iStrategyBlabs

GE Garages DC Opens – Remake The Capital With Your Fellow Innovators!

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Are you a maker, hacker, tinkerer or innovator of some kind? If so you’re going to love GE Garages DC.

From March 21 to – April 9th, GE is opening up a hands-on maker space pop-up right in the Golden Triangle area of downtown DC (map).

The full calendar is here – register FAST before everything books up. Use #Garages2014 for live updates.

iStrategyLabs will be powering several sessions including a Founders Forum, Entrepreneur & Investor Panel (RSVP), and several design/build sessions where people will create a Weather Clock. GE has also graciously sponsored this month’s DC Tech Meetup where over 800 people will come out to see demos by early stage start-ups.

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In the past iStrategyLabs has worked with GE on their Garages Program at SXSW. If you haven’t see it yet – have a look at the GE Social Fridge we built and the full GE Garages experience, powered by the Sub Rosa crew:


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Announcing: The Challenge Festival – A Disruptive Startup Experience

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1776_challengeFestival_logoWhen we started DCWEEK back in 2010 and grew it from 0 to 12,000 attendees we knew the demand for connectivity among innovators in the nation’s capital was insatiable.

We also knew that even at that level, we were thinking too small – so we sunset DCWEEK in order to make room for something bigger. Today, we’re happy to announce that The Challenge Festival is exactly that “bigger thing”.

All the info you could want is on the festival website here and you can see the full festival deck below.

1776 is the creator and lead producer for the festival, and iStrategyLabs is responsible for all design/dev and for producing a massive, 2000-3000 person closing party on May 17th. If you want to know more about sponsorship opportunities just hit me up at peter@istrategylabs.com or email our CMO, DJ Saul, at dj@istrategylabs.com. See you out there!

Welcome to the Challenge Festival from 1776

CourtPlay’s Brand and Digital Platform Launch

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CourtPlay, the brainchild of two die-hard tennis enthusiasts and professional coaches, came to iStrategyLabs with a clear mission: streamline the scheduling process between tennis coaches and players, allowing coaches to spend less time booking lessons and more time giving them.

iStrategyLabs took this concept and, with the CourtPlay team, built a brand and web application that gives coaches the ability to market themselves, eases the administrative responsibilities of coaching, eliminates the inefficiencies of their current scheduling process, and gives them maximum earning potential. Players now have all the necessary tools to sign up for lessons, find players at their skill level, and locate courts in their neighborhood.

The first step was to develop a killer brand for CourtPlay. Inspired by the sport of tennis and the possibilities CourtPlay.com held for creating a new sense of ease for tennis coaches and players alike, iSL Creative Director, Zach Goodwin created a striking logo for the new company. He explains:

The CourtPlay identity, typeset in Klavika, needed to feel like it straddled the line between a sports and lifestyle brand. The simple, modern, Nike-esque boldness of Klavika helped achieve that balance. The vertical stroke dividing the two words was intended to suggest the net of a tennis court, while also providing a needed jolt of contrasting color.

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Next, iStrategyLabs worked with the CourtPlay team to develop core values for their brand. Given the company’s early stage, iStrategylabs found it pivotal to establish their internal compass – the values that would eventually drive our work with CourtPlay and their functionality as a business. In our discovery process we worked closely with the CourtPlay team to deeply understand both their team and their brand in order to establish the following values:

Be Authentic – Be Simple – Inspire Action
Share Knowledge – Be Essential

ISL started the web design process by performing a technical assessment of CourtPlay’s existing platform. We needed to create a sophisticated application that included a booking system with a credit card-driven point of sale, a messaging system for players and coaches to interact, and profile creation with location-based searching. On top of all of that the new platform had to be visually striking, extremely intuitive and easy-to-use.

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The result is a clean and beautiful web platform that allows coaches to focus their time on what they do best, coaching. While CourtPlay is an effort to make the lives of tennis coaches easier, it is also an endeavor that caters specifically to tennis players, allowing them to connect to coaches, players, and tennis facilities. In the end, everybody—tennis coaches, players, and clubs—wins. And really, that was the goal of CourtPlay all along, create an innovative way to bring together the greater tennis community.

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Start playing now! Sign up today at http://CourtPlay.com.

100 Questions Every Founder Must Ask Themselves

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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?