. "When Your Colleague Is a Saboteur." Harvard Business Review Nov 2008: 41 52. Garvin, David A. "All The Wrong Moves." Harvard Business Review Jan 2006: 18 29. Kirby, Julia. "Just Trying to Help." Ha rvard Business Review Jun 2006: 13 17. Lawler III, Edward E. "Why Are We Losing All Our Good People?" Harvard Business Review Jun 2008: 41 51. Mullins, John W. "Take the Money or Run?" Harvard Business Review Nov 2004: 35 47. Nohria, Nitin. "From Regio nal Star to Global Leader." Harvard Business Review Jan 2009: 33 39. Peebles, M. Ellen. "Into the Fray." Harvard Business Review Jan 2005: 15 23.


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