Having had a weekend to reflect I feel now I maybe able to clearly write a blog about Friday’s Start Up Workshop delivered by Ryan Carson, at Carsonified.
Bearing in mind that any readers I do have (not that there are many at this stage) will know that I know how to program a VCR, use a mac regularly and generally like being slightly more informed than the average user, but in no way do I go near code – except to name drop the terms I have learnt (HTML, PHP, MySQL, Ruby and python to name a few), you can therefore understand my trepidation when I agreed to attend the event.
The event was suggested by my programmer – who thought as we approach the launch of a rather indepth website, it maybe useful if we could learn from others – the pitfalls, the mistakes, the hints and the tips to making a site that works.
I can’t tell you of the fear that filled my mind on the train journey to Bath, I had prenomitions that I’d be found out… that there would be a number of pale looking geeks surrounding me talking a total different language and they would all know that I hadn’t a clue.
All of these nightmares gladly disappeared when I first walked in. The place was chilled out, in fact I couldn’t find a pale looking geek under any of the giant bean bags and there was a constant supply of coffee… off to a great start.
The workshop was really useful, held with no more than twelve attendees, Ryan offered a very informal insight into some of the things you should address when setting up a web app business. Feedback was welcomed and I found I learnt a lot of things from the other attendees as well.
There was some general business information which goes across the board for any company setting up in business including a guest appearance from Ryan’s accountant.
The day also included some invaluable information on the marketing of your site and yourself, which really helped, Ryan also went into a number of tricks and tools that will help keep costs down (and following Ryan’s most recent controversial blog, it would seem that he himself has learnt the hard way.
Would I recommend the workshop for others who are hoping to set up a web business?
The easy answer is yes. Ryan is an approachable and relaxed presenter who has both successes and failures under his belt, and he’s not afraid to share his knowledge of these with anyone if it helps you and your own dreams. On top of that, Ryan is the epitomy of a ‘useful contact’ – offering to genuinely help anyone who comes within his Carsonishpere. Plus you meet some fantastic people who are also in similar positions, soon to be web entrepreneurs (and perhaps the next Larry Page or Sergey Brin), ensuring that you aren’t alone with your plans.
So were there any negatives to the workshop – I’ll be honest, at first look the cost is quite high (£395) considering a lot of the general business advice (the accountant included) can be found for free from Business Link and I think that the time could be used better for more specific web app info. But once you meet Ryan and any of his team, you suddenly realise that you aren’t just paying for a one day workshop, you are paying a subscription to team Carsonified and that seems (almost) priceless.
Further information on any of Carsonified’s event can be found at their website.