During the ongoing public health crisis, many businesses and organizations have resorted to virtual events to keep their business running with a semblance of normality. However, while virtual events are more convenient than in-person events, they also have their downsides. Let’s list their top pros and cons here.
“This is so cute!’
My partner exclaimed as she began unboxing the well packed morsels and household necessities from the turquoise treasure chest that Care Create Co. provided as a sample for this review.
The further we dug in the more delightful we found the individual goodies. We found everything that one could want in a care package. Extreme comfort food including ramen and microwave popcorn paired up with candies in addition to useful household goods like face masks, q-tips and a first aid kit.
Ryan Michael Shea, a man-about-town with a huge heart that he wore on his sleeve, with seemingly endless empathetic energy, who amassed an international following as an entrepreneur, became a beloved LGBTQ+ icon, and was a prolific writer of stories, has died from complications due to Covid-19.
He was 34.
“His life should be celebrated. He was giving and kind and gentle. He was funny and emotional and thoughtful. He was just, Ryan. You knew him.” Megan Schwert, his Sister said in a statement on Facebook. “He told his stories to the world with no fear. And that’s why I’ve been telling you his stories and I will continue to tell his stories for as long as I’m on this earth.”
Police have identified 34 year old Aaron Alexis as the suspect in today’s Washington D.C. Navy Yard shooting. Mr. Alexis is reportedly from Ft. Worth Texas; he reportedly swiped a contractors ID to get onto the base. The police will assuredly release more information as it becomes available.
The Fuzz is a new live action mini series from Yahoo! Screen that takes place in a fictional universe where puppets and man live side by side. Each of the first season’s 13 episodes lasts around 5 minutes total and covers plots more in line with Breaking Bad than Sesame Street. I found out about this show this morning on the Yahoo! homepage, it took me a little over two hours to rustle in the entire series this afternoon. All in all the show was fun and entertaining. It’s definitely not going to keep you on the edge of your seat like an episode of a big name 1 hour long series. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes the idea of adult humor infused into a world with puppets.
This could be a blip on the radar that never surfaces again but more likely it’s because of Marissa Mayer and her push to show that Yahoo! is up for a whole lot of amazing.
“My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani” – This is how Matthew introduces himself in his YouTube video that start outs with his face and voice obscured. Matthew goes on to tell the story of how he decided to drink and drive, the details of the accident that led to the death of Mr. Canzani back in June of 2013. It’s a strange story that could only happen in today’s Internet age. This 22 year old man came online with a video to share his regrets about the incident and to implicate himself as the killer. Media reports show that the prosecutors office has already picked up the video as evidence and will be charging Matthew with the crime.
What an extremely sad story. It’s sad that a man only 22 years of age was selfish and decided to drink and drive, now he will be locked up at a great cost to himself, his family, and society. It’s even sadder that a poor innocent man lost his life in a needless accident.
Today we interview Tommy Jordan. Tommy Jordan has organized Project Phoenix Rising with a small group of volunteers around the globe. The team is working to bring a modern classroom experience to students in Libya. Tommy Jordan is no stranger to being in the spotlight having gained worldwide fame after posting a YouTube video of himself using a handgun to destroy his daughters laptop. That video today has over 38 Million views on YouTube. The controversy that erupted following the video featuring his non-traditional parenting practice was enormous. Today Tommy hopes to use that celebrity status to raise money in order to help others in Libya with Project Phoenix.
What is Project Phoenix?
Project Phoenix started out as a plan for western companies to bring tech into Libyan schools; we wanted to augment the learning experience in Libya with modern technology using the same official curriculum that students are learning from books. We refer to the original concept as our phase one plan but it was more of our first official request to work in Libya.
We hit roadblocks in our phase one plan; infrastructure isn’t in place over there to handle today’s technology. The electric power grid in Libya has big gaps and is not the most reliable, that alone presented a huge challenge. The more details we discussed the more roadblocks we conceptualized as obstructions in the process of deploying a classroom experience in the same manner done in the United States.
With phase 2 we began fresh with the concept of bringing an entire purpose built classroom to the students of Libya. We realized there is a large quantity of storage containers available at steep discounts; these containers are a by-product of our consumer-based economy. The containers are made of solid steel and are weather proofed to provide protection over months of travel onboard a shipping container. These containers can also be inexpensively shipped over seas making them the perfect option for our project.
After months of planning we have engineered these containers to be self sufficient in even the most inhospitable environments. Each classroom facility is designed to accommodate 12 students and a teacher, with tablet computers, high speed Internet, electricity, air conditioning and lighting inside. The design for a Project Phoenix Rising classroom facility includes electricity provided by solar panels and backed up by a diesel generator. Then we designed the classroom facility to be transported and accessed while it’s loaded on the back of a truck, making it possible for the facility to visit multiple communities each week. The exterior of the classroom facility features a canopy that will pop out the side for kids to work in the shade if there are too many kids in a community to sit inside the classroom facility.
What was your motivation behind this project?
We can trace the roots of the project back to when I first had the opportunity to work in Libya from 2006 to 2009. I love to travel and it was the first international work I ever did. During that experience I learned about the people and culture, it’s a beautiful country. Unlike so much of the world that has chosen to adopt a “westernized” culture, Libya has retained its own unique culture.
The concept for this project came together back in January 2013 while having a conversation with the head of a large international charity. I was helping them with something on their website and my ability to recognize words in Arabic came up in conversation. We started talking about how I learned to spell some words in Arabic, which brought up my experience in Libya. The project has evolved from those early conversations.
Who is involved in the project?
Many talented folks have been committing resources to this project. I would estimate that over $250k has been committed in resources from our friends. Those friends are:
- Worldwide CAD – Murray and his architectural firm out of Texas has been helping us out with designs.
- DEI Industrial – Chad and his team out of Texas have been instrumental in nearly every stage of this project.
- TwistedNetworx – This is Tommy’s consulting company.
- Lightworks – Lou has been advising on the lighting and electrical equipment, his recommendations have been instrumental in lowering power consumption.
- Doctor Gillian Gillespie – She has been instrumental in connecting our project with the right charitable organizations and government agencies.
How can I help out?
We are raising money with GoFundMe.com
Please Donate Today! – http://www.gofundme.com/phoenixlibya
Today this is all a concept that requires we raise $100,000 USD to found the charity in the US and UK then to build the first prototype. The costs for these classroom facilities will be $65,000 USD so out of the $100,000 USD we raise at least that much money will go directly into the classroom. The rest of the funds will be used to properly setup our charitable organization within the United States and for travel. Donations made within the United States today are not tax deductible.
Why choose GoFundMe.com over using Kickstarter.com for funding?
I checked into using it and indigogo.com as well but settled on gofundme.com for a couple of reasons. There are big problems with using kickstarter.com for our concept; the first is they hold onto funds until you reach a goal set when you create the funding request. The second is they return all the funds contributed to the cause if we don’t reach our goal. With GoFundMe.com our team has access to funds as the donations are made. As a newer organization we need these funds to help the kids today. If we did the kickstarter.com route and didn’t reach out goal we wouldn’t have any funds to work with.
How is this charity structured today?
The project has undergone multiple changes in the last half year. It started out as a commercial venture. We thought it needed to be a commercial venture until we started talking about actually building schools. Then we realized it would need tremendous international support. We are going to use the funds donated to form a charitable organization so future donations will be tax deductible.
After the charity is formed we intend to get registered with the United Nations in order to obtain additional funding from the international community.
How can I learn more?
Tommy has featured Project Phoenix Rising on his website with far more information than we included on ManhattanDigest.com for this interview. If you are interested in learning more about the project or want to keep updated with the latest news it would be best to head over to http://8minutesoffame.com/phoenix-rising/ for the latest news and information.
The news coming out of ICANN )the non-governmental body that manages the Internet) today was the introduction of 4 new Top Level Domains (TLD’s) that consumers and businesses will be able to purchase instead of .com or .net variants. The amazing bit of this news is isn’t that there are even more variations to purchase, its that these are the first Non-English TLD’s to ever be made available.
The new TLD’s released are:
- .شبكة (“Web” in Arabic)
- .游戏 (“Game” in Chinese)
- .онлайн (“Online” in Russian)
- .сайт (“Web site” in Russian)
The world is changing fast. The Internet will not be managed by English character domain names for much longer.
This is the third Entrepreneur Interview featured on ManhattanDigest, please use the contact us form if you would like to be interviewed for the website. David Welles is the Founder of Tunnel Vision Technologies, Inc. (TVTI, Inc.) in Chicago, IL
What was the inspiration for starting TVTI, Inc.
I worked for a Fortune 500 company, I was sick of being Micro Managed. I think most entrepreneurs know they want to do something on their own at some point. It pushed me into doing something on my own. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I didn’t want to work for corporate america.
What challenges did you face getting going initially?
I had no idea what I was doing, I never went to business school, and I never worked for another entrepreneur. We started working out of my house and focused on our clients. I think thats what made us successful. Most of our competitors were all using established business models within the industry. We had to work harder and develop a model that fit our clients needs better. When we started out it was without money, and we didn’t have the resources to bring in talent initially. Though those are issues most companies face. I could go on for hours about challenges. There are challenges still to this day.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
When I was in 7th grade I knew. It was in the 7th grade that I started a company called electric car cleaners. It was a car detailing business. I really loved the fact that I was able to create my own flyer that was put on cars. I liked working the hours because it didn’t feel like work. I was able to do the work myself and I knew then I liked doing my own thing. I think we did just $600 in sales with electric car cleaners. To a 7th grader that was a lot of money. I knew then that I potentially wanted to do something on my own. All through college I knew I wasn’t going to build a career in corporate america. Most think they start a job and grow in that job. I tried that for 6 years and its isn’t for me.
Who is the perfect customer for Tunnel Vision Today?
It’s a tough question because we love all our customers! I can say that our ideal customer is someone who is into technology and likes music but doesn’t want to manage it, so they are looking for a partner to help them. We focus on residential customers who are not afraid to reach out for help. We work with partners to reach out and make consumers aware of our existence. Usually our customers are over 40 years old and love the ease of being able to use gadgets to change the temperature and lighting from the same controls. We are not a company that takes advantage of our customers. We like customers that want to grow into a system, with something small and add more equipment over time. The difference with our approach is our post sales follow up where we work hard to keep our customers happy, a big part of our post sales process is making sure that customers stay updated with the latest technology. We call and email twice a year to make sure everything continues to work. Yet all of our customers want something that enables their stuff to work and not have to worry about it.
What advice would you give new entrepreneurs today?
It’s going to take 2 years minimum before you will feel good about what you’re doing. It’s exciting at first and there are a lot of things you will learn from your mistakes. Whether your customers let you know or not, facing those challenges can be frustrating. Take slow, small steps toward growing and learn from the experience. Don’t be like most people. Most people think they know what they are doing. I had no industry experience and it took me a couple years to learn the industry, then another couple of years to learn how to run a business of any kind. There is no book or class that can teach you everything. In our line of work you will need a good bookkeeper and a good attorney.
What is next for Tunnel Vision?
We have grown every year since we were in business. We are now at the decade phase. It’s been 14 years since founded but its been 10 years of being a real business. We are looking to expand into other markets. We were 100% residential until 2011 but are now expanding into commercial. We can help a CEO at his house and now his business. We can help with all different types of industry. We want bigger and better projects. We will continue to grow without losing our focus on residential customers, we love those customers and will never give up our focus on them. We are growing our staff with knowledge and training. Twice a year our team is re-trained on everything. Mainly, moving into other markets. We are now doing jobs all around the country. Detroit, St, Louis, Milwaukee, will get satellite offices, not all at once but stay on the lookout for those offices.
You recently launched a new website? What was the motivation behind that?
The website is our storefront. Our website was done about 5 years ago and in that time the world we live in has changed, the where the web is now everything for generating business. It’s like generating a paint job, our website was worn and we updated it to be easier and greener to browse. What we had 5 years ago was fantastic but today it was very dated. To me the website is a validation of our company. Most people in our industry are researching lighting control. They will look at our website and know we are more than just credible.
What types of training does a new employee go through?
We now have a six week training program, we just acquired 3,000 additional sq feet so we will have a new training center. Half on site and half in the center. Everything from customer interaction to servicing equipment. Learning about new products. In the past we didn’t explain the products as well as we could, so we wanted to be more fair to everyone in the company.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
I would choose to fly! I would love the ability fly! I would hands down be superman if I was picking a super hero. I only know of three that were normal people. Spiderman, Green Lantern, and Superman.