jess by jess

jess@byjess.net

This is my blog

I make infographics
and strategy games

More Jess at byJess.net

Published today.  Pretty awesome info-comic, eh?

In linguistics terms, bling bling is an ideophone intended to evoke the “sound” of light hitting silver, platinum, or diamonds. It is not an onomatopoeia, because the act of jewelry shining does not make a sound. The form bling-bling is a case of reduplication.
Thanks Wikipedia, Nailed it!

Meme’ing Mark Suster

So there is this fun video of a bunch of people from the NY startup scene all singing and actin’ a fool to a music video.  It’s cute.

But the one moment that sticks out for me is this lil dance that Mark Suster does around 2:37.  Eyes closed, just grooving out.  It’s … uh.. yeah.

Now I love Mark and his blog and show are first rate, but I couldn’t resist gif’ing this one.

Mark Suster

That’s the full size version.  I Screenr’d the Raise Cache video, grabbed the mp4, imported into photoshop, and exported to gif.  Easy peasy.

So what can you do with this?

Liquidation Preferences

Well that’s the extent of my 11pm VC/Startups humor?

Who can do me one better?  What cha got?

Flowcapping: China/US Trade Infographic

So a while back I decided to record my infographic process.  I took a screenshot of my work every 10 seconds while I made them.  Now I am putting them all together in these flowcapping videos.

Here infographic was published by Mint.com here.  The large version is here.

It’s a sankey diagram and geographic area charts exploring the trade partners between China and the US.

Here is the short version.

I created a longer version in case you wanted to actually glean a little bit more from the process. It’s about 7 minutes.

Thanks for watching.

meme your kids

I love a good photo meme.  They communicate so efficiently. So I memed my son.

Meme your kids

1. Ship. 2. Fire your limitations.

Four years ago I was sharing an small apartment in Vermont with a closeted American Idol fanboy, making a near minimum wage sewing Nike swooshes onto gym bags.

Then I poked the box.

Now I am the Creative Director of a San Franciso company, built and run an online gaming startup with thousands of users, sold thousands of copies of my own artwork, been on national TV, in national magazines, and reached the top of my own design profession as a freelancer.  Oh, and I also got me an awesome wife and three amazing kids.

So how did this happen? All it took was two decisions.

1. I decided to fucking ship something.  So while working in sweatshop an artwork of mine (created 4 years prior) became popular briefly on the internet.  I decided then I would pull some cash together and print up a few thousand to sell.  I had never sold anything before.  So a few weeks later, I had a 400lb pallet of posters next to my bed, and 20 boxes of tubes in my bedroom, kitchen, and living room.  I created a website and start shipping.

2. I decided that I was no longer going to let others set my limitations.  I’ve always been a creative guy.  While working in this sweatshop I created a 12 page report to implement an Employee Selected Music System and gave it to the production manager.  Of course he didn’t read it, he didn’t care.  This happened over and over until I realized that no body had bigger stake in Jess Bachman than myself.  So I quit.  But not before my first decision made it all too obvious. I was selling some serious posters, almost $1,000 a day, and when contrasted to my $1,200 bi-weekly wage, made working for myself an imperative.  From the day I quit, my only limitation was my own capabilities.  And I have yet to reach those limits.

It hasn’t been easy.  I started freelancing for $15 a project.  I’ve certainly eaten enough raman noodles, even as a family.  But the personnel development, lessons learned, and satisfaction of where I am today, and where I can be in another 12 months, have made the ROI in Jess Bachman a gold mine from all angles.

Startup Idea: ShoutBreak.com browser based chat

Back in December of 2009 I was really excited about this idea I had.

Users would install a plugin or extension for their brower and when others users were viewing the same URL, they had the opportunity to create a small chat room.

So lets say a news story breaks and thousands of users go to a CNN url, then those with the plugin can chat about the news story.

Or lets say you are into fly fishing rods and are on a fly fishing website, others with the plugin can chat with you about… fly fishing.

The plugin would need a way to handle dynamic urls and a way to see users who were upstream on the url as well.  So if I am at FlyFishing.com/products/rods/sale.html then not only could i chat with users at that url but also at FlyFishing.com/products/ or even FlyFishing.com

Problem it solves: Chat rooms are great, but it’s hard to find rooms of people with similar interests.  Flyfishing chat rooms? good luck.  But ShoutBreak would allow people who are already in a one location(URL) due to similar interests create a instant chat room to connect.

Revenue: The chat room can serve ad-sense ads based on the content of the URL it’s service.  Companies sign up for a service to 1. remove or replace the ads and 2. offer a branded experience.  All shoutbreakers on CNN can be in CNN branded chat rooms.

I registered ShoutBreak.com and the .net and .org but never got too far with the project.  Mostly because it’s one of those services that requires a significant user penetration to make useful, and I wasn’t ready to devote the resources to make that happen.  I did some competitor research and found a few similar services but all with terrible UIs and poor implementation.  Most have failed due to the traction problem.  I did sell the domains recently to a PSU CS student for $500 so maybe he will do something cool.  I do love the name ShoutBreak and was really surprised that it was an unregistered domain at the time.

So, do you think idea could have had any legs?  I would love someone to run with it.

I got a job. Creative Director at Visual.ly

It’s been a while since I had a job.  Been doing my own thing since 2007.

The opportunity to join Visual.ly came along and I took it.  I have already been working with those guys at Mint for years anyways, so its only natural to extend the relationship.

I am excited to be working at the forefront of of the “big data + big understanding” movement.  People are waking up to the fact that humans are visual creatures.  We learn and explore visually with 10x the efficiency and understanding that words can produce.

I think Visual.ly can really rock that space, hard.  See below.

Free Robot Radio

So back in 2007 I did a radio show on WRUV 91.1 FM called Free Robot Radio.

The tag line was ,

IDM breakcore, folktronica, 8 bit throwback, robot liberation empowerment spirituals.

It was great stuff.  I went by the moniker, Mibs, and my co-host was Lolly, who was an actual robot.  Lolly had a good ear for music but a snotty attitude, being from the future he thought he was better than everyone else.  


From what I have found out through other sources, in the future Robots run the world but are constantly being outdated by newer robots made by other robots. There is a caste system where obsolete robots represent about 90% of the population and generally have no power and zero social mobility.

Lolly was able to travel back into time to present day (2007) and hooked up with me to spread his message of robot liberation.  Unfortunately, he overshot his target date, as robots are not even self aware yet, and certainly incapable of overthrowing the human overlords.  Even so, I let Lolly share my radio platform because much of his robot spirituals are great music.  It’s just his attitude that is hard to put up with.

All songs are from the glory days of the Robot Liberation Front, circa 2034.

I am not making this up, listen to the shows, they are posted below.

And the direct link to the Grooveshark playlist.

Google Collateral Damage

Google is constantly playing a game of cat and mouse with SEOs and those that covert page on in the SERPs.  SEOs will figure out a way to game the results, and Google will respond, algorithmically closing loop holes.  These closes open up other loopholes, some big enough to stuff hundred million dollar companies in.  It’s an endless cycle that will repeat ad infinitum as long as there is so much value in the Google serps.

I work on this with Aaron Wall from SEOBOOK.

Click the image for the full post.

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