MoMu – Sprint #2 – What

Sprint #1 was about researching technologies and themes, and getting content.

MotownMuseumHomePageReplicating the first website was easy enough.  I still don’t have the administrative password I’ve been waiting for, but that doesn’t stop me from pulling content and building a test site.   When I get the administrative rights, I’ll go ahead and try the export/import widgets, but experience has told me that the value of these are limited.  The theme I picked for my research easily rebuilt the current site, although I want to build my own theme.  This is a little more work.

The key to building a website on AWS is to combine the economy of open-source, the ease-of-use of WordPress and the power of API programming to build a website that is easy to update, yet open enough to code anything I want.   I believe I have that with the current implementation, although I think that I want full control of the Theme.  Not sure.  More research to do before I dive into my own theme.

I considered implementing the multi-site version of WordPress, but came to the conclusion that I like the single-instance and the power it gave me.  Sure, I have to update software individually, but that’s so EASY!  No more multi-tenant for me, SORRY!  I think multi-site is overrated, especially when implemented on AWS.

I struggled with the functionality to make the domain go directly to home-page because the bitnami documentation for that issue is dated and the tools they give don’t always work.  I solved that on my web-page with a simple re-direct, which is a hack, but I don’t care, it worked and it doesn’t mess with the config files.  I worry that the next update would wipe it out.

MotownIsHOTSo why bother with WordPress at all?  Because it’s easy and I want to spend my time coding cool stuff, not a boring website.  Besides, websites are so passé‎ , anyways.  The key is using it serendipitously with your other social-media outlets.

So, back to design and starting with something that looks completely different than what we currently have.

One thing I forgot – the music.  I need to remind myself to always play Motown music while I’m working.  It inspires me and reminds me what the focus of the site should be.What's Going On

Cheers, P-Cz

MoMu – Sprint #1 – WHY.

OK, I have my new webserver staged in AWS. 

Motown Nice, little microserver in my private cloud, only I can get to it.  As soon as I get credentials, I’ll export/import the old site.   This will be a temporary situation.

The site is a Bitnami WordPress installation on EC2 in AWS.  I have root access and have already cleaned up a bit of the basic installation messiness and secured the server access.

Requirements?  Yes, you’re right.  I haven’t sat down with the creative marketing and curator staff yet but even before that I need to “Start SimonSinekwith WHY”.  This approach is based from the book by Simon Sinek who is really worth reading or at least viewing his TED talks on YouTube.   His talks are inspiring and help me focus on what’s, er, WHY’s important and how to express that.

Being on the Motown Museum’s Board of Trustees for three years and being a life-long Motown music fan, I pretty much know the “WHY”, so I can formulate the new approach and build a theme for the first page that visitors will see on the site.

This is my goal for this sprint and I won’t get too far ahead of myself.  The point is that I have a technical perspective, which will be the framework I will operate in to set the strategy of the site.  I don’t want to give away too much of the cool things that I’ll build right now, but I can say that it has to be MUCH different than the way things are being done today, so most of the rest of my SPRINT #1 will be spent in research mode.

Look at any website for a company.  Do they express the “WHY” that they are in business or do they merely tell you WHAT they do and perhaps HOW they do it.  Check out Simon and you’ll understand why “WHY” is the most important thing to consider.

Cheers! P-CZ




The Most Famous Lean Startup – EVER!

This was one of my favoritest blogs, reposting!

8497601Detroit; We got our Ford, Dodge, Durant and Chrysler.  We got our Strohs, Illitch, Karmanos & Gilbert.  We got a whole slew of up-and-comers, most all had modest upbringing and rose to success through vision, risk, and hard work.  True entrepreneurs.
However, my favorite Detroiter-turned-entrepreneur of all time is the one-and-only Berry Gordy.I am fortunate to have grown up in Detroit listening to Motown music.  I am even more fortunate to sit on the Board of Trustees for the Motown Museum and experience first-hand the history of this American icon.    I am most fortunate to experience in person the culmination of a fifty-year mutual-respect relationship between Motown and The Beatles.  I am also blessed to be able to play these great songs myself for my personal enjoyment and fun.There are many books and articles written about Berry Gordy and Motown which you yourself can read, so let me get to my point.

Berry Gordy was an entrepreneur extraordinaire who knew the rules of the game before they were even written:

  • He understood his target audience – Everyone.  That was risky, especially when the market was becoming fragmented.
  • He mastered the compelling reason to buy, which was songs with a first-person perspective.
  • He completely understood whole product – songwriters, the ‘sound’, quality-control, talent, the ‘look’, etc…
  • He negotiated like crazy with his partners and allies, including Brian Epstein, who negotiated great royalties for the Beatles but in the end was a winning collaboration for Motown.
  • His distribution model was expansive, he knew how to make hits and get vinyl to the masses.
  • Competition?  If he couldn’t beat them, he hired them!
  • He knew that his talent had to be positioned to present themselves in a classy, professional manner.
  • He priced his product to sell and was an extremely shrewd salesman.
  • Next Target?  Do you know how many labels he started so that he could have multiples of hit records?  Check it out!

He was also a genius at running a “Lean Startup“.

  • He ran iterative sprints for the development of his agile product.
  • He constantly built MVP‘s to preview songs under production.
  • He hosted, literally, demo days which presented product to his staff for review.
  • He ran customer validation processes with his target audiences.  He gave customers what they wanted.
  • He begged to get funding and made sure that his investors, which also happened to be his family, governed their investment and got the proper return.
  • He surrounded himself not only with music talent, but also business talent, no matter what color or gender.
  • He hit the road to sell, sell, sell!
  • He pivoted.  This is where I don’t always agree with his vision.  By leaving Detroit for California, he may have enabled new relationships and opportunities, but he left ‘the sound’ behind, and it never was the same again.  Financially it may have made sense, but a lot of people, me included, were disappointed.

Studio-AWant to know more?  Come visit the Motown Museum and discover for yourself!