By now I hope you’re aware that I love working at the intersection of digital and physical. Our Social Machines offering is all about that. Our experiments like Piepal are focused on that too.
This coming December 12-13 I have the chance to share my view for this emerging space with hundreds of innovators at the MoDevEast conference (use the code STLB13 to get 10% off at registration).
My keynote will kickoff the day at 9am on the 13th (details). If you’re curious, you can hear a podcast promo of the session here. If that’s not enough for you, I’ll also be doing a workshop on “Marketing Magic for Hackers, Hustlers and Corporate Campaigners.” Details here.
If one ISL team member weren’t enough, you can also catch Ali Felski, Senior Designer at iStrategyLabs, on the 12th too – her session on “Learning to Let Go” promises to help you understand “What makes or breaks a good mobile app? Discover the pitfalls of over-designing to get the best product without the wasted effort.”. Don’t miss it!
We get a lot of Request for Proposals (RFPs) at iStrategyLabs for all sorts of things. I figured I’d share at least one Social Media RFP (download the word doc here) that we recently received so you can use it as a template for your own. You can contact me directly for other examples if you like.
Please note, I don’t necessarily recommend that you go through an RFP process – you should judge that for yourself. However, if you do please keep this in mind:
- You should not start your interaction with an agency by emailing them an RFP.
- You should start by emailing/calling and saying you’re in the process of finding a good partner for some work, and that you’d like to see if they be interested.
- If they are, talk to them on the phone or in person and then ask them to respond to your RFP.
- Share your budget. Most shops will turn you down if you don’t.
I won’t get into the further steps of the process here, but that’s a good way to get going.
Oh, and if you’re in need of a great digital/social agency, please drop me a line :)
Example Social Media Agency RFP Template
I’ve spent the past 5+ years building a company I love and believe in. It has all the hallmarks of being a success – the team is happy, challenged and able to innovate on a daily basis. It’s profitable, community oriented and has unlimited opportunities for growth in the coming years.
With that context in mind – there are so many questions I should have asked myself from the onset.
I did ask some of the following questions of course, but I think if you’re going to start a company, or you have a young one, you’ll be greatly served by answering the following for yourself.
Find an hour or two to really focus on these questions and see what your answers are. They’ll change over time. Here it goes:
100 Questions Every Founder Must Ask Themselves (download)
1. What do we want to be?
2. What do we want to do?
3. What does the next 10 years look like for us?
4. What’s our mission and common vision?
5. What do we need to achieve our mission?
6. What does the plan look like?
7. What resources do we need?
8. How long will it take to implement the plan?
9. How much will it cost?
10. What does success look like to us?
11. What does it look like to me?
12. Do you want to make money or an impact or both?
13. Can you have both?
14. What’s the best way to have both?
15. Who are you competing with?
16. How are they better than you?
17. What don’t you know that you know you need to know?
18. How are you going to figure out how to uncover what you don’t know you need to know?
19. Are you capable of doing this job?
20. What are you good at?
21. What are you bad at?
22. Who/what are you jealous of?
23. What are you proud of?
24. What does swimming upstream look like?
25. What does swimming downstream look like?
26. What happens when you get to the ocean?
27. What does your product/service offering look like from a blue ocean POV?
28. If you could build this company for the next 10 years where would you do it and why?
29. How much less successful will you be if you don’t build it there?
30. Is that trade off worth it?
31. Is the mission you’ve been on the right mission for you anymore?
32. What will happen over the next decade w/ or w/o you in your community?
33. What is the culture of our company?
34. What is your personal set of values?
35. What values do you look for in others?
36. How would you describe your character?
37. How successful are you in your own eyes?
38. Who are you trying to impress?
39. What are you trying to prove?
40. When will you know if you’ve impressed them/proved it?
41. What is failure for you?
42. What the probability you’ll fail?
43. What happens if you fail?
44. What else do you want to do if there’s an “after this company”?
45. What is holding you back?
46. Who is holding you back?
47. How good a leader are you?
48. What do you do poorly as a leader?
49. What do you do well as a leader?
50. What do you need to do to be a better leader?
51. Can you name 5 people who’d be great mentors for you? Name them.
52. Is it feasible to have them as mentors?
53. What is your process for getting them to mentor you?
54. What do you want to accomplish by 30/40/50/60?
55. Is the current community you’re in a good thing in your life?
56. Why aren’t you happy in the community if not?
57. Are you living a life of mediocrity?
58. What’s so bad about mediocrity?
59. What’s making you mediocre?
60. When have you not been mediocre?
61. How mentally healthy are you right now?
62. How physically healthy are you right now?
63. How emotionally healthy are you right now?
64. What have been your biggest mistakes?
65. What have been your biggest good calls?
66. Could you have done a better job over the last 5 years? How?
67. How have others faired in your peer group over the past 5 years?
68. What should you stop doing?
69. What is a distraction?
70. What is worth investing in over the long term?
71. What would you do with $500k in extra cash?
72. What would you do with $1m?
73. What would you do with $3m?
74. What would you do with $10m?
75. What will the state of the world be in 1 year?
76. What will the state of the world be in 2 years?
77. What will the state of the world be in 3-5 years?
78. What will the state of the world be in 10 years?
79. What is the biggest risk you can think of taking right now?
80. What is the biggest risk you have the stomach for?
81. What happens if you take theses risks and fail?
82. What happens if you don’t fail?
83. What’s your emergency going broke plan?
84. What offer would someone have to make today to make you sell your company?
85. What offer would they have to make to hire you away?
86. What do you lose if you lose your company?
87. What do you gain if you lose your company?
88. Have you taken enough risks?
89. Is 5 years a long time in this business?
90. Why does time matter?
91. What is arbitrary?
92. What can you do to remove the arbitrary pressures?
93. Do you have enough pressure on you?
94. Do you have clear measures for success?
95. What do you need to achieve before you die?
96. How much of this is about you vs. everyone else?
97. Do you give a fuck? About what?
98. What is missing from your life?
99. What is missing from your company?
100. What will you do to live the life you want to live and grow the company you want to grow?
Let me know what you think in the comments. Were these helpful?
Our Social Machines™ work focuses on bridging the online and off by enabling real-time social data to affect things in the real world.
What started with a Foursquare Lockbox soon morphed into a GE Social Fridge and a Thought for Food Social Vending Machine.
Today we’re proud to show the early prototype of our most diabolical Social Machine to date.
Meet Paintbot: an Arduino powered paintball gun that can be fired using Tweets.
Big props to Zach, Taylor, Nathan and Mike for creating this in less 12 hours.
The video speaks for itself. Note: The Paintbot is offline at the moment for cleaning :)