Learning to Waltz: A bearwithus Retrospective

Behind the scenes reflections on my band’s recording debut, waltzwithus EP.

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Photo Courtesy: Ryan McLeod

As 2019 is welcomed with open arms, I’m seeing many people post about their highlights of 2018, and having spent my college years at a Jesuit institute, reflection comes as second nature to me. Obviously, 2018 will stand out as the year I finished my undergraduate studies. However, one defining piece of the year starts with good friends on a hot summer night. A couple pals were talking about playing a gig at a park over the weekend, and I wanted to go support my friends. Upon asking them about attending, they not only encouraged me to come to the show, but invited me to perform with them at said show. Even though the concert was only days away, I haphazardly accepted, and the ragtag indie/alternative project known as bearwithus was born. This adventure became more than just a one-time endeavor, and when we weren’t busy with school and work commitments, bearwithus played a handful of shows during the latter half of 2018. In addition to the park shows and coffeehouse gigs, we put together a small collection of songs in the late summer/early autumn, and while the final product is far from perfect, the waltzwithus EP remains a memento of 2018 that we’re proud to call our own. Continue reading “Learning to Waltz: A bearwithus Retrospective”

Said & Done

“I suppose it’s time for me to go out with a bang (or something like that).”

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December marks the end of another semester, and by proxy, the end of another class that requires a blog. This is now the third class I’ve used this blog to write reflections in, and unless anything goes horribly wrong in the next week, academically, this will likely be the last time I use the Com-Tech Analysis as a blog to write class reflections. With that in mind, I suppose it’s time for me to go out with a bang (or something like that). Continue reading “Said & Done”

Putting the “Fun” in Funding

“Crowdfunding has provided a handful of success stories…but for every success, there are plenty of campaigns that fall under the radar and fail to reach their goals.”

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Stating the obvious: Money plays an important role in any business, something that is especially evident in the formation of a startup. With sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo, many startups have gone the way of crowdfunding to acquire adequate funds for their endeavors. Crowdfunding has provided a handful of success stories (a couple of my favorite stories involve an independent film’s budget and a band’s reunion album), but for every success, there are plenty of campaigns that fly under the radar and fail to reach their goals. Copy Hackers wrote an article that maps out strategies for startups to develop successful Kickstarter pages, and highlighted a few examples throughout the article. Given the nature of the site, the points made in this article are inspired by copywriting sensibilities, giving readers effective tips to make one’s Kickstarter stand out among the crowd. Continue reading “Putting the “Fun” in Funding”

Ninth Inning Pitch. Elevator Pitch.

“With a big sigh of relief…”

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With a big sigh of relief, I survived my class’ elevator pitch assignment. In all honesty, for an assignment that’s been associated with so much dread, I didn’t think it was too much of a teeth-pulling experience (but still not a complete cakewalk, mind you). Perhaps my prior endeavors in public speaking prepared me for the delivery aspect of the pitch. Regardless, I found the assignment to be one that encouraged us to think critically about our startup ideas and structure that thinking into a concise piece. Continue reading “Ninth Inning Pitch. Elevator Pitch.”

The Opening Pitch. Elevator Pitch.

“…I may have my work cut out for me.”

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Every now and then, I would occasionally hear the rants and raves of people who were enrolled in the class I’m currently taking. Among other things, there was one topic that carried a particular feeling of dread among students, and that’s the topic my class is now approaching: The infamous elevator pitch assignment. Indeed, the idea of selling an idea or company to someone in the length of an elevator ride is a daunting task. Knowing the importance of an elevator pitch, Slidebean took a closer look at what goes into a good pitch and created an article with examples and insights for the production of one’s own elevator pitch – examples that I will likely be using as I approach this upcoming project. Continue reading “The Opening Pitch. Elevator Pitch.”

Reaction Time

“…take a step back and listen closer to the people at the core of a successful startup: Its customers.”

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After reading the next assigned article, Steve Blank’s “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything” (as seen in the May 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review), I was tempted to include the link to a post I wrote a couple classes ago about the changing media landscape. However, I’ve already linked to that article two or three times in the past, so another linking probably wouldn’t be necessary. Nonetheless, the sentiment of that article remains in tact: Times are changing – something that’s especially evident when looking at the media. With that, Blank’s article introduces a new business model for startups to adopt that’s more flexible, efficient and customer-focused than the linear business plans of yesterday, and this new business model (named the “Lean Start-Up”) encourages entrepreneurs to take a step back and listen closer to the people at the core of a successful startup: Its customers. Continue reading “Reaction Time”

I Like the Idea, But…

“However, to succeed in our current media environment, a startup has to have more than just a clever idea.”

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As the class explores the idea of entrepreneurial media, we’ve been tasked with looking at work done by people in our shoes and read a little about startups created by fellow college students. Indeed, Inc. ran an article that highlighted the eight finalists in a startup competition among students, and strictly in terms of ideas, all of which sound intriguing and full of potential. However, to succeed in our current media environment, a startup has to have more than just a clever idea. This thought encouraged me to take a closer look at these finalists and examine how realistic it is to see their startups do well in the future.

Continue reading “I Like the Idea, But…”