It’s summer. Time to catch my breath, preferably in a lounge chair under a canopy of trees while a gentle breeze cools my dewy skin. Birds churp, vegetables grow, thoughts turn philosphical.
This year, I’m contemplating the ethics of artificial intelligence and why toilet paper isn’t a better business to be in. Not that those two things are related. I don’t think. But I’m not done researching yet.
Also on the list: an update to my website and the logo for my business, The Spiders Edge. This isn’t related to toilet paper or artificial intelligence. I don’t think. It’s summer, thoughts wander. And wonder.
Perrenially, I wrestle with how to reconcil all my professional interests. Disconcertingly1, it suddenly seems simple. The underlying interests are the same, the implementation has two sides: practical and philosophical.
There was a time when I wrote science fiction. Science fiction was a conduit for me to bring science to people. To increase their understanding of scientific practices, to bring comfort with technological advances, to make them ask questions about the implications of emerging capabilities. This segued into a passion for business ethics. Science and technology are evolving so fast, writing science fiction to contemplate how it will effect humans and the planet is too slow. Science fiction happens in real time. So I write about business ethics now. These interest are philosophical.
The practical. I can’t sit still without envisioning how a scientific developments can be deployed to solve problems, fulfill a needs or generally make themselves useful. This has fired many professional roles (investment banking, technology transfer, research management) and now inspires my teaching interests in business and entrepreneurial strategy. It’s why I like being around entrepreneurs, helping and mentoring them to start their own businesses.
The Spiders Edge is part of my practical side, working with entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them. Why the update to the logo and site? Five years ago, the original logo 5 years came from digging through old files (paper ones!) to find something that resonated with the value I deliver to people I work with.
That’s what I deliver – the way forward, a rationally-derived focus. And the graph paper resembles a spiderweb, which reflects my network, linking entrepreneurs to the connections they need. Marvel Comics inspired the name with the concept of spidey senses. My spidey senses allow me to know how to communicate about a new business idea. Articular what investors, government, angels, investment bankers, need to hear about a new venture. And what the entrepreneur needs to know too. What’s important for the best chance of success.
These themes carry on in the new logo. Striking the right cord, the spidey network and the colours. Red and black and white. Fire and energy, with clear direction and message. The update is professionally drawn, modern, crisp and clean. Of sufficient resolution to say I mean business.
My message hasn’t changed. I help people find their way to making a difference by translating their invention, concept or startup into a focused business model that investors, customers and suppliers understand and appreciate. The Spiders tagline has changed, from ‘Business Savvy for Technology Commercialization’ to ‘Business Savvy for Innovators’. Modern entrepreneurship includes doing all sorts of creative things with technology and business models, including bringing inventions to market, finding applications for emerging technology, and leveraging technology to satisfy needs in a new way.2
The new logo and updated message reflect dedication to this mission of making entrepreneurs more successful. Updating reaffirms rather than changes. The vision remains: to help innovators/inventors/entrepreneurs achieve their goals of making other people’s lives better/easier/happier.3
1Generally, amateurs writers use too many adverbs. They too are flowing for me this summer. Swimmingly.
3If this sounds too socialist for you, bear in mind my philosophy about business is that if a product or service is appreciated by the customer, if there is value, money will flow to the entrepreneur. There’s a bunch of math behind this to explain how much money, but that’s the basics. If you build something people find useful, the money will come. However, this is predicticated on finding the right target market , a viable value propostion, a competitive advantage and a bunch of other fundamental business concepts.