Zejoop is Going to Grand Prix Sacramento!

                   

What is that, you ask, quizzically – “Grand Prix Sacramento?”

Well it is tournament for the collectible card game, Magic: the Gathering, which is property of Wizards of the Coast, a Hasbro subsidiary. The date is approaching fast, January 17th through 19th, in Sacramento, California, of course.

Maybe you didn’t see this coming but, I happen to be an enthusiast of the game – I am also the best Magic player on the planet – just ask my Magic friends!

As it turns out the Zejoop mission, and mantra, “casual event planning,” and “fun with friends” are highly applicable to the coordination of casual Magic gaming among friends! Go figure; what a coincidence – right?

So, I am going there, and I will be promoting Zejoop for Magic, in addition to participating in the tournament itself!

Check out Zejoop for all your casual event planning needs!



I’m practically overwhelmed, immersed in preparations for the event – little things like testing the application myself, coordinating BETA test among the small cadre of tester/friends I’ve been lucky to engage in the project (thanks guys – Glenn Cuevas and Dave Gerhardt!), and finally – wait for it – I am making customs tokens to distribute at the tournament.

The topic of tokens would be hard to explain to those not familiar with the game, but think of it like this – “promotional business cards, that are useful in the game experience.” Wait, I guess that wasn’t as hard as I thought. Well, now you know.

Here is a teaser of the the printer’s proof – an excerpt; always leave them wanting more, I am told.

looking good, eh?

Just an excerpt – more to come – stand by for followup!

I have several friends to thank/acknowledge, but I will do a right and proper job with that very soon, when I get a chance. For now, however, I do want to call your attention to the blue “Elemental” in the bottom center – that is the beautiful work of my friend, and fine artist, Steve Nakamura – gorgeous work on short notice, with an impossible deadline, all to get it prepped and to the printer in time – but more on that later.

Part of the sexiness you don’t see on this proof is that design on the card-back (lower left corner) includes a QR code. So at the Grand Prix, players can scan, and be directed right to Zejoop where there is a special landing page just for this event! Like I said – sexy – that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

OK, back to work…

Zejoop – Bravely Building Brand?

In several ways this Zejoop blog is a journal – not just a place to broadcast key events and milestones in the birthing and nutruring of a fledgling startup – it is also a place to capture what is going on day-to-day, and to focus on what areas need attention or work in Zejoop’s so-called “life.”

Zejoop is Becoming a Brand

Zejoop is on its way to “Becoming a Brand!”

I’ll spare you the details of its conception, but Zejoop clearly was born the day the winner of the Santa Clarita Valley Startup Weekend was announced. As a capable aerospace engineer, but novice software developer, I’d liken the development process, since the win to a “potty training” phase. All the while though, I have been aware, and now so more than ever, that Zejoop needs develop an identify in terms of its brand.

So, developing that brand is high of the list of priorities – it is fortunate then that I found a good introductory article to help guide me on that quest. Shawn Parr has written this excellent post – 5 Smart Steps to Building your Brand the Right Way.

His lead-off challenge is this: “WOULD YOU BE PROUD TO WEAR YOUR COMPANY’S IDENTITY ON A T-SHIRT?” Clearly that is an important question. While I won’t recount the entire post (he lays out 5 key steps) here are several of the most relevant to Zejoop and where it stands as a brand today:

“clearly define what business you are in, build a rock-solid platform, (and), tell a compelling story”

As for Zejoop, the business broadly stated is “casual event planning – fun with friends.” This I think is a good start in terms of a mantra/tagline, but I think, ultimately Zejoop is up to something bigger, and I have to clarify and capture that thought rather quickly in the near-term.

Zejoop BETA is a good starting point, but it needs more trial-by-fire and refinement. As a novice developer I know that there are substantial inefficiencies in many of the implementation choices I have made. The good news is that I have learned along the way, and I already know several ways right off, to improve the platform on the next re-factor.

The last is so important – “tell a compelling story.” I have always been sensitive to this and I take it seriously, if for no other reason than that I am already an artist and a musician, and I write and have some exposure to animation craft and storyboarding. The artist/writer in me is raring to go on this part – I think this will be a fun and rewarding exercise, and will help to put a forward looking face on the brand that will become Zejoop.

As I make progress on these various fronts expect update posts –  the path I’m on is journey, and this blog is its journal.

 

Zejoop delivers Value!

The founder of both Blogger and Twitter, Ev Williams has some great insights to share about providing value on the internet, as captured in Ryan Tates’ blog post at Wired.com.

In a culture of startup enterprise where all too often ideas seem to be generated by “pick a word randomly from list A, and then list B, put them together and that’s your company,” seemingly clever (by chance) or even (silly, by design) concepts can sounds better than the more practical or even mundane sounding ventures. But does that proposal have a real value proposition – does it serve a real need, however mundane? Many times, not.

The essay I’ve referenced offers a more fundamental view; one that gives hope for the prospects for startups that target more every-days needs. The article is short a one, and I encourage you to read it for its merit, but I wanted to call attention to it for its relevance to the formulation of Zejoop as a value delivering brand. (Zejoop Wins SCV Startup Weekend!)

The most important quote is this:  “Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.” In my thinking this relates to Zejoop because, as a casual event planner, it does not scream “drop-dead-sexy” on casual observation. It does however address a human desire – to have fun with friends – and uses technology to fulfill its purpose. Although it seems mundane, it is useful and will provide value. Several distinguishing features will increase the likelihood that users will in fact be able to have fun with friends more easily and with fewer frustrations.

Zejoop solves real problems – problems that people encounter when they try to plan their activities using email. Real-time status, and auto-cancel if desired conditions are not met, are both features that deliver value.

Sounds good? Why not try it? Visit Zejoop and start planning now!

Zejoop solves real problems.

Use sunscreen and sunglasses to have fun in the Sun – use Zejoop.com to have fun with your friends!