Log of what of Anastasia Tomuz has learned at Techie Youth

Fri. Aug. 5, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 11

Today I completed the wearable lesson, product pricing, and where to sell your products.

A wearable is an embedded electronic project you can wear. Some examples are bunny ears with LEDs inside, a glowing unicorn horn attached to a cap, a turn signal for bikers as a watch, GPS trackers for dogs, and DIY Google goggles. There are also clothes embedded with technology such as a jellyfish fiber optic dress, a galaxy dress made of 24,000 LEDs, and a draper pocket square with lighting. LEd strips are convenient because they can be cut into the length appropriate for your project. Lights on analog LED strips act as one while digital strips allow each LED to be addressed individually.

FOr product pricing, You should first calculate your break-even price point. This includes calculating costs for production from beginning to end, adding costs of shipping and price of commission for sites like eBay and Etsy. You should then determine the competitive price; your cost should be within the approximate range of other vendors in order to stay competitive. If your break-even point is close to the range that it sells for, there is not enough financial incentive to warrant creating this product. Charm pricing and the rule of 100 increase sales.

There are different methods to follow when pricing your products. These include market-oriented, dynamic, discount, loss leader, and anchor pricing. Price elasticity is the measure of the relationship between change in quantity demand of a good. From the profit perspective, it's always better to sell out than to have extra unsold inventory.

Sellable DIY ideas include fabric pots, rope bowls, pillow covers, triangle pouches, bath bombs, teched wooden cut boards, lace bowls, and amigurumi cactus crochet. .

E-commerce on eBay can be done by reselling items bought from Goodwill or thrift stores on eBAy. To know how to price and if a product is worth putting up, search the product name in question on the app, go to filters, show more, sold item, which will show how many times the item was sold and what price it was sold for. It is recommended to print out labels from eBay because they're cheaper. YOu can order free boxes from USPS.

Shopify allows you to set up an online website. It has a free trial for 30 days by just putting in your email. It has different tools like analytics, and marketing to help observe your site.

Squarespace and Weebly are both website creators that have templates for building your website. Their setup is overall similar and both have a subscription-based service with more services than their free versions.

Thu. Aug. 4, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 10

The GIMP software allows you to edit photos and draw digitally. The gradient tool in GIMP will enable you to create gradients with multiple colors, and they can be made linearly or radial. The pencil tool draws freehand lines with a hard edge and is effective for creating pixel art. The paintbrush tool allows you to draw with a fuzzy edge and by holding down the shift key, you can draw straight edges. The brush dynamics option within the paintbrush tools allows artists to hook up a drawing tablet and use pressure sensitivity to create detailed artworks. The clone tool copies pixels from one area to another, and the heal tool combines what's in the source area and affected area into color. Saving GIMP files in .xcf format saves all the layers associated with the work. YOu can create a gold paint effect in GIMP by using layers, working with foreground and background colors, and warping tools.

Krita is a digital artist software. By adding a gradient on a gray background, you will emulate a light source to create a better drawing. Shading things push them in, and highlighting them makes them pop out.

Using color picker and magic wand tools in Paint.net you can color in a certain part of an image and then use the magic wand to reveal a layer underneath. The .dll extension is for plugins for Paint.net.

To become a fashion designer, you must be able to draw and sew. YOu will have to pick materials, colors, and patterns for designs and ask who is going to wear your clothing (what is the demographic?), and you have to be able to think ahead because fashion changes quickly.

In the clothing and wearable lesson, I learned that you can use CAD software to help design clothes and other objects. You can use screen printing to put designs on shirts. First, you will have to create a frame, staple it on screen fabric, paint on photo emulsion paint and then dry it. Then, print out your text/patterns on transparency paper, place the print on the screen flipped, place the glass on top of the text, set the screen set up under light for 10-15 min, and wash off photo emulsion. Place the screen on a blank shirt, spread screen painting ink, and then blow dry.

There's direct-to-garment printing which allows for full-color printing versus screen printing (singular colors usually).

Wed. Aug. 3, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 9

Today's topics were retrofitting electronic products and digital art of the Technological crafts unit.

Old and antique radios are often upcycled. Some older radios use a heterodyne receiver, which uses frequency multiplication to shift the desired signal down to an intermediate frequency where it is filtered and deflected, resulting in lower costs and increased access to radio technology. You can connect a vintage radio to a modern audio source but you must be careful that your tube radio uses a power supply transformer or batteries because you don't want to use a "hot chassis" radio.

Repurposing is also a profitable business, such as creating your own lamps of products you already own. You can buy lamp kits- which cost about $12- or make your own by buying old vintage lamps, which could cost around $2. If you're making lamps with cardboard globes, you should use lightbulbs that aren't going to heat up too much, like CFL or LED. You can also refurbish items by building your own laser engraver from an old DVD player, or you can embed the inner parts of a toaster within a VHS playing device to make a VHS toaster. A lot of old technology gets thrown away, but you can create new stuff out of it like making a flower pot, a mailbox, using an old CD-ROM drive as a meat slicer, and making a circuit board guitar pick.

Digital art can be profitable but is highly competitive. There are several categories within it, including drawing/painting using computer software, manipulating and retouching photos, and tracing over existing images and then coloring them.

There are many software programs for artists like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Painter, Inkscape, and GIMP. Color cast means an overall unpleasant color contrast of a photo. Skills you can learn to do in Photoshop include outline portrait effects, cutting out images, using layer masks and colonizing, creating a cinemagraph, and selective color photo effects.

You can create interesting patterns in Inkscape, such as the inner shadow effects and vector abstract programs.

Tue. Aug. 2, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 8

I've finished up the robotics part of the technological crafts unit and started the retrofitting electronic products part.

I've learned about oscillating circuits which automatically switch between on and off states, like blinking lights. In a relay oscillator, a capacitor will slow down oscillation. The lower the Farad value of a capacitor, the faster the frequency of clicks will be.

Integrated circuits (IC) can come in Dual Inline Packaging (for breadboard use) or surface mount packaging (generally used in manufacturing). A common IC, especially used by hobbyists is the 555 Timer IC. It has 8 pins and has three available modes: astable, monostable, bistable. You can find the frequency if a 555 Timer oscillator by using the following formula: f = 1.44/((Ra + 2Rb)*C)

An Arduino has both a power port and USB for possible power sources.

The code for Arduino usually involves two methods: void loop and void setup. Void setup runs once at the beginning to show which pin(s) is the input/output. The void loop method repeats code inside of it over and over again.

There are logic gates such as NOT, OR, AND, XOR, NAND, and NOR that produce a binary output based on the two binary inputs and the rule for the gate.

It's easy to develop projects on prototyping circuit boards while programming microcontrollers takes more effort and external components. Common microcontrollers include Atmel AVR and PIC, both of which are made by MICROCHIP.

TO program microcontrollers directly, you'll need a microcontroller programmer for a specific microcontroller (ex: PIC programmer) and crystal oscillator (xtal).

The three steps necessary to program microcontrollers include writing code, compiling code to machine code, and uploading machine code to your microcontroller.

A 18mega328 is the microcontroller used in an Arduino. You can transfer data into it by removing it from the Arduino board and placing it on a breadboard. The microcontroller must be a 28 pin dip for it to be able to be removed.

When retrofitting electronic products, you should source your items for free or very cheap, like from the free section of Craigslist.

You must take safety precautions do avoid electrocution and to avoid inhaling toxic smoke when desoldering.

Mon. Aug. 1, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 7

Today I continued the robotics part of the technological crafts unit and learned about electrical engineering.

Components like regulators, heatsinks, 555 IC, and more are crucial in building more complicated circuits. A regulator is for getting a stable, accurate voltage for your circuits. (The input voltage to a regulator should be at least 2 volts above the regulated voltage.)

A heatsink dissipates excess heat (such as from a regulator IC). Heatsinks are rated by thermal resistance, given in degrees Celcius/Watts. Lower thermal resistance means better heatsink.

A 555 Integrated Circuit (IC) is an easy-to-use timer. It is available in low current applications and in extreme temperatures. It creates digital output in 2 states (high and low).

An astable circuit produces a continuous train of pulses at any frequencies you desire. "Astable" means "never stable." The output constantly switches between high and low states without any intervention from the user, thus producing a "square" wave.

A monostable circuit produces one pulse of set length in response to trigger input (push button). Sometimes when a push button is pressed, the contacts will bounce between on and off states making the IC think the button is pressed multiple times rather than once. TO solve the problem, the push button must be "denounced" by placing small delays between it and digital input.

A bistable circuit toggles between the two states.

An alternate current (AC) is usually ised in big appliances and electricity switches directions of where it's going on a wire. A direct current (DC) electricity travels in one direction on a wire, and is usually seen in devices with batteries. A charger turns AC from the wall outlet to DC and then gives the charge to the phone.

IN order for a circuit to work, the negative terminal must be connected to the positive terminal.

Resistance (measured in ohms) is used in circuits to limit the current to adjust voltage for a lightbulb.

The leads of an LED (light emmiting diode) has an anode lead (the one with a longer leg) and a cathode lead (shorter leg).

You can find how much resistance is needed for your component by the following formula: R = (powers source - forward voltage)/Amp

A multimeter is recommended to have when working to build circuits to measure voltage, resistance and current on the circuits nad individual parts of the circuit.

Schematics are the representation/diagrams of a circuit.

OHm's law is V=IR, where V is voltage, I is current, and R is resistance. Another formula is P=VI where P is power (the rate of energy usage).

Across series circuits, current stays the same while voltage differs. Across parallel circuits, current differs and voltage stays the same.

Potentionmeters allow you to change the resistance in a range.

Diodes allow electricity to flow from the anode to the diode but not vice versa.

Relays are electronically operated switches.

Fri. Jul. 29, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 6

I've finished up the laser cutting part of the unit with a CorelDraw 2020 tutorial. The program included many functions, including properties panel (manipulates details), a freehand tool (allows you to draw as you wish, then smoothes out lines when you're finished and gives you nodes/points to further edit lines by yourself), an artistic tool (which uses brushes to draw), and variable fonts which allow you to deeply edit fonds and shape them as you wish.

The next part of the unit is about robotic products, which are functional objects that can be interacted with physically and are powered by custom electronics and/or programmable microcontrollers. They monitor various inputs and then use that information to determine what it should output. Using microcontrollers such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, you can create projects like house LED controllers, robot arms with controllers, RFID readers, and Arduino game boy.

The LED light connected to Arduino has a long leg that is positive and a shorter leg is negative. A resistor is for not giving too much voltage to the light bulb.

You can control motors by manipulating microcontrollers. A Double Pole Double Throw switch (DPDT) is a switch that has three positions for forwards, off, and reverse, and can be either toggle or slide types. Pulse Width Modulation (PWD) is a common technique for speed control that can overcome the problem of poor starting performance of a motor. When you want to control a DC motor but only have an AC power supply, the AC supply will need to be 1.5-2 times the voltage required because the diodes used in the circuit will waste half the power. In an Alternative Current (AC), voltage alternates between positive and negative, so the waveform shape will be a sine wave. A Direct Current (DC) stays at a fixed, regular voltage all the time, like the voltage from a battery. Some DC components would be damaged by the negative half-cycles of an AC supply.

A transformer consists of two coils linked by a magnetic field created by a laminated iron core. Transformers are used to convert electricity from one voltage to another with minimum loss of power. They only work with AC and can increase and decrease voltage.

Eddy currents are currents produced by the alternating magnetic field inducing a small voltage in the iron core of a transformer.

A rectifier converts an AC waveform to a DC waveform using diodes. A diode is a device which allows current to flow though it in one direction

Thu. Jul. 28, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 5

Today I've continued learning software packages for laser cutting. I've watched the entire in-depth tutorial for Adobe Illustrator which explained many features of the program, such as how to navigate it, group objects, isolation mode, how to trace sketches, the shape-building tool, curvature, pen, and pencil tools, brushes, liquefying, color themes, making repeated patterns and exporting as a pdf.

For navigating Illustrator, tools such as zooming in (ctrl +), zooming out (ctrl -), and panning (holding down the spacebar while dragging the screen) are helpful. Many designers upload their sketches as a background layer and then use tools such as rectangles, ellipses, polygons, lines, etc to draw over their sketch and emulate it digitally. Then they can use grouping and shape builder tools effectively to combine simple shapes together and then color them in. The shape builder tool allows you to join multiple shapes together (and removes the intersection points when dragging your mouse), can delete overlap (by holding the alt key), and can color in areas of intersection. Spoonflower is a separate website that allows you to upload patterns you've created on Adobe Illustrator and print them for you on cloth.

Corel Draw is a vector drawing program. Using the pick tool, it can select, draw and transform objects, maintain length0width ratio of rectangles, and use rulers to set guidelines. The virtual segment delete option deletes segments that go to the closest segment lines. The app can create vector versions of raster file images.

Wed. Jul. 27, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 4

I've finished up the 3D printing part of the Technological Crafts unit and started on the laser cutting lesson.

When outsourcing 3D printing and laser cutting, there are 2 types of online manufacturing services: additive manufacturing platforms (3D printing only) and hybrid digital manufacturing platforms (3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting, etc). There are additive manufacturing methods (3D printing) that print specific items in small quantities and subtractive methods (CNC milling or laser cutting) that are to be used for large series of objects). If you're trying to make money with 3D printing, it is recommended to buy newer models (such as the Zmorph Kab model) that have interchangeable tool heads. They can 3D print, do CNC cutting, milling, laser cutting, and engraving.

In laser cutting, lasers are used to precisely cut out shapes from various materials. CO2 lasers are commonly used by hobbyists and small businesses and can cut well through many non-metallic materials, such as wood, paper, acrylic textiles, and leather. There are three main ways to use lasers: laser cutting (laser beam goes all the way through the material of the workpiece), engraving (laser beam removes parts of top material but doesn't cut all the way through the material), and marking(laser doesn't remove material but changes the color of the material-usually metal). Things to note about images uploaded for laser cutting include that raster images start to pixelate at a certain enlargement. Photos need to be turned into grayscale to be engraved. To create a design with the lowest price, you have to know that big things cost more than small things, complex designs cost more than simple designs and curvy edges cost more than straight lines and sharp corners.

The AutoCAD software allows you to create 2D (and also 3D) designs to use for laser printing. It has many functions such as offsetting, creating lines and circles, filleting, having the object snap tool, and allowing you to add dimensions.

Inkscape is a free, useful tool for creating logos and designs for laser cutting. By creating, joining, and cutting off paths in the program and using duplicate functions, you can create complex images such as a logo with mountains, a sun, trees, and a body of water.

Tue. Jul. 26, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 3

Today I continued learning 3D software within the Technological Crafts unit. I've continued learning Blender from last time, learned a few functions from Meshmixer, and reviewed AutoCAD.

In Blender, I've learned to work with the edit mode (within the modeling tab), which allows you to edit the points of an object and change the shape of the object. It can be accessed by clicking the Tab key, or holding down Control and Tab and choosing the edit mode function, or going to object mode and choosing edit mode.

The subdivision modifier smoothes out objects, especially round objects. It can be accessed by using the keys ctrl and 2.

The extrude function (accessed with the "e" key) allows you to take a plane (which is 2D) and expand it into a third dimension to make it 3D.

The loop cut (accessed with ctrl + r) cuts an existing face so that you can perform new operations (such as rotating, extruding, and resizing) on the newly created face.

Using the above features and tools mentioned yesterday, one can create a 3D octopus in Blender.

In Meshmixer, there are multiple tools that allow you to edit shapes in a 3D space. Within the sculpt tool there are multiple brushes that allow you to edit the surface of your object in various ways, which include the drag, draw (pulls out mesh towards camera), flatten (creates a flat surface on the area pressed, and smoothes the surrounding area), inflate(grows the area in different directions), pinch(takes triangles and extrudes them to a point), move, refine(increases tesselation which then increases the size of your file) and reduce brushes(reduces the complexity of the area).

There are other tools like the mirror, duplicate, transform, plane cut, and hollow tools which allow you to change the shape of your object, not just the surface like these brushes mentioned above did.

I've learned that in Autocad, you shouldn't use a polyline to create offsets because then the final object is not closed in.

Mon. Jul. 25, 2022

Technological Crafts Part 2

I've continued the Technological Crafts unit today, focusing on learning software for 3D modeling; specifically TinkerCad and Blender.

In TinkerCad, workplanes can be accessed by pressing shortcut W. you can create a workplace on the surface of another object you've created and add additional objects to that new workplace. The ruler helps you gauge the distance between objects. In the ruler function, there are blue arrows and green arrows. The blue arrows refer to the shape's dimension attributes, and the green arrows take the measurements away from the ruler's origin.

To splice objects in TinkerCad, you must first drag out the ruler, measure the height of the object, and create a hole cylinder that surrounds the bottom half of your object. Then do the same for the top half of the object. Copy and paste the object with the hole cylinders. Remove one of the hole cylinders from one of the objects. Remove the opposite hole cylinder on the other object. Group each of the two objects separately, and now you will have the object split into two parts.

I've learned how to navigate in Blender today and the main methods were through orbiting, panning, zooming, and switching to side views. This required working with my keypad, keys, and mouse a lot. I learned to delete objects, add objects, move them around, rotate them, and also to scale them. Using the transform tools (moving, rotating, and scaling), I was able to create a snowman. Then using boolean manipulation, I was able to group different objects together and have them cut away from one another. I've changed my preferences for my convenience when working in Blender and have learned how to export my files as stl in order to be able to 3D print my projects.

Fri. Jul. 22, 2022

Selling Computer-Designed Objects & Technological Crafts

Today I started the Crafts unit and focused on the Brainstorming, Project Planning, and 3D printed products lessons of the unit.

With a craft, you can create your own object and sell it for a profit. I've learned that when you're brainstorming for profitable craft ideas it's important to ask yourself the following questions to get inspired: What things do people buy/want/need/talk a lot of? It's better to give up on an idea earlier on than later because you will lose a lot more resources if the idea fails after you put investments into it.

There are different categories of crafts that can be divided into, which are clothing, jewelry, fashion items, furniture and lighting, art sculpture and 3D printing, vintage-new items, and customizable items.

Project plans for your product must include a project description, a resource list, you must have skills, a sales channel, and you must budget properly.

A project description is a description of the final products with visual images to represent your vision of the item.

A resource list is a list of supplies necessary to create the product. These can be divided into two categories: tooling (bought once and needed to help in creating the product) and consumables (bought continuously and are what make up the majority of the product).

When budgeting there are a few estimated costs that you have to calculate. The costs of producing the first item = tooling costs + initial quantity of consumables you purchase. The cost of creating individual products is the cost of consumables per product. Profit made per item = gross profit - all of the per-unit expenses.

To help 3D print items, it's important to be knowledgeable of CAD programs, such as Blender, TinkerCAD and AutoCAD.

Thu. Jul. 21, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 7

Today I focused on the Getting Sales/Clients and Hiring lessons of the entrepreneurship unit.

I've learned that the secret to business success is to sell benefits not features. This means that customers focus on the result that changes their lives, but the customer isn't as interested in the actual object [feature] you're selling them as much. If you're selling benefits, you're either going to solve people's problems or bring them more happiness.

When you close a sale deal, you have to know when to stop talking. It's important to not oversell or overtalk, otherwise your customer will be frustrated with you. It's also not good practice to just assume what the customer likes, but instead, you should do research ahead of time to find out what they actually want/need. Then you when you introduce your product/service, they will be thankful to you and will conclude the deal.

When you're in purchasing negotiations, you must always know the value of something you're buying so you actually know what it's worth. It's better to not be dependent on a product you need, and if you must bluff, and pretend that you don't need it that much to get a better deal. You should try to identify if the seller needs to sell quickly or if they are ready to give up a sale if they have time on their hands. You should get sellers committed to you by asking about their product, and then they'll be more likely to sell at a lower price.

When you want to effectively sell a product, you must present a product well and don't be cheap with photography. You should research the market price of the item you're selling and the price that it's actually being bought at.

When you employ someone, you have to understand their limitation, their capabilities, and their desire to grow. It's recommended that you keep consistent with the style of leadership you use on people.

There's a difference between laying off, terminating and firing employees. Lay-off means that the employer didn't have a job for the person but otherwise the employee didn't do anything wrong. Terminating just means that the employer didn't want the employee on the job anymore. FIred means that the employee violated company policy or legal policies.

Wed. Jul. 20, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 6

I learned about renting commercial properties, how to obtain funding for your startup businesses, MVPs, and how to get sales/customers.

The first thing you have to focus on when renting a commercial property is asking "who is your landlord" and what type of person they are. It really helps if they're flexible. You have to think about the number of exits/entrances you have in relation to the number of people coming into the location. You have to ask about regulations for windows, if there's a superintendent on site, and if you're allowed to put holes in the walls to put up your signage. You to check out the odor, noise, and insects of the location. You also have to be careful about clauses in lease contracts that allow landlords to evict you at their will. In regards to commercial real estate, I learned that they will often let you get one to two free months of rent for renovation. Also, I learned that prices are compared in dollars per square foot per year.

I've learned a couple of terms relating to funding a business. This includes shoestring startups which mean businesses that can be started with nearly no money. Amortization cost is taking in the cost of items that depreciate as you use them. Sunk costs are money that you'll never get back and can generally refer to consumables, rent, and employment payments. Slip and fall insurance is to make sure that employees don't sue you for an accident they made while working on site. Lean operations is a way of managing businesses where you only provide as many resources as you need for the immediate future and don't spend money on what you don't immediately need.

The main ways to fund your startup include using your personal finances (not recommended), stacking credit cards (not recommended), friends and family (know someone wealthy), angel investors, and venture capitalists. Angel investors tend to expect somewhere around 20 times the return on their investment. Capital raise is a company issuing shares to receive cash.

Investment pitches can fail when you're not talking to the appropriate investor (they only invest in businesses in a specific market or at a specific stage of development). You must have a balanced team, the products must be appealing, and you must have financial projections.

Expenses categories include fixed recurring expenses, per-customer expenses, and arbitrary expenses. MVPs are important to use in order to get customer and market feedback, which sometimes means your business will have to take a pivot.

Tue. Jul. 19, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 5

Today I focused on the Branding lesson of the Entrepreneurship unit.

Branding is all about creating an image for your business. This involves having a domain name, a company email, a slogan, a mission statement, a logo, and a website.

One important aspect when creating many of these is to make sure you aren't accused of "trademark infringement" or "unfair competition. " This is especially applicable to the company name, domain name, and company email.

To avoid trademark infringement, you should conduct a name search by: doing a quick screen search (with Google), searching in the fictitious Name Databases, state business name databases, search for unregistered business names (using the internet, social media, and domain name search), and searching registered trademarks (by searching the USPTO database).

A slogan is a short, simple catchphrase that represents your company. Tips to create catchy slogans include: keeping it short and simple (less than 9/10 words), being consistent (with your existing company name, logo, and projected image), focusing on what makes your company different, making your slogan timeless, ensuring it can stand on its own (slogan shouldn't be a mystery), considering your target market, and getting input from your followers.

A mission statement lets people know what the company stands for and what reason it has for existing. Some key elements include: its value, inspiration, plausibility, and specificity. It's not the same as a vision statement (which describes what a company aspires to be, as opposed to what it is now).

Logos are the face of everything in your company. Possible design styles include: classic, retro/vintage, modern/minimalistic, fun/quirky, handmade/handcrafted. Color, mood, and typography are important in logos. Make your logos timeless and don't cheap out when hiring logo designers.

Websites are also important to a company because they allow customers to be aware of your business. One of the best methods to make a professional website for cheap is Wix. Anyone can use it and it has a free version with most of the features there.

Mon. Jul. 18, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 4

Today, I finished up the Exit Strategy lesson and completed the Customer & Market, cofounders, executive summary, and how to set up legal business entity lessons.

An exit strategy is needed to clarify for yourself why you're building the business, show investors how they can see a return, and deepen your overall strategy. When you start to think about exit strategies, you start to flesh out other aspects of your business as well. A lazy way to create exit strategies is to just think about profit, being acquired, and going public. A good way to go about it is to think about the key players in the market (divide them into 3 tiers), map out recent exits, who's buying them, and why so you could understand their strategy and then observe the macro trends. If you build a good business, exit strategies will become available to you.

When building a company, it's important to obsess over customers (competition not as much), invent (on behalf of customers), and to think long-term (in a 5-7 year frame)

You have to have contingency plans for everything by thinking of what can go wrong, what you could do to prevent it, and what you will do in case it happens. YOu have to know when to call it quits, and decide what actions to take in order to minimize damage.

Cofounders should complement each other by making up for each other's weaknesses. Before you start a business you have to set boundaries and expectations of what each person does. So, set the responsibilities, the threshold at which someone might get "fired" as a cofounder, and the exit strategy (how to part ways). If you part ways in not a good manner, it's important to have non-compete agreements and agreements against defamation of character.

An executive summary should include the business name and contact info and the "elevator pitch" at the top of the document. Other sections include business model and financials, customer and market, team and cofounders, and risks and uncertainties.

Liability is the state of being legally responsible for something. There are different types of business structures. They include Sole-proprietorship, partnership (general, limited, and limited liability), c-corps, b-corps (benefit corporations), LLC, co-ops and non-profit corporation.

Fri. Jul. 15, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 3

Today I focused on the following lessons in the entrepreneurship unit: business models, profit models and revenue streams, customers and market, and exit strategies.

The Break-even point is how much money you have to take in to reach zero since businesses always start off in the negative. You need to know the dollarization value of everything in your business. A business model is a description of how your business runs while a competitive strategy explains how you will do better than your rivals. Ideas come from passion, complaints, and ego. Every business should create a realistic plan on how they will exceed the break-even point.

A value proposition is a statement detailing all the products and services that the company offers to the market and what makes them of value to potential customers. It should help a company's services stand out from competitors who sell similar or identical products. When writing a value proposition ask the following questions: What does your product do? What are its most important features? How does it work? What are your customer's biggest challenges? what are their wants, fears, and needs? How do my product's features address those wants and needs? What are some of the emotions that go into this purchase? Why should they use my product over any of my competitors?

It's important to look at the competition to see what they're doing successfully so you can mirror that, and what they're missing out on so you could fix that issue and provide better service/products to consumers/customers.

An exit strategy is a plan of how the company could reach its end via a positive desirable outcome. Three main ways are acquisition by a larger company, going public (IPO), and management buyout.

Thu. Jul. 14, 2022

Entrepreneurship Part 2

Today I learned how to tell if the business you start up will be successful, innovation vs invention, the skills needed to be an entrepreneur, and how to speak well.

When you want to know how to pick a beachhead market, you must consider the following items: well-funded, ready access, compelling value proposition, whole product, competition, leverage, and personal alignment. Well-founded means that you know the business will have paying customers, and lots of them. You must have ready access to customers, knowing who they will be ahead of time. A compelling value proposition might mean that you know that your product will be 2-3 times more effective than the competition. It's easier to sell a whole product than a piece that will aid something else. YOu have to know if your product/service will be superior to that of the competition. Leverage means that you have to know if the market will have the possibility to expand. And finally, your personal alignment has to be positive, you can't focus your time on something you don't like or doesn't match your ethics, or interests.

Innovation and invention are not the same. Innovation generates value for the world, and makes something better, faster, cheaper, or gives satisfaction. Inventions are just ideas, technology or patents. The formula for innovation is invention times personalization. You can't make innovation without both.

You need skills to be an entrepreneur. There are soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are interpersonal/people skills, used in every job, you can practice over time, are hard to measure and can be communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Hard skills are specific to the job, learned through school, training, and previous work experiences, and are easy to measure. Five skills required to be successful in entrepreneurship include communication, sales, focus, ability to learn, and business strategy.

In the lecture on How to Speak, it is recommended that you don't start presentations with jokes but with promises on what you'll be teaching the audience. It is recommended that you repeat the main points thrice in order to make sure everyone hears it, especially since lots of people in the audience aren't listening often. The optimal time and places for presentations are at 11 am, in bright spaces so people don't fall asleep, and have the audience be mildly populated to have some credibility in your speech. If possible, avoid slideshows and use (black)boards instead. If you have to use slideshows, then avoid using too many slides, making the font too small, putting too much text on the slides, reading off the slides, or using laser pointers.

When trying to see if your startup business will succeed or fail, first write an executive summary. Have more people in your business. Ask venture capitalists and angel investors what they think of your executive summary idea. Know when to drop the business idea, if necessary.

Wed. Jul. 13, 2022

Improving Your Life Quality Part 3 & Entrepreneurship and Leadership Part 1

I finished up the Improving Your Life Quality unit, focusing on stress management and role models and mentors. In the Entrepreneurship unit, I've started to look through the fundamentals of entrepreneurship videos.

When learning to be a leader, you have to avoid saying "um" and "uh"s when you speak. The leaders who speak less, they're heard better when they do speak. Don't fidget and give genuine feedback if you want to be a good leader.

To manage stress, go with the flow, and think that everything that happens is for the best. If you're more flexible, you have a greater chance of being happy. Try to not panic, and think cool-headed instead, if possible.

Mentorships can help people grow their careers. However, it is important that you don't wait to start your career after finding a mentor. Instead, do all you can at the moment, start whatever you meant to do, and it is likely that you will find a mentor in your journey.

Entrepreneurship is split up into two main categories: small-medium entrepreneurship (which is the local market) and idea-driven entrepreneurship/enterprises (which are for the global market).

There are three types of entrepreneurs: Tech, Idea, and Passion. Tech entrepreneurs already have a solution but they're looking for a problem that technology they can solve. Idea entrepreneurs have a problem they want to solve but they don't have the solution yet. Passion-driven entrepreneurs are those who love the freedom of being entrepreneurs but don't have a solution or a problem to fix. They must either join the Tech or Idea Entrepreneurs.

Tue. Jul. 12, 2022

Improving your life Quality Part 2

I've gone through the Time Management and Health and Productivity lessons of the Life Quality unit today. The Time Management lesson was especially helpful because it's a topic that I need to work on, and would say that I have limited knowledge about.

The most useful thing I've learned is how to schedule your day, especially in a planner. Time blocking is very important, but it seems hard to get used to because you have to estimate the time it takes to complete tasks efficiently. The great thing about scheduling is that you can see what didn't work for you when scheduling the previous week and tweak it for the better in the following week. There are online tools such as Trello, Toggl, Canva Personal Calendar, and My Study Life but I'm unlikely to try out most of them because I can organize myself better on paper. I will think about trying out the My Study Life program because it seems especially helpful during school life, and I know better than anyone that the most important key to success in education is organization, especially of your time and assignments. I've also learned that humans can't multitask and it's something that's better to just avoid doing.

I do have more previous knowledge of the Health & Productivity unit but there are still a couple of interesting facts that I've learned along the way. Intermittent fasting actually helps support healthy insulin levels and blood pressure and is recommended by medical professionals. This would entail 16 hours of fasting between dinner and breakfast. It signals your metabolism to burn fat and allows your body to experience a longer-than-normal period of low insulin in the blood, which is a powerful reset. I've also learned that Ayurvedic massage and adaptogenic herbs can help improve people's health. In terms of mental health, from the thesis of the Ted Talk by Katerina Blom, happiness comes from relationships and we learn by watching others' behavior. A Healthline article suggests trying to let go of grudges, smiling more often, and re-evaluating your goals to suit your current interests, as all interesting recommendations to try out.

Mon. Jul. 11, 2022

Improving Your Life Quality Part 1

Last time, I finished up the Intro to Earning Money Online unit, and today I started the second pre-requisite unit, Improving Your Life Quality. I've mainly focused on financial awareness and development.

First, I've learned the difference between net and gross profit. Net profit is what you get to keep while gross profit is what you make.

I've also learned about the break-even point, which is the length of time at which the penalties of investment become less than the amount earned from the investment. Additionally, the spread is the difference between the amounts when you buy at a buyer's market and sell at the seller's market, and it will be the profit you gain. Using this method is called arbitrage business.

It is essential to budget your money to keep track of what you're wasting your money on, and what you could do to save in the future to have more money. Budgeting involves writing down everything that comes in and out of your accounts.

Some possible ways to invest include, but are not limited to stocks, cryptocurrency, angel investors, real estate, REITs, Forex, and NFTs.

To improve your financial situation, you should follow these steps: retirement savings, checking accounts, necessities (needs vs. wants), emergency fund, debt payoff, 4-8 month payroll (save up in an online banking account), and investing.

It is crucial to use your time efficiently because you could make more money by using your time wisely, then using it to try to save money. Time is the one thing humans can't get back once they've lost it.

Fri. Jul. 8, 2022

Intro to Earning Money Online Part 4

Today I continued on with the pre-requisite lesson focusing on how to make sure to perform well at interviews, how to successfully work a remote job, to beware of scams and how to network with other people.

Before going to an interview, you must research the company in a way to answer the question "Why should I be hired at this job?" and provide an answer in which you work at the job will provide economic benefits to the company. If you research the company ahead of time, find what problems they have, and show that you will be able to provide solutions to those problems, companies will be likely to hire you. You must do your homework before the interview to be prepared and look ready to be hired.

If you're working at a remote job, there are many things to get used to, including setting up a good work-life relationship. Reaching out and making connections is important because it's harder to do that when you're not at an in-person job. Working at home provides opportunities to for you to work out more often, eat healthier meals, work in coffee shops, and set your own schedule. There are downsides but if you work to solve them, then they won't bother you and you can enjoy working remotely to the fullest. There are many programs that help collaboration when working remotely such as Trello, Basecamp, Slack, and Zoom.

When onboarding, especially in remote jobs, it's important to set up connections and make new members feel comfortable. This is the time for new recruits to ask questions about the job.

One important tip I've learned today is to write about your accomplishments as you do them so that when you need to write a progress report or fill out resumes, you have your accomplishments ready. Many people have issues coming up with what they've done successfully in the past and this is a great solution!

Thu. Jul. 7, 2022

Intro to Earning Money Online Part 3

Today, on the third day of Techie Youth, I continued the pre-requisite lesson, mainly focusing on interviews.

To prep for interviews, it is highly recommended that you research the company, prepare mock interviews and prepare answers to common interview questions. Since most companies tend to use the same couple of questions that end up in interviews, they can be researched ahead. Usually, they involve something akin to describing yourself, why you think you are fit for this job over other candidates, what is the salary you expect, and a question that tries to see if you did your research about the job.

When asked the question of what salary you expect, it is best that you avoid putting out an exact number because you will end up losing out. If you say a number that's too high, then they will reject you. If you say a number that's lower than what they were willing to offer, then you lose out on money. It is best that you respond in a way that makes them say a number first, or where you say that it depends on the benefits the job offers and other conditions.

Some things that stood out to me while I learned about interviews included that you should always send a personalized thank you email to the interviewers afterward and that when they ask if you have any questions left, you should ask questions that show your interest in the company. Examples include: "If I were in this position, how would my performance be measured? How often?" and "What are the characteristics of someone who will succeed in this role?"

In online interviews, it is important that you maintain the same standard of professionalism as you would in an in-person interview. Keep a good setup with good quality audio and camera while making sure that your internet is stable. An interesting tip that I've learned is to look into the camera to make the recruiters feel that you're looking into their eyes and that you have a genuine interest, along with creating a human connection in the interview.

I left off with reading excerpts from the book called "Don't send your resume" that gave the message that you are a product/seller and the recruiters are the buyers. You have to think in a mindset in which your services will best solve the problems of the company.

Wed. Jul. 6, 2022

Second Day at Techie Youth - Intro to Earning Money Online Part 2

On the second day at Techie Youth, I continued the first pre-requisite lesson. The main topics that I've focused on today were money management and checks, how to setup payment for your own businesses, public image and social media, and I've started on the topic of remote work.

Something new that I've learned is how to write a check. This includes writing the digits in the amount to pay box in a way so that others don't add on more digits and scam you out of your money. I've also learned that you have to endorse checks in order to deposit them and that it's advised to use a check register to keep track of all checks going out and coming in to make sure that you keep organized, have proof of payments, and help solve issue if the need arises.

There are many types of banks and online banking has risen dramatically recently. The benefits of online banking is that the bank doesn't have to maintain brick and mortar buildings and their costs, leading to the customers reaping more benefits.

When setting up payment types for your own business, there are two types of payments to choose from: Payment Service Providers and Merchant Accounts. Merchant Accounts have the benefit of not needing to pay high fees to maintain the accounts, but the downside of having to get and wait for approval when setting up the bank accounts. Payment Service Provider examples include PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Merchant Account examples include CardConnect, FirstData, and Chase Paymentech. Crypto currency has also been used recently by companies as a form of payment. There are two main types of wallets associated with crypto: hot wallets and cold wallets. Hot wallets are not as secure but they have liquidabilty while cold wallets are highly secure but are more for long term investments.

One's public image is important to maintain because it is crucial when employers and colleges are looking at a person's profile. Inappropriate behavior posted on social media accounts will make recruiters stray away from hiring a person. Ten Harvard students were kicked out from posting inappropriate memes on a Facebook account.

Remote jobs have recently been gaining much popularity and are becoming increasing available. They can go under different names, but it is still a must to maintain a professional attitude when trying to become employed and when on video calls.

Tue. Jul. 5, 2022

First Day at Techie Youth - Intro to Earning Money Online Part 1

Today was my first day starting out at Techie Youth. I've focused mainly on the "Intro to Earning Money Online" pre-requisite course where I've learned how to work remote jobs, the pros and cons of remote jobs, and ways to maintain working remotely. Working remotely is all about being able to organize yourself and your time. Some companies are not as capable of handling remote workers, while others have only primarily remote workers. A good way for bosses of companies to maintain their remote workers well is by "home-office stipends" or "co-working stipend". You can be employed by someone working remotely but be self-employed. One of the ways to do that is to be a social media influencer, by maintaining social network theme pages. You can also create TikToks or maintain YouTube accounts where you blog about your life and receive income. Many also become travel bloggers, because they love traveling so they can keep that relationship between traveling and working. Many also are able to travel around the world for dirt-cheap by maintaining their expenses for commuting, and accommodations. They hitchhike and use services like Couchsurfing to commute and sleep for free.

To maximize employee satisfaction, as an employer, don't cheap out on food and commodities because they pay out in the end in terms of work quality. As an employee, don't work in places where you don't feel safe, respected, or agree on the morals/ethics.

When getting paid at a job, it's important to have a checking account to have a place to put your money and to be able to be paid by direct deposit.