can we locally turn around the housing market?

Do we have the ability to turn around the housing market on a local level?

I believe we do, let me explain.

You might know the situation, a few empty properties in the area resulting in the decrease in home values in the area. Acting as a web, this spreads and causes a larger drop based on the large number of empty homes.

The idea / concept is this. Create an association / group (I am not a lawyer to know the correct term.) but a group of motivated people in the area create a partnership to purchase the empty properties.

The group returns the properties into the market as rentals providing revenue opportunities and return to the people in the association.

As this grows communities will build back up and values will slowly increase as the number of empty properties decreases.

Just an idea.

2014 Simulated Emergency Test (SET) – RECAP

This weekend I coordinated a SET for Sussex County, New Jersey. We had over a half a dozen volunteer organizations together in this test. RACES is a back up to the current infrastructure we recently helped during Sandy when all formal communications when down and there was no situational awareness regarding the impact of the storm. SKYWARN is another vital part of communications providing the NWS information below the radar. SKYWARN data feeds the NWS and some of the data you see online and TV originates from the SKYWARN program.

Here is a brief recap of the RACES / SKYWARN SET we performed on Saturday.

We had 2 net control stations one on a primary frequency 146.925 (NJ2SX/NC) and a secondary 147.21 (KC2SOU/NC). The purpose of this was to make sure we had good coverage for Sussex, New Jersey.

We conducted a SKYWARN net, obtaining test messages from fixed, deployed and mobile locations. The reports consisted of total snow, drifts, wind gusts and included road closures.

We moved onto the RACES portion of the SET, obtaining reports from our deployed locations at the shelters. This consisted of members at the shelters and also supplies needed.

We moved off of the repeaters and conducted a net on simplex. All stations could be heard from the main NC (NJ2SX) station with some weak signals reported from people in the field. We encouraged stations in the field to keep signal reports from the other simplex stations.

We all learned a lot from this test and it will provide great training material for future meetings.

I feel you should check into the next tests we perform, just because you have a radio and the gear does not mean you will be able to operate effectively for you and your family. Practice, Practice, Practice.

If you are interested in Amateur Radio, let me know.

Android Wear, yeah you want one.

I recently picked up an Android Wear device and while there is no shortage of reviews, I would like to add my feedback to the list of search results.
First, Frank, why would you do such a thing? Well I was part of the google glass explorers group and was given the opportunity to purchase GG. While I looked and looked, I never did pick up a pair of GG.
Now Google i/o is over and everyone has had time to review the devices they obtained from the conference and the reviews have started. One of the reviews stuck in my head and they compared this device to that of the tablet and google glass, with a much lower price point. This is a game changer just like those devices.
So the device comes in the mail and you are all excited, but it will not start…drat, I have to charge it. Now I am forced to look at this device and not use it. While the watch is charging, this gives me some time to look over the device. It is very solid to the feel looks very nice. Yes the screen is big, but appears bigger watch faces are all the rage. If you have a small wrist, you might have an issue. I did have the watch slip off a few times but have moved it up my wrist so it will not get caught on everything.
agenda
Once the device is all charged up, now let me get into the settings and have some fun. Before I do that, you have a little set up on your phone and that is it. You are sitting at your desk and you start to swipe the screens seeing notifications show up and you discard them…that is it? Yeah, sorta.

For me, android wear really shined when I was out of town and going to meet a friend. I sent him a message and shortly I received one back as to his location on my watch. This is cool and with just one swipe and a few verbal words I responded back to him. It was so fast and effortless. I did not have to take my phone from my pocket, unlock the screen, navigate to hangouts and than enter the message. Right from the watch I was able to verbally speak my message into the watch and off it went. I wanted to say it twice in case you missed how quick the process. I was able to go back to what I was doing with very little change to my current activity. That was amazing, I am able to stay connected, while being unconnected. If that makes sense.
evernote
I recently added evernote and “if this than that” onto the watch. Both are very powerful and as a long time user of evernote the application just got a lot stronger for me. I can quickly see a to-do list or recently taken notes. 

The platform is very simple and almost too easy to use, but that is what makes it so nice. The watch is there and provides data when you need it. Almost being google glass for your wrist. It does not stand out and scream hey here I am, but stands by providing you valuable data when you want it.
if-this
Now the phone stays in the pocket, I can quickly see what is going on and than go back to life. Again, you are more connected while being less connected.
weather
I look forward to the new apps to make this platform even stronger.

your phone can help with focus

Have you used your phone to help stay focused on a task? Using the timer on your phone can help, let me explain.

First lets look at a task and point out the locations of distractions.

Your task is to research a product.

  • coffee is low…need to make a new cup/pot. coffee supply is low, let me browse the options for my next order.
  • you notice new email, and you browse the inbox.
  • someone stops by your desk to ask about a project.
  • while on the web, you see an advertisement for another product, so you click.

This list could go on, but you get the point. So many things could come up that could distract you from your goal. These distractions will keep you from completing your goal.

This is how a timer on your phone could help. In this example give yourself 15 minutes and set the timer. Out of the gate you might not know the actual time for a given task so you will need to stick with trial / error for a bit. At the end of 15 minutes see how much you have accomplished.

Here are some timers I use:
– 10 minutes for email. (I do not worry about getting to all of them.)
– 20 minutes. Morning news.
– one collection of songs. Writing a blog post. I have a folder on my phone of some fast tempo songs.

While just a brief list, the songs are going fast, you get the point. If you are in the middle of greatness give yourself a break to complete the idea. The goal is to stay focused and not waste time on meaningless tasks or distractions.

There you have it, a simple little way to use your phone and help you focus.

How do you keep focus on a task?

 

Your camera will never forget

Are you enjoying the warmer weather, but not the sneezing and sinus congestion? For some of us, we need to take some medication to get  over this hump from cabin fever to 24/7 flip flops.

Here is a little trick to help keep track of your medication.

Take a picture

Take a picture of the medication in front of a clock. This will provide an accurate visual of what you are taking and when you took it.

You can take this several steps forward:
– Do you have a few people taking care of a family member? Set up a secure online network to share these photos.
– This can also work well with kids. Moms and Dads can keep up-to-date on the medication for the kids.

Just a little tip. Do you have a little tip to get the most out of your phone?

I might know your password

I wanted to share a few articles I found on password security.

Dashlane’s Personal Data Security Roundup – UK Edition.

they stated:

  • 66% accept notoriously weak passwords such as “123456” or “password”
  • 66% make no attempt to block entry after 10 incorrect password entries
  • 60% do not provide any advice on how to create a strong password during signup, and only 14% display a password meter
  • 25% send passwords in plain text via email

Gibson Research did a few additional things and created this list and rated the sites, https://www.grc.com/miscfiles/Password_Policies_2014_Raw_Data.png  Scroll all the way to the right and see the sites with the worse ratings. You might not store your cc at these sites, but you still might provide very vital security information used on other sites. (answers to security questions.)

As they noted the article, Apple.com Tops Password Security, Toys R Us, Amazon, Walmart Among the Worst, is amazing. Some of the sites only require “1” items in the password field.

What does this mean?
– pick a strong password even if a simple one will do.
– do not use the same password on multiple sites.
– when asked security questions, lie. But remember your answer.
– never user a word, break up words with number or special characters.

You can make up a pattern for you passwords, but make sure only you know the key.

Scan to save

Executive Summary

Overview

Scan to save delivers a central location to make smarter purchase choices. Scanning a barcode will research a central database for product details and pricing. Online retailers allow you to scan items to their inventory, but that does not provide assistance on items that could be impacted with large shipping costs.

Problem

You want to make the best possible purchase decisions while you are on the road, but you lack the tools to perform accurate research.

Solution

Scan to save provides you the tools needed to make the best possible purchase choices while on the road. When you scan an item, details including pricing information is provided to you, allow you to see if you are obtaining the best price.

Opportunity

Online stores allow the scanning on brick and mortar stores, allow you to buy the item online, but when you are in the store you also needed the valuable tools.

Competitive Advantages

Searching an item in front of you to purchase it online is one thing, but if you want to obtain the item now, the consumer needs to the tools.

Business Model

Scan to save will obtain revenue from the initial app purchase and additional monthly fees. Customers will be given the option to, with a monthly fee, obtain more details on the items they wish to purchase, such as proximity and price change. Will it be best to travel 4 miles up the road to obtain a 50 cent discount? Users can obtain free scans if they obtain approval for their uploaded information.

Team

N/A

Financials

N/A

Funding Required

Scan to save is currently seeking xM for the development of a series of mobile applications and database to deliver, input and store large quantities of data.

 

RUOKAY

Executive Summary

Overview

RUOKAY is an application that will allow you to see the status of your family members during an event. Unlike other application RUOKAY is focused around a single goal and focus, the safety of your loved ones.

Problem

There is a major event and you are having trouble containing family members by phone / sms / etc. Panic phone calls and duplication could be started when people can not be reached and calling around.

Solution

RUOKAY allows family members to check into the service and state their status. Family members can also request that either a family member checks in or broadcasts a request to the entire family. This can allow the family members to state they are okay and there is no need to keep trying to call them. If the user does not have a smartphone, they can call into a toll free number and by using phone prompts can state their status. If a family member does not check in, any of the family members will have access to that members information. Such as last known location and medical information that might be needed to be shared if a search is requested.

Opportunity

With people mobile they could be in any one of many locations in the event that tragedy strikes. RUOKAY allows for contact to be made and gps data to be obtained on loved ones.

Competitive Advantages

RUOKAY is focused around a simple task to make sure your status and those of your family are shared within your family network.

Business Model

RUOKAY will obtain revenue when the users check into the service and also when a RUOKAY request is made from a user in the group. The person who requests the status will be billed a small fee.

Team

N/A

Financials

The application will be a small fee to all mobile users and will have a charge when a RUOKAY request is made. The user making the request will be billed for the feedback. When a user does not have a cell phone, they will be able to obtain automated calls requesting feedback based on an operator assisted call.

Funding Required

RUOKAY will be seeking 15M to fund the development of the mobile applications, phone infrastructure and database structure.

 This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.

Eyes on the Street

Executive Summary

speeding

Overview

Eyes on the Street is a solution allowing the community to improve the quality of life in the community. Working with the local police departments to finance the placement of traffic cameras to slow down speeders on the road and protect the children.

Problem

Police budgets are being dropped but they still need to protect and serve the public. With this drop in shoes on the ground issues raise that place the safety of the public in question.

Solution

Allowing the public to take a part in the local protection of their streets, Eyes on the Street will provide a camera to upload images obtained directly to the local police stations. Speeders will trigger the camera to take images.

Opportunity

Images obtained and sent to the precinct will be charged and financed from the fines obtained.

Competitive Advantages

No competitive that we are aware. This can allow police to focus on items with greater value to the community.

Business Model

When a speeder is obtained via the camera the image will be billed to the precinct and funds will be obtained from the fine payee. The municipality and the community can share the cost of the device placement. Eyes on the Street can help the community raise funds for the device.

Team

N/A

Financials

Revenue will be obtained with each photo taken. The cameras, self-contained, will be placed in high traffic areas securing revenue.

Funding Required

Eyes on the Street will be seeking funds for the development of proprietary cameras and technology to securely deliver images to the precincts.

  This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.

We Connect

Executive Summary

money-660x495
Photo: Tracy Olson/Flickr

Overview

We Connect is an application that allows you to connect and ask only your closest friends questions. Have a question on a place to eat, a review on a product or for advice, Ask a friend, allows you to connect with only a select number of people. You have built your close trusted network and you will make money when you suggest products and service purchased by your friends within the network.

Problem

We connect with our friends on social networks, but do we really obtain valuable content on items that matter? You “friend” people from any location, but is that really strengthening a relationship?

Solution

You need a way to build valuable relationships with friends and allow for the sharing of information. The application database will build slowly and connect with people you call, sms and email. No connection to a major network to see who is using the application. This will allow you to connect to all different types of people in your network, not just people already on a network.

Opportunity

Currently social networks are focused on adding more people and more content, but very little value to the members of the network. We Connect allows for the personal connection to friends and family like you obtained when you would call someone on the phone or see them in person.

Competitive Advantages

We Connect allows for small connections and clicks to be built and strengthened.

Business Model

We Connect consists of a network built on users who trust one another. We Connect will build revenue based on content shared within the networks. See a product you like? If a friend purchased an idea based on your recommendation you make money for the sharing and the service will obtain a portion of the sale. As you recommend places to eat of places to stay when done so via the We Connect application you make money for the suggestion.

Team

N/A

Financials

We Connect will build revenue based on the trusted relationships built. You value the suggestions of the people within your network and if a product is suggested and you are looking for it there is a great chance you will complete the purchase.

Funding Required

N/A

 This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.

Click To View

Executive Summary

MailBox

Overview

Click To View is a service that makes the connection between your postal mail the and the internet. Never before have marketing organizations had the ability to truly measure the impact of mass mail promotions. With Click To View, an application to manage your postal mail, you can scan a piece of mail and obtain more details from the web.

Problem

You want to run a postal marketing campaign but you truly have no idea the impact of the offer once the items are in the mail. What happened, why did the user not call or go to a store based on an offer. A direct connection between the mail and the web needs to be made.

Solution

Enter Click To View the service connecting your postal mail to the web. With an easy to use mobile application you can snap a picture of your mail and obtain more details on the promotion.

Opportunity

Marketers need a way to connect the recipient of the mail with a promotion or action once they obtain the mail. This section consists of one or two short paragraphs, or a handful of bullet points that define the market opportunity that the product is designed to capture. It’s important to cover the estimated size of the market, the estimated growth of the market, and the characteristics of the target customer.

Competitive Advantages

QR and Bar Codes and other specificity technology are nice, but the user will remove the application after they have followed the offer or participated in a certain contest.  There needs to be a hook keeping the application on the users mobile device.

Business Model

QR and Bar codes and other marketing technology are nice, but they have a limited life span with the user. Click To View will be a larger application based around a simple concept keeping the user connected to the application for an extended period of time. Click To View will allow for online management of your mail, forwarding requests and other postal requests like ordering stamps and tracking packages. With a larger suite of applications the postal service can obtain revenue from selling the service to the marketers. Before the campaign is sent out images of the material are captured and stored in the Click To View database with certain call to actions based on the material. Does the offer allow for a coupon, or a survey those call to actions are preprogrammed. This can also be used to connect bills obtained in the mail to an online site to reconcile the account, a quicker return on bill to pay.

Team

N/A

Financials

Click To View will obtain revenue based on the type of marketing promotion and the number of clicks and views obtained based on scans from the application.

Funding Required

Click To View is currently seeking $15M to develop a product to market and obtain traction from the marketing organizations.  A final product can be used by the postal service to boost revenue in a new vertical.

This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.

 

AlwaysOn

Executive Summary

power-poleOverview

AlwaysOn is a service that notifies power companies of changes to the infrastructure. From power outages to downed poles AlwaysOn will be able to provide real-time status of the power grid.

Problem

The power goes out, does the power company always know the reason for the outage? Is there a blown transformer, did a squirrel bite into a wire was a pole knocked down? In some cases the power companies need to collect power outage phoned in or by driving up and down roads with flashlights aimed at the wires. Isolation of the outage can take valuable time.

Solution

Tiny gps sensors can be placed on the top of power poles and small sensors placed tracking changes in line voltage. If the gps location for a power pole changes or there is a dip or lack of voltage power companies can focus on a certain area. Power can be restored quicker and there will be a savings with less time devoted to isolation of the outage.

Opportunity

The power grid is a vital resource and keeping the system online can be a matter of life and death for many americans. With the adoption of tiny low-cost sensors the power companies can keep the grip online with shorter outages.

Competitive Advantages

This will be a resource provided to all power companies. I am not aware of a competitive product.

Business Model

AlwaysOn will obtain revenue from the creation, distribution and sale of the pole top sensors and voltage sensors.

Team

N/A

Financials

N/A

Funding Required

AlwaysOn will be seeking 15M in a first round of funding. This will allow for the development and deployment of a beta test in the field.

This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.

Featured image obtained from noaa.gov