Many of you have been asking for more practical how-to make money content and more of my personal stories. I’m going to combine both of those topics by sharing some of the projects I’m working on.The best starting point for that discussion is the biggest business failure of my life.
How to Not Succeed at Business
I wasted many tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of work on a project that never went anywhere. Certainly there were problems with execution, but the main reason was that I tried to tackle a monumental project, while running a full-time business at the same time and I just burned out.
My Biggest Failure
Here is it is. My biggest failure is ABCfrog.com. It’s a children’s educational platform to teach English to non-native English speakers. I have a full learning platform developed in ASP.NET, about 20 game engines that can be repurposed for various language targets with multi-language support built in, hundreds of professionally illustrated images including a great logo and character. This represents thousands of hours of work from dozens of outsourced professionals over the years.
It’s not my biggest failure just because of the amount of money and time I invested in it. The real reason is that I feel it’s biggest contribution I can make to the world, and I know I failed to maximize that impact.
Literacy skills, particularly in English, the global business language, would have transformative impacts on generations of most disadvantaged in the world.
Imagine if hundreds, thousands or even millions of low income people had the ability to communicate in English. The knowledge, opportunities and general educational awareness could be world changing.
Even the Xprize Foundation is working on a multi-million dollar Global Literacy XPRIZE to find educational solutions.
With over 60 million children not receiving primary education, basic education and literacy is a significant global Grand Challenge. The XPRIZE Foundation believes a technological breakthrough is needed in the tools and toys for learning and thinking. These include accessibility, quality, scalability, and customization of systems and techniques to learn, both inside and outside the educational establishment. A Global Literacy XPRIZE has been conceptualized to rethink learning by harnessing innovation and technology and by placing the capability and desire to become educated into the hands of the learner. The prize has the potential to change what people think is possible regarding the means and methods used to teach and learn.
What do I do next?
I don’t have the answers. I’d love to see my teaching projects come to full fruition, but they are such monumental projects that I can’t do them alone.
I have little experience raising money for non-profits. The only way forward that I know of is to start asking others for advice. That’s what I do with every business project I’ve ever done. I ask smarter, more experienced people for direction and suggestions.
I’d like to raise about $100,000 to cover development, admin and marketing costs for the next couple of years. I could get by on less, but it would be great to be able to hire a small team of people to do something big in the non-profit English teaching space.
I’m thinking of doing a crowdfunding campaign, but I’m not sure I have a big enough audience yet.
Another option is to keep slowly working on smaller and simpler related projects to gain interest and support and hopefully later complete the larger projects.
What do you think? What else can I do to keep this moving forward?
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