Monday, December 8, 2008

The non-blog.

Want a New Medio cycling kit? You can view it here and send me an email if you want one. I'll be ordering them at the end of January.
Optional items:
Jerseys: $45
Bibs: $60
Wind Vest: $43
Skin Suit: $90
Lycra Shoe Covers: $18
Base Layer (short and long sleeve): $18
Running shirts: $40

All designs are urban cammo except for base layer which is solid black or white with a smaller logo high on the chest, similar to a Pearl Izumi base layer.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tulsey's Response

Not Long ago I was proud to be nominated for a Tulsey Award,, something our city has long needed to do. As part of that process I was required to answer some questions that for whatever reason got me to stop and think more than I usually do for this type of thing so I decided to post my responses here. Mainly because I want to keep record of them in case I have to answer any of these questions again, but maybe they'll be useful too. Here they are:

Please explain why your are a source of inspiration for others on or considering to take an entrepreneurial path:
"I often joke that in the race for success, I am the tortoise. Finding fortune fast or just plain luck are just not in the cards for me. I've learned and demonstrated that by consistent, hard work and innovation I will continually make progress in my business and social endeavors. The good news is that while fortune has not been fast upon me, as I continue along persistently it will not be fast to leave me either."

Tulsa entrepreneurs are unique in the world. How have your endeavor(s) added value to our community and the future of Tulsa?
"My Tulsa roots have instilled me with a passion for helping others succeed and overcome. New Medio developed the corporate philosophy of BTYFI, pronounced beautify, it means Better Than You Found It. That's how we operate in our business and our social outreach and we try to bring it into our daily lives. Our BTYFI work can be found in the donation of our technology to the Perinatal HIV ward of the largest hospital in the world in Soweto, South Africa, in the abandoned downtown Tulsa warehouse we rehabbed 3 years ago, in the bicycles we put on our streets, and in the way we encourage our clients and peers to do the same. In this way, we magnify our impact."

If you aren't failing, you aren't succeeding. Share with us some of your failures to better understand how you have taken the lessons learned and applied them to support getting to where you are today.
"In 2005 I was in the process of buying and renovating our building, I was also working on the creation of Tulsa Tough, developing YP Tulsa and expanding our business service offering to encompass full-service ad agency work. As a leader, I became stretched too thin and found myself less effective on all fronts and began to struggle personally and professionally. I learned to let go of my pride, I pulled back from initiatives like YP Tulsa where the end goal would be achieved through initiatives it launched and new organizations like TY Pros. I scaled down my business to re-focus our efforts on website and web application development, our core competency. I sought outside support for my other causes and found many willing, ambitious individuals to lead those efforts allowing me to serve in a specified role as a collaborator. Since then, the business has surpassed my expectations in growth and productivity. My social causes have all made significant progress and even though YP Tulsa is no longer around, what it represented and set out to accomplish was achieved and where it lacked the TY Pros have successfully filled the gap. In the end, I learned focus and collaboration. Do what you do best and enable others to do the same because in the end it's not about you, it's about the result. "

Entrepreneurs are shaping the future of Tulsa. What ideas do you have to help support growing Tulsa as a recognized entrepreneurial center globally?
"Tulsa needs to believe in itself again. Before anyone else can believe great things come from Tulsa, Tulsans need to believe great things can come from Tulsa. Our business works for world class companies from all over but we have very few Tulsa clients, they like to hire out of state where talented, creative professional are. The result can be seen in the number of talented start-up's who have moved their headquarters from Tulsa after starting here including Solarc, Vidoop and Docvia. We need to be proud of our talent and be vocal advocates of our work, nobody else is going to do it for us and certainly nobody is going to realize these great companies started in Tulsa when they encounter them in Seattle. Tulsa needs to send the message to the world that we have moved from Oil Capital to Intellectual Capitol, but we must also own that message."

Community involvement is a critical piece of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Please share the types of social entrepreneurial endeavors you are contributing to.
"In 2005 I helped launch YP Tulsa to create a forum for Tulsa's young professionals to connect and be heard in shaping their city's future. The legacy of that organization and our work is now found in the City's own tag line A New Kind of Energy. In 2006 I co-created the Tulsa Tough Ride and Race to promote healthy lifestyles and cycling in Tulsa. That event now features thousands of participants from world-class professionals to first time riders. In the past 2 years we have given away 600 kid's bikes through our Tough Kid's challenge. In 2007 I worked with the Warren Foundation on the development and creation of the Tulsa Townies free bike program to promote healthy lifestyles and alternate transportation. I have helped raise money for purchasing police bicycles and am currently working to help develop a bike rack system throughout Tulsa. I serve on the Executive Board of the Tulsa Sports Commission, the Brady Village Property Owner's Association, and am Race Team Director for the Tulsa Wheelmen Bicycle Club. "

Being creative is vital to an entrepreneurial endeavors success. Share an out-of-the-box experience that has made you stronger as an entrepreneur.
"Our society has some big problems that I care deeply about including obesity, fossil fuel dependence, acceptance of each other, and the erosion of community fabric. I have often believed that telling people to change is not going to be successful, as evidenced in the growing trends in obesity despite all the various reports on the adverse effects. If we want to fix major problems like the escalating cost of health care, we must address the root problem. I lost 40 pounds after graduating college by commuting on my bicycle to work downtown from Bixby. I did it for social and personal reasons but it changed me forever. I realized that something as simple as riding a bicycle, something we all loved as children, can have a profound impact on health, air quality, dependence on oil and suddenly as you ride past some little shop every day - you stop and discover. Ever since I have taken to promoting change on significant social problems through the simple action of riding a bike, it's non-controversial, it's fun and most importantly it makes a difference."

You Can Only Control What You Do

I've been recently confronted with a series of challenges that were significant disappointments for me and I was reminded of when I was first getting started in business. When Adam and I were just venturing out some eight years ago we had a lot of community cheerleaders. People who wanted to see a couple of young techies succeed in their hometown. I think this was primarily because they had read about this sort of thing in their favorite edition of Forbes and thought it would be novel to have something like that happen near them. The problem was, nobody really wanted to support us, take a chance on our ideas or even throw us scrap work to stay alive while we proved our ideas. When I won the Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneur Award I joked that I was everyone's favorite small business owner they'd never support. Many other businesses around us offered to partner with us, only later did we discover they were attempting to take our clients or using us as a sales tool but not scheduling any work to actually be done by our firm.

It was hard to not retaliate, to lash out and make enemies. No doubt, I've said some wrong things in the wrong company but all things considered I kept a lot inside. We decided our best response was to do good work and try to keep our mouths shut. Our inspiration was from 1 Thessolonians 4:11 "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you." Whenever we did get a chance, we'd do our absolute best to crush it and we never made fanfare about it. We believe we are doing what we are supposed to and that we are making a positive difference. We are a different kind of company and the reward has been great. We've experienced growth on a sustainable scale, we've created good jobs, friends, renonavted a building and done work we're proud of, and lasting longer than anyone dared give us credit for. All those people along the way have had a remarkable way of taking care of themselves without us having to get ensnared in the negativity.

This blog is really a lesson and reminder to myself since I'm the only real reader of this thing. When others write you off, take advantage of your hard work and take you for granted, put your head down, smile, do good work. You'll be better off for it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chris the Small Business Owner

I know nobody really cares about my political beliefs and nor does my vote really matter - I live in Oklahoma, the reddest of red states, so McCain's kind of got it wrapped up. Either way, here it goes:

Neither candidate impresses me very much, I am one of "those" undecided. I really liked Obama's first impression but the more I learn, the less I like. The old McCain used to impress me but now he has to cater to the party, that sucks. Not to mention, he's no spring chicken and Palin as President - she's clueless. I'm not sure if she or Biden scare me more. My problem is that I am a small business owner and believe in capitalism. I do not want the government getting involved in my business BUT no doubt we have big social problems. Healthcare is a disaster, in our small company our health insurance plan increased by $2,ooo per month. Social Security is a joke for my generation. Our dollar has lost tremendous value. The national debt clock in NYC had to have the dollar symbol removed because it was so large their wasn't room - fyi your family's current share is currently above $85,000, nice. Obviously what we're doing isn't working.

Not long ago I ditched the Republican party but I purposely did not join the Democratic party. When my wife chastised me for giving up the priveledge of voting in primaries I responded that I hoped that somewhere, somebody openned some report that showed I had left one and not joined the other and that someone pondered where the disconnect was.

Along with capitalism, social responsibility is core in my beliefs and I have higher expectations of my fellow man than what they give me. Give more, care more, you know...the Golden Rule. Stop screwing the environment so you can make a buck, treat your employees like you worked there, treat your employer like your ass was on the line.

I believe real problems require admitting them and addressing them candidly. We never address the root and we only go as deep as we can without pissing off special interest or offending someone - sometimes the truth just plain sucks. I feel like we need someone who is going to sacrifice their political career to fix the problems because a lot of people aren't going to like the answers. Our politics are sugar coated. Americans refuse to face reality and experience the pain required with fixing and healing.

Want my vote?
1. Admit problems
2. Speak candidly and stop pandering to special interests
3. Be willing to sacrifice your career for the solution you believe in.

Wishful thinking. If I'm missing something, wrong or ignorant - please let me know. I'd like to address the problem.