The main reason for leaving my corporate job was 10beats, my new micro startup. But it was not the only reason.
I turned 37 a few months ago and suddenly I felt that there are a lot of things I wanna do but didn’t have the time or attention.
So, following a project by Joel @ Impossible HQ , I thought I should start my own list of stuff I assume is impossible to do. You know what? It’s not the impossible stuff. It’s the things I would like to achieve in my life, the things I would like to do, the places I would like to visit. The things that take a little bit of courage and jumping to the cold water. It’s the things that most people don’t do because they’re stuck in their cubical. I left my cubical to do stuff that matters. I wanted to make a change, in something, in someone or someones.
This list is an ongoing thing. It will change, be updated, remixed and revisited. It’s the story of my life and I decided to make sure I write it and no one else does.
One last thing: I cheated a little and added a few things that I achieved in the last 2 years. But it’s stuff I always dreamt about… so it counts… for me.
Omri Levy – The Impossible List [Updated August 5th, 2013]
Two weeks ago I left my corporate job to start my own adventure. The timing is never right to do such a thing, my wife is 8 months pregnant, we’re about to move to a new house, we started paying mortgage… and here I am, trying to chase my dreams at the same time.
But I figured there’s never a “right time” to do it. There will always be something, you can always find reasons why not to do it. People will always find excuses not to take a risk, not to follow their dreams – but I wanted something else, I woke up one morning and felt that I can not afford not to do it, life is too short to follow someone else’s dreams.
I have so many things I’d like to do, I have a new startup called 10beats, it’s a marketplace for musicians and I’m so excited about it. There’s no big technology breakthrough around it, it’s a simple service that should help my friends and their friends. The product (MVP) is done and ready to be shipped and it’s also very scary.
On the other side I have another project I’m working on with a new friend of mine, it’s an iPad application for kids with a specific disability (more details soon) – and this is also super exciting!
Working from home requires some adjustments. I still need to figure out the right format for me. I enjoy the fact that I can take breaks during the day and just grab my bicycle and ride for 10-15 minutes in the middle of the day. I get to choose what to do next and it feels awesome.
For the past 15 years I’ve been a part of, and managing, customer service departments in several companies, all consumer facing.
The main goal was always to make users contact you as little as possible. Sad, but true. The cost of the support team is always something you try to cut since it’s the only department with a negative ROI.
Those were the pre-social media days, contact forms were tightly hidden behind lots of FAQ’s, you had to browse through several pages, click “I really need help” a few times until you got to the desired form.
But things are changing, social media is here and your users are everywhere, talking about your brand. You want to be there and take part or just listen to what they have to say. More and more businesses are implementing real time chat engagement and it’s not just to get your credit card number but also to be there when you need their help.
The worst nightmare of every business owner is the people who are not happy and leave without saying anything. There’s nothing you can do about those and they leave your business and would probably tell others about their experience.
Those who complain are not a burden. Those should be seen as opportunities. They give you a real chance to fix the bad experience they just had. They *want* you to help them make the right decision the next time they think of using your service.
In the online world, the above means that if you hide your “contact us” page, you will most probably miss the opportunity to make that user happy. If the user cares enough, he will go to facebook and tell his friend about the experience. And what happens next? you get his message eventually, but now you have to perform your magic in front of the whole internet and the user is super frustrated because it took him too much time to find a place to say what he wanted to say to you in person.
The big change is here and you better be dancing the new move if you wanna stay relevant.
I remember the first days of Google. We were amazed by this new kid on the block. You could actually go to Google and find stuff. That was after a few good years of tremendous amount of junk that you had to go through on other portals in order to get a decent result for your query.
In the years prior to the Google invasion we didn’t have search engines. We had portals with loads of links and categories we could browse through. We had Metacrawler. Oh Metacrawler! That was a hell of an engine. It was searching simultaneously in 10 different search engines. Wow! We thought that was a real breakthrough.
…And Then Came Google
Google changed everything. A simple and clean interface with no interruptions. A big search box. One call to action. Don’t be evil. Oh yeah. Where do I sign in?
Where’s The Problem?
The years have proven that the world of Google is not that pretty. It’s one thing to want to organize the world’s information and another to monitor and control the content itself.
[Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less about privacy and all that. Once you put your credit card online and have your billing address and name connect to it - any company can track you down.]
Say That Again
We’ve grown to believe that this smart search engine is built on a super smart algorithm that is the secret formula of Google and no one really knows how it works.
Thousands of SEO experts try to beat that algorithm every day and rank on the first page of the search results and Google on the other side is trying to improve the search results by… mmm… wait a minute. How do they really do that? Oh yes. By eliminating “low quality content” sites from the search results.
Wait a minute (number 2), isn’t that search engine neutral? not at all.
If Google has now decided to take an active part in deciding who’s going to “qualify” to be on the first page, if Google is making site owners to change their content in order to not be eliminated from the search engine… Than Google basically owns the internet.
This is no conspiracy crap
This is our reality. The search engine we’ve grown to love is not what it used to be.
Be honest for a second here. How many times in the last few months you tried to Google something and couldn’t find a decent result on the first page? How many times you had to rephrase your search term in order to fine tune the results? Probably more than once.
We Need a New One – NOW
Google has too much power over the internet as we know it. The SEO war outside is played by blackhat and whitehat SEO experts trying to beat the system. The clever ones rank high while the rest of them don’t even appear. Who’s in charge here? How do I find what I’m really looking for?
What we really need is a new search engine. A search engine that would do what wikipedia has done to the traditional information world.
The New Kid On The Block
While writing this post I came across DuckDuckGo. A stupid name (and logo) for a new search engine, but it looks promising. I guess I’ll give it a try in the next few days and see how it goes.
A boy ordered (through his mom) a Woody custom from Disney store. For those who don’t know, Woody is the character from Toy Story. The guy who wrapped up his package added a little hand written ‘Love, Andy’ signature on the box. (Andy is the boy from Toy Story… c’mon, you gotta know this).
My 2 Cents:
I just love finding those wonderful examples of how little things can make a difference.
When you teach your staff to give the extra human touch to the tasks they do, you:
I’m The Circuit Bender (aka Omri Levy). I’m a self taught individual who likes to try out new things. In this blog I will share my thoughts and tips around productivity, DIY and getting things done. Read more>