I love these glasses, they render me completely near-sighted

Litmusapp appears to be having some issues this morning.

Victoria/Gulf Islands Co-working

So after searching in vain for a year for any sort of co-working opportunities this side of the Straight, one of my friends on the island asked me today if I was interested in the idea.  From what I gather, Victoria just doesn’t have any good space for this kind of an idea.  I thought that the idea would be impossible here too, but said friend pointed out a great possibility.

There’s a few folks on Mayne Island, probably enough to make this work, but are there folks in Victoria and area that would consider hopping a ferry to come co-work with us on occasion?  Ferry costs are about $20 round-trip for an adult with a car (you don’t pay for the Mayne to Victoria leg, only the trip over here), even less if you’re on a bike/walking on.  The location on Mayne is walking distance from the ferry terminal; probably about 20 minutes (10 if you’re on a bike).  It’s located right in the townsite, close to the bakery and the pub (for refreshments).  We’re also looking at doing an onsite cafe for your caffeinated needs.

Monday to Friday, there are six ferries daily from Swartz Bay, and five return ferries to Swartz Bay. So it’s entirely possible to put in a full day of work, and hop a boat home.

Obviously there are other factors at work, like what it would cost (which we haven’t worked out yet), but assuming it was fairly reasonable, is there any interest from Victoria people to come co-work on Mayne Island?  Hit me up at jonathan dot lane at gmail dot com if it sounds like something you’d do occasionally.

Of course, don’t mean to exclude other Gulf Islanders, or Vancouverites – by all means if you want to join us too, give me a shout.

Old posts

Yes, I killed my old blog, and no, I’m not really remorseful about it. There were probably some interesting posts buried deep in the archives (I had been posting there since circa 2004 I think), and I did make a backup of everything so if you’re desperate for some bit of information, you can try contacting me and I may be able to dig it up for you.

I make no promises about keeping this blog to a specific topic. This is my general purpose blog where I post about pretty much anything. You’re likely to find pictures of my kids interspersed with posts about business, web development, life in general and anything else that may take my fancy.

I’ve got Tumblr set to pull in my Twitter stream, so you may see a bunch of very short, out of context comments here and there.

Jonathan.Lane will slowly become more of a “professional me” site where I’ll stash my C.V. and such, and of course Industry Interactive is my company web site. It’s long overdue for a facelift at this point too.

Just flipped Flyingtroll.com over to Tumblr. Time for a fresh start!

Being flexible for clients

I’ve been looking at ways of expanding operations, and moving into a few different lines of business lately.  It’s probably my undergraduate degree in Biology at work, but I think that the healthiest companies are those with a range of products and services (as well as clients).

So, with that in mind, one of the local areas I’ve been looking at is real estate (not becoming a Mayne Island land baron, but rather doing some work for Realtors).  The with this area is that there is no denying that the real estate market is hurting nationally right now, and so Realtors aren’t as flush with cash as they used to be.

So how do you pitch doing work for someone that is feeling very risk-averse?  It’s easy really, deliver a quality product, and be flexible on payment.  In the case of Realtors, they don’t get paid for their work until a sale is finalized, so it’s risky for them to invest large amounts of money in marketing a property when it’s coming out of their own pocket.

Enter your flexibility.  I am definitely not a proponent of doing work on spec.  But in this case, I don’t think that doing work any other way would be appropriate.  Why not offer Realtors a “no money upfront, just a percentage of your commission” arrangement?  Sure, you’re shouldering some risk: if the listing gets pulled, or some other catastrophe happens, you haven’t been paid yet, but if you spread your risk over a range of listings, I just don’t see it as being that bad.

I’m working on something along these lines now, I’ll keep updating as things progress.  The initial reception has been good, next comes the pitch.  More to come.