Time To Start Something New

Today I’ve gone back to school. Not your usual school with uniforms, exams and grades, this one is different. This one is a business startup school.

Over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be part of Tribe 7 with The Happy Startup Home School program. In addition to being part of this self-taught community, I’ll also be residing in the Happy Startup Offices at New England House, Brighton; where I previously lived as part of the development team at Pure360.
The plan is to spend the next month exploring the possibilities of starting my own business. It already has a name, and a website – werafk.com and a rough mission statement. Of course by the end of the month we could be a coffee shop; having already toyed with the idea of running a design agency/coffee shop/fixie repair centre. What I can tell you is that I want to start a business and not to be an individual masquerading as a business as many freelancers and contractors now do in order to protect themselves from financial problems but have no intention of being anything more – and that is fine! I don’t have a problem with that at all, it’s just not what I want.

Share What You Know

I’d like to make out that I have had an epiphany. A realisation of the right way to do things and how to deliver that but that wouldn’t be true. This is something I have thought about for years, and it goes back as far as my somewhat darkened time at school. People are what make a place, a business, a product, a service great. Yes, you need to have something people need, or want but without the people, and the experiences they’ve had and those you share together, whatever you create will amount to nothing.

I want to create a company of people who are equally as driven and passionate as I am, that want to make a difference to their own lives, and the lives of others through the power of design and solving problems with design thinking.

Away From The Keyboard

In the past 5 years I’ve found more and more that solving problems, ideating, and establishing good relationships happens when I am not sat in front of a computer screen, as I am now typing away. Instead, I have begun spending more and more time with scrap paper to sketch ideas and work through a puzzle, whether that is a business challenge, something in a game on the Xbox One, writing music or skating. I’m getting better results by removing the complicated tools until the time is right.

A few months ago, I attended Reasons To Be Creative and was taken back by Graphic Artist Noma Bar, not only because his life’s work experimenting with negative space is stunning but because when talking about his personal process to work he said that he keeps away from his laptop for as long as possible, trying to do everything with paper, pens and pencils first to get an idea of the thing he is creating and hold back even when he can see it until he’s happy with it on paper. This idea of working things out in the open, free from the constraints of technology is something that has driven me for a long time and I can’t wait to share it with you, and I hope, to introduce it to a new group of individuals, wanting to start their own thing, whatever that may be.

Join Me On This Journey

I’ll be writing about the experiences of The Happy Startup School, working in the Startup Studio in Brighton and what’s happening at We Are AFK on it’s own blog here: http://werafk.tumblr.com/. It would mean a lot to me if you’d sign up to the newsletter too which you can find on http://werafk.com I’ll only be sending out updates when there is something significant to share and because I’d like to have your feedback along the way.

Andy Parker