PeopleCount’s Launch Schedule

PeopleCount at this point, is an idea, plans, a blog, and some unfinished software. There’s no target launch schedule.

I believe a team of 3 could finish the software in 3 months, and complete an alpha and beta in 2-4 more months. We could powerfully begin to transform politics in 2017.

Since I’m the only one working on it, and I have a day job, and don’t have the front-end skills needed, the 9 person-months could take 3-6 years.

It’s depressing to think about. So much potential, wasting away.

I’ll keep looking for possibilities, ways to move forward…

PeopleCount offers Real Political Transformation

In the previous post, I asked a new contact to please take PeopleCount seriously.

Real political transformation

PeopleCount is the real deal. It’s a real solution to our worst political problems and empowers citizens to make Congress fix the rest. It empowers not just citizens and incumbents, but hugely empowers challengers. They add ideas, keep incumbents honest, and pressure them to perform.

And PeopleCount doesn’t just empower challengers to win. It empowers whoever wins to rise above party politics and serve the people.

Our political system is in bad SHAPE

Right now, our political system has the PERFECT shape to deliver the results we’re seeing. Our current system is ineffective and invites corruption and dishonesty.

With PeopleCount, the shape of the system will naturally pull for accountability. It’ll naturally improve our political system. Plus the PeopleCount organization will work hard to serve people. We’ll keep molding it to serve people, not parties or philosophies, and support finding great solutions.

And we’ll deliver breakthrough accountability for an organization. We will be accountable to you. We’re not in it for profit, but I’ve spent my savings on this. We’ll set up a bonus system that will only pay out with citizen approval.

Currently, America has NO system for finding, developing and delivering improvements to politics. No system for delivering accountability. PeopleCount is committed to being that system.

Sports in the woods, or in an arena?

It’s sort of like an arena for sports. When sports were played in tilled fields, it was natural to be wild and playful. There were limits to what was possible and players often got hurt. An arena, with its stands and referees and lines and scoreboards invites scrutiny, fairness and real rules. It’s an environment that pulls for better sports.

PeopleCount creates an environment that pulls for accountability, honesty, transparency and serving the public good.

74% Complete

I’ve done 99% of the planning and 75% of the work. In a very real sense, its success depends on the next 99% of the planning and work. I’ve prepared for launch and created plans that will grow it quickly. The work involved in that growth is daunting. PeopleCount needs a team.

Please put some real time into considering this. Please read some more and suggest some ways you can help. I’m an engineer- I’m not a marketer or a writer. I’ve done a fair job at those, but not enough to even run a crowdfunding campaign, much less launch. Please help.

If you saw a real political solution you wouldn’t know it without doing some homework, some challenging thinking. Please do that. Please read my Nuts and Bolts article, and a few others of note on on my blog.

Then tell me how you’ll help. To start with, please put your name on our mailing list and make a donation. Let’s make real transformation happen.

Introduction to PeopleCount, Political Power and Accountability

This is an introduction to PeopleCount and myself. It’s one (860 word) article, and points to a 2-part series about The Nuts and Bolts of PeopleCount, and a 6-part series about how Political Accountability is in our Blind Spot. PeopleCount is about a new paradigm for politics, one that can start in a few months, if I can get some support… Continue reading

I’m a Lousy Entrepreneur

I’m a lousy entrepreneur. That means I’ve fail a lot and redo a lot. In the last post, I listed a bunch of myths, plus a rule, that make entrepreneurship harder than it needs to be. This one is about my weakest weakness.

Needed: Salesperson

Every team needs a sales person. I’m okay giving a presentation, but not great. People distract me. If they interrupt, I easily forget to keep moving the presentation along.

And I’m too bright for my own good. I’ll be giving a presentation and someone will ask a question. The answer springs up in my imagination like a long, winding road. I don’t know how much to tell them. And there are some interesting sites along the road. I’ll squint a little bit as I sift through what to say. People easily mistake that for looking confused or concerned.

Salespeople lie. Usually not in a bad way. They gloss over the unnecessary details, smudging the truth a bit, finishing the pitch. Of course there are more details, but they’re not appropriate in a sales meeting. My brain chases after details like a Labrador Retriever chases squirrels.

Needed: Micromanager

I’ve learned is that contractors need to be micromanaged if the task isn’t extremely simple. If the slightest detail isn’t specified, they’ll make something up or fake it. And every small task should end in a new test passing. Otherwise they’ll think it’s done when it’s not.

Have you heard of the Dunning–Kruger effect? This is where incompetent people will over-estimate their competence. They understand something, so they assume they understand what’s needed. There’s a corollary: “…high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.” I made that mistake managing others. I assumed they understood what I told them and that they understood the spec I wrote.

A lousy entrepreneur is who’s available

Maybe, with enough time, I can get PeopleCount off the ground with no funding and no committed help. It’s almost demo-able right now. One part is missing but I may be able to get a company to give me some software for free for the first half year. (Fingers crossed.)

But my brain keeps screaming: You shouldn’t be doing this alone! It’d be great to have a team of 4- someone doing sales, marketing, presentations and networking, someone designing the web pages, and a political science person helping with the content. Meanwhile, I work on the back-end and generate the vision to drive us all.

But for now, it’s all me… Plus I’ve got taxes to do and am looking for full-time work to calm my wife and son… Oh, and I need to finish the book. I’m sure there’s more. This is who’s accountable for transforming politics.

Please help. In 30 seconds, for no money, please put your email address on my announcement list. If you want to make my day, and strike a blow for America having a government that’s accountable to the people, make a donation, too.

PS: The next post will be more upbeat…

Who can be a Successful Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is often very different from an inventor. Lots of people assume that: If someone has a good idea for a product or service, they’ll be able to build it. It’s not true.

Myth: A good inventor can be a successful entrepreneur

People assume that if you have “a great idea,”  you can be successful.” It’s not true at all.

What’s true is that investors look for a good idea and either some kind of success already or the team has had success in the past. There are a million things that need to be done decently and some of them need to be done well. Rarely does a team of two even succeed. Pretty much the only time a single person succeeds is if they’re expanding a consulting business that already has a customer.

Entrepreneurs are similar. Unless you’re already a buddy of theirs, they assume the project isn’t worth doing unless you have everything but their part covered and they get a salary. They don’t say, “How about I come on board tentatively and help you put together the team.”

Myth: There’s a large, nurturing entrepreneur-support community

This isn’t true either. There is a entrepreneurial-team support community. But I haven’t found any help in forming a team.

I went to a few events, but found no support. There are people to talk to, but they’re mostly either busy or looking for something in a particular industry. Plus they’re all listening for standard businesses.

My guess is that the only way to find a team to do something new is to work on it either at a college or with buddies right after college. And you have to launch and prove it before any investors will be interested.

There is a large entrepreneurial community. And they have books and tutorials galore. But none seem to address the problems I’m having…

Myth: Everyone can network

Everyone assumes that social interaction isn’t a problem. I’m pretty normal socially, but not completely so. I’m fine when I start working with people at a job. But with meetings I’m not so good. I’ve been pretty nervous recently when I’ve pitched. I’m super-focused on the product and it takes a lot of work to switch back to the person I’m talking to.

And I can easily pause and have a flurry of thoughts go through my mind. The first risk is that I’ll lose track of what I was saying. The second is that I’ll think I said something that I really just thought. That can be confusing to the audience.

Unfortunate: Entrepreneurs shouldn’t act desperate

Occasionally I’m desperate. I can shake it off and realize it’s just the brain again, generating nerve-wracking scenarios. But it comes up at times. And everyone says not to show that at a meeting.

It’s unfortunate because it means I need to lie, or cover up. It turns out I’m actually accountable for being confident. (It’s not fair!)

Myth: If you can’t, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur

This is a big one. Really, if you can’t, you just think you can’t. I couldn’t do most of the things I’ve done. And it shows in the extra time it took and the failures I’ve had. But each time I managed to find a way around them.

But it’s an uphill battle. Please support me. In 30 seconds, for no money, please put your email address on my announcement list. If you want to make my day, and strike a blow for America having a government that’s accountable to the people, make a donation, too.

PEOPLEaCOUNTability

I’m publishing my daily progress. You’re welcome to check up on me… Blogging makes the site easier to find and helps me feel connected. And I’m looking for a job – (J) means I applied for a job and (B) means I published a blog post, (d) is a draft. Next:

  1. Implement new default settings for content (then view all in web UI)
  2. Split graph into per-answer graph.
  3. Add data so graphs are interesting
  4. (Publish a November newsletter)
  5. ?? Maybe I should ask people on LinkedIn for references?

Th 11/17: Phone interview.
W 11/16: Emails today, and some content (BB)
T 11/15: Fixed display! Worked on content. Created transcript for a video.
M 11/14: Interviewed. Mostly passed…
S 11/13: My son helped me straighten out my todo list (B)
S 11/12:
F 11/11:
Th11/10:
W 11/9:
T 11/8:  Election, sigh…
M 11/1:
S 11/1:
S 11/5:
F 11/4: Wow- 12 days without an
Th11/3: (J) Began newsletter… (Last entry till the 16th…)
W 11/2:  New content is displaying in browser, a few errors remain (J)
T 11/1:  Much of it’s working, fixed the json writer at 1am…
M 10/31: It’s coming together- need to write a json writer, too (bb)
S 10/30: Struggling to finish a blog post…
S 10/29: I thought I was on track to finishing, but need to use a new json parser.
F 10/28: (b)
Th10/27: Did some of it, maybe most, but bugs remain
W 10/26: Finish fixing syntax of json files containing draft content. -done (bbb,JJJJJ)
T 10/25: Gave a presentation to my Representative!

PS: I’m looking for a job to avoid taking too much from my meagre retirement savings.
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