I’m exploring and experimenting with this new world of writing and posting short- to medium- length content on LinkedIn. I like the way LinkedIn quantifies the responses to my posts. I definitely don’t want to waste anybody’s time and I want to give my audience (contacts) something useful. The feedback gives me incentive to write regularly and see if I can better match my topic selection to my audience to improve page views, likes, and comments. Posting your writing on LinkedIn helps you more deeply connect with and understand the interests and priorities of your audience on an ongoing basis. I like this!
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A co-working space in a library might look something like this:
The co-working program can offer the following:
- shared-office space:
- desk, chair, power
- wireless broadband
- library card and books, lots of books
- conference rooms
- comfortable easy chairs for reading and napping
- a place to connect with other motivated:
- small business owners
- social-impact organizations
- help with:
- business support
- looking for mentors
- simply a collaborative space to brainstorm, design, create
My neighbor is a professor in computer science and he is developing a new Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) and I’m going to meet with him to find out what kind of ePUBS and/or POD documents he wants to offer students. The crazy thing about these Coursera courses is they get sometimes over 30,000 students worldwide that register for just one course. Take a look at the universities and other organizations that are jumping on this bandwagon: https://www.coursera.org/about/partners
Here’s a link to a course in “cloud computing concepts”: https://www.coursera.org/course/cloudcomputing. The course is free but you can earn a “Verified Certificate” which is part of a series of courses in cloud computing. It says that no textbook is required.
I think some of these instructors wouldn’t mind giving the global student the option of downloading some ePUBS and/or Print-on-Demand (POD) class notes and/or textbook. Many students still like to have a hard copy of something which they can carry around and annotate and doodle on.
The exciting thing about this is that each course can attract anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 students or more to register from across the world, and this is only going to grow as more and more hiring corporations value “skills verification” which can very cost-effectively be obtained via these MOOCs. The number of registered students is driven by the brand name of the professor and the demand for the particular topic. Clearly any topic that adds to a student’s “verified skills,” builds credits toward a degree, and ultimately leads to a good-paying job will be in high demand. Since the student is already able to take the course for free, the marginal cost to pay a modest amount for some E and/or POD publications is something many students would opt in for (i.e., pay for). So you have this massive captive market of students for each course, and right now it looks like there’s really no cloud-based platform for them to get course-related materials.
The “Verified Certificate” is one way they (Coursera and partner institutions) monetize the course. The cloud computing concept certificate is $49. Downloaded E and/or POD course materials would be a second way of monetizing.
Another interesting development is the “Amazon Campus” just announced: http://www.amazon.com/gp/campus/info.
The first thing I would do is identify all the local startup business incubators and/or co-working facilities in your community, especially the ones that seem to be the best fit to your idea. Usually these places have an open-door policy that allows people to come in with new ideas that have the potential to later on develop into new products/businesses. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of all the local attorneys who provide patent services, and in some cases you can get a sit-down session with one of these attorneys at no cost. See how far you can get without having to spend any money.
Another thing you should do is attend an entrepreneur’s mixer(s) at these incubators and do some social networking with the entrepreneurs and staff because they’ve been down this path before and they will know who to contact and who not to contact.