Tue, Mar 24, 2009
[Photo by Toni V]
I had the exquisite pleasure of taking The Jessmeister to Disneyland Paris before Christmas last year and I found some of the overpriced Disney merchandise – now there’s a licence to print money if you’re looking for one, Mr Darling – in a jacket pocket over the weekend.
Fondly reminiscing about that winter weekend of wonderment, and the adrenalin rushing through my pain au chocolat-fuelled five-year-old as we queued to enter the Magic Kingdom, I started to draw a few comparisons between that experience and that of setting up this company.
Starting a Business
You’re there, you’re ready for the off. Green light. Go. So much to do. So little time. What’s the most efficient way to navigate your way around this unexplored world? Going from an organisation with corporate infrastructure and FM, you’re now on your own with crafted ideas and sweet FA.
The business name had come fairly easily, after some brainstorming in the boozer [thanks Nick] and the URL registration merry-go-round, so now’s the time to get the word out there. Start pressing the flesh with individuals and indies. Need a business card. Damn. Need a logo. Double damn. No in-house design teams to fall back on and can’t expect friends to drop everything for unpaid work – this is a bloomin’ business after all.
Crowdspring came to the rescue on the logo front – cracking design community, highly recommended – and Vistaprint proved to be the best value on the printing, a third of the cost of high street printers. Happy with all the results but took about three weeks from start to finish. Probably about the same timeframe as at C4, to be fair.
Next, the legal rollercoaster, important, given that we’ll be working with ideas, formats and the associated minefields of IP. Definitely one for independent advice and Mate’s Rates and my luck was in, with Michael Palmer, an outgoing C4 lawyer who imparted his litigious wisdom over a cappuccino and croissant on Old Compton Street. Still very much work in progress but solid foundations from which to build.
Then, hang on tight for the website waltzer [there are no waltzers in Disneyland Paris incidentally – paid-for whiplash obviously wasn’t part of Walt’s grand design] and the nauseous feeling that I’m going to be losing a heap of change on this particular ride.
Coming from the corporate world of design by telephone numbers, I was expecting to spend at least a couple of grand to get some kind of online presence in the marketplace.
WordPress to the Rescue
As a latecomer to the blogisphere – if indeed that’s what it’s still called – this estimate was immediately dismissed as nonsense by digi-producer extraordinaire Antonio Gould who introduced me to the – frankly awesome – delights of off-the-shelf WordPress themes, turning a holding page into a fully functional site, with 12 months hosting, in less than two hours and for under 200 quid. My accountant will be very pleased.
Much like the Disney excursion, it’s been an absolute riot so far. Knackering of course, being pulled hither and thither, overdosing on sugar and other stimulants, and I’ve not even set foot in the Disney Studios park yet! The fun has only just begun.