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Starts:11-Feb-13 2:59 a.m. GMT
Ends:17-Feb-13 2:59 a.m. GMT
Award 1: $300, was awarded to IanB
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Preview: crowdSPRING Contract
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My company will be all about affordable data logging. It will primarily be online based. The initial focus will be on producing content for an authoritative blog covering all aspects relating to creating and setting up an affordable data logging system, using real life practical examples in written, photographic and video podcast form as the means to convey the message.
Forms of income:
1. Affiliate marketing -
I aim to use the website as a platform to generate affiliate marketing income.
2. Howto guide -
Another income stream will come from developing and selling a low cost, high quality howto guide which will show customers how to develop their own affordable, open source software/hardware data logging devices all the way from the sensors through to analysis of the data.
3. Sensor interface boards -
A third source of income will come from developing and selling small interface boards for integrating certain types of sensors with an Arduino microcontroller.
4. Consulting -
And a final source of income will come from consulting services, assisting people to realise their projects quickly, cheaply and professionally. This could take the form of remote assistance all the way through to onsite installation and commissioning.
5. Future options... -
I am considering creating a paying members section which will provide access to tools such as a bill of materials generator which will help people to gather together all the bits and pieces they need to put together a system and then proceed directly to an online shopping portal, drastically simplifying the purchasing procedure.
I want a .com URL in the end. It should not have any underscores or hyphens and should exactly or very closely match the name of the company. For example, Adafruit Industries is abbreviated to www.adafruit.com. I find this mismatch appropriate. I would not accept something like "The Data Logging Company" being abbreviated to www.tdlc.com.
I don't mind slightly longer URLs but www.thedataloggingcompany.com is maybe a bit too long for practical purposes. Something shorter and more snappy would be appreciated.
Typical customers are more technically inclined people who run businesses which need to gather process data to optimise their operation or who themselves have clients in need of an affordable data logging solution. As I am from the renewable energy industry, I will initially focus on businesses in this sector. Typical examples of potential customers are:
Wind Farmer (http://www.windfarmer.us/),
RIDS Nepal (http://www.rids-nepal.org/).
All of these companies make use of expensive, commercial off the shelf solutions and have indicated their interest in a cheaper solution to their data logging needs.
However, as my approach to business will be one of sharing much of my knowledge online in the form of a blog and aiming to make my solutions universally implementable, I suspect my audience will broaden considerably with time, especially if I can show people how to affordably log, store and analyse data.
1. Affordable, top quality solution -
Although my logging solutions may not look as pretty as big name commercial offerings, they will be durable, will get the job done and will completely out compete them in terms of price/performance ratio.
2. Simple, flexible and, should the need arise, very modifiable -
The smaller commercial logging solutions mostly dictate one particular configuration for data logging, namely a central logger with sensors connected to this device. People who install energy systems know that no two sites are the same and that sensors are often widely geographically distributed. This often forces installers to go for very expensive solutions in order to get access to their data. They would prefer a solution that will give them the flexibility to mix and match components in order to suit each job.
3. Scientific bent -
As I come from a scientific background I would like to convey an attitude which considers data analysis as being something good, useful and fairly easy to do, although often very much ignored/under utilised. I hope to produce tools which will add considerable value over and above simple time/value graphs.
Sorry, I had to provide four:
1. APRS World (http://www.aprsworld.com/),
2. Hobo dataloggers (http://www.onsetcomp.com/),
3. Open energy monitor (http://openenergymonitor.org/),
4. Datataker (http://www.datataker.com/)
I want people to know I am a small company with attitude. I have strong opinions on how to do data logging right and my plucky approach aims to show the big boys that it can be done better than they are doing it, for much less and with far fewer resources. I am to achieve this by piggy backing off other open source hardware/software projects and by being open and willing to collaborate with others to create a better product.
If you want to get an idea of a company also playing in the open source hardware/software scene which I highly respect and wouldn't mind emulating, take a look here:
And here are some rules I would like to do business by:
All that you need and no more (i.e. efficient, no excess),
Sassy (OK maybe not...).
D.I.Y (do it yourself) - I don't want people to get the impression this is some project Uncle Tom cooked up in his garden shed. So although it is very much DIY solution I want to convey that it is a professional one at that :-)
As my business will primarily be generated online, ranking in the top 10 on Google for search phrases to do with data logging/recording/monitoring is very important to me. I understand this is not achievable only by having the right domain name (i.e. it is heavily dependent on relevant content and the keywords contained therein) but it certainly would help to have a name which makes it clear I intend to log data, store and process it.
I will also be using crowdSpring to create a logo for my website (a separate project yet to be created - as of 11.02.2013).